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A wildlife biologist performs a necropsy on a dead wolf. Photographer Amanda Determan explores wolf reintroduction and management in her photo essay "The Big Bad Wolf". Click here to view.

The Wolf, In Pictures

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  1. For those who may not take the time to view the slideshow or read the comments in small print below the photos, the blood shown on this wolf pictured on this page seems to obviously have come from the wolf’s prey, not from the wolf itself. There is no mention of anything brutal having been found on the wolf’s paw, although it was examined … as is shown in this picture.

    So if this presentation was supposedly compiled without “spin”, as it professes, must we not wonder why there are NO pictures of the wolf’s prey? … NO image implanted in the minds of the viewers showing where all that blood came from and how much brutality a wolf will do when it attacks to kill?

    As has often been said, one picture IS worth a thousand words … and the only picture of the bloody mess left in the wake of such an attack is blood stain on the coat of the wolf?

    I see. No “spin”?

    I am reminded of an incident that happened several years ago at the Denver National Western Stock Show when a rancher set up a booth to show The Public how a coyote kills on a ranch.

    For those of you lucky enough to have never witnessed such a painful event, a coyote will literally stake out a cow due to calve or a mare due to foal and sit and wait until that cow or mare goes down and goes into labor. Then while the female is incapacitated with labor pains and giving birth to her baby the coyote will actually eat the baby as it is being born and often will continue to feast on the mother animal giving birth, eating out the entire rear end of the mother herself. Hopefully a rancher will find the mother and be able to end her misery quickly so she does not have to lie there and die a very painful death. The baby never gets to take its first breath of air … it is a goner from the minute labor commences and the little thing dares to try to leave the birth canal.

    For those of you who do not know, the time period of labor for a cow is most like that of a woman … she can be in labor for a short period of time or labor can continue for quite some time. However, a mare will normally go into labor and foal within a half-hour in a normal natural setting. She has much less control of her labor during that short period of time.

    If you can not “relate” to a cow or a mare, can you relate to such a thing happening to a woman you love in a delivery room at a hospital?

    The rancher who brought that film to the Stock Show was forbidden to show it because it was just too graphic for the tender eyes of The Public.

    So should we now assume that all pictures of the “harvest grounds” of the wolf are just too graphic for the tender eyes of The Public? … either during the kill or the aftermath of it?

    In the world as it is today ~ X-rated videos available to even the youngest of eyes and violent blood and guts on prime-time TV ~ why would it be that those who prepare and present such slideshows as this one fail to show “the rest of the story” when wolves are involved?

    Does NO Inquiring Mind Want To Know?

    Do we not wonder WHY?

    No “spin”? Thanks for making that clear.

    Otherwise I would never have guessed.

    It is sooooo very true: ” — the issue of wolves is one of the most mythic. It’s also one of the most contentious and divisive.”

    Do we ALL not deserve to know the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH … and nothing BUT the TRUTH???

    Half a story is no story at all.

    … or so it seems to me …

  2. Gosh, I kind of liked the slide show, thought the wolf pictures were nice and the other pictures were about usual for today’s emphasis on human interest. As I said in another posting, I also kind of like the wolves around my place. My ranch would be too tame and boring without them. My cattle are what they are supposed to be, lean and fast and equipped with horns. Without the wolves and other predators to keep my cattle smart, tough, and athletic, they might start evolving into something like those fat, waddling, lazy, dullwitted, northern European breeds that produce that greasy meat. They say that you are what you eat and I sure don’t want to… well, you get the picture.

    But, Rose Mary, I am glad to see you post in something other than that weird, unevenly rhyming poetry that you usually use. It was creeping me out and I was wondering if something was funny with you, not funny as in ha-ha, but funny… well, you know.

  3. Mike, if you even have either a ranch or cattle (very doubtful from your caustic comments), I am sure it would never be tame or boring if you had time to visit.

    However, since we should all assume you must surely speak with great wisdom and deep knowledge, I will be happy to forward your animal husbandry comments to Colorado State University so they might learn more about the benefits of reproducing and raising skinny cattle with wolves. They will be most appreciative, I’m sure.

    And I certainly want to thank you profusely for reading what I have posted here or elsewhere on New West!

    If any word of it has been “creeping (you) out” I’m certainly pleased I took the time to write!

    Please do feel welcome to post another nasty-gram when you get released from re-hab.

  4. I think this is a beautiful photo essay. I’m consistently wowed by the depth, detail, perspective, and political charge of Newwest’s photo essays. This one is really really good. I only wish I could see the negatives that weren’t included in the collection. Awesome work!

  5. Here we go again…blaming the coyote! Nothing in the predator-prey world is pretty and unfortunately wolves and coyotes are predators. They are opportunists who take advantage of slowed down domestic livestock whom humans have bred out most of their anti-predatory defense mechanisms. Rational people don’t draw comparisons from predators and prey and humans giving birth. This issue is too emotional and political for biased commentary. Coyotes have been and will continue to be indicted for their criminal ways. Wildlife Services will continue to spend obscene amounts of money killing coyotes and researching new and improved ways to target the offenders. What is the need for graphic footage of predators making a living? APHIS isn’t changing their plan any time soon.

  6. Predation isn’t a pretty business. But who said it had to be? Rose Mary, comparing birthing cattle to birthing people is entirely inappropriate. Cattle are raised as FOOD. Maybe they aren’t being raised for the wolves to eat, but they are nonetheless being raised to be eaten.

  7. Yes, Mike Lommler, you are right. Cattle are raised to be eaten … OR to provide a product that will be eaten … OR to provide an activity, sport or recreation for the millions who watch or participate … OR to provide an enormous number of Medical and Industrial products that we all use every day of our lives. Just because one doesn’t eat meat or dairy that should not eliminate the need to grasp the enormity of the use of animal products in our lives. “Raised to be eaten” is only a very small portion of the rest of that story too!

    And as long as sites such as this one give voice primarily to those who are far removed from the reality of “the rest of the story” regarding wildlife predators who are only represented to the folks in the condos as magnificently beautiful creatures without violence or fault ~ described and promoted with such pictures as the one in this slide slow showing a wolf or hybrid being hugged on a couch by a human being ~ perhaps someone needs to put that violence in some perspective that even the most naive amongst us can visualize.

    For those who sit on the sidelines and *only* glamorize the beauty of the wolf itself will never do anything other than condemn those persons who are subjected to the day-by-day violence of them and seek action to prevent it.

    We do not have to agree on any part of it.

    But we cheat ourselves if we do not strive to understand ALL sides and ALL conditions of any subject matter.

    Much has been written on New West debating just how fast and how far transplanted wolves will travel into the private sector. The fact that this article is headlined with a picture of a bloody wolf without even so much as ONE picture of its bloody victims is another promotion with deep, underlying prejudice. Is it a “nice” presentation? Of course it is! But “nice” and “pretty” does not an EQUAL or unprejudiced presentation make.

    Few, if ANY, who read here or who will look at those pictures care. Where cows are concerned I suspect that will be abundantly true.

    Where horses are concerned, perhaps there will be JUST ONE of the millions amongst us who love and hug their horse each and every day who just MIGHT be able to visualize the gruesome reality of a foal or its mother being brutalized or devoured. The largest and most important market for horses is located within urban areas, all states and all locations within them. Those of us who breed and raise large numbers of these beloved creatures in a natural ranch setting KNOW just how emotionally comparable the birthing of a foal is to the birthing of a fellow human being and just how similarly devastating the attack of any predator on a mare during the birthing process IS.

    Of course, those who have not personally experienced birthing in any form ~ human or with a horse they love ~ may find that incomprehensible. Maybe if you think “dog” or “cat” you might relate?

    I have seen NOT ONE word in the press regarding the deaths of our dearly beloved pets of late … OR the fact that our pets are dying NOW because of farm and ranch products imported from China. No one seems to want to relate this nasty experience now being endured by sooooo many to the future potential of the exact SAME thing happening to human beings when we become dependent on imports. Do not let this immediate warning go unnoticed.

    There are many things “the matter with” every aspect of our production of all our goods and services within the USA. But when you seek to “fix” any of those farm and ranch production problems of any kind it is illogic lunacy to forget who feeds this nation and the future value of that benefit to everyone. If you want to cut off your nose to spite your face the next “pet food crisis” may be even more personal.

    The vast majority of The West is now, and is overwhelmingly continuing to be, peopled by those who have no ties to animal production or the history of it … or the economic value of it, even though they might reap those rewards on a daily basis throughout The West.

    So if those vast numbers of people now living within The “New” West cannot do their own homework and address ALL sides when it comes to the transplanting of wolves or other predators then perhaps it will only be a mental picture of a predator killing a human baby that might jar them out of their complacency and narrow the horizons of their ignorance? One can only HOPE.

    The fact that my comments caused you and Wile E. “distress” (if only enough to reach out to bash on me!) is a GOOD indication!

    Speaking to you, Wile E., your comments are liberally laced with factual inaccuracies. Hopefully those who read them and are inclined to believe them will at least do enough research on their own time to disclaim each one. For openers, I can guarantee you and other readers that at least in the Great and Colorful State of Colorado the so-called “Wildlife Services” spend ZERO “… killing coyotes and researching new and improved ways to target the offenders”; and, they also spend ZERO to reimburse any predator damage to livestock (or any other animals) caused by them.

    As Mark Twain said:

    “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”

  8. Nice photo of wolf in wolf farm inside fenced area. Straw a dead give away. Anyway, the ‘real wolves’ out there mauling and killing elk,moose,deer ,wild sheep,caribou and beaver. Waste more than they eat and chew on animals while they are still alive, animals suffer inch by inch ….the wonderful wolf a……. wildlife killer.

  9. Rose Mary..You seem focus on domestic animal suffering caused by predators, when in fact, the hell that is perpetrated on domestic livestock by ranchers is every bit as ugly. Guess that’s just part of the “special toughness” which they express as a diminished regard for life and creatures in general.
    I’m speaking of the cold fact that cows are destined for slaughter to be replaced by others, their living skin is burned with a symbol, they’re castrated, horns cut off, lassoed, dragged…on and on.
    Then there’s our courageous “Wildlife Service” agents who club wolf and coyote pups to death, gas them, poison them.
    Yes, let’s look at both sides to be “fair and balanced”. Animal cruelty is animal cruelty, whether domestic or wild.

  10. Yes, “LivingstonMan” without-a-name … I have focused on wildlife predators. Silly me! I thought this presentation was about the wolf who IS a wildlife predator … go figure, huh.

    Of course I have yet to see any of those “Wildlife Service” agents club wolf and coyote pups to death, gas them, or poison them. If you know that to be true perhaps you might post some pictures and documentation in that regard?

    Does animal cruelty = animal cruelty wherever it is found? Yep. That is true me-thinks. I’m just not sure all people would define “cruelty” in the exact/same way.

    For instance, do we concentrate on whether or not an animal is slaughtered? … or do we concentrate on whether or not any such slaughter is done in only a humane and painless manner?

    As you may or may not know, I think the last 3 facilities that previously slaughtered horses have now been closed and horses can no longer be slaughtered.

    Is that all “good news”? Or do we now have to consider the “bad news” that accompanies such “good news” when aged, unwanted and/or abused horses are being turned out onto the public roads because there is no so-called “market” of any kind for them and many of the people who own them can not afford to pay $200 – $500 per ton for hay to feed them even if that hay is available to purchase? … and/or can not afford to pay a veterinarian to put an animal to rest-in-peace? … and/or the high cost to dispose of such a carcass?

    Is it possible this issue regarding the slaughter of horses should have concentrated on whether or not any such slaughter is done in only a humane and painless manner?

    Food for thought? Perhaps.

    The questions are complex and the answers ain’t easy … but one-liners from PETA forego much.

  11. This list of Medical, Food, and General/Industrial categories might facilitate a grasp of the enormity of the use of animal products in our lives. It is not necessarily complete; there are some consumables which are not listed in FOOD, for example.

    But the general point of the list is simple: just because one doesn’t eat meat or dairy, doesn’t mean one should ignore the benefits of animal production on ranches throughout the West.

    We have injected animal products from cattle, sheep, and hogs into nearly every corner of our lives.

    Behold … then go thank a rancher near you:


    antibodies (immunoglobins)
    beef insulin
    bovine collagen – used as injections to fill in scars
    bovine fibrinolysin (brand name- Elase) ointment for necrotic tissue
    bovine super oxide – dismutase cream (Orgotein) – cosmetic skin cream to
    prevent tissue aging.
    bovine thrombin (brand name- Thrombinar) clotting agent for blood
    culture medium – diagnosis
    fetal bovine serum – tissue cultures
    Hyaluronidase – efficient drug use
    PTH – control tetany
    pegademase – bovine derivative (brand name- Adagen)
    – for patients who are immuno-compromised…helps prevent
    white blood cells from breaking down.
    pill capsules – GELATIN
    whole serum – vaccine manufacturing
    progesterone – a reproductive hormone
    pepsin – aid in protein digestion
    rennet – aid in milk digestion
    bovine thyroid (Thyrar) a thyroid replacement
    TSH – thyroid diagnosis
    thyroid extract – hypothrodism
    thyroid hormones
    cortisone – for arthritis, skin allergies, anti-inflammatory medicine
    epinephrine – aid in raising blood pressure, heart disorders, and allergies
    heparin – anti-coagulant, prevents gangrene
    liver extract – treatment of anemia
    intrinsic factor – pernicious anemia
    Vitamin B12 – prevention of B-complex deficiencies
    heparin – anti-coagulant, prevents gangrene
    plasma protein
    blood albumin – RH factor typing
    Fraction I – hemophilia
    Fraction V – kills viruses
    iron for anemia
    thrombin – blood coagulant
    protein extracts
    diagnostic microbiology
    heart valves for human transplant
    medical sutures – surgery
    bone marrow – blood disorders
    bone meal – calcium and phosphorous source
    mineral source in supplements
    collagen and bone for plastic surgery
    soft cartilage – plastic surgery
    xiphisternal cartilage (breastbone) plastic surgery
    chymotrypsin – contact surgery
    diastase – aid in starch digestion
    glucagon – treat hypoglycemia
    insulin – diabetes mellitus
    pancreatin – aid digestion
    trypsin – for burns, wounds, and infection – promotes healing – aid in
    digestion and in cleaning wounds
    ACTH – arthritis, allergies, rheumatic fever, skin and eye inflammations
    pressor hormone – regulates blood pressure
    prolactin – promotes lactation
    vasopressin – controls intestinal and renal functions
    cholesterol – hormone products
    antibodies (immunoglobins)
    beef insulin
    bovine collagen – used as injections to fill in scars
    bovine fibrinolysin (Elase – brand name) ointment for use on necrotic
    bovine super oxide – dismutase cream (Orgotein) – cosmetic skin cream to
    prevent tissue aging
    bovine thrombin (Thrombinar – brand name) clotting agent for blood
    culture medium – diagnosis
    fetal bovine serum – tissue cultures
    Hyaluronidase – efficient drug use
    PTH – control tetany
    pegademase – bovine derivative (Adagen – brand name) –
    – for patients who are immuno-compromised
    – helps prevent white blood cells from breaking down.
    pill capsules – GELATIN
    whole serum – vaccine manufacturing


    a huge variety of fresh, frozen, and pre-cooked meats
    and prepared and processed meat products
    casein (proteins)
    cheese and cheese products
    food ethanol
    ice cream and ice cream mixes
    lactose (carbohydrates)
    milk powder
    whey (proteins)
    fats (lipids)
    chewing gum
    oleo margarine
    oleo shortening
    rennet for cheese (sheep)
    rennet for cheese (sheep)
    blood sausage
    bone meal
    cake mixes
    deep-fry batters
    egg substitute
    gravy mixes
    imitation seafood
    whipped toppings and coffee whiteners
    whitener in refined sugar
    gelatin capsules
    gelatin deserts
    ice cream, malts and shakes
    potted meats
    sausage casings
    sausage casings
    candies and confectionery
    gelatin desserts
    ice cream


    animal feed
    carriers for human medicine
    specialty plastics
    veterinary medicines
    bone marrow
    bone meal
    fabric printing and dyeing
    leather-treating agents
    livestock feed
    plaster retardant
    plywood adhesive
    diagnostic microbiology
    from colloidal proteins – glue for automobile bodies
    protein source in feeds
    sticking agent
    textile sizing
    bone charcoal
    high grade steel
    bone handles
    bone jewelry
    mineral source in feed
    dried bones
    bone china
    porcelain enamel
    water filters
    whitener in refined sugar
    bandage strips
    collagen cold cream
    cellophane wrap and tape
    crochet needles
    dog biscuits
    emery boards and cloth
    laminated wood products
    neatsfoot oil
    photographic film
    plywood and paneling
    shampoo and conditioner
    wallpaper and wallpaper paste
    anti-aging cream
    PRODUCTS FROM FATS AND FATTY ACIDS (edible and inedible)
    animal foods
    biodegradable detergents
    creams and lotions (sheep)
    fiber softeners
    floor wax
    horse and livestock feeds
    industrial oils and lubricants
    livestock feed
    mink oil
    oil polishes
    ointment bases
    pet foods
    printing rollers
    protein hair conditioner
    protein hair shampoo
    rubber products
    shaving cream
    shoe cream
    stearic acid (sheep)
    tallow for tanning
    water proofing agents
    weed killers
    air filters
    artist’s paint brush
    felt and rug padding
    insulation material
    plastering material
    upholstering material
    collagen-based adhesives (from trimmings)
    emery boards
    glues -for papermaking, bookbinding, cabinetmaking
    drum head (sheep)
    photographic materials
    leather sporting goods
    leather wearing apparel
    pigskin garments, gloves, and shoes
    porcine burn dressings for burn victims
    shoes and boots
    horn handles
    imitation ivory
    inedible bone meal
    livestock feeds
    piano keys
    plant food
    instrument strings
    sausage casings
    tennis racquet strings
    fertilizer – used in gardens, lawns and farm cropland
    minor minerals
    airplane lubricants and runway foam
    car polishes and waxes
    hydraulic brake fluid
    Stearic acid – helps rubber in tires hold shape under steady surface
    steel ball bearings containing bone charcoal
    textiles for car upholstery
    various machine oils and viscous fluids
    asphalt binder
    medical ointments
    paint and plaster binder
    pelt products
    rouge base
    rug pads
    woolen goods
    worsted fabric

  12. Thank you again Rose Mary for your breath of reason. I think we have to recognize though that no matter how they worship and adore wolves, they still have enough sense to want them in our yards, NOT where they live. Except I guess for the idiot who has the “Wolf Man” program this week competing in brains with the “Grizzly Man”, now eaten by bears.
    It takes really humane caring people to care more for wolves or other killers than for the well being of kids. But they see themselves as saviors of the world and not the selfish people others see.
    Every bite of food we take in was once a living organism, even the vegetarians. But that is not true in the idealized world of enviros, they are sure that nothing dies a horrible death or injury in the jaws of a predator. Of course the wheat gluten from China is so pure for our pets that is what we need to replace American farmers and ranchers.
    Since everyone enjoyed the wolf photos so much, I think they will really like the ones at this link.


    In case those of you from Colorado are curious and not up to speed about predator control and management!

    This discourse that is going on here in this forum is exactly why we don’t have solutions to predator problems with livestock…emotions rule where they shouldn’t.

  14. You are absolutely right, Wile, emotions rule. Folks who have absolutely no real knowlege for predatory wolves, but still adore them, have decided that no problem is too great, and no cost too high, for someone else to deal with.
    Those actually dealing with them and paying the price are frustrated and angry that someone else has taken over control of their homes and well being.

  15. Rose Mary
    Thankyou for the products list…..It’s also a fact the the Western States contribute all of 3% of the cows used for these products. Not a major contribution and hardly a tradeoff considering the damage to public lands in the form of damaged watersheds, destruction of wildlife and of course “subsidies”.
    That said….I defend your right to do whatever on your “private land”.




  17. Guys,
    It’s too late.
    An armed populace shooting any wolf on sight, bounties, and paid professional hunters couldn’t eradicate wolves the last time. It took poison, which isn’t likely to be allowed again.
    Wyoming is right, but non-agrarians won’t admit it until all their pets are killed. Wolf advocates never will.
    I suggest we hurry up with plans to assist the recovery throughout the rest of the lower 48. I recommend Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Francisco and Miami as particularly critical wolf habitat.
    People in these areas need to write their congressional representatives to request fast-tracking the importation of wolves. Specify a preference for animals descended from the Yellowstone packs, but captured outside the park, since these predators’ familiarity with the suburban interface will enhance survivability in their new homes.
    It will be so wonderful when city people can hear wolves howling outside their windows.

  18. “City people?”

    The list of things you benefit from every day due to the efforts of “city people” is several orders of magnitude longer than the above cow list.

  19. Exactly! Matguy,
    That’s why it’s so important to bring this wonderful experience to all the major population centers!!

  20. Excellent link, Thomas!
    People who truly care about wolves will raise extra pets to not only feed the wolf, but get to watch it play.
    Oh, and I liked the story linked on the same page about the moose population problem too!

  21. Mr. LivingstonMan: WHERE do you get your statistics that the “Western States contribute all of 3% of the cows”?

    Try this link:

    Look up the 2007 beef cow inventory.

    There, you will see that Montana is actually the sixth ranked state for number of beef cows. These are cows that produce the calves that end up on the feedlots in OTHER states, and then become slaughter cattle that are killed and packed in those other states).

    (Let’s set aside my own disagreement with diesel-powered beef production and feedlots for now — my point is that there are different ways to account for which states produce the nation’s beef).

    My little calculator tells me that Montana BY ITSELF accounts for FOUR PERCENT of the beef cows in the nation. Hmmm.

    Add up a few other “Western States” (and just to make it fair, I’m leaving out South Dakota, which is #4 in beef cows nationwide) for beef cow census: MT+WY+CO+OR+ID = 3.9 million beef cows. Just those states alone, then, account for TWELVE PERCENT of the nation’s beef cows. So take a little away for calf mortality and infertility, and that means they account for somewhere around TEN PERCENT of the nation’s calf crop.

    That’s not counting UT, NM, AZ, NV, WA, and certainly not counting CA.

    Those little beeves have to come from somewhere, so I see counting beef cows as a more valid measure than, say, slaughter statistics.

    Also, I’m not counting replacement heifers or other cattle.

    So, how did you arrive at your three percent figure?

  22. THANK YOU, “LivingstonMan” without-a-name!

    I will definitely seek you out to help me ” …defend (my) right to do whatever on (my) ‘private land’.”

    Those persons available to step forward at such a time are becoming very few and far between so it is with deep appreciation that I add your without-a-name to that list!!! Consider yourself on STAND BY ALERT right this very minute!!!

    However, that “3% of” number you mentioned has NOT to do with cows in the Western States!

    At one time (in recent years I *think*) a government publication stated that only 3% of US cattle FEED is supplied by all Western PUBLIC LANDS COMBINED, federal, state, and local; and, that approximately 6 times that 3% (18 – 20%) is raised on the private ranchland that encompasses about 25% of the West. Those percentages related to cattle FEED were often used to lobby for the removal of all cattle from public land.

    Therefore, “LivingstonMan” without-a-name, if you stand prepared to defend ALL private party rights to do whatever on (our) “PRIVATE land” perhaps YOU and YOU alone can contain much of the emotion that surrounds the notorious wolf!!!

    I do not know, of course, if you can hit the broad side of a barn with a double-barreled shotgun … but you have given us all some HOPE for the future by volunteering to TRY!!!

  23. By golly, Rose Mary, I guessed it! I was right and working just on the basis of your demented poetry and that telltale uneven rhyming pattern! You truly ARE a dangerously psychotic, sick, and twisted fragment of the lunatic fringe! Your last posting is flat out proof!

  24. I like wolves, but I recognize that predation isn’t pleasant. In fact, I mentioned this in my original post. Yet Rose Mary (and others) still seem to believe that I and my fellow wolf advocates have no idea what’s going on. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I’ve lived in wolf country–I’ve even been trained in wolf tracking. I’ve seen what they can do, thank you. Given this, the response to wolves by many people here strikes me as quite irrational. All of us living out here in the Rocky Mountain West have a lot more important things to be concerned about than wolves.

    I hear, for example, lots of comments on threats to pets from wolves. Yet, from what I’ve seen, it is Wildlife Services–your noble wolf-catchers–that poses a far larger threat to pets, by spreading baited cyanide guns all over the landscape.

    As for cattle, I agree that they are useful. But I also say that we shouldn’t degrade the entire ecological landscape for the sake of raising a few extra cows. We Americans–most of us anyway, myself included–eat too much meat for our own good. We can do for a few less. And make no mistake, we are talking about just a few less. Wolves are not about to overrun the people, livestock, and game of the West. Yeah, we’ll need to make a few adjustments–all of us. City dwellers should get used to losing the occasional pet (or just keeping them more secure), ranchers will have to deal with losing the occasional cow (or, again, finding ways to deter wolves, which Wildlife Services is investigating). But that’s OK, because the adjustments are long overdue.

  25. Ahhhhh, yes … dear mike-with-the-tiny-m … are you having delusions of adequacy again?

    There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure so hang in there.

    Obviously you have Van Gogh’s ear for poetry and rhyme … but still remain determined to illustrate that since you have not genius you can at least be dull?

    For those of you unfamiliar with mike-with-the-tiny-m, I’ve just recently learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.

    He is in rehab but unfortunately they do allow him periodic access to a computer.

    He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.

    I’m sure it is obvious why that might be.

  26. Hello Mike, the wolf has no natural predator, so who will control it? I am not fond of the idea that the wolf has more rights than I do, and it is only increasing every spring, pup by pup. Hopefully the Wildlands Project will take them all away to a better place.

  27. Who controlled wolves before humans? There are many top predators whose only natural population control is the ecosystem itself. The questions are not one of who has more rights or not. Rather what happens to the natural system when top predators are removed? The extirpation of wolves across N. America created an entire trickle down effect of which an increase of medium carnivores was just one effect (coyotes, foxes, etc). The goal is not this irrational anger that screams “kill every damn wolf and predator” but how can I have retain my way of life raising livestock while predators live within the same area. It is a different time now versus 80 years ago and predators have more support than ever. All stakeholders have to give and get some. Compromises must be made by all and that includes ranchers and conservationists. Unfortunately, that is not how it is unfolding. Everybody only sees their side and viewpoint which is doing nothing for creating solutions. Exactly what is unfolding here. This is only helping to perpetuate the stereotype of the uniformed, irrational …? My best advice…education and a deep breath!

  28. For those who believe wolf kills are occasional, here is ONE WEEK of problems from the FWS site.
    By the way what exactly are eviros willing to give….except more problems? The agreement was 300 wolves spread throughout 3 states, which probably could have been manageable. There are close to 500% of that and it isn’t enough for those who have no responsibility whatsoever.

  29. That’s 4 dead cows (and a few more harassed) in a week–is that a typical week? I don’t know. Even so, extrapolated over a year, that’s 208 cows. How many cows are there in the wolf recovery area? How significant is this, really?

  30. Jesse, I’m puzzled by your inclusion of these two statements in the same paragraph: (1) “I am not fond of the idea that the wolf has more rights than I do.”; and. (2) “Hopefully the Wildlands Project will take them all away to a better place.”

    Would you please elaborate regarding how you tie those two desires together as being mutually compatible?

    As far as I can determine it is certainly not the intent of the Wildlands Project to take anything “away to a better place” … unless that is *YOU*!

    As is true of most of the land-use organizations that are liberally promoted as saviors-of-the-West, Wildlands Project has a branch office West of the Mississippi but is rooted in the eastern-most USA … with their headquarters firmly planted in Vermont.

    According to their own publications, they weigh human and non-human life with equal value ~ plainly state that the human population must be reduced ~ and state their goal of changing *all* of western civilization, including radical (their word, not mine) economic, technological, and ideological structures. Do we think these goals are contained to “the environment” or “wildlife”?

    Dave Foreman ~ EarthFirst! founder and a co-founder of Wildlands Project ~ never met a 2-legged beast he did not love to hate. I suspect it might not be wise to think you are the exception to the rule.

    The density of the human animal throughout the West has at least some relativity to propagation, the reproduction of the species, coupled with the continued increase of both legal and illegal immigration into our Nation. As far as I know, the single effective population control of the human animal has been done in China and, if one can believe the polls and press reports for the last many years, it is possible that most citizens of the USA would not be pleased should such a containment program be initiated within our borders.

    Although this organization is funded by some of The Wealthiest individuals and corporations in the world ~ none well-known for their *lack* of consumption of anything ~ the Wildlands Project continues to profess that consumption above what is needed to supply “vital” human needs is immoral.

    I, too, Jesse, am “… not fond of the idea that the wolf has more rights than I do.”

    I am simply puzzled about what part you think the Wildlands Project might play to make that particular idea “all-better”.

    The contrary would appear to be true ~ so please elaborate.

  31. My point here ladies and gentleman, is that wolves are NOT the backyard pooch that we love and care for. They are wild animals. Both sides have valid complaints. The greenies want everything back to the way it was when Louis and Clark first came to the west and there are those that think every wolf should be dead!

    Cattlemen have to protect their investment, but does that mean the extermination of the wolf? In Alaska we subsist on wild game to survive. There isn’t a local Safeway down the street. Our wolves are currently over populated and need to be taken under control so that moose and caribou population can thrive.

    Does that mean total extermination? Of course not, but in order to reach a happy medium, science must take over, not emotions as I have seen on this blog.

    How many wolves can an area support? Are there other users? At what expense to the taxpayers?

    Food for thought.

  32. Rosemary, I was being sarcastic, take the wolf away from Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and let them set up their dens where the wolf lovers want them in their back yard not ours!!!! The Wildlands Project could help facilitate this. By the way, I think the Wildlands Project is a terrible idea which will infringe on Private Property Rights and already is, through the process of NGO’S.

  33. Thomas, I think most of us are on the same page as you, moderation is the key, by no means am I saying no wolves, but really there is no happy medium with extremists. Just look at our Wolf population now in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. It should have been delisted long ago, and control measures put in effect. But now all we face are legal battles to try and protect our property from the Wolf, with no end in sight. It is the same way with the Wildlands Project, people look at their vision (Wildlands Project) and they don’t believe it, but believe it, it is happening right now and it will not be stopped. Seemingly harmless NGO’S are taking over, very quitely. Just as the Wolf has.

  34. Jesse,

    The key is control measures based on science, not emotions. Most environmental waco terrorist don’t care about the science, they just prey off of the fears and emotions of the public. The California mountain lion is a prime example. The Alaska wolf or brown bear is yet another.

    If the science states that the wolf population has recovered, then they should be de-listed. If the wolves have figured out that an easy meal can be had by attacking livestock, then control measures need to be put into place by the State, not the Federal government!

  35. The FWP agree’s the Wolf should be de-listed but that is not going to help, once we move foward to de-list the environmental groups will be dragging it out in the courts. While the Wolf is allowed to increase even more. Once again not to sound like a broken record, there is no natural predator of the Wolf. What or Who will be able to control it? If we the people are not allowed to. I totally agree the Federal Government need not be involved.

  36. Fact one, there were wolves recolonating naturally before the Canadian wolves were brought in. Probably they were for the most part Canadian wolves, however there was evidense that the one wolf killed just outside of Yellowstone after being mistaken for a coyote, was of a totally different DNA. You would have expected some excitement at finding a 2 year old animal that might be a remnant of the supposedly extinct original Yellowstoen wolves, right? Nope, it was brushed off as being insignificant because there was no proof of a breeding pair.
    Fact 2, I specifically asked Ed Bangs at a meeting what studies they used to determine how many wolves were adequate and he said they just brought them in and let nature take it’s course. How’s that for science.
    Fact 3, compensation that was held out as a carrot is so restricted that according to Ed Bangs, about one out of ten animals are compensated. Families are paying the bulk of the cost, so yes they are bitter. Severe trauma is the hallmark of a wolf kill, a 20 pack doesn’t leave much evidence of they trauma when they are done eating.
    Fact 4, when they first started talking up wolves way back in the 80s , they kept saying they just wanted them in Yellowstone. Ranchers tried to tell them they would be out eating livestock in short order, and they were sneered at and poo pooed as radicals that didn’t understand. Guess who knew what they were talking about, Robinettes on the Dunoir had 2 livestock kills in early 97, but FWS jsut couldn’t be sure it was a wolf kill.
    Fact 5 the wolf numbers were set at 300 for 3 states, we can live with that, but not the enviros, they must have many times that, we already have nearly 5 times that many, but it isn’t enough, I doubt there is any number that will be enough as long as there are ranchers still in business. The BIOLOGISTS, themselves estimated 300 wolves in 10 years, they ahve killed almost twice that many themselves for being in trouble. They obviously had no clue what they were doing, and probably still don’t.
    Wyoming will be required to maintain 8 packs of wolves in Yellowstone even though we have no say in the management at all. I would like to know how they came to that number and what makes them think that Yellowstone can support that many long term, and what happens if it cannot. The wolves are killing each other now becasue there is not enough prey left.
    I would be so happy if enviros were willing to let science enter into this, but that does not make money for lawyers and that is what drives their agenda.

  37. Very interesting Marion, I think that the Wolf pack is territorial so they would only be killing each other as they encroach on that packs territory, more likely they will move on to new territory that has no pack in that territory. Which is very disturbing, because they don’t seem to disperse very far from each other. To many Wolves concentrated in an area, they are preying on livestock because it is easy. Also less game to prey on, the Wolf is like any wild animal they are going to conserve energy, they are going to go for the easiest meal that doesn’t take alot of work, that is why they prey on the young babies of any species, domesticated or wild.

  38. Recolonating…is that a word? And where is this that wolves are killing each other because there is not enough prey left? Yes 20 wolves can do damage to any species but a 20 member wolf pack is not the normal size in the Rocky Mountains. Wolves don’t usually prey on “babies”. Come on, that is a waste of energy for pack animals to eat “babies”. I wouldn’t rip on enviros for their lack of science! Personally, I am just enjoying this ridiculous banter that doesn’t make enviros or ranchers look any better than the other.

  39. If you see what livestock that is being killed by the Wolf it is calves, lambs, small first year heifers with babies, elk calves, moose calves, this is their main prey. Where have you been? Do you not read the newspaper? Or the documentation by FWP?

  40. Sorry, that using recolonating instead of recolonizing upset you with no name of your own. If you read all of the wolf reports you would see that 80% of the elk kills inside of Yellowstone were calves, you would also see the reports of the big packs, and also that the wolves are killing each other for territory. You would be amazed how much information (and a little conflicting information) is right there for your education.
    I am aware that every spring they have this big whoop de doo report released to all of the papers on how bears are responsible for elk calf kills. The do not mention that only 50 calves were used, they did the tagging by flying in with a helicopter, bears are smart, that pretty well locates a new born calf for them right there. It is a known fact that bears are deadly to calves the first three weeks of life, after that they can pretty much out run a bear, but not a pack of wolves.
    The very low calf to cow ratio in wolf infested territory tells the story, calves should be in the 30-40 calf/100 cow range, it is in the low teen to single digit range at this point.

  41. Jesse and Marion,

    I agree. There is an area along the Denali Highway (unit 13), here in Alaska that has had 100% moose calf kill by bears and wolves. This area is the size of Illinois. This year, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have finally reached it targeted goal of wolf kills to try and sustain a viable moose population.

    I am hoping that our new governor, Sara Palin, will have enough political balls to tell the federal government where to stick it. Article 8 of the Alaska Constitutions states:

    3. Common Use
    Wherever occurring in their natural state, fish, wildlife, and waters are reserved to the people for common use.

    § 4. Sustained Yield
    Fish, forests, wildlife, grasslands, and all other replenishable resources belonging to the State shall be utilized, developed, and maintained on the sustained yield principle, subject to preferences among beneficial uses.

    Unlike many states, Alaska is an ownership state. The people of Alaska own the state and its resources. If the moose population takes a dive because of predators such as bears and wolves, then the State of Alaska has an obligation under our Constitution to “maintained on the sustained yield principle.”

    Jesse and Marion, what do your state constitutions say?

  42. Thomas, I will have to look at our state constitution, but as you probably realize land owned by the federal government is considered to be “our public land” by enviro groups. They of course have no feeling of responsibility for it, only control of it.
    The ESA has many problems, but among the most important, is the single species focus of it. Despite the current loss of 60-70% of the elk, and almost all of the moose in Yellowstone itself, wolves cannot be managed to save these animals. That is one of the sticking points with Wyoming accepting the feds plan, we cannot manage wolves to save any other species.
    If the wolves and grizzlies start killing each other off, what will be done except punish the people in the three state area by keeping them listed and call them dirty names for “killing off” bears and wolves? No one to the best of my knowledge is really following either for this potential problem. I don’t even know of a moose count since this big wolf farm started.

  43. Then Wyoming needs to reject the feds plan and take steps in its legislature to manage its own resources.

  44. Can our State really do that, I am being told that Federal trumps State, Federal and State trumps County. If this is really possible Thomas, then how?

  45. It’s called States rights. The Federal Government can not infringe on states rights. Alaska was prepared to challenge this when Tony Knowles was elected as our governor. He failed to act on the lawsuit and it died. A bad mistake on his part as we did not re-elect him.

    We are now trying to get our new governor, Sara Palin, to take up the challenge. However the hot issue in this state is a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Chicago.

  46. Calling it “States Rights” doesn’t mean you can just dream up whatever you want and contradict federal law.

    Get out the Ouija Board and summon John C. Calhoun (VP under President Jackson, back in the days when President & VP were elected independently of each other). Ask how South Carolina fared in 1832 when it decided to tell the federal government “You’re not the boss of me!” It didn’t work then, and the question was really settled and sealed in blood at Appomattox Court House.

    It didn’t work when various states wanted to ignore school integration laws in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Don’t expect it to work now.

    I have found it satisfying and informative to read the Constitution of the United States of America from time to time. You can actually get a nice pocket-sized hardbound copy of it to consult whenever these questions arise.

    The Constitution is pretty interesting reading, when you consider such questions as “what rights DO the states have?” or “are we a democracy or a republic?”

    First and foremost is this, from Article VI:

    “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof . . . shall be the supreme law of the land.”

    Article I deals with with the US Congress and its powers. It would appear that Article I, Section 8 contains the key part relevant to things like the Endangered Species Act:

    “The Congress shall have power . . . To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers [listed in the Article], and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States . . .”

    Constitutional scholars call this the “elastic clause,” because it really broadens the scope of what Congress can do. It has been controversial, and a strict constructionist might argue that the folks who wrote the Constitution didn’t intend for it to cover wolf reintroduction.

    But, we find in the preamble to the Constitution itself that the document is intended to “form a more perfect union, establish justice . . . promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty . . .” One could interpret that to cover keeping our native wildlife healthy, I suppose.

    Obviously, though, folks weren’t completely satisfied with the main body of the Constitution from the get-go, hence the Ten Amendments we call the Bill of Rights. Amendment V is clearly of interest in the wolf deal: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    Note that that says “JUST compensation.”

    Amendment IX protects the rights of the People, even if such rights are not enumerated explicitly in the Constitution. Amendment X says that if certain powers are not delegated by the Constitution to the Federal Government, nor specifically prohibited by the Constitution to the States, then those powers are to be exercised by the individual states, or by the people.

    So, take it all together and the Constitution is fairly complex, but it HAS done a pretty good job in its long history. It more or less sets up an open and fair system of government wherein the majority CAN express its will, yet still be prohibited from using its powers to abuse minority interests.

    But, the document itself and two centuries of case law make it pretty clear that states can’t just go around ignoring federal laws.

    I guess I’d say that if you don’t like the Endangered Species Act, figure out a workable way to turn it into something we can live with. Find out (besides the tired old accusations that it’s about controlling land, or genocide, or about making money) WHY folks want to protect species like wolves. Come up with a message that really can sway them, something they can hear. I don’t know what that is, but there are people who could help you do it.

    But keep this in mind: there are roughly 40 Californians for every Montanan. There’s about 20 people in New York City for every person in Wyoming.

    You’re badly outnumbered, so arguments that sound good down at the coffee shop in Big Timber or Riverton may not do you much good if they don’t also help folks elsewhere understand your predicament.

  47. Thomas….. you might mention that 2 million children were bitten or attacked by dogs in 2005. (LA TIMES, April 1, 2007)
    How many were bitten by coyotes or wolves?

  48. It is easy to be high and mighty and pontificate that we “need to just get used to it” as long as you are doing the controlling and not living with the situation.
    I think one of the hardest thing to live with, in addition to the damage from the wolves, is the lies we have been told….such as the 30/300 wolves.
    Please remember these wolves are NOT actually called endangered they are “EXPERIMENTAL-NON ESSENTIAL”, which is a different rule they had to work out in 1982, when they realized the ESA as it was written did not allow for introducing a species into habitat outside of their range. I’m not sure how they got around the laws against importing an exotic species from another country, ignored it, I guess.
    This is a link to an article on what the 10j “experimental-non essential rule is supposed to mean and how the feds want to change that too to please enviros.

    We are well aware that we are outnumbered by bullies in other states, that is why we were picked for this “sacrifice”, there are not enough people to stand up to them. The ironic thing is all of the complaints by people from these places who are concerned that we are using too much human habitat! All half million of us Wyomingites do not need homes.

  49. After reading Drovers comments, it is the rancher that is the minority, and this minority interest is being abused, from every direction. The U.S. is going to be a nation of imports, that cannot use its own natural resources. This is where we are headed and we are outnumbered trying to win a losing battle. We want the Wolf to be reduced, not eliminated just reduced and controlled. I for one do not want to live on imported food. If you have to live around Wolves you lose your freedom to go and do as you please. You have to always be watchful and careful, if you just want to go for a walk you have to take a gun, your kids can’t go out and play without someone watching them. If you have livestock you spend every night out checking them. This is non stop. The re-introduction of the Wolf is just another problem the rancher has to deal with. It would be nice if the States really could have control over their own welfare without the Federal Government pushing their agenda on the States.

  50. I spoke with a rancher near Big Timber. He had eleven calves killed in one night. He reported it and, after the ‘investigation’ was told that there would be no compensation because, even though wolves chewed on the carcasses, there was no proof that the wolves killed them.
    That would be something like a car dealership having eleven cars torched on the lot. Would we tell car dealers to just, “Get used to the idea of losing a few cars now and then” while we champion the rights of vandals?

  51. If law or science mattered at all in this mixed-up equation, we wouldn’t have the wolf ‘experiment’ at all.

  52. They are very good about not being able to prove that a Wolf did the kill, how convenient. If and when they decide to reimburse for a kill it does not even come close to the actual cost of losing the animal. They also only report the kills that they deem was a kill by Wolf, when the numbers are much higher, because of all the kills they say cannot be proven, but really are Wolf kills. This only furthers the propaganda that the Wolf does not kill livestock, only a misguided few. Everyone making these choices and not having to live with the consequences is where the problem is. All the great groups and organizations who are protecting the Wolf, have they ever had to protect their property from the Wolf, I really doubt it. They should spend all summer being a Rider, then they would know how it feels to be stalked by a Wolf, or Wolves. Having to protect yourself and the livestock from this powerful predator, puts it in a different prospective, REALITY!!!!

  53. There was an incident in the Pinedale area of Wyoming. A sheep rancher had over 30 sheep killed in their pasture, becasue it was summer and they weren’t checked for several days, decomposition of the carcasses made it difficult to identify the extreme tissue trauma that goes with a wolf kill, except for one that died in the running creek. They confirmed that one, and I guess they decided the others had just laid down and died, leaving the rancher to lose that much money.
    Then of course there is this grizzly bear attack that is only related to this thread because there aren’t enough bears either for those people who out number us 20-40 times.

  54. Have to take exception — at least in Montana — with the insinuation that the folks who investigate wolf kills are somehow biased in favor of the wolves.

    Here in Montana, wolf kills are investigated by USDA’s Wildlife Services (used to be called Animal Damage Control). WS’s field agents are highly skilled, and they work with the evidence they have available to them. You can’t ask them to do more than that. They will even confirm “probable” kills for partial compensation when circumstances warrant.

    Wolf lovers make the opposite accusation about WS: that they are on “the ranchers’ side” and that they want to blame too much on wolves. In my experience, they do a good job with the evidence that’s available to them. That’s the nature of living with wolves — they often eat up all the evidence.

    Also, I noticed in Slide 7 above that the wolf sanctuary guy was skeptical that one can distinguish calves killed by wolves. He ought to get out more — bears have pretty distinctive ways of killing (clawing, face-bites, and peeling hide back to eat), mountain lions tend to kill pretty quickly and efficiently.

    Wolves make a lot of huge bites to the hindquarters, sometimes just wearing their prey down through shock and blood loss. The spacing of the big canine tooth punctures is typically a giveaway.

  55. (didn’t read just saw picture) damn whoever did that i want them found and killed the same way they killed that wolve

  56. Thank you Thomas, common sense has flown out the window when it comes to wolves. Those who worship at their altar care nothing for humans (see post above yours) and are not interested in the reality of what wolves are.

  57. It would be interesting to see someone like Brianna out in the “real” wilderness. They would be the first asking for a rifle!

  58. Actually Thomas they woud probably be asking for the National Guard! It is unfortunate that those with the loudest voices have the least knowledge.

  59. They maybe the loudest, but anyone with any “common sense” in game management just look at them as “crying wolf!” 🙂

  60. Update on the “Wolf Terrorists” in Fairbanks Alaska, cool pictures too:

  61. Opps, my mistake. This was at Ft. Richardson, Alaska. For those that may not know, Ft. Richardson in in the middle of Anchorage Alaska.

    Alaska’s lagest city and we have a wolf problem.

    Here is how the article starts out:

    The attack was fast and surprisingly silent. Before Lisa Hubert knew what was happening, her dog, Buddy, had disappeared into the pitch-black night with barely a sound.

  62. From the Alaska Reader:

    Canine carnage” of 30 years ago. With wolf attacks on dogs making the news these days in Anchorage and Fairbanks, a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story today looks back at the winter of 1974-75, when a “wolf pack spent the entire winter stalking the Goldstream Valley, killing dozens of dogs as residents armed with guns kept nightly vigils for the wolves.”

    That winter’s toll, according to a musher who was around then: 165 dead dogs, 13 dead wolves.

    The recent dog deaths – three have been killed in the Fairbanks area, two in the Anchorage area – have stirred talk in the Two Rivers/North Pole region of hunting the wolves or putting a bounty on them. The same debate appeared to swell in the 1970s, according to the News-Miner story. The story takes note of two petitions from back then. One, “signed by only a handful of people, requested Fish and Game use helicopters to shoot the wolves from the air. Another petition directing Fish and Game not to use aerial shooting was signed by more than 100 people.”

    A News-Miner editorial this week urges caution and restraint in the face of the recent attacks. “If, for all the talk and publicity, it doesn’t feel like much is being done, well, there isn’t much to be done other than talking about the wolves and keeping each other apprised of their movements – and dining habits. Awareness and information should help us avoid any rude surprises.”

    An ADN story today looks at the two Anchorage-area dog deaths and a series of other attacks. Comments on the story were already stacking up early today, with one wit detailing a “check list for dog walking: leash, .44 Magnum.”

  63. Those dang wolves are at it again! Being wolves that is!!

    Wolves blamed in two Eagle River attacks. A KTUU Channel 11 story reports on a group of at least seven wolves that waylaid three women running with their dogs on Artillery Road in Eagle River. The pack, despite being pepper-sprayed by one of the women, circled the group for a time before attacking and injuring one of the dogs, according to the story.

    The women were not hurt in the episode, but a bulldog, Buddy, underwent surgery to fix his wounds. “They were not afraid of us, and I’m afraid that if I was out here by myself, they would attack me,” Buddy’s owner, Camas Barkemeyer, says in the story.

    The report says the episode came about an hour after a dog on a chain was attacked and killed in an Eagle River backyard. State Department of Fish and Game officials believe both attacks may have involved the same wolves, according to the story.

    Meanwhile, a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story today says that Fish and Game officials in that community have set up a hot line and an Internet site to handle reports of wolf sightings. A pack of wolves is believed to be responsible for at least three dog deaths in the region in recent months.