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Old April 17, 2019, 06:41 PM   #26
buck460XVR
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Originally Posted by taylorce1 View Post
The problem with wolves is all the research on them never includes human hunters as natural predators.
Plenty of it in Canada and Alaska where wolves are not a protected species. While it has been shown that reducing wolf numbers can lead to a stop in decline of game populations, most of the time, even completely eliminating wolves does not mean an increase in game populations.......that generally comes from habitat improvement and reduced harvest goals of that particular game animal in a specific area. It also has been shown that depredation on wolves by humans is very efficient. IOWs, like game animals, wolf numbers are highly influenced by habitat and harvest. Here in Wisconsin you hear all kind of rumors. The biggest one is that the state secretly brought in wolves and reintroduced them under the cover of night to reduce deer numbers. Supposedly they conspired with the big insurance companies so to reduce the number of claims brought on by car/deer collisions. Not true. The wolves here reintroduced themselves form Minnesota and Michigan. There was also a pack that was in my area for forty years before they were even recognized. Local biologist has a theory that the pack albeit small, was never really "eradicated" and lived in the large tracts of non-developed land around here and kept their distance from humans. While there were suspicions they were there, little or no proof was ever given. Then when local deer populations exploded, so did that pack. This is what it comes down to. Pack numbers are directly linked to abundance of food. If game is not abundant, the alphas do not breed until it is. When game is abundant, litters are larger and have a better chance of survival. I constantly here folks claiming they went deer hunting and during the whole season saw tons of wolf tracks and not one set of deer tracks. Impossible. Without a healthy population of deer in the area, there would be no wolves.

As I have said many times....there is a place for wolves in any healthy ecosystem. But their numbers, like game, non-gamer and other predators need to be controlled to keep interaction with humans and the threat to their domestic animals to a minimum. Wolves, like deer and other wildlife can be and are a source of positive economic impact to local communities. Go to any resort town in Northern Wisconsin and half the tee-shirts and sweatshirts you see for sale, have a wolf image on them. Most resorts can tell you the site where the local county mounties dump deer carcasses and wolfs are known to be readily seen. Similar to 40 years ago and going to the local dump at night to see the bears. Hearing them at night makes tourists swoon almost as much as the sickening sound of the loons at night.
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Old April 17, 2019, 07:28 PM   #27
big al hunter
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I know as a ranching family on the plains of SE Colorado, it'll be awhile until wolves make it to my families ranch.
If distance from the wolves released in Yellowstone is any indication of time frame, you have about as long as I do. They crossed Idaho to eastern Washington between release in the 90's and 2009 when the first pack was recognized by the state. In the last 10 years they are officially in half the state. A few years ago a wolf was photographed in a town just east of Seattle. It was not recognized by the state as anything more than a rumor, until it got hit and killed by a car on Interstate 90.

I suspect there are wolves in the area now, but I haven't seen signs, or heard howling that was not obviously coyote. If they are here there aren't many....yet.
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Old April 17, 2019, 07:59 PM   #28
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Here's some info on the study at Isle Royale in Michigan. https://www.washingtonpost.com/scien...=.42c6f6544517
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Old April 18, 2019, 06:51 AM   #29
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Thanks for the link Blindstitch, I was wondering what caused the pack to die off with a captive and plentiful food source.
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Old April 19, 2019, 01:20 AM   #30
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Predators are proven to be good for deer populations.
That all depends on what you consider to be "good for the population" and which end of the food chain you are on. "Good for the population" as in better fed, larger, more alert deer? Then sure, because as predators cull the herds until the easiest ones (young, old, sick, unalert) are dead and it is too hard to hunt for the remaining prey, browse quality increases and prey animals will benefit from increased quantity and quality of feed and lower competition for cover and territories. But for the ones that get culled, it's pretty much over at dinner time. So, good for the population but not so much for the individuals.
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Old April 19, 2019, 07:50 AM   #31
buck460XVR
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That all depends on what you consider to be "good for the population" and which end of the food chain you are on. "Good for the population" as in better fed, larger, more alert deer? Then sure, because as predators cull the herds until the easiest ones (young, old, sick, unalert) are dead and it is too hard to hunt for the remaining prey, browse quality increases and prey animals will benefit from increased quantity and quality of feed and lower competition for cover and territories. But for the ones that get culled, it's pretty much over at dinner time. So, good for the population but not so much for the individuals.
...and such is the life of a prey animal. It is what it is and the way the good Lord intended. Fisheries are a great example of what happens when you remove the larger predator fish from the ecosystem. You end up with high populations of stunted individuals and a high amount of undesired non-game fish. Kinda why Northern Pike and Muskies are called "Water Wolves". While terrestrial ecosystems do not show the extreme stunting as is shown by aquatic systems, prey in aquatic settings generally do less damage to the ecosystem because they too are predators. But both systems are negatively impacted by the removal of too many predators.

The similarities between the two are, that man is the one who throws the biggest wrench in the works when it comes to them being balanced. Man has eliminated species to reduce competition, upset the balance thru over harvest and stocked/planted non-native species that he thought more desirable, even tho they may become invasive or injure the ecosystem. This includes domesticated animals. This makes so Ma Nature has even a tougher, if not impossible job of balancing things out. So what we end up doing is not necessarily balancing things out best for the ecosystem, but for man and his desires. Used to be when it came to hunting and fishing it was mainly for subsistence, now, for the most part, it's purely for sport. This is why we have such high densities of deer populations and very limited access to private land. Just like too many wolves are bad....so are to many deer/elk. No different than too few.
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Old April 20, 2019, 09:47 AM   #32
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A pack of 6 wolves eat a full grown elk every night. Not "may" or "can", they DO.
Just for the sake of argument tho we will say a pack of 10. With 150 wolves thats 15 elk every night. We now have a very small elk herd here.

Check out Gardiner Mt. Used to have one of the biggest elk herds and some of the best elk hunting in the world. I dont know if they even have a season now.

The feds didnt "reintroduce" anything. They introduced an invasive species thinking that people were to stupid to know any better. Apparently they were right. I dont know about Washington but our native wolf wasnt much bigger than a coyote here
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