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Old August 20, 2005, 08:23 PM   #51
CarbineCaleb
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Quote:
you may live with the wolves, you may not.
Well, there are no wolves here in MA. But there is talk of introducing them in ME, and I am less than an hour from there. I advocate that - think I saw one up there at sundown in fact, although there are no confirmed resident populations there. If I thought it'd be accepted in MA, I'd advocate that too. We have black bear, but most people seem more afraid of wolves for some reason.

Quote:
are you seriously advocating heading off a pack of a dozen or more wild wolves with a couple of domesticated dogs? it sounds like a suicide mission to me.
Yep, seriously. Historically, that's exactly what certain breeds were used for. The Pyranees is said to be capable of repelling a bear. I think that something to consider is that in the wild, few aggressive encounters between competing animals are fatal - usually someone backs down (pride isn't so important as survival), often before there is even any actual combat. So the Pyranees doesn't need to be able to kill the bear, just run him off.

That's why animals mark their territory - it doesn't do anything to physically obstruct trespassers, not a fence, just a marker to claim territory, which has the benefit that most fights are avoided in this way - they do it to avoid potentially fatal combat (if they didn't mark it, they would run into the trespassers). Behaving recklessly would be genetically bred out, because it would result too often in death prior to breeding.

Same thing with a wolf, or wolves... nobody likes the idea of dying, so if they have a choice, maybe they'll just find an easier meal somewhere else. In addition to the Great Pyranees, look also at German Shepherd, Akbash, Anatolian Shepherd... my understanding is that these dogs would not only run off wolves, but would on occasion, catch and kill them too. I am sure the wolves won at times. But if you have a few dogs that are very strong, fierce, and as big or bigger than the wolves, and they won't back down under any circumstances... getting past them is not an attractive or easy task for anyone to face.

P.S. I found a link on the net regarding livestock guarding dogs:
http://www.lgd.org/
(and notes from the USDA):
http://www.lgd.org/usdafacts.html

Note the section authored by the USDA that says:
Quote:
Livestock guarding breeds originated in Europe and Asia, where they have been used for centuries to protect sheep from wolves and bears. Americans have used guarding dogs since the mid-1970's.
So, I guess even the Americans have been catching on a bit of late.
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Old August 20, 2005, 09:13 PM   #52
Capt Charlie
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Eradication, control, or leave 'em be. The argument among experts and laymen alike rages on, and it'll most likely continue for a long time. Majority thinking today is control, and I agree. But the real problem is how? I'm not refering to the mechanical means of hunting, etc.; I mean by what method do we establish a healthy balance? A number of models have been established over the years, and they, along with the outcome, vary. A few of the methods include...

Quote:
Main historical trends:

A variety of paradigms have been described in the historical
development of population biology (den Boer and Reddingius, and see S.
Kingsland for alternative views):

Mechanistic view (Lotka, Volterra) - populations as differential
equations - treating them as made up of many, many individuals, each
with small effect on the aggregate - a mechanistic view that grew out
of physical models. In this view, one can still break down populations
(as Lotka did extensively for age structure) but maintain the same
assumptions about large sizes within each age group.

Regulation or engineering view (Nicholson) - population density was in
balance, e.g. adjusted to prevailing conditions, positing a
"controlling factor" or "density geoverning factor" (now thought of as
a density dependent factor) which produced a balance. There is an
inherent equilibrium, with a stabilizing feedback driving population
densities back to this equilibrium following perturbations - a
cybernetic view, in which population regulation is taken for granted.

Systems view (von Bertalanffy) - there are general principles, laws and
models that apply to systems with many components, irrespective of the
details of these components, which are applicable to the hierarchical
levels in ecology. These laws are not necessarily derivable from a
reductionist view.

Natural History view (Andrewartha and Birch) - population dynamics is
the result of a complex interplay between the properties of the
organisms themselves and the variables in the environment. A view of
populations made up of many small interaction groups, with which most
individauls interact across their lifespan. So distribution and
abundance determined by variations in localized environmental factors
which determine the organisms growth and survival in these localized
groups.

An Alternative (not in den Boer and Reddingius) Individual-Based View
- here we take the reductionist view that the properties of
populations can be derived from the complex of interactions between
individuals, environment, and other species. Thus it is not just
localized interaction groups which determine population dynamics, but
the entire complex of individual characteristics which vary through the
population. It is a view in which it is possible for rare individuals
to have significant impacts on population-level phenomena.
(taken from: http://www.tiem.utk.edu/~gross/eeb507/popecol.txt )

When we intervene in either direction, we'd better be damned sure that we have our ducks in a row, or the outcome could and most probably would be disasterous.

http://mdc.mo.gov/conmag/2001/11/10.htm

Any way you look at it, population dynamics is a highly complex, often argued and little understood (in spite of the reams of paper written on the subject.) area of study. Culling IS necessary, but the formula for doing so needs to be carefully thought out in advance, and not done with a "bull in a china shop" attitude.

For those interested in seeing how predator / prey relationships work in general, the link below is to a working computer model of predator and prey populations over time. Cal would understand the math invovled more than I, but the graph is pretty easy to read. Just plug in the number of critters for prey and predator, set the duration time to 30, and hit start.

http://dmpeli.math.mcmaster.ca/Matla...tor/index.html
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Old August 20, 2005, 09:24 PM   #53
CarbineCaleb
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Rich:

So apparently, the guarding dogs are smarter than I thought - the following are some excerpts from the USDA material at:
http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/compani.../guarddogs.htm

Quote:
A livestock guarding dog is one that generally stays with sheep without harming them and aggressively repels predators. The dog chooses to remain with sheep because it has been reared from puppyhood with them. Its protective behaviors are largely ins tinctive, and there is relatively little formal training required other than timely correction of undesirable behaviors (e.g., chewing on ears, overplayfulness, and excessive wandering). The guarding dog is not a herding dog but rather a full-time member of the flock. Success of the dog is a result of a quality genetic background with an emphasis on proper rearing.
and

Quote:
If the sheep are active (moving and feeding), the dog may also be active. However, dogs are not necessarily with the sheep constantly. The dog may sleep during the day while the sheep are feeding, or the dog may be away from the sheep investigating adjac ent areas. With experience, the dog will learn when disturbances from predators are likely to occur (evening and early morning hours) and will be actively patrolling or on alert at a selected location. A dog will often bed with the sheep but is usually qu ickly aroused by any disturbance. Some sheep appear to learn to return to the dog when they are threatened by a predator.

A guarding dog uses its senses and experience to know when and where to patrol and how best to keep predators away from the sheep. Some people have mistakenly attempted to impose their own conceptions of the guarding routine on the dog. The dog should be free to develop its guarding behaviors within the restrictions dictated by each particular livestock operation.
and


Quote:
Managing Dogs on Rangeland and Pastures
Management practices on pasture and range operations differ and affect the overall concept of using guarding dogs. Pastures have fenced boundaries which provide a clearly defined, stationary territory for a dog to defend. There is lit tle chance that the sheep will be lost if they scatter within a pasture, so a full-time herder is usually not needed.

Fences are rarely encountered on most rangeland, and a herder tends the flock, controls the grazing pattern, and provides some degree of protection from predators. A (guard) dog on the range must learn to identify the sheep and the ever-changing area they occupy as a defendable territory. A dog must adapt to new areas as the herder implements the grazing plan, and since the dog remains unsupervised with the sheep much of the time, its behavior must not cause the flock to scatter.
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Old August 20, 2005, 10:45 PM   #54
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CC-
I've been trying to be gentle, but you are really killing me now.

Look, what I've seen of ranching, especially cattle, doesn't lend itself to tight herds, lazily grazing on idyllic, lush hillsides or romatic cattle drives, where a couple of trusty dogs can contain, control and protect.....that's called a farm. They split up into relatively small groups, and disperse widely. They have to...the land would be described by most of us as "barren" and LOTS of it is needed to support a cow.

Bounties weren't placed on wolves because it was fun to trap 'em or because of some unfounded fear of them carrying off children. It was done (and OVERDONE, in my opinion) because of the livestock cost. They're Pack Predators. They kill for food and sport.....continuously over their lives.

Do you think there are no dogs on ranches? Do you believe your idea is the newfound answer that nobody has thought of? C'mon guy. Ranchers have been using dogs longer than they've been using fences.

Now, if you want to discuss the difficulties of developing control formulas for wolves, be my guest. But it seems to me the individual States have done a pretty good job at same with all other manner of fish, fowl and wildlife. Every wheel you've suggested has already been invented.
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Old August 20, 2005, 11:01 PM   #55
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Rich: No, I don't think guarding dogs are the whole answer. But at least according to the USDA, they have only begun to be employed in the US since the 1970s, about the time when the Feds dropped the bounties on predators. They are specific breeds that will actually do the job of guarding livestock, not just any old hound dog or family Lab.

According to the USDA at least, who I think have farmers and rancher's interests first and foremost in mind, livestock guarding dogs:

Quote:
Effectiveness Against Various Predators
Most of the research and practical experience with guarding dogs has focused on the dogs’ ability to reduce predation by coyotes and domestic dogs, the two principal predators of sheep in the United States. Coyotes, about one-third the size of an adult guarding dog, usually avoid a direct encounter with a guarding dog; and as our survey revealed, 95 percent of the guarding dogs were aggressive to predators, primarily coyotes. Fewer of the guarding dogs were aggressive to domestic dogs (74 perce nt), but encounters between guarding dogs and intruding dogs usually differ from those between guarding dogs and coyotes. Whereas most coyotes avoid a confrontation, intruding dogs may spend time smelling and posturing around the guarding dog. Fights may occur, but more likely the intruding dog will leave after a brief period of investigation. The end result is usually the same as with coyotes, no predation. However, some guarding dogs, particularly immatures, may stand by while intruding dogs harass the sheep. Occasionally, guarding dogs have joined intruding dogs and injured or killed sheep.

Foxes probably respond to guarding dogs as do most coyotes, by avoiding a confrontation and thus staying a reasonable distance from the flock. Several encounters between wolves and guarding dogs have been documented, but the results are not very predicta ble at this point. Some wolves avoid or bypass the area occupied by a guarding dog, others investigate and posture as described previously for domestic dogs, and others fight with the guarding dog. Wolves are likely more frustrated by the presence of a gu arding dog than intimidated by it.

We gathered information about guarding dog–bear encounters. In a typical encounter with a black bear, the dog would bark repeatedly and approach to confront the bear. The bear would usually respond by retreating from the dog. There was usually no physical contact between the dog and the bear, and the dog would continue pursuit for several hundred meters or until the bear was headed away from the sheep. The dog typically returned to the sheep soon after the encounter. Although our sample of guarding dog– grizzly bear encounters is small, it suggests that grizzly bears are less readily deterred by guarding dogs than are black bears.
They summarize by writing:
Quote:
Dogs may be viewed as a first line of defense against predators in many operations. Their effectiveness can be enhanced by good livestock management and by eliminating persistent depredating predators with suitable removal techniques.
Now, that sounds reasonable to me. They keep things on a factual basis. It is quite different from some (not you) who have described wolves as evil, and said that only whackos would allow them to live.
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Old August 20, 2005, 11:20 PM   #56
Rich Lucibella
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OK, then.
.gov mandated repop of the wolf packs....I've no problem. But .gov should then provide the ranchers, free of charge, the guard dogs to protect their private property and livelihood from the threat .gov has mandated.

Additionally, .gov should then provide for shoot-on-sight laws on all livestock and private property....I don't own a ranch, but perhaps my little Catahoula Leopard Cur is not up to the task of taking on half dozen 100 lb+ Wolves. But he has MORE moral right to survival and protection on my lands than the Wolves. The government should endorse this Policy because it would only be called into play when ***their*** guard dog solution ***fails***. Easy to win me over on that.

CC-
Coyotes are NOT Wolves. Completely different species, guy. They're Rabbit eaters, not Elk and Cow eaters. Would you imagine that, just maybe, they're a bit more easily run off?

Do you hunt? Really?
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Old August 20, 2005, 11:32 PM   #57
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Quote:
Coyotes are NOT Wolves
That's true, but the USDA indicates the guarding dogs were largely effective against wolves as well as black bear.

Quote:
Do you hunt?
I used to hunt small game. That was years ago. Since then, I only shoot critters with a camera - really.
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Old August 20, 2005, 11:37 PM   #58
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rich, cc is just as entertaining over on the bear thread. i have hunted bears for many years, killed over 30. cc claims they are not agressive. Somebody should tell those black bears. in my experience a bb is more agressive then a brown. they are more crafty also. i shot one with my .45-70 and tore it's arm almost off. it barely stumbled and ran me up a tree. (the dogs ran interference) it tried to climb after me and i shot it downward through the shoulder and it excited out the hip. still took a few minutes before it would lay still and i shot it in the head with my .38
cc i don't think you have much outdoors experience aside from what your hunting software provides.
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Old August 20, 2005, 11:46 PM   #59
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CC-
Fair enough. We'll agree to disagree based on our divergent experience.

Jeff-
Be nice....please.
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Old August 20, 2005, 11:57 PM   #60
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Sorry Cal, but I have to side with Rich on this one. Think about it: One dog of ANY breed against a PACK of wolves is no contest. Wolves are smart and have a great hunting strategy... teamwork. They'll run a moose in a circle, where the next wolf takes over... another circle, until said moose is tuckered out, and it's easy pickin's. A bull moose (or elk) is a damned site tougher than any one dog. I'm a staunch conservationist, but I'm also familiar with open range ranching. Sheep tend to stay in a tight bunch, where cattle usually spread out some. They'll stay in a herd, but it's a loose association, and a herd of 100 Hereford may spread out over a hundred acres, which is far more than one dog can patrol. Dogs used to protect sheep flocks are raised with sheep, but cattle won't tolerate a dog like that, so the protection instinct is much reduced. Even if there was more than one dog, and the protection instinct was there, a wolf pack is smart enough to create a diversion to distract the dogs, while a couple will slip in from the rear and take what they want. Ranchers and farmers today operate on a razor's edge between a successful operation and bankruptcy. I fear the smaller operations are doomed to extinction because of large "factory farms" and ranches. The family farm and ranch is the backbone of America, and losses to anything can make the difference between failure and success. I really want to see the wolves thrive, but not at the expense of generations of family ranchers.
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Old August 21, 2005, 12:02 AM   #61
CarbineCaleb
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Quote:
cc i don't think you have much outdoors experience aside from what your hunting software provides.
Well Jeff - just because I am not shooting critters doesn't mean I don't know them. I have seen bear in Maine, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon, and Alaska. Black bears and brown bears, little ones and big ones. I was charged by a black bear (after some pungent smelling food we had), and I managed to send him on his way with my voice. I led the trips that I was on, and I do have one rescue to my credit. You can disparage me all you like, but I know what I've done, and your snide remarks can't change any of that. Some people think animals are to be feared - I don't. It might make you feel better to say that I've probably never seen any then, but that's not the difference, I can assure you.
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Old August 21, 2005, 12:05 AM   #62
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Capt: If that's so, how do you explain what's in the USDA report on guarding dogs for ranchers? They seem to indicate they work quite well, and the USDA is definitely on the side of farmers and ranchers - they are their sheep.
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Old August 21, 2005, 12:17 AM   #63
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I honestly don't know, Cal. I'm going on almost 25 yrs. experience on a 4200 acre ranch that has both cattle and sheep. I'm also going on 5 yrs. experience of patroling NPS, Forest Service, and BLM land, and my studies of wolf predation, but I confess I have no hand's-on experience with wolves facing livestock.
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Old August 21, 2005, 12:32 AM   #64
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Capt: Well, I have definitely heard of wolves killing and eating family pets, but a Great Pyranees is no Schnauzer. They are bigger than the wolves and are bred to be absolutely fearless. If you get two or three, they become more imposing.

I've observed animals in conflict directly both personally, and on nature films, and the one who would win if it came down to a life or death fight, doesn't always win in a standoff. The reason is that most animals don't want to risk death if it's avoidable, so they don't get into that life and death fight... there's some posturing, bluffing, false attacks, and usually one side just backs down.

That's what the USDA report seems to indicate as well, at least when I read it, they are not describing fights to the death as the norm, whether the dogs are the stronger, or the weaker of the two adversaries - the dogs press, and usually it ends with no fight at all.
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Old August 21, 2005, 12:37 AM   #65
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CarbineCaleb, we are talking about a group of several 100+ pound predators that can take down an 800 hundred pound moose using a deliberate and coordinated attack.

a Pyrenees isn't going to stand much of a chance, especially when viewed as competition.
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Old August 21, 2005, 12:44 AM   #66
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redhawk: I'll pose the same question to you that I did to Captain Charlie then - why does the USDA write this in their report then? And why do they write that the guarding dogs normally run off black bear, who surely average at least twice their size, and can be four times their size? Why do wolves normally avoid humans, who after all, physically at least, are less capable than the Pyrenees? For that matter, why was I able to stop a charging black bear, using only my voice? I don't think you can just boil this down to who is stronger, because thought guides the animal, not just muscle - and that thought can make him avoid risk.
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Old August 21, 2005, 02:27 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbineCaleb
why does the USDA write this in their report then?
Ummmmm, maybe because they're part of the exact same organization that reintroduced the "endangered" Wolf to states in the US, explaining that they would not be a threat to livestock, while setting up funds for livestock losses? Perhaps because they're part of the same .gov who still insists that only the alpha males breed?

Did you not read Capt Charlie's post? Great Pyrenees. Wonderful "what if". Put it into practice. Who will PAY for all those Great Pyrenees for the ranchers? Who will pay for their feed and medical?

This is silly, CC.
We've presented that the Wolf CAN exist in North America, assuming we allow sensible control as with all other game and predators. We've demonstrated the result of the current US policy in Alberta. Yet, every response you offer supports that exact same "can't we all just get along" philosophy. "Don't bother the Wolves and they won't bother you". Doncha get it, guy? Wolves, unchecked by predation do not just "get along". They cause very real damage to hard working families just like yours. And flock dogs will not control their numbers; they'll only push them onto the next herd of another hard working family.

You wanna photograph Wolves? You should absolutely have that opportunity. But not at the expense of "endangering" the Elk herds...and certainly not on Capt Charlie's ranch or in my back yard. I don't personally want a Great Pyrennes....I simply want to enjoy my paid for lands in peace.

Let landowners protect their lands and there will still be plenty of Wolves for you to photograph, if you've a mind.
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Old August 21, 2005, 07:26 AM   #68
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"Americans have used guarding dogs since the mid-1970's."

Gosh, I'm glad there's no chauvinism within the USDA!

Folks along the Tex-Mex border have been using guarding dogs with their goat herds as long as they've had goat herds. I'm pretty sure those folks are Americans.



It's not all that common, but a coyote family group with nearly-growns will take out a guard dog and enjoy fresh cabrito. A coyote pack is adept at working together. That's why a lot of the goat herds are accompanied by two guarding dogs. Losses are reduced, though; not avoided. Goats, however, aren't as valuable as cows or horses.

Anytime a Pyrenees drives off a pack of wolves, I'd lay odds that pack wasn't hungry. If they were hungry, the pack would split: Some would have a conversation with the guard dog while the others prepared supper.

Dot-gov is good at avoiding responsibility, and in this instance gets away with it because of public emotions wherein the rancher is somehow unimportant, if not portrayed as some sort of bad guy. I've heard these comments while at a steakhouse restaurant...Still, by the standards by which I've lived my own life, the introduction of a predator into livestock country places the onus on those so doing.

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Old August 21, 2005, 11:28 AM   #69
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Quote:
Losses are reduced, though; not avoided
Well, that's essentially what the USDA report says. I don't know if anyone read it. It doesn't say guard dogs are a panacea. It points out a list of potential benefits obtained when using them, and also a list of potential problems obtained when using them (which, if you want to take the worst possible one - a poorly suited "guard dog" can attack the sheep). All it really says is, these things are useful. I am being accused of bias here, but there has only been denial that guard dogs might be profitably employed. Now, given that this is a centuries old working practice, that defies common sense to me.

Quote:
Don't bother the Wolves and they won't bother you
Actually, I acknowledged right from the start that there would be some predation on livestock.
Caleb:
Quote:
If wolves are reintroduced, I am sure there will be some level of predation on deer as well as livestock.
And I also said a ways back that if they are doing that, they should be shot.
Caleb:
Quote:
Well, if the wolf is actually causing losses, I'd agree.
I really have 3 points that I believe:
  1. Many people are unduely afraid of predators
  2. Predators and man can coexist
  3. If predators are to survive, it will take some compromise on the part of man

I don't consider these very radical ideas, but they are definitely at odds with some of the statements made here. Thanks for at least engaging in some dialogue, anyway.
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Old August 21, 2005, 12:16 PM   #70
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CarbineCaleb, i apologize but the folks that deal face-to-face on a daily basis with the wolves get real sick and tired of folks like you that live a long ways away from wolves telling them how to live their lives and run their businesses. I implore you to head out west and spend some time with a few ranchers and guides and see first hand what these wolves are capable of. talk to the people that are affected directly by wolf reintroduction and maybe you will understand. maybe not, because in the end you will get to leave and return to your city where you will remain unaffected by that which you imagine as so harmless.

Quote:
Many people are unduely afraid of predators
head out to Wyoming and spend some time in the Bridger wilderness where you might actually get a chance to interact with a pack of wolves or a grizzly or two. and don't take any weapons since fear of predators is undue. report back to us.
Quote:
Predators and man can coexist
when they live far far away from each other. that is why the predators live in the sparesly populated areas, like Wyoming and Northern Canada. not to many predators in Boston, i imagine.
Quote:
If predators are to survive, it will take some compromise on the part of man
that compromise has already been established. predators and man do not mix. where there is man, there are no predators. where there is no man, there are predators. now folks like you who live very far away from predators think that those who live very close to the predators should just learn to deal with it. wolves are a cute and cuddly part of the ecosystem when they are not in your back yard killing your livestock and destroying your hunting grounds. it is also IMO quite arrogant to think that man alone can determine the fate of life on this planet.
Quote:
why was I able to stop a charging black bear, using only my voice?
comparing a single maybe 200 pound black bear to half a dozen 120 pound wolves is not a valid comparison. try that same tactic with a pack of territorial domestic dogs and you will be in a world of hurt. now imagine what six or more wild and hungry wolves will do to you.
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Old August 21, 2005, 12:58 PM   #71
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Quote:
I really have 3 points that I believe:
1. Many people are unduely afraid of predators
2. Predators and man can coexist
3. If predators are to survive, it will take some compromise on the part of man
For the most part, you're preaching to the choir, Cal. Most hunters and ranchers will agree with the first two. It's the 3rd that gives room for controversy.

Define some compromise

An operation like King Ranch in TX can absorb some loss, but the smaller family operations? Chickens and even sheep go really cheap at auction, but cattle? The loss of one cow and calf may not break a ranch, but it will definitely put a dent in the wallet. The loss of 5 or 6 over a year will mean a lean year for that family.

I REALLY like being able to go to Yellowstone or Isle Royale and listen to the wolves, and watch them interact, and I want that to continue. I want future generations to be able to experience it also. Wolves had a place on this planet long before we came along, and should continue to do so. But we do too. It will all boil down to a very sad choice eventually. Planet Earth is finite. Populations aren't. Who will have to go? Realistically, we all know the answer to that question. If we go whole hog to re-establish wolf populations, we'll alienate the very people who's support we need to keep the wolf. If we control them and keep losses to a minimum, public sentiment might just lean towards keeping them around a little bit longer.
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Old August 21, 2005, 01:08 PM   #72
CarbineCaleb
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Redhawk:
Quote:
head out to Wyoming and spend some time in the Bridger wilderness where you might actually get a chance to interact with a pack of wolves or a grizzly or two. and don't take any weapons since fear of predators is undue. report back to us.
I haven't been to Wyoming. Back when I was in condition to do these things, Wyoming wasn't a challenge - I always sought out the ruggedest country. On trips out west, that was the Canadian Rockies, the North Cascades, and the Alaska Range. I have seen grizzlies in Alaska and the Yukon, with cubs, and I was without weapons. I already said that. Anyone in fact who travels to the Alaska backcountry in prime country will see grizzlies, and anyone who does it in Denali is forbidden to bring a firearm. On the AK trip (3 weeks in the backcountry on foot - Glacier Bay, Denali, and Wrangell St-Elias), one night, I went to bed early, but two of my companions said they saw an entire pack of wolves run through the little hanging valley we were camped in - I missed it, but they didn't eat us. I've been within 40 feet of moose, black bear (up to 500lb) and those with cubs. In Alberta, I've watched a momma bear with her cub, easily flip over a flattened boulder to look underneath - a boulder that I'd wager weighed 300-500lb... I was watching that from less than 50 feet away.

On my travels in Canada, I can tell you that the attitudes towards predators and animals in general are quite different (on average, of course both countries have much variety in opinion). Up there, people are much more familiar with animals, more comfortable with them, and more savvy about how to interact with them... and yes, they laugh at Americans in this regard.

Redhawk:
Quote:
talk to the people that are affected directly by wolf reintroduction and maybe you will understand.
In Canada, I spoke with a family that had lost a poodle, and had nearly lost a Lab (they woke up to the sound of something outside, looked out the window in the moonlight, and their dog was running in circles around the house, with a wolf at his heels... they opened the front door and their dog shot in, exhausted, and quickly shut it - he probably only had a minute or two left to live when they opened that door). Canada has a lot more wolves than the US... 100x as many. I also camped there, alone in the Canadian Rockies - in the backcountry, no drive in campgrounds, prime grizzly and wolf country, for 3 weeks, with no weapon, and no tent. Was in the backcountry of Banff, Yoho, Jasper, Mt Robson parks.

Redhawk - you just can't accept that someone who understands animals thinks differently than you. Yes, I know that predators have great strength. Yes, I know that on rare occasions, they will without provocation attack and kill people - that's not news to me though. I knew that back in high school. I also know that even deer have killed people when they feel threatened - not news to me either. I am not "naive" in this regard. But I understand the animals enough to be comfortable in their presence, and I understand the risks, neither minimizing, nor exaggerating them.

I just have a different mindset - I identify quite closely with a wildlife biologist or a naturalist. For instance when Jeff Troop "proved" how aggressive black bears were by telling his story of an attack after he shot it... I think, "Hmmm, so all you did was start in to killing this critter, and he attacked you? How aggressive he is! ". In his mind, that's an aggressive animal - it attacks you when you shoot it. In my mind, trying to kill something is provocation in the extreme.
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Old August 21, 2005, 01:21 PM   #73
CarbineCaleb
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Capt: As to the meaning of the word "compromise" - I'd agree, that's where the majority of the issue is. For people who say that reintroducing wolves is crazy, I'd say that they by definition do not believe that humans and predators can coexist.

As to terms of the compromise, I don't have a single magic answer. Some useful ingredients that currently are partially, but not consistently or wholeheartedly applied might be:
  • Don't allow wolves to be shot on sight, merely for existing
  • Do compensate farmers and ranchers for any losses
  • Encourage the use of guarding dogs to reduce losses, through education and incentives
  • Try to improve the wolf habitat on public lands, to encourage the wolves to principally remain there, reducing friction with private landowners (yes that's been sucessfully done with other animals)
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Old August 21, 2005, 01:37 PM   #74
jeff_troop
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cc you play the victim of snide remarks on one thread and then come over here and make snide remarks. you are doing nothing more then trolling. period. you seem to take delight in playing the devils advocate on numerous threads. can't believe others haven't called you on it.
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Old August 21, 2005, 01:42 PM   #75
Rich Lucibella
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Quote:
I identify quite closely with a wildlife biologist or a naturalist
And that is the nub of the disagreement. You're a naturalist. Most of us are conservationists. Never the twain shall meet.

PETA is a naturalist organization.
Ducks Unlimited is a conservation organization.
For the sake of hunters and wild animals, I like DU's approach far better.
Rich
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