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January 25, 2008

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Breaking News: Feds Green Light Shooting of Western Wolves

From the Los Angeles Times:
State game agencies and private citizens would be allowed to kill federally protected gray wolves that threatened dogs or seriously decreased deer, elk or moose populations in parts of the northern Rocky Mountains, under a federal rule announced Thursday.

The regulation comes a month ahead of the expected federal decision to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list, which would allow wolves to be hunted. That decision is likely to face protracted litigation.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services officials said Thursday that the revised provision would allow for states to deal with areas where wolf activity is affecting wildlife populations while delisting is tied up in court.
Several groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity are fighting the decision.

From the Helena Independent Record:
“The Bush administration is giving a blank check to the states to slaughter wolves for doing what they need to do to make a living — which is eating deer and elk,” said Louisa Wilcox with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The government spent millions of dollars to reintroduce wolves to the wild in the Northern Rockies, and now it wants to spend millions more to kill them. That’s crazy.”

But Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said that’s not the case.

“Everybody’s crying wolf,” he said on Thursday. “We expect the number killed will be less than we currently kill now for livestock depredations. . . .”

Several news articles reporting this announcement hint at hunting opportunities, but do not confirm or describe them explicitly. So I called Ed Bangs this morning to clarify whether this rule allows the states to set open seasons. “No,” he said. “This absolutely does not open the door to a public hunt.” However, he confirms that states can conduct cull hunts and may enlist some private citizens to participate.

Your reaction?



Regulated hunting has never wiped out a species. I'm all for the wolves being reintroduced, but when a population can be hunted it should be. The money generated can go back into conservation.

I don't like the idea of using Federal or State officers. If the population can take a hunt, then let the public at large get the tags.

Seems like depradation hunting is pretty widespread and this should be where the environmental groups spend their energy. I would think that any public hunt would mostly take wolves that would be killed by depradation permit. Hunters, or a good chunk of them, don't range too far from civilization to hunt and would tend to pick off those animals closest to farms and towns.

One option would be to give the permits to the farmers who have experienced a loss. Then the farmers could sell them to recoup losses, provide hunting opportunity, and reduce wolves near the farm. It would then give farmers some economic incentive to not poach the wolves.



I don't think, no, I know, I couldn't have said it any more succinct myself! Yes, I realize wolves do take healthy adult animals on occasion. Yes, I would like to hear a wolf pack howling. I hear yodel dog packs outside my front door any night! I would prefer that license were issued rather than Gov't hunters!



it all comes down to us trying to find the best solution to the loss of land and wildlife our trigger happy ancestors cuased when they first came here, if they had known about management, this problem MIGHT not exist

John R

All the current wildlife situations weren't caused by trigger happy ancestors. To believe so is to put your faithe in a myth. There are more whitetail deer extant now than when the Europeans first landed on our soil. There are several other species that have also prospered and I will have to dig up that old article. The myth that Passenger Pigeons were wiped out by trigger happy ancestors is still being taught. I read a paper published by a team of well respected research biologists that stated habitat loss was the bullet that spelled doom for the Passenger Pigeon. According to the paper Passenger Pigeons required huge unmolested nesting areas because the birds nested en masse. Once the nesting areas started becoming populated the pigeons died out rather quickly. For profit market hunting nearly decimated waterfowl populations. One may suppose that could be called trigger happy. Many of the weapons used were punt guns which were a miniature cannon of sorts. To be sure game was completely hunted out of some areas, but it was because of a combination of rapid increases in people population and subsistance hunting. I think the term trigger happy in this instance is hyperbole. The good thing is we have learned about wildlife management and it is still an adaptive learning process.


This is as it should be there are way to many wolves in northern Idaho. I have heard that wolves have hamstrung 30 cow elk in one week and left them to die a painful death. a warden was asked to put them out of there misery.


I don't eat wolf so I wouldn't hunt a wolf. I do believe as previously mentioned it would be a good idea to issue permits to those farmers and ranchers who have experienced losses due to wolves. I think they should have to prove the losses however by having a hands on DNR or conservationist check it out first. I'm not totally against the idea of states taking charge and only allowing aforementioned people tp hunt problematic wolf populations either. Perhaps we could ease into it in this way before opening the flood gates to allowing anyone to hunt wolves. I have a feeling that this could easily turn into poaching issue if we don't impose some heavy regulations on where exactly wolf hunting could be allowed so that we just hunt to control problem populations. As for wolves' depleting wild game- I could care less. A wolf as just as much right to consume game animals as we do. They can't go to the grocery store and they put their lives on the line to hunt big game.


we should be ale to buy tags and hunt them like anyother animal we hunt.

Bubba says "They have little, if any, effect on large game species other than occasionally taking sick and injured animals!"

Whar does ya'll git yer infermatiun, Bubba?

Youll have to excuse bubba he thinks if you put !!!!!!'s everywhere it makes you right.


To whom it may concern

Its always neat to see unsigned criticism. I don't know how anyone could argue against Bubba's logic! Are you saying that its more cost effective to pay Gov't hunters to kill problem wolves than sell hunting licenses?
Maybe that's why you prefer to be a nobody!


Thanks YJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I, anomonus!! got my misinformation from my haid!

I am fully aware that wolves can and do take healthy, adult game animals. My point is, "healthy, adult game animals" are not the "main" diet of wolves!
That's all!

P.S. !!!!!'s don't make it right, I'm, unfortunately, just a LOUD person! Ask my wife!

Dave in IDAHO

Well, Bubba, I'd have to say your "misinformation" is just that. Wolves kill whenever they have an opportunity.


There was a study done in Alaska in which the biologists determined a single wolf could be credited with killing 30 moose per year! The study was referenced in an Idaho study in which the biomass for moose was compared to elk to get an understanding of the wolves impact
on Idaho elk. They determined a single wolf would be responsible for approx 60 elk per year. Depending on who's "haid" you listen to there are varying numbers in Idaho. Conservative estimates are around 750. We know that is way understated, but whatever. So 750 X 60 = 45000. Is there that many sick animals in our woods?


Hey Bubba your still on my "have a beer with" list. That's cause my wife says I'm deaf!

Back to wolves. They are opportunists, as are all wild animals. They take whatever they can get that's easy first. Mice are high on their list. Gut piles are on their menu. Sick and wounded game are goners. When hunting gets tough they'll take healthy animals. They have helped out Yellowstone a lot. They are also critical on Isle Royale National Park in maintaining vegetation.

Dave in Idaho

YJ, you are comparing a couple of closed ecosystems to altered ecos, real world stuff. Elk herds were unhealthy in yellowstone before the wolf because they had few predators - no hunting. Approx 84% of all elk offspring i 2002 were killed by wolves. Population control was initiated in spades. Works for yellowstone, not for open hunting areas in ID, WY, MT. Isle Royale National Park is also a closed eco, no hunting. The natural ebb and tide of each species occurs naturally. Wolves only indirectly affect vegetation, and what does this have to do with the price of wolf pelts in Siberia anyhow?


Since I'm not buying or selling Wolf pelts, I could care less about the price in Siberia.

As far as vegetation management, wolves are pretty efficient. When coupled with hunting, herbivores are controlled, vegetation recovers. Hunting, while effective, by itself is not a cure-all. Many areas have bucks only rules. Some have antler minimums. These are the deer, elk and moose most likely to survive winter. Where I hunt, if I saw a doe, wounded with an arrow stuck in it, I wouldn't be allowed to take it in most years. Wolves have no such laws.
I'm for live an let live with the wolves. When there starts to be a problem, sell licenses.

Dave in IDAHO

I guess it's time to sell licenses. At least that is what the biologists, scientists, wildlife managers out here are saying...

I always figured I'd just buy a tag and if the opportunity arose, maybe while hunting elk, if I crossed paths with a wolf, I might, just maybe, shoot it. But after listening to the misinformed (they only kill the weak), romantic (want to hear a wolf howl, cute little wolf, just want to see one in the wild but not in my state), meaningless crud, I think I might be more inclined to seek a pelt from one of these beasts. I would think it should not be too hard as I see them every year nowadays. And they are pretty much everywhere in Idaho. See the activity map - this is from 2006 so it is not entirely accurate anymore, but you will get the idea. Note that the vast majority are no where near yellowstone. Many are quite near Boise. http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/state/06_activity_map.pdf


Dave in Idaho are you trying to say that you want to hunt wolves just to spite other people "the misinformed, the romantic etc"? That's not the right reason to hunt and it doesn't add any logic to your argument. I have an open mind on wolf hunting but after reading your last post I can totally see people's motives for almost hunting them into extinction. I don't have a problem with taking a wolf pelt provided it isn't sold and add fuel to the poaching that almost eliminated them in the U.S.


Assume amarket exists for wolf pelts. What's so wrong about the sale. We sell bobcat, beaver, etc. As long as the hunting rules are enforced, the species should be protected. Habitat protection is necessary to protect wild animals. No one will ever eliminate a species by overhunting. This is the concept of "The Prudent Predator".


Wolves can realy destroy an elk or deer herd in short order if they get any ## at all.. Our elk herds in New mexico have allredy droped from the re entering of the mexican gray wolf in to the jilla wildernes just a very few years ago we are talking cutting availbul draw hunts in theas areas in half in just a few years allredy low mule deer ## went in this area to almost never seeing a mule deer in some sreas of the jilla. Sounds prety logicle to put wolves every whear so they can just destroy wildlife everywhear. Dosint it?? Wolves dont like sick elk they like helthy ones same as you and i do win we hunt..I am not going to kill some sick nasty looking elk to feed my famely why would they??


One more point. Wolves are a dominant predator they could kill little mice to eat but it would not be werth there time spent eating it nor would it make them very populer with the pack.. They run in packs.. They need lots of calories to servive so they kill big strong fat animals not sick ones with no fat on them.. They could kill lots of animal they could probably kill coyotes but they dont. They could probably a couple of them kill a mountain lion but they dont.. Unless they are starving they wont eat a mouse well maybe if they wear laying around licking there lips with a gorged belly from eating a big meal of elk or bovine cow, and as they yawned a mouse ran in there mouth they would probebly take advanteg of a situation like that. But they are not mice eaters they like large qwantity kills... Jim New Mexico

Dave in IDAHO

William, you are right. It adds nothing to support my views on the subject at hand. It was totally based on feelings. But I still FEEL that way. I just think that some people far away from the impacted area just think we hate wolves and don't want them around because they are killing a few sheep or cows. Some people think we want a hunt because we FEEL the wolves are doing some damage or are dangerous. But in reality the science supports managing the population, The science says the wolves will have a negative impact if allowed to populate unchecked. Some people just don't want to hear it. If my spite toward other people were to have any affect, then I would direct it toward those who do not understand the science and spout untruths to support the way they FEEL.

Going rate at 500$/pelt, show me the wolf! I need a ruff for my parka anyway!

I wonder who posted that!

keeping these animals as "endangered" is just another government ploy to confiscate property from US Citizens. These damn things should be hunted and eliminated where they destroy the porperty of landowners. I don't want my tax dollars going to buy ranchers animals for wolf feed either. If these BS animal groups wnat them protected then they should shell out the $$ for the cost of the dead animals, ruined hunts that many spent years saving $$% for and for the land use which is being denied by their damn unconstitutional stance

a post lacking a handle or punctaution !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
newsflash!!!wolves destroy property!!!!!
dang unconsti-what?!!!!!
ruined hunts!!!!!!!

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