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Idaho is Ready for Wolf Delisting

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are gathering public comments on delisting wolves under the Endangered Species Act. Jim Caswell, director of the state Office of Species Conservation, is delivering Idaho’s official position to the agency, but I want to share it with all of you as well.

Whether the standard is biological, social or political, it is time to remove the gray wolf from federal protection in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

The federal government has stated repeatedly over the past decade that 300 wolves in the region would be a recovered, viable population. Today we have a wolf population more than four times that size. There is no reason to delay delisting. The government should declare victory and move on.

Idahoans are proud stewards of the land and species of our state. Idaho is going to manage wolves as we do black bears and mountain lions. With estimated black bear and cougar populations of 20,000 and 3,000 respectively, Idaho has a proven record of responsible large carnivore management. We will continue this great record with wolves.

We will be guided by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s implementation of our state management plan, which was approved by the Fish and Wildlife Service and its handpicked wolf experts.

The key is flexibility to control problem wolves.

In areas where wolves are not destroying livestock or having a dramatic impact on our ungulate herds, wolves will be managed in concert with all species.

In areas where we’ve documented consistent patterns of chronic livestock depredation, like the Copper Basin, and where wolves are having an unacceptable impact on elk herds, the state will use sportsmen and other tools to manage wolves and protect private property.

Four factors assure that Idaho’s wolf population will remain viable for the long term: 1) The sheer number of wolves in the state – we have 72 confirmed packs; 2) Idaho’s rugged landscape; 3) Idaho’s determination to maintain its sovereignty and keep wolves from returning to the endangered species list; 4) The public policy of the state of Idaho to manage gray wolves at recovery levels that will ensure a self-sustaining population.

Some have questioned the future of wolves in Idaho under state management. We have made a compelling case over the past five years for state management with our management of other species and management of wolves under existing rules.

We have been steadily increasing the state’s wolf management responsibilities for a number of years in preparation for the day Idaho rightfully assumes full management responsibility. Now that day is upon us, and the last thing we want to see is the species return to federal management under the ESA.

About Jill Kuraitis

Jill Kuraitis is an award-winning journalist who specializes in news of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain West. Her B.A. in theatre management is from UC Santa Barbara, and she went on to work in theatre, film, and politics before writing became a career. Kuraitis has two excellent grown children and lives in Boise with her husband of 30 years, abundant backyard wildlife, and two huge hairy dogs.

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30 comments

  1. This is what makes me nervous: “The public policy of the state of Idaho to manage gray wolves at recovery levels that will ensure a self-sustaining population.” The interpretation of management *at* recovery levels is going to be a sticking point. It is hard to say, but I agree that delisting should occur. That just means that wolf advocates will need to assert our voices at the state level. I hope that Wyoming works out their issues, otherwise I don’t see how delisting without an acceptable plan is legal based on the criteria of acceptable wolf management plans in three states.

  2. Whoooa…a governor commenting at New West?
    Hummm seems Gov. Butch Otter got Guts…
    Ever eat horse meat Governor? Gramma always told it is quite good.. Better then Mountain Lion.. or Bear
    Thumbs up for the posting Gov. Otter from the Colonel… 🙂

  3. Governor Otter might want to go back to the wildlife biology textbook….black bears are not large carnivores but large omnivores. On the other hand, delisting puts the power back into the state’s hands, and as long as it is managed responsibly and with a level of accountability on the state government’s behalf, it does give us westerners our beloved sovereignty. If only Wyoming would get on board with responsible, accountable management. My worry is that Governor Otter’s definition of “problem wolves” will put us back in the period where they were considered a vermin, and every wolf threatening human property was shot. That, we can all agree, is not displaying accountability or good stewardship of the land.

  4. This article makes it hard to know which is the real Butch Otter. On the one hand, we have this claim that Idaho will manage wolves responsibly and maintain sustainable populations, although what he thinks is a sustainable management approach is doesn’t look all that responsible. On the other hand, the arrogance, defiance, and just plain bad attitude still oozes out of even this probably ghostwritten statement. We also have his recent childish, rightwing sword-rattling on the same topic and the fact that HJM5 is still on the books, with no attempt on his part to repeal or change that fact. Frankly, the tone of this article just reinforces my longstanding distaste for this overblown punk and his high school cockiness.

  5. What’s disingenuous about this essay is that it leaves you thinking that wolves will be “managed” (i.e. killed) only as necessary to preserve deer and elk populations. That’s simply not the case. As its been described to USFWS, the Idaho plan is to harvest gray wolves down to a target of 10 breeding pairs, regardless of whether there is any discernible – – let alone dramatic – – impact on local ungulate herds. In other words, Idaho’s policy will be shooting wolves for the sake of shooting wolves for as long as they can remain under the federal radar screen. The only “management” will be in keeping wolf kills at the level that prevents further federal intervention.

  6. Governor, in the hopes that you are reading & responding to comments, could you please explain why the proposed cost of a wolf tag is so low ($9.75, I believe)? While I am not particularly in favor of a general season & tag, I would be a lot more on board with it if it were a better revenue-generator for Fish & Game so that they could continue to manage both a biologically and fiscally sustainable wolf management program.

    I hope to hear from you. Thanks.

  7. I know I shouldn’t even reply on the wolf issue. Our state residents are the ones who have the responsibility and the problems, and the cost of the wolves, we have no say. The say on managing the wolves rests with those who stand to lose nothing.
    First of all paying a bounty would not get the wolves back to a manageable number until the prey is gone, both Alaska and Canada are illustrative of that. However if we just ignore facts and price the cost of licenses out of reach that will make the control-a-lots feel better. Obviously even arial killing in those places cannot get them under control.
    I would remind you that all three states have always maintained a far superior wildlife base, including predators than any state except Alaska. What have any of you sitting on the sidelines pontificating done yourselves to help wildlife where you live? Every single one of us posting have displaced wildlife that used to be where we are, so why do you feel it is your right to insist on giving you someone else’s home to give back to wildlife?

    This thing will never be resolved until there is actually no prey species left, then it will be the fault of the humans who live here, not the oppressors and not the wolves.
    Right now the evidence is right before us in Yellowstone, virtually no moose, and significantly decreased elk, but no one wants to face the facts and try to blame everything except there are way too many predators in one small spot. It is being ignored and blamed on everything except an over population of predators. Over and over I hear “let nature take over and it will balance”, if a single one believed that would happen, we would have let nature take it’s course and establish it’s own balance BEFORE we trucked in wolves from another country. And how were we able to do that within the law by the way? I can find no record of a law passed to allow that. The fact is there were documented wolves in Yellowstone at the time they were trucked in, but there “weren’t enough”, enough for whom? Certainly not enough for those who want a designer eocosystem.

  8. Governor Otter states, “Idahoans are proud stewards of the land and species of our state.” This is the same Butch Otter who illegally filled in federally protected wetlands on his property and advocated for the repeal of the Clean Water Act’s protection of wetlands. This is the same same Butch Otter who supported the baiting and killing of black bears in the Clearwater National Forest due to declines in the elk population. The fact that the Clearwater Forest had experienced two consective harsh winters with record snowfalls prior to the ungulate populations decline did not factor into the Governor’s equation or solution. Obviously, Governor Otter, we have two very different definitions of what it means to be a “good steward.”

  9. I’m with the governor on this one, although I am more with Wyoming than I am with either Montana or Idaho.
    Interesting thing here is each state is expected to spend a million dollars per state per year “administering” wolves. Okay, now let’s drag that one through the calculator…780 wolves divided, hmmm, about 1,200 dollars a year per mutt. That’s just to watch them, not to feed them or to replace the hunting income lost to the state wildlife agencies.
    Would I say a wolf is worth over a grand a year? Does your DOG cost you that much? Seems the 9.95, for IDAHO hunters to take on wolf control, is about right. After the first couple of years, when populations are down to a less-impactful level on both huntable ungulates and eatable livestock, the cost of administration will go down.
    Reasonably-priced wolf tags, bought as a matter of course by Idaho sportspeople, will then be able to support the minimal administration needed to ensure that the population does not drop below the, um, trigger point. Sounds good to me, even if I probably will never buy a nonresident Idaho tag for wolves, especially if reasonably-priced tags are made available to Montanans.
    Of course, the enviros and their lawyers, who would otherwise be unemployable in the West without the handy fundraising foil of wolf “recovery,” might object. But I support delisting…toot sweet.
    Our hunting and ranching have taken enormous hits. Enough is enough.

  10. Mr. Kanta, what harsh winters? I seem to remember someone flying back and forth across the country insisting that we shut off our heat because of global warming.
    The wolves are only killed after the second depredation and some of those are given multiple goes at the cows. One female in the Green River Pack went thru several mates teaching them and the pups all to kill sheep and cattle, after a few years they finally admitted she had to go too. But she killed 10s of thousands of dollars worth of livestock while they tried to save her.
    Livestock graze a few months out of the year, and ranchers pay for that, the rest of the time they eat hay, grain and graze at home. That land has to be paid for. And where do you think the animal originally comes from, surely you don’t believe a stork drops them off, they have to be bought. For some ranchers that mean hauling them hundreds of miles.
    I do not know if you have ever been to Yellowstone, I have and it breaks my heart to see the once great herds of elk reduced to a handful, and in some places none.
    I do not believe the wolf introduction was done for any thing except entertainment of those who like to watch elk etc torn apart, and those who want ranchers off their own private land. The entitlement generation has become so accustomed to demanding whatever they want that they feel entitled to destroy homes of anyone in their way.

  11. I find it funny that you lower yourself to uneducated attacks on Al Gore in order to justify your opinions.

    I also appreciate that you finally couched your opinion as such. The words “I do not believe…” finally puts some sense into your rant. Because you would have to be looking at this as a belief/faith sort of thing to ignore the scientists, biologists and other wildlife experts that have stated that natural prededation is a necessary thing and that careful, educated maintenance of that prededation will lead to healthier stocks of wildlife.

    As for my personal past, yes, I have lived around Yellowstone, I have spent countless hours of my life on it’s borders and within it’s heart. What is happening in Yellowstone is the same as the fires that destroyed much of it’s ageless beauty. Bureaucracy is far more to blame than the mere existance of wolves. Fight for a more sane, stable maintenance system within the boundaries of National Parks and I’ll be behind you. That is, if you can give up on the fear mongering and over the top rhetoric.

    As for the rest of my life, I’ll let my cows tell you the rest.

  12. Mr. Kanta stated, “Ranchers, however, destroy many of the winter feeding lands that Idaho elk and deer require.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is ranchers whose private property provides winter range for vast amounts of deer and elk. Most ranchers graze their livestock on federal lands at the most from June through September. Whatever “science” Kanta claims to follow, there is plenty of science that establishes that cattle can be grazed at these levels without detrimental impacts on wildlife populations- especially on winter ranges. Come on, Kanta, up to 80% of a mule deer’s diet in the winter is sage brush. Cattle don’t eat sage brush. Don’t blame cattle for destroying deer and elk winter range.

    As for your ludicrous statements about the low cost of grazing permits… it is an old argument and misconception by many people in the public that ranchers who graze on federal lands are somehow “subsidized” by the federal government. Tell me, how many other users of federal lands pay to use them? Aside from recreational fees, there are very few. You can tramp all over Idaho’s federal lands and watch wildlife, etc, for free. Grazing on federal lands follows the general theme of “you get what you pay for.” It is true, ranchers pay significantly more to graze their cattle on private pastures, but comparing this to grazing on federal lands is comparing apples to oranges.

  13. Robert T Fanning, Jr

    Governor Otter,
    For the permanent public record could you acknowledge the political process has been a 100% failure for 8 years .

    The Endangered Species Act is a law, this is a legal matter not a political matter.

    It is a great disservice to your constituents in Idaho to delude them into believing that political solution to wolves was right around the corner.

    Please explain to your citizens what Idaho has done and is doing on the legal front to get a federal judicial ruling to force delisting of wolves.

    Does Idaho have ‘standing’ to sue?
    Why not?

    Have your Attorney General explain to you the differences between “Administrative Ruling/ Order” to delist and a federal court judgment based on “best science available” and how our FOTNYEH lawsuit can help Idaho “short step the political process”.

    We invite your state to join us.

    Have your Attorney General call our attorney Karen Budd-Falen in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

    FOTNYEH is the only entity in the 9th Circuit with standing to get you into federal court at least a year before the enviro/animal rights groups can get there.

    What needs to happen politically in Montana and Idaho will happen faster once litigation is filed in the 9th Circuit.

    There already was a public comment period for wolf delisting that ended in April of 2006. This new one adds 3 new states and is designed to stall the political process for at least 18 months. Our attorney tells us ;”the USFWS can take four years to review and consider the public comments.”

    Robert T. Fanning
    Chairman & Founder
    Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, Inc.
    3,742 members

  14. Oh, oh, oh, this is so much fun, getting to watch as one strutting, arrogant, marginally educated, rightwing charlatan feeds on another in a frenzy to see who is truly buried further into the lunatic fringe. It’s better than one of those silly vampire versus werewolf movies, even without all the special effects.

  15. Mr. Kanta, who made uneducated attacks on Gore? You said that it is bad winters killing the elk, and I pointed out that Mr. Gore is doing a lot of flying and burning fuel to bring the global warming information before we all cook. Now maybe I’m missing something, but very bad winters and global warming do not seem compatible.
    Have you been in the Park in the last year? I go several times a year now that I live close and am retired, and it is a shock even so to see the sightings drop every time. I really hope you can go see what has happened. I’m told the elk are hiding, etc, but they are gone. You can not have that many predators chowing down with a calf survival in the teens or single digits and have a herd survive.
    You do realize don’t you that an endangered species cannot be killed just because it is causing over all harm of any kind to other species? That is the way the law is written. The NPS, who actually I don’t believe have any control over the wolves, nor FWS can control them by law. They can only stand by and if they eat all of their prey and starve or leave, they have “let nature take it’s course”. Of course it will be up to the states to maintain all of the wolves demanded whether they have food or not.
    Unfortunately the ESA is premised on idealism, not reality, and no species except the target species is considered except as potential food.

  16. Once again I see you bashing others, using fear mongering tactics and providing little to no substance other than rhetoric equal to that of our environment-hating governor. I provided links to multiple governmental sites that show the amounts paid that equal cents on the head for cattle ranchers. I personally have witnessed massive ranges destroyed from one year to the next due to over grazing all across this state. Those sage brush you like to talk about? Trampled, killed, uprooted, destroyed. Watering holes fouled with fecal matter containing massive doses of hormones and E. Coli tell a far more important story than a few lost cows and sheep. We have to change our habits, find new ways of raising our protein sources in order to maintain a healthy environment.

    As for elk “hiding”, yes. The Yellowstone Elk have had predator free lives through over 5 generations. The sudden reintroduction was bound to change the habits and birthing levels. As well, the amount of disease that has been effecting the Yellowstone Elk has been on the rise over the last 20 years, from scabies to lungworms. The drop in elk due to predators is only an addition to the various other afflictions that predators will assist in removing from the herds, resulting in stronger, healthier elk.

    As for your misunderstanding of global climate change, I suggest you stop reading your local right-winger anti-environment screeds and actually educate yourself on how climate change is being modelled, successfully. You see, a 0.6 deg change in global temperature isn’t enough to stop cold spells, it’s enough to change weather patterns, rainfall patterns, hurricane patterns and more. The mis-labeling of climate change as “global warming” is an unfortunate one, and one that rubes such as yourself jump on in a heartbeat and claim that the latest snowstorm or freezing temperature is proof that it doesn’t exist. Global climate change is resulting in higher than normal snowfall, primarily around massive water sources, such as the Great Lakes, around coastal regions and around large river systems. This additional snowfall, along with climate changes at higher elevations and reduced winter grazing areas due to urban sprawl is having a far greater effect on our wildlife than any wolf pack.

    Gore’s flying is a minuscule amount when weighed against the importance of education, of informing the public of the importance of changing our habits and our lifestyles. Your hatred of Mr. Gore has blinded you to that message, and the message, not Mr. Gore, is the important part. That you need to attempt to ridicule and pick apart any little thing is more a message about you than about Mr. Gore.

  17. Sir, I am not bashing anyone, I really do not care how much energy Mr. Gore uses……as long as he refrains from telling me how to live. The problem is when one is telling other folks how to cut back , one has no idea of how much that person already does. The comparison of the Gore and Bush private homes brought that reality to the spotlight.
    It is useless to argue global warming, no one will ever convince this old hen that global warming is responsible for extreme cold, like the winter hopefully winding down. I still believe warm is warm and cold is cold.
    As for the elk, severe winter has always been a factor in this country. I guess I don’t understand your argument that elk numbers were already at risk because of “diseases for the last 20 years”, yet they brought in huge numbers of wolves to kill them off. Why would they do that if they already thought the elk were at risk? And why bring many times the number of wolves that ever existed in the park in the early days? Try to find mention of them in early literature. Chittenden in 1869 stated that coyotes were the only canine predator in any number in Yellowstone, President Theodore Roosevelt made the same statement years later in 1903, read his 1903 address at the arch dedication.
    The records indicate hunters killed a total of 56 adult wolves, and 80 pups over a 42 year period for a total of 136, equal to what is killing elk right now at one time in Yellowstone. Yes it can, does, and will have an impact, a severe one. Only time will tell if the elk can survive, there is nothing anyone of us can do at this point.

  18. Hey Kanta,

    What was that about bashing others? Did you say something about our “environment-hating governor”? It is one thing to bash a nobody like you, but you show utter disrespect for the state of Idaho,the office of the Governor, and the man sitting there. Don’t be such a hypocrite.

    And what was it you said about accusing others of using “fear mongering tactics? I like how you conclude your paragraph with: “Trampled, killed, uprooted, destroyed. Watering holes fouled with fecal matter containing massive doses of hormones and E. Coli.” If that isn’t a fear mongering tactic using rhetoric, I don’t know what is. Have you tested these water holes? Do you have one ounce of scientific data to back your claims other than “I have seen?” If that is the logic you want to use, I have grazed cattle for over two decades on the sage brush sea. I am yet to see cattle trample, kill, uproot and destroy sage brush in the manner you describe.

  19. Ah, I concede the debate to you, Mr. Master Debater. Your knowledge far exceeds my paltry capabilities. Along with your partner, Ms. Hysterical Can’t-Find-The-Enter-Key have vanquished me on this day.

  20. I’m sure sorry; but, I don’t believe a word of it. I think it’s all fake. I think it’s all cooked up propaganda. I’ve been living around wolves for years and, yes, they are a nuisance and you have to be smart about it and smart about your choice of livestock and operations; but, I sure don’t believe this story; don’t believe that there is any reported record of it in any files; and suspect there’s more horsemanure here than horse history.

  21. So, do you jokers give equal credence to other “information” coming out of Russia or, in the case of reports dating back to the 1980s, to “information” that was reported out of the Soviet Union or are you treating these “wolf predation reports” as more reliable than what the same government was and continues to say about, oh, let’s say the American human rights record? Do you want to go on record as endorsing all the information that comes out of the illustrious Republic of Kazakhstan or do you just want to cherrypick? You’re a disgrace; you don’t need detractors; you discredit yourself with your own stupidity.

  22. How exciting Mike, I didn’t realize we had someone who lived in wolf territory, where is it? Alaska? You mentioned livestock, are you a rancher? What kind of livestock? Sorry for all of the quetions, but I don’t recall you mentioning it before in all of the wolf discussions on here. I am at a loss to understand what you are disputing though. What do you think is a lie?

  23. Robert T Fanning, Jr

    The book was edited by a renoun Ph.D , who also was one of the Delphi 15.
    The book is targeted at scholars in University Biology and Veterinary Science Departments. I have read it and it is stunning.

    The author , Will Graves, worked for many decades for the U.S. National Security Agency as a Russian linguist.

    Are you a Ph.D. Mike?
    Are you fluent in several languages Mike?
    Have you spent extensive time in Russia/Eurasia?
    Do you have long term {5 decades} relationships with Russian wolf biologists?

    A little advice Mike; when you resort to personal attacks , you signal to your opponent and other observers that you have lost the objective, quantitave factual arguement.

    Your side had 12 years, billions in resources and a monopoly on the press.

    It’s our turn now and all you get is a back row seat in the observation galery.

  24. Mike:

    For your information it is not a lie!!
    We were up in the wilderness area that lays between Pahaska Tepee Resort West of Cody Wy, and the South side of the Lamar Valley, DO YOU KNOW WHERE THAT IS? I doubt it. Since you probably can not find your way out of a wet paper bag. My husband and I have been all over the Wyoming wilderness on horseback as we worked for a outfitter at that time. We also broke and trained saddle / pack (horses and mules) for any one that needed help.

    Here is a question for you ???

    If you are so smart and know so much about preditors do you know the name of and the year that the 2ed largest Grizzley bear in the YellowStone Eco-system was killed and put on display at the Meteese Museum after he killed over $ 350,000.00 dollars worth of livestock in the Meteese Valley. These preditors are another problem we have to contend with.
    I live in North Idaho Now and we have both Wolves and Grizzley Bears. When is it enough when children get killed just because they are playing to close to the tree’s WAKE UP!!!

  25. Dear Republican Wolf-Hating Hicks,
    Mr. Kanta happens to be right, not only scientifically, but morally as well. I don’t know him, but I’ve studied his claims and found them true. As far as global climate change goes, that is not the main focus of of these arguments so could we all stop mentioning it. Ms. Marion said there were only 136 wolves killed in a 42 year period in Yellowstone therefore proving there weren’t many wolves in the park therefore proving they don’t belong there because there are fewer elk. For one thing there aren’t fewer elk and for another where is your evidence to support that claim? In The Yellowstone Wolf, written by scientific accounts, it says there were many more wolves than that living there and being killed. Ms. Marion, would you be so kind as to state the 42 year period you were talking about, from when to when? As for Mr. horsepiss I mean Mr. horsebis’s comment on “wolves are killing machines that kill for sport.” 1. There is no case of wolves EVER killing for sport so where do you come up with that. 2. Wolves eat every part of the animal where as most hunters do kill for sport, don’t use or eat all that they kill, and when they can’t find “their” elk because the elk have been moving around more because of the wolves, like they used to before hunters killed off the wolves, the hunters need an excuse to tell their buddies why they can’t show off a rack this year they blame the wolves. 3. I don’t know how you hunt Mr. horsebis, but it should involve leaving your pickup and actually look for the elk. As for you Mr. Kanta I know you were using extreme sarcasm in your last comment, but please get back into the debate, your arguments were right on and supported by valid facts.

  26. Mr Wolf (That is a laugh in a half)
    I lived in Wyoming and while I was there, I saw a Tape that had been Videoed by a tourist that had went out to the Elk Feeding Area just out side Jackson Hole Where the Cow Elk were claving and they documented it happening, copies of this tape were circulating all over Wyoming untill they were confiscated. There were articles about it in the Cody Paper and in the BLM flyer. And what it showed was heart breaking and disgusting. And as far as the way I hunt, you could not keep up with me, I ride into the Wilderness Areas set a camp and then hike and ride for miles to find the perfect one before I shoot my Elk, I don’t just shoot the first baby that comes in my sights, after I gut out a Elk I take everything out I do not leave the carcass I have pack horses that carry it all out then it is cut up the way I want it at home. No one else touches it. I know the Shoshone and the Thoroughfare Wilderness like the back of my hand. On one pack trip I made in with a outfitter friend of mine we saw herds that numbered in the 100’s Around Yellowstone You are lucky now to see 50 in a bunch. You my friend would get lost in your own backyard, if you had one (you sound like a yuppy that lives in a high rise apartment building with security guards so you are protected from the outside world)

  27. Mr.horsebis,
    I must be honest with you. Thank you. Thank you for eating most of what you kill and actually looking for an elk. Thank you for not wasting much. I’m sorry I so mercilessly attacked you without really knowing you. I was being judge-mental without getting to know you, I am sorry for that. As for me I do not live in an apartment and I hate cities. I love to hike, fish, canoe, kayak, mountain climb, and hunt (though my definition might differ from yours a bit). I highly doubt I would get lost in my backyard or the mountains. Your method of hunting doesn’t seem barbaric and it sounds like you don’t kill for sport and I again thank you. Could you give me a internet cite that would give me the “Cody Paper and the BLM flyer” because I do not live in Wyoming, but very close. When you said you and your friend see herds of 50 when you used to see herds of 100 and blame the wolves you are mislead. This is simple the bulls compete for the cow elk I’m sure you know. The wolves only eat very old, sick, and young leaving the prime elk to thrive therefore less disease is spread, which is nature’s way, but with more bulls in top condition because of less disease they compete more fiercely for the cows (who are also in top condition) therefore many bulls get some cows and separate from the main herd to start their own herd. I would think because of many different herds (instead of one large one) and more importantly for you healthier, bigger, and stronger bulls that hunters would happy about the wolves. Anyway I’m sure, because of your experience and willingness to get an elk every year you would be even more happy about this. Think on it and do some research, please. Read USFS documents and biologist’s documents and you will find that wolves ARE NOT big bad beasts that kill for pleasure.

  28. It is a proven fact that wolves do not just eat the old and the sick, with the name of Mr. Wolf you should know this, even the FWP concede their main prey would be the elk calf, hence the reason for the reduction of the herd. They also will eat Moose Calves, along with beef calves, lambs, they choose the young over the weak and the diseased. The wolf has no known natural predator. This spells disaster, who is going to control the wolf from controlling us?

  29. Jesse,

    The young ARE weak. But yes, on occasion, wolves will kill perfectly healthy prey. The main engine of natural selection is that wolves are MORE LIKELY to kill the diseased or weak; because they can more easily catch them. How that gets turned into the ONLY kill the weak…. is likely a rumination of the ignorant.

    As for the rest of your fearful post, its just that; unfounded fear and loathing.

    The Will Graves book is a colllection of Russian science, prose, and legend; written by an anti-wolf author, backed and held up as science by anti-wolf groups. The information within is far from scientific fact. But it makes fair reading, if you are into the fearmongering of wolves. Geist wrote the forward and did some editing, but he surely checked no facts, or made any claims to the authenticy of the various stories, etc.

    Green and Happy!
    Member of: NRA, DU, TU, RMEF, RGS, AFS,………..

  30. This is so exasperating, it’s like trying to talk sense to a two year old. Don’t anyone bother replying to this, because I won’t be back. However I just want to say that I am ashamed that Idaho has this “Butcher” Otter as a Governor, it’s sickening. Just LEAVE THE WOLVES ALONE, and no, I am not some dumb city person that doesn’t know that wolves kill cattle and livestock, but the way wolves are being “managed” is disgusting. Going in planes to shoot wolves with shotguns, the deaths often being slow and the blood plentiful…that is savage. Now, if ranchers were just permitted to kill the wolves they saw killing their cattle I would be O.K with that, if wolves were to be killed quickly by park rangers when they went outside of their limits and into neighborhoods I would be O.K with that. Wolves are smart, and if they were shot and not Butchered when any of these cases happened they would catch a hint and stay away from commiting that act again, but slaughtering mother wolves and their pups…I am ashamed of my fellow Idahoans. I will not say anything else, but our Heavenly Father will deal us our punishments in our own good time, and ther is nothing that you and I can say to change that, it is our actions and change of heart that determine our fate. Anyone and everyone can be forgiven, even Butch Otter.