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A year ago I wrote a New West column asking rhetorically if hunters were stupid. In that article I wondered if hunters were aware of the fact that shooting wolves is unpopular with most Americans and if hunting of wolves continued, it might create a backlash against hunting. To answer my own question I have to say that hunters are not stupid—but most are clueless. Hunters don’t seem to have a inkling about how non-hunters perceive them. Public support for hunting is only luke-warm—the majority of Americans grudgingly accept hunting, but they are not enthusiastic about people killing animals. Only 10 percent or so of Americans hunt. Hunters are in the minority and they are largely older white males. In America older white males are in their twilight years. Demographically the country is changing to a more diverse racial, religious and age structure. The majority of Americans who do not hunt only accept hunting if they believe the hunter is killing an animal to eat it. Public support for hunting declines rapidly if hunters kill animals for trophy mounts. When it comes to shooting an animal just to kill it as would be the case for hunters shooting wolves—and/or worse as a matter of vindication as in predator control, public support turns to public opposition. Both the ESA and wolves are extremely popular with the country as a whole. I suggest that if hunters succeed in this end run around the ESA, and there is the perception of a widespread slaughter of wolves, they are the ones that risk long term public opposition.

Wolf Restoration is a Challenge to West’s Old Guard

A year ago I wrote a New West column asking rhetorically if hunters were stupid. In that article I wondered if hunters were aware of the fact that shooting wolves is unpopular with most Americans and if hunting of wolves continued, it might create a backlash against hunting.

To answer my own question I have to say that hunters are not stupid—but most are clueless. Hunters don’t seem to have a inkling about how non-hunters perceive them. Public support for hunting is only luke-warm—the majority of Americans grudgingly accept hunting, but they are not enthusiastic about people killing animals. Only 10 percent or so of Americans hunt. Hunters are in the minority and they are largely older white males. In America older white males are in their twilight years.

Demographically the country is changing to a more diverse racial, religious and age structure. The majority of Americans who do not hunt only accept hunting if they believe the hunter is killing an animal to eat it. Public support for hunting declines rapidly if hunters kill animals for trophy mounts. When it comes to shooting an animal just to kill it as would be the case for hunters shooting wolves—and/or worse as a matter of vindication as in predator control, public support turns to public opposition.

Both the ESA and wolves are extremely popular with the country as a whole. I suggest that if hunters succeed in this end run around the ESA, and there is the perception of a widespread slaughter of wolves, they are the ones that risk long term public opposition.

This was brought home to me last week. I asked my 13-year-old son if he wanted to go hunting with me this fall. He said “Dad, I don’t want to hunt. Hunters are redneck wolf killers. I don’t want to be like them.” Another friend in Montana told me his 14-year-old son had the same negative reaction about hunting and hunters and doesn’t want to hunt this year.

Ironically hunters are all worried about their shrinking numbers and how to get kids to become the next generation of hunters. Today’s kids are better informed ecologically than their parents, and most of them have sympathies for animals like wolves. They don’t want to have anything to do with people who kill predators. If hunters want to ensure they won’t have a younger generation following in their footsteps, they could probably not find a better way than advocating wolf killing.

The actions of hunters today and their Congressional allies remind me of the segregationists in the South. I can still see in my mind’s eye the image of George Wallace and the Alabama state police standing on the steps of the University resolutely defying a court order to admit blacks into the University of Alabama. Wallace was immensely popular for his act of defiance against the hated “feds”. Yet Wallace seemed unaware that he was part of the last hurrah of the segregated South. What he did was immensely popular at home, but it was out of step with where America was on race. In the end, thankfully George Wallace and his ilk lost the war—and today we have a black President.

The passion, the anger, and the frustration exhibited by hunters (and ranchers ) is not so much about wolf predation itself. It’s really about control. For decades hunters and ranchers have enjoyed a predator free environment. Hunters have always been the ones who controlled wildlife and state wildlife agencies. The outrage expressed by many hunters and ranchers is a reaction to what is perceived as the audacity of other people in society to assume, much less assert, they should have a voice in wildlife management issues. For decades hunters have considered elk and deer their “property”. You can see this attitude displayed in their angry comments. “We paid for managing wildlife and by gosh, we are the only ones who should have a say in how all wildlife is managed.” The overriding attitude is one of possession. Wolves are killing “our” elk and deer. The deer and elk by all rights exist for us.

The debate over wolf management challenges those assumptions. Just as judges who ordered an end to segregation in the South, shaking up and eventually tumbling a hundred years of racism, hunters (and ranchers) are fearful they are losing their control over wildlife. That’s the context which the wolf debate is framed, and if one doesn’t understand this, the passion, anger, and outrage doesn’t make sense.

Even if with thousands of wolves, the number of cattle and sheep killed by wolves is and would continue to be tiny compared to the number lost to diseases, poison plants, and even domestic dogs. Wolves are not really a threat to the livestock industry. And neither are they a threat to hunting. There will always be plenty of places where hunters can find elk and deer to shoot–hunting isn’t going to disappear because of wolves. So the passions expressed are not based on just the perceived impact of wolves on hunters and ranchers, rather it is the idea that wolves and wolf management challenges the old guard and their position of power. Wolf restoration is more than bringing back a valued predator to the landscape—it is a challenge to the hegemony of the West’s old guard.

Hunters are much like George Wallace standing up in front of the halls of the University. They are standing up to change in the established order of things—and that is scary to anyone. I predict that if hunters succeed in obtaining an exemption to the ESA that permits killing of wolves, it will only swell the ranks of animal rights groups, and anti hunting support around the country. And that, in the end, is a far worse threat to hunting than wolves.

In California after hunters repeatedly countered non-hunters efforts to have a say in cougar hunting, the voters finally outlawed all hunting of cougars. I suspect if hunters push too far, they may well see a similar outcome about wolves. They may be win the first battles, but they are going to lose control of the issue in the end. Not only could this result in a ban on all hunting of predators, but it could well lead to an acceleration of the decline in hunter ranks as more and more moderate and ecologically informed hunters and/or potential young hunters are turned off by hunter attitudes. In the end, hunters have to recognize that there is now a wider public who are demanding a voice in wildlife management.

About George Wuerthner

George Wuerthner has published 36 books, including Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy

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50 comments

  1. i live in a community in Wyoming which has lots of hunters and lots of wolves. the hunters i know are quality people who work hard and serve their communities. i see respectful exchanges between parties. your comparison to Wallace is way off.
    there is just as much ugliness on the pro wolf side.
    you’re just fanning the flames of hysteria in your article.

    what activities does your son do? judging from the premise of your article i would stereotypically extrapolate that he and his friend: watched TV, played video games, ate potato chips, went to the mall, wore out the cell phone,shoulder tapped, vandalized the neighborhood, tagged a few cars, scored some pot, said no to meth for now, and crapped on some senoirs lawn.

  2. Spot on! The issue is not wolves, or cougars, or even predators. The visceral opposition is to the public retaining/regaining control over public lands. Hunting for food will probably always garner the most support from even the urban public. Killing for the sake of killing is neither honorable nor a sustainable position in a country of over 300,000,000. Trophy hunters should be leading the charge for reducing our population and urban sprawl.

  3. Dave, WY has the smallest population of any state in the union. Seems to me that Wuerthner makes an important point for your hunting buddies to take heed of.

    Once State Game and Fish departments’ funding is no longer under the thumb of the “old guard,” wildlife management will look very different than it does today. Control over our wildlife and the ecosystems they depend on will be determined by people that are more interested in the welfare of the wildlife themselves, rather than the number and species of wildlife hunters are permitted to kill.

    It will happen. Hunters could help soften the blow for their special, declining interests. But as long as they align themselves with blood sport and blood lust, there’s little hope for the moderates. See “Tea Party Candidates” for your future.

  4. For a sampling of real “hunters” you could swing by the weekly Gallatin Wildlife Association board meeting this morning at Wheat Montana in Bozeman.
    In fact most of us have become “trophy” hunters. The seasons on politicians are quite liberal, not to mention expenditures on taxidermy are minimal.
    Just like hunting other “big game” it’s sometimes a questionable use of time, though. In fact mind-bogglingly enough this farmer took a significant chunk of time out of my first day of harvesting (!!?) for a meeting yesterday, a subcommittee of the Madison Elk Working Group. And all we did was form another subcommittee. Bah. Humbug!!
    Generally speaking, I would much rather deal with animals. By and large, they are honest, at least. And I don’t take killing them lightly anymore. Far from it… That’s one good thing about being a trophy hunter, I don’t pull the trigger much anymore. Although depending on my wife’s mood when she rallies here shortly, I may chop chicken heads before our board meeting this morning. I don’t even take that lightly anymore. Even if it’s roosters who’ve worn out their welcome.

  5. When wildlife is equated to the Civil Rights movement, it is time to loosen up, take a deep breath, fall back a few steps, and examine the misplaced emotional energy going into an issue that is tied to the human experience. Humans marched over the Bering land bridge just to stick a dart in some mega fauna and eat better. Our dna hasn’t changed that much. Our environment might have, but the dna has not. Dead Great Sloths and a Double Cheeseburger fall into the same category: meat for food.

    I guess we can get along without out hunting, if we don’t also kill livestock husbandry. But what do you do with the 400 bears killed by autos annually in Pennsylvania? Or the highway department guy in Oregon who hauled off more deer from a forty mile stretch of remote highway, vehicle killed, in a year than the hunting rules allowed for the whole unit? People kill wildlife every day. Cars, trucks, trains and airplanes. Domestic dogs do their number on larger animals, and cats kill a billion birds a year in North America. When you get all huffy about hunters, you had better step up to the plate and take on Muffin’s owner, too. And the dickheads with the mean dogs. And limit the traffic on highways to daylight to save animals.

    I have championed overpasses, underpasses, whatever it takes to allow critters to move from one side of the Interstate to the other. Always will. The big Booglie Wooglie in wildlife deaths is the car, the truck, the ship, the train, the airplane, the power line, the wind turbine, the dam. This deal about hunters and hunting is paper asshole talk. The whole of wildlife protection, and wildlife habitat protection is from hunters and the taxes on their tools. Same goes for fish, for ducks, whatever is pursued. Those people have a dog in the fight. They pay the way. George and his ilk are arrogant observers, and if like the rest of environmental cause champions in America, one cheap sob. They get your money from the US Govt., or extort it from the private side as per the Ruby pipeline. Or get it through the backdoor with EAJA.

    So here we have this whole plethora of wildlife killing events that never get due attention, but the hunters get the cheap shot journalist treatment. It figures. The answer, historically, when the “crown”, the “party in power” claims all the game, is for the rurals to poach. Poaching is a Robin Hood story, and that is how far back it goes. Robin Hood was a poacher of the King’s game, and he gave the excess to his neighbors. George’s attempts at criminalizing hunters will only lead to poachers and poaching, and that will be revealing.

    Most poaching today is about Chinese medicine and traditional cures that are animal and plant based. Horn of a herd bull to treat impotence. Tiger meat to provide strength to fight a disease. Their list is endless. But if push comes to shove with the enlightened economic solutions of the environmentally backed party in power, poverty will take the wolf food supply to the family larder, and bury the wolf that dares eat the family dinner.

    I read the paper most every day. Humans are not quite ready to be called pacifists and vegans. Young men continue to kill each other daily, in great numbers, over causes not understandable in the country. That the urban population feels a need to stop hunters in rural areas is quaint, since it is apparent they are not close to stopping their kids from killing each other. But that is a civil rights story for another time. A cultural right that us rednecks and hicks can’t understand and need not butt in on. The Balkanization of America continues. George wants to be an architect of that process. Separate, demean, and finally relocate or imprison. He ain’t inventing the wheel. That was what all the Wallace and Southern courthouse steps talk is about. He needs to make hunting evil, hunters evil, and I guess make sure we know that it is white folks who hunt because they are evil white folks in a brown world. I guess he is covering his ass for the day the brown majority comes for the white folks. The tyranny of the majority is what it is all about. That was his anecdotal tale in a shot glass. We will get you. And to that I extend my third metacarpel in its entirety.

  6. Using the Civil Rights and segregationist movement as allegory might be a bit of a stretch, but it does illustrate that hunters and ranchers tend to exist in environments where the local media, the coffee group at the cafe and over-the-fence conversations with neighbors tend to reinforce a limited perspective.
    When you see a PETA T-shirt or bumper sticker, the small print usually states “People Eat Tasty Animals.”
    What’s upsetting and disorienting for hunters, ranchers, farmers, loggers, miners and their families, is that even if they’re in the majority in small towns, they’re in the minority in the big cities and especially in the urbanized West and East coasts. This process has been going on for 50, 100, 150 years as rural America emptied out, exporting young adults and raw resources.
    True, rural America does have disproportionate power in the Senate and in many state legislatures, but demographics is destiny and that’s pretty gloomy for traditionalists in rural America.

  7. Yep, we can sure see how much power rural food producing America has in congress. I don’t know what more you could want for us to live in caves and give you our homes to stay in while you bless the land with your presence.
    I’m sure when China calls in the loans we can’t pay they are going to be so greatful to the enviros for keeping the fuel away from Americans so they can have the land to play on. Loans to keep shoveling money out to the greenies that spend their time in court for more and more pwoer and handouts.

  8. Here’s an excellent article by Chip Ward:
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175301/tomgram:_chip_ward,_a_west_raised_by_wolves/
    Chip accurately notes that the reason wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone was to rescue the ecosystem from too many elk. Yes, too many elk. After all, there were ongoing debates about overgrazing and keeping elk populations within sustainable bounds.
    (And then there’s the feedground phenomena of western Wyoming, which supports a huge population of elk for hunting pleasure, but which also acts as a giant Petri dish for cultivating brucellosis and wait for it, chronic wasting disease. When CWD hits the feedgrounds, you’ll have the greatest wildlife management disaster since the eradication of bison from the Plains.)
    Chip is quite right in noting that the ecology of Yellowstone and the northern Rockies has dramatically improved with the presence of wolves, making elk less bovine and more wild and giving cousin beaver a chance to bring water and wetlands back, with all their attendant species.

  9. Brodie, if you read all of the BS put out by FWS you will note that they blame the severe (but evidently not severe enough) deline of the elk on “other things”. I guess we are to beleive thata wolf population artficially increase to several times any population ever recorded….when there was a population only has a good impact, while the things that have always been present like drought, severe winters, bears, etc are what is having the bad impact. On the other hand we have other researchers selling the story that there are too many elk left….both of ’em.
    Logger, I will donate to the lawsuit, no one has ever proved that bears are not becoming habituated to human food by eating the human feces left behind by the hikers, so I think it is hikers turn to also sacrifice for the wildlife they love so much.

  10. Brodie Farquhar: I find it interesting that the great herds of elk you speak of were a bi-product of Yellowstone & a place not hunted… adding wolves to that environment is fine and dandy! The only thing is the wolves don’t play by the rules….during the introduction, within hours of the release some of them were out of the 2.5 million acres of Yellowstone eyeing up cattle! You ignore the tremendous cost of this animal….The only state that has it right is Wyoming! You get your wolves to eat the elk in Yellowstone. The rest of the state does not have to deal with wolves in their back yards!

  11. George-

    An excellent article. I truly admire your ability to see the underlying issue as one of control and power, and not of ecosystem management.

    Your analogy comparing the wolf hunt to the end of slavery is perfect–the issue then, as now, was more about control and keeping a way of life than anything else. And that’s exactly the issue with the wolves in the West.

    Thank you for continuing to use your awesome intellectual and writing talents to shine such a bright and penetrating light on the true issues surrounding the wolf debate. Keep it up!

    Jon Cheever

  12. Maybe a change in the law will bring some common sense, at any rate it is the first glimmer of hope since this nonsense started.

  13. Many of you miss the article’s main point, that you’re in the minority. It’s easy to look around your town in Wyoming and see that everyone hunts and everyone wants to hunt wolves. But step outside of your sheltered world. If the entire populations of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming are opposed to wolves (which not everyone is), you have 3 million voices. Out of a national population of 300 million. 1% is bad odds. Even Obama has more support than that. Heck, even Congress has more support than that.

  14. Dan, we know we are in a minority, and Wyoming is the least populated state in the nation. Just remember the people of Wyoming have a big impact, if you think that is not so, just think of who was the first to give women the right to vote. I do believe that has had an impact, so do not underestimate us.

  15. Well written article. Not extreme. The comparison fits in at least some cases. Perhaps not all.
    Some comments seem a bit out of line especially when the writer forgets that not all people from east or west don’t want to misunderstand issues in “the west.”
    After a ride last spring through a herd of at least 3,000 elk west and south of Ennis, MT I find it hard to believe that there will not be elk to kill this fall – either for food or for antlers. What a waste though to kill for antlers and a head.
    The idea that has been proposed to bury, suffocate, poison, and sterilize does make me concerned since imprisonment, sterilizing, and other heinous acts committed in the past against women are being revived against an animal that in some way does threaten the control some people want over animals.

    I like what Wendell Berry said in one of his books “how you treat each other in the bedroom is how you will treat the natural world around you.”

  16. George is once again telling the truth in a most enlightening way and the wolf and predator haters are coming out of the woodwork as if on cue. The writing is on the wall, the days of brutally demonizing and exterminating America’s native wildlife, including our vital predators, are finally coming to an end. It’s 2010 and fortunately for the Earth, its wildlife and wild places. an American majority has been slowly forming for decades, a majority that demands protection of OUR natural places and OUR wildlife. We will not be bullied and pushed aside any longer by those who put sport killing and greed ahead of ecological health and justice, nor will we be told any longer to shut up and mind our own business, while wolf demonizers and killers tell us that they are doing their dirty business, just as their primitive ancestors did. This is OUR country, too. And the new American majority respects ecology and loves our wolves, wildlife and wild places. We’ve had enough of the abuse, intolerance, brutality and heartlessness that has been inflicted on America’s wolves, natural predators, and our wilderness, for three hundred years. The time has come for a gentler, more respectful way of living on the land, across America and around the globe.

  17. Gee, Rob, I’d consider those who are wiping out ungulates and other folks privately owned livestock with wolves to be the bullies. So I guess everytime you look in the mirror, you see a bully.

  18. Todd, you lose the argument when you start making things up, you know, just plain lying about wolves, to make your case. That big bad wolf stuff is so old and tired and is just not going to work anymore. It’s 2010, let’s leave the Middle Ages behind. As you and those of us who are actually paying attention to this stuff know, elk are numerous throughout the West and doing very well with wolves back on the land where they belong. Yellowstone is certainly a healthier place with the wolves’ return. Yes, elk populations have been reduced in Yellowstone, thank goodness, to numbers that the land can actually support. And elsewhere, wolves fit into the landscape just as nature intended. Wolves heal the land, they do not destroy their prey. As we’ve all read, Idaho state wildlife officials have repeatedly confirmed the reality of healthy elk populations in almost every part of the state that has wolves. And compared to weather, disease and so many other causes of mortality, wolves cause relatively little damage to livestock, in spite of the ranchers’ continuous wolf hating hysterics. It’s time to deal with facts, not propaganda and prejudice. Thanks to the passage of time, environmental education and advocacy, the Internet, etc, many of us have actually learned the truth about wolves and other native predators. Todd, it’s a good thing to love nature, to love and respect wildlife including native predators, too. It’s a good thing to love creation and want to protect and restore it. We all make mistakes. It was our collective mistake to demonize and persecute wolves. We know better now, so let’s finally do right by them and the rest of our Earth, too. Please join us, Todd. We’ll make amends together. We can heal the land and make the world better, together.

  19. Hmmmm. Man is omnivorous. Eats meat and plants. Can live on plants alone with a sophisticated knowledge of how to get protein and digest it. And get fat. Eat meat and protein and spend your time chasing critters to get the next meal, you don’t get fat. Hey, just like a wolf.

    So a sport killing wolf is a more noble critter than man, because man is immoral in that he might sport hunt. Wolves are more needed because they keep the numbers of animals in check. Say, do they have 5 days in November to do that? Or is it all year long? Is there a rule book for wolf kills? There is for man’s hunting. And the major problem with both man and wolves is that given the chance, either will diminish their prey to a point where survival becomes a chore. Would that be why we became omnivores? So damned hungry we tried eating plant material because our bigger brains made some connection?

    Most of this argument is about who gets to kill that last whatever. The vegans would have all meat eaten by something other than humans, and if possible, force their ideas on the majority. The same goes with the carnivores among us.

    The tyranny of the urban majority has ruled and continues to rule rural America. Wolves are not able to distinguish between livestock and indigenous food. Having them run amok in livestock is very detrimental to the livestock industry. But that does not matter to ignorant urban hordes. I was reading a book on the cultural organization of the Crow Nation last week. They got horse in 1730-35, from some form of Paiutes south of the Great Salt Lake. So much for the wild horse being such an important part of the history of the unclaimed public domain. Their existence in the West is less than 300 years. Introduced by man. The equine version of cheat grass. And the Crows only took a few decades to become the most adept horsemen in the Americas. So much for the ignorant savage definitions adapted and adopted by the Euro Invaders, most of whom became urbanized and still are intent on cultural and physical genocide of cultures and customs not applicable to central city living.

    I am beginning to wonder is there is an analogy in ridding the West of ranchers and Europe’s ridding their states of Romany, the Gypsies. You do have to keep your eye on the tyranny of the urban majority, and the city states in the metropolitan areas determined by race and economic status, ethnicity, and maintenance of political power.

    The wolf reintroduction was a power play in a public space done with a political motivation. The continued political power play is getting chinks in its armor, and Wyoming is the wedge in those chinks. If there were one iota of national will to reintroduce apex predators into the wild, we would once again have grizzly bears in California and down the Continental spine to Mexico. Wolves would be running out of Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier, Rocky Mountain NP, and the whole of USA east of the Mississippi. Heaven knows there is plenty of food for them. We are constantly told that the majority of livestock is on farms east of the Mississippi, and deer are a problem in most of the rural areas of the Midwest and East Coast. Solve the lime disease problem with wolves, the natural way to ungulate control. The present wolf deal is an imposition on a few states so the rest of the country can pat their backs about what wonderful ecologists they are. Try your ideas on your state for a change. Have this benign predator taking whacks at your lifestyle and livelihoods. And, when the next pandemic strikes, we can use wolves for their traditional purpose of carrion cleanup. No need to wonder who is buried in what grave at the local cemetery. Just clean up the broken bones sometime down the road.

    Wolves have a huge and long history in the world. Something like 26 subspecies are found the world over. They have been a limiting factor on human survival for thousands of years. The cultural dislike for them is deep and ingrained, and the common sensical idea that they can do you harm in an indirect way has been around for centuries. How the newly enlightened, inexperienced American public can pontificate on wolves as only a betterment of the ecology to no end is not an honest platform for wolf protection. Wolves are disease vectors around the world. Evidently ours are pure. Wolves predate on livestock around the world, and recently, humans in India. Ours must be different. Wolves have harmed people in Canada. Ours must be different.

    Wolves are being used as a weapon against particular lifestyles and livelihoods, by urban terrorists, in an attempt to demonize fellow humans and to make their private land use change to better suit the urban idea of how the world must be ordered. Why else would we be living under an Administration so intent on changing the society from capitalist to socialist? Hope and Change? Hope to be rid of ranchers and farmers and Change to getting our food from the proper place, the super market?

  20. Yellowstone, two weeks ago, was quiet in the middle of elk rut. We had to stop for construction several times. Never did you hear an elk bugle. No meadow had an elk bull and cows in it in early morning. A few bull bison. We saw some elk cows with calves in a campground, and you wonder if that is a security issue to keep from being run by wolves. One bull elk in downtown Mammoth on the Post Office lawn. And most of the 1988 burns are now 10 foot tall lodgepole green carpets that go for miles and miles, providing not one blade of grass for wolf bait. Wolves have done the job, and wildlife is not now impacting vegetation. I can go anywhere to look at ten foot tall lodgepole with grey snags here and there. Hubba hubba. And the vast wet meadows without a duck, a goose, an elk or a moose. The Big Empty. No cars stopped looking at anything other than the odd bison, and most of the traffic jams were at the road construction sites. And hey, that huge rock pit with all the massive heavy equipment in it was the most interesting sight of all. How they blast and dig and sort out the square rocks for the bin wall and barrier construction. If they have masons in Samoa or Tonga, they could work there. Lots of big rocks being mortared into constructs. I guess the rock pile and future hole will be bladed over, and it will be seeded with grass, and become the only meadow for miles in the green lodgepole carpet. Now the greatest diversity in the Park is the visitors, who come in all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, countries to see a green carpet of lodgepole, some wooden walkways to hot springs and thermal features. The Park got rid of bears fifty years ago. And elk in the last decade. Along with sheep, deer, and moose. The antelope only have a few rocky plains on which to run and then they have to find a place out of the Park to winter. All the trumpeter swans I saw were on private ponds along the Yellowstone north of the Park. I guess the wolves ate them, too, while they were foraging in the hot water creeks across thick ice.

  21. All of the hate I see on here is coming form those that hate hunters, hate ranchers, hate commoners etc.

  22. Todd, “wiping out ungulates… and other people’s livestock”…. see, there you go again, making things up. Todd, wolves are “wiping out ungulates” and I have a bridge in London I want to sell you. Even Idaho state wildlife officials don’t agree with you and your friends and your tired game of lying about wolves and this “wiping out ungulates” nonsense. Come on, you are basing your wolf demonization on a bunch of lies that are easy to disprove. That’s why the wolf demonizers and wolf killers are finally going to lose, because your position is simply based on propaganda, hysterics and fairy tales that the fearful human mind made up. Do you actually want to remain on the side of the Church that kicked up so much of this wolf hating hysteria for thousands of years? If you are counting on the rest of us remaining ignorant… Well, it’s too late for that. That horse has left the barn. Americans have been learning the truth about ecology and wildlife and are no longer in the dark. The wolves and the Earth are going to prevail finally and that will be good for all wildlife and humans who share this fragile planet. Humans have caused so much damage to this planet and other life. There’s a better way forward than continuiing to tear up the land, abuse and persecute wildlife, poison the waters, contaminate the air. If we will put the past behind us and start getting things right with wolves, we will start getting things right for our Earth, too.

  23. Rob: “The horse has left the barn.” Really? That analogy only proves that you need a barn to protect your horse from the public’s trespassing wolves.

  24. bigot: “one intolerantly or obstinately devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion”: Webster’s New Collegiate dictionary.

    Perhaps Baerth should take a look in the mirror, pause and read his rants and accusations, take a deep breath, and do as all the greenies of the world feel is just, necessary and proper: embrace diversity, ignore the dogma.

    All, including Baerth, are entitled to opinions without the vitriol of name calling and false accusations, the personal attacks. Time to see the world for what it is, a place of differing and conflicting ideas and solutions. I just happen to believe in the historical record, which has nothing to this point about how wonderful wolves were, except that digging up a den and making pets of wolf pups became the human endeavor of dog breeding, an exercise in recognizing and breeding back to mutations. Native American geneticists. And, dogs were good to eat, as Lewis and Clark determined on their journey. I would suppose wolves are just as tasty.

  25. Tell you what Baehr, why don’t you go to Yellowstone and come back and give us an accurate count of all of the elk you see? None of the “too hot”, “too cold”, “too early”, “too late” bs. And don’t use the excuse I heard one ranger use to a couple at Mammoth that the bulls stay in the mountains for the rut, only the cows come down.
    What are you going to do when the elk are gone and the wolves with them? Insist the government haul in more of both so you can watch the wolves kill? Some folks anticipate the wolves turning to killing buffalo when the elk are gone (and beleive it or not they are actually talking about such a thing). I believe the wolves will just leave the park and take more livestock and pets.

  26. When the elk eater wolves are gone, Bangs has an ace up his sleeve. He can again go to the Canadian officials and replace the MacKenzie long legged caribou eaters presently the introduced exotic wolves in Yellowstone, with some of the bison specialist wolves from the Wood Bison Preserve areas of the NWT, the First Nations People’s land. Easy fix. What we do when they run out of bison is just another problem for down the road. Maybe somewhere in the world there is a horse specialist wolf. Probably in the former Soviet Union somewhere. That would be a needed animal, although wolves and horses have a very short historical experience in the West of North America.

    Our wolves had little experience with horses. I am reading a book on Crow Native American culture, and the author notes that Crows, the finest horsemen and horse capture tribe on the buffalo commons, got their first horses south of the Great Salt Lake about 1732-34. Met their first European in 1742-43, a couple of French Canadian trappers down from the Hudson Bay Company looking to expand trapping opportunity. And by the mid 19th century, surrounded on all sides by Siouian and Blackfoot people people at war with them constantly, vastly reduced in population due to small pox and other disease, they still stole half the Nez Perce horses in the early 1870s when the Nez Perce went east to hunt buffalo. And in ten years, there were few buffalo left, and fewer wolves that predated on buffalo, a learned experience with environmental ordering of the Darwinian need to be a successful bison killer. The Crow Nation was able to adapt and become very successful at their new horse culture in 150 years. I wonder if horse eating wolves would have that long.

    I am blown away by the speed of recovery of wolves from the epicenter of Yellowstone, and how it all coincided with the oncoming growth of the lodgepole following the 1988 fires, and the concentration of elk in a smaller and smaller habitat. The Perfect Storm for elk eradication and wolf success. Now has to be eat bison or move on for the wolves, as elk habitat is overgrown by lodgepole thickets miles and miles on end. The elk have to move and the wolves are going with them. The resident bison are going to be all that is left of protein on the hoof in the Park. Wolves are going to have to learn to kill adult bison which is like going from high school football to the NFL. You had better be one tough, fast, agile wolf, or your life will be shorter than biologists want. I believe Natl Geographic has covered the bison wolves issue in Canada.

    Of course, that all the introductions, reintroductions, preservation, protection, is done with only wolves in mind, alien wolves, sort of grates on locals who have carved out a life on the edges of public land. Wolves are not of a mind to respect fences, livestock ownership, and that evidently is just ducky with the folks in town. Urban mercenaries ridding the West of livestock in a most underhanded way is one way of looking at wolves. Those who don’t share that view tend to want to shout down those that do, evidently believing name calling is the path to righteousness.

    At some point in our near future, our country has to address jobs and employment, domestic production of goods, and cost of government, including debt payment. Practical people someday will carry the day, and importing perfectly happy and adapted wolves from elsewhere is not going to be a necessary and well spent budget dollar in their mind’s eye. Introduced mega predators, like constrictors in the Florida swamps, have huge impacts on wildlife, and some regard wolves in that manner as they have made hard impacts on other species on the edge like the swans of Yellowstone. It how appears trumpeter swans and their population expansion is now being accomplished on ranch ponds up and down the river valleys of the GYA, and little if any in the Park. Just a case of ranchers picking up after the USFWS and the Green Lobby, correcting collateral damage from wolf reintroduction.

  27. Bearbait, I have not seen anyone on NewWest who has so much time to write so many lies about wolves or anything else, as you do. You are a terrible spokesperson for the ranchers you represent because you are perfectly demonstrating that their (and your) anti-wolf hatred is based on nothing more than outright lies, centuries of primitive and false demonization of wolves, fairy tales from the Middle Ages and pure hatred that has everything to do with public land welfare ranchers’ unending demand to kill whatever they damn well please. Those days are coming to an end whether you Western ranchers like it or not. An American majority is not going to put up with that kind of criminal wolf demonization any longer. Personally, I stopped eating beef six months ago. I absolutely love the taste of beef but cannot and will not support the cattle industry any longer. If eating beef means being part of your sick wolf and predator hating culture than I have opted out and will never eat beef again. You Western cattle ranchers are turning more and more meat eaters into non-beef eaters. Keep up your heartless, brainless and sickening wolf hatred and you will soon be out of business. Now that so many millions of us know better and are on to your barbaric hatred and abuse of America’s land and wildlife, we will NEVER accept or tolerate your hysterical and out of control wolf hatred and wolf killing and will fight for America’s wolves and wildlife forever, until we have won this fight. We are going to put a stop to your long reign of terror against America’s wolves and wildlife, with our love for America’s wolves and wildlife that only grows stronger and stronger. Try reading Barry Lopez’s amazing book “Of Wolves and Men” and you will understand the respect, the love and the undying commitment a now educated majority has towards these magnificent and intelligent wolves. A better day is coming for America’s public lands and wildlife because a growing American majority demands it.

  28. Rob: Kool Aid poisoning is getting to you. Have you had your well checked? Have you arsenic in it? Or any other natural heavy metals?

    The issue with wolves is right with the old Russian proverb which says something like “I don’t hate the wolf. I hate that he killed my plough horse and my milch cow.” Wolves are hard to get into court for a tort claim, and then damnedable hard to collect from.

    So you have to worry about a crack head or some other urban scum bag or their pitbull. Rural folks have other adversity to deal with. Introduction of wolves in their backyards was not in their best interest, and in this country, no matter WTF you or anyone like you wants to believe, people are still very much entitled to having opinions in the US, and can have them without being assailed in any way the causes physical harm. If they think they have been civilly damaged, they can sue. We have ways to obtain justice. Your abject name calling is just a spoiled brat acting out. Someone should have slapped you silly early on and you would not act in such a boorish fashion today. But that is water under your bridge.

    So what, really, is the difference between small pox and wolves, on a biological scale? Both are population determinants. Are you in favor of reintroduction of small pox? It is, after all, for what all we know, extinct except in vials in labs in the US and in Russia, for the purpose of making vaccines if necessary. And endangered species. I am sure there is enough around to pare the human population somewhat before mass vaccination stopped it once again. That there were wolves enough elsewhere to “re” introduce is proof enough that they were not nor are not an endangered species. Wolves to Jellystone was a feel good mission for political porpoises. Flipper biology. Anthropogenic whacking off.

    I have this distinct feeling that wolves are not the end all in this conversation, but that your hatred of a fellow humans in the livestock business could be. If wolves are such a good deal for the landscape, why did they not release them on the East Coast, where Lyme disease from a vastly overpopulated whitetail deer component of the biosphere surely needs more trimming than the elk in Jellystone ever needed. All that was needed for the Jellystone elk control was a more concentrated and longer cow season outside the Park where they went seeking food since the Park is now becoming a buffalo commons and a peckerpole lodgepole patch of a million or more acres, all the same age from the same fire events of 1988. Jellystone is losing ungulate habitat in thousand acre chunks, monthly. And elk are not the only critters that are being impacted. All the animals of the park are in greatly reduced numbers except bison, and there the culling and man made herd reduction has brought the bison into a better balance with their food sources. Wolves and bears did not get the job done. Only man since the last Ice Age has been a force in bison population control, and most of that occurred over a two decade period of railroad enhanced hunting. Bison were killed to make “V” belts to tie steam engine power to pulleys on shafts to run manufacturing plants before the advent of real “V” belts, roller chain, and u-jointed shafting. And it took a lot of hides to connect that power. The whole of the Spanish land grant cattle industry in California was devoted to hide production for more than a century, all to connect power to machinery. Hides were crucial to the industrial revolution. A demand met by what was thought to be an endless supply. (Did you ever think what a food supply for grizzlies that was, killed and skinned cattle not utilized except for the hide and maybe tongue and liver, along with struck but not utilized whales washing up on the beaches, as the Standard Oil whalers of New Bedford laid waste to the cetaceans of the Pacific?) Ocean fisheries have suffered in the same way. Blue collar food for a century was canned salmon. When the salmon runs dwindled, tuna became the replacement. Now it is tilapia fillets from some shit filled ditch raising that domestic fish. The person shitting in the ditch is making your Nikes, your T shirt, your designer jeans, for pennies a day. Too bad you can’t buy the sweat from their brow. Maybe there is a market for their urine. In Canada, they raise Percheron cross mares, breed them, and then cage them to catch their pee to make Premarin to assuage the hormonal imbalances of menopause in women. Treats the vaginal itching, burning, dryness and abates the crankiness. Abuse a horse to keep the old lady sane enough to live with. The American Way. And for Christ’s sake, don’t let her get all excited about saving the noble wild horses who pee where they damn well please, and the stallions poop in three foot high territorial marker stud piles. Or at least have since that introduced exotic species showed up about 1700 AD or so, in the New West.

    I still maintain we need a horse eating predator beyond mountain lions. Some fast ursine sprinters. Some really tall and dedicated wolves. That the BLM now has as many horses on pasture, not in the “wild”, as there are “wild” horses wreaking hvoc on publid lands, says something about societal insanity, and where the wolf faeries are coming from. It would be an interesting discussion about what a great deal wolves are after they went through all the “wild” horses, and began to chomp through the family owned equine population.

    I have not been in front of the compuker much today. Managed to nail down my fall fertilizer, spray water seal under the wood bridge, after tarping the little creek to keep spray out it. Also filled the dump trailer behind the ATV with 9 loads of gravel to fill some holes in the headlands before the fall rains hit. Did that with a square front shovel. Laid out an outline for a picker registration shack to be built this winter, and a permanent hand washing station at the farm entry from parking. Now I need to survey a little drain field for the hand washing sink (which I will have made out of galvanized and molded to fit in a wood form..).

    Stuff. And we picked 3000 lbs of very late blueberries for the fresh market. Maybe two more days of that and we will be done for another year. I did not go watch the grandson practice football, which I usually do in the afternoon. They played a game yesterday, so today was just a loosen up day, with little football and no pads…I was in a special ed class 57 years ago that taught typing to 5th graders. I can type pretty fast. So it does not take me much more than a little while to dump too much stuff on paper.

  29. Bearbait, for sure you are living in the basement of a family members home, probably without any pants on. No one but you and other similarly angry, confused wolf haters would actually believe the garbage you are spewing. You don’t even believe your own lies and ancient fantasies about wolves. For your information, I live in a small town in a rural state that has wolves and I am completely thrilled and pleased to have them here. I also lived in a tent in Alaska for the summer while I lived and worked there. And have lived and worked in rural places around the country. So much for your continuiing dumb-ass assumptions that are consistently off the mark.

  30. So, Rob, what do you own in the rural landscape? a rusted out Volvo and some hiking gear? The people who are invested, who own livestock operations, are the people who have skin in this deal. They actually lose money when predated upon. Money that pays for goods and services. They a pillars of their communities. They are the epicenter of the local economy.

    My US Senator, in Oregon, Sen Ron Wyden, owns a 1000 sq foot condo in Oregon, and lives with his wife in New York City, along with his very young children with the new, much younger than he, bride from this century. He is a carpetbagger. Much of the enviro community are carpetbaggers. Own nothing where they want so much to run the local economy. All the pluses and minuses are nothing more than numbers on a chart. A scorecard in the sunday paper. But those whose animals get killed lose real money on the deal. And suffer real losses. And to many things, as you are wont to point out. But which straw breaks the camel’s back? How much adversity need one have piled on them?

    Again, I will say we need more common ground, more middle of the road solutions. This deal I seen all my life, where someone who has something that is working needs to give up part of it today, and then in a few years, needs to give up some more, and finally, the salami has been sliced to where it no longer is a salami. The salami all went one direction, and none stayed behind. If you don’t think this is how it really works in these Yew Nited States, just go ask an Indian how much of the original rez do they still have. How many times was it pared by Congress at the behest of some constituency other than the Indians? And that is the same thing that is happening today. The land stolen from the Indians is now being stolen once again by the very same government, for another constituency. In my mind, that reveals a very corrupt underbelly to Congress, and is all the more reason to not support the populists who are no more than a Potemkin village in front of another constituency of thieves, grifters, and government layabouts, all on the take. Millionaire Senators and Congressmen who have never held a job not in government. Say what?? Who dat?? You buy your whores in Congress, and I am going to have to hold my nose and buy one for our side, I guess. Ugly deal in ugly times. Fries with that?

  31. Todd, Bearbait……. Rob & Bearh seem like lost souls…. not even worth writing to. I’ve enjoyed your writing! What these guys don’t realize is that this animal makes more enemies when it live around people! A large majority of the northern County boards in Wisconsin have passed resolutions against the wolf. The resolutions don’t hold much weight, but they do send a message of what the local support is! We see Counties declaring disasters in Wyoming…… all this is erosion of support for the wolf. Even some of the wolf lovers think Donnie Molloys decision was bad for wolves. The best thing we can do is show support for HR6028…. Sportsman & ranchers need to show a united front. RMEF among others have expressed the need for us to stick together.

  32. I thought I would throw this in to just stir the pot a little.

    The latest Wyoming wolf status report , from last week , shows that so far in 2010, only 20 cattle have been confirmed taken by wolves in Wyoming. However, 33 wolves were removed for depredation.

    The 33 wolves eradicated for ” control” represent about 15 percent of the wolves outside Yellowstone. The 20 cattle lost to wolves are ~ 0.0015 percent of Wyoming’s cattle herds. If fifteen percent of the Wyoming cattle herds were shot for whatever reason , that would be 210,000 cows. As is, 45,000 cows or their calves died from All Causes in 2009; things like disease, lightning, trauma, other predators ( mostly coyotes ) , respiratory , and Terminal stupid. I say that to give you a sense of scale.

    There is one wolf for every 6000 cows in Wyoming, and one wolf for every 460 elk.

    The number of wolf packs in Wyoming known or suspected to depredate on livestock has dropped from a high of 20 in 2006 to just six this year. Losses of domestic sheep to wolves this year have been close to nil. Of the ~ 240 known wolves in Wyoming outside Yellowstone , only 10 are known to have died of causes other than being shot for ” control”, and 5 of those ten are ‘ under investigation’ or were found dead of Unknown causes.

    Meanwhile, hunter numbers in general continue to decline. Everywhere, not just Wyoming. Hunting just ain’t what it used to be. Hunting and shooting sports are losing ground to video gaming and computer kills. The next generation of American Hunter will be much much smaller.

    Oh well….

  33. Yeah , a whopping 33 sheep lost to wolves, total. About a pickup load, if stacked. You expect me to get in a dither over THAT ?

    Here’s a tally for a recent year of Sheep Losses in Wyoming ( 2004) as a representative comparison . Wolves were responsible for less than 1 ( one) percent of losses due to All Predators, but Coyotes took 12,600

    * Sheep deaths due to predators represented 59% of overall losses.

    These depredation deaths included:

    * coyotes: 12,600 sheep
    * dogs: 400 sheep
    * bears: 900 sheep
    * mountain lions: 100 sheep
    * wolves: 17 sheep

    NOW—look at the losses of Sheep due to all causes :

    * digestive problems: 1,500
    * respiratory disease: 1,000
    * birthing problems: 1,800
    * miscellaneous health problems: 4,800
    * predators (all combined): 17,000 *
    * harsh weather: 1,200
    * poisoning: 1,800

    Again I ask. Youe xpect me to get ot and bothered about the loss of 17 , 23, or 33 sheep when put IN PERSPECTIVE f the overall losses.

    Get real, Todd. Sheep ranchers need to adapt and use more modern herding and husbandry . This is not the year 1850.

  34. well Dewey, I’m sure the owners of those animals are glad to know that you consider the money to be nothing and I suppose you’ll send checks to them….what’s a few thousands to a big shot like you? Or is it nothing because it is soemone else that has to pay for your pleasure in having wolves kill?

  35. Hi there everyone. Sorry to interject in your very polarized argument, but I want to remind everyone of a key concept that it appears no one has picked up on in any of your research (or lack thereof): anthropocentrism.

    To say anything at all about how the people on the coasts or in cities don’t understand that wolves don’t “respect fences” and are a threat to ranchers misses an entire concept that anyone who took a biology class in high school understands. Namely, we (humans) are just another species living within the Earth System; and therefore we must share the water, air, and land with all the other living organisms that exist here too. This is called ecology. So while I understand the threat that free-roaming wolves and lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) pose to ranchers, I do not sympathize with them and their vendetta against nature.

    Anthropocentrists, like bearbait and todd et al lead me to think they are, think only in terms of humans when they consider their relationship to the environment. But just like any other species of organism living in Wyoming or Montana or Illinois or Massachusetts or wherever else, they need to learn how to co-exist with their environment. That means with everything else living there, not just the other humans.

    Someone above also mentioned that evolution is simply “survival of the fittest”. It’s simplistic definitions like these that not only ruin your argument, but also foment more misunderstanding. Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection is the idea that as environments change, those members of a species with advantageous traits were the only ones to survive AND reproduce. These are the “fittest” your definition speaks of, not those whose brute force enabled them to wipe out competitive species and thereby exert dominance.

    In addition, biologists have essentially agreed that humans are not subject to evolutionary constraints, because we (as I mentioned above) do not exist within our environment but rather atop it. This is the root of anthropocentrism: human-centered philosophy of existence. The only way for anything to improve ecologically for the Earth System is to change the thought surrounding the way we live from one of imposition to one of co-existence.

    Now, please, continue with your commentary of errors. I have more studying to do.

  36. Stew Dent: Nice of you to recognize that man is a part of this deal. Now you have to realize that he has been here since the ice retreated over ten thousand years ago.

    Yep. Man has been a dominant driver in the ecology of the New West. The issue is now whether man will continue to be here or will take himself out of the system. There are a lot of people who think we should not be here, period. I will let them drink the Kool Aid. The more militant want to be here, and not have others present. That is what the core of this whole discussion is about. Who gets to stay and who goes, and who determines who gets to stay and who goes. The thinking is that a simple majority is all that it takes. A tyrannical majority does more harm than good, over time. Thomas Jefferson noted that a revolution every once in a while was needed, to keep democracy young and vibrant. Maybe that will be the outcome of deeply polarized views on man’s place in this whole deal. Not the Darwinian big brains surviving, but the cold, calculating brains with no conscience or fealty to the present order of things. That is what makes this all so interesting. Where is it headed?

  37. There is no role in modern wildlife ecology for the arrogant attitude that man is a positive force of nature. Dominant driver, yes, but in the negative. Humans are the supreme opportunists, but their actions more resemble that of a spreading virus that an balanced population of organisms. The successful parasites and bacteria and viruses are those that do not kill the host. Humanity has this really bad habit of killing its host, the planet, for eprsonal gain , the territorial imperative, material possession , ethnic and tribal and class warfare.

    I would say to you bearbait that Homo sapiens of the Cro-Magnon persuasion probably was a co-player in the vast processes of ecology back during the Late Plesitocene and glacial days. But a funny thing happened when those last glaciers receded. Man developed Technology…something no other creature has. Technology coupled with language and eventually written ( recorded) language changed the entire game. We humans are no longer a part of the world , by Old Rules. We have changed the rules, and not in a good way.

    It’s astounding to realize that the Folsom and Clovis people numbered so few yet did so much damage with their use of fire and projectile stone points, but most remarkably their organizational skills. They overwhelmed Nature.

    We have overwhelmed Nature ever since. City-states, metals, industry , electronics , nuclear weapons , bioengineering…. your ” dominant driver” has become an overlord, and totally gone off the rails of evolution and ecological balance. Why do we keep making all these Post-Apocalypse movies if we humans aren’t thinking about going into the apocalypse business at some point ?

    What other creature out there exists to destroy its own environment ? The bacteria that causes gangrene, perhaps? Eating dead or dying flesh . What other creature is so hellbent on destruction of its own kind of usurp all that is around it ? Planetwide ? Mob rule or organized society? Anarchy or social order? Civilization or “Mad Max” ?

    Bringing back wolves to the Northern Rockies to correct a serious mistake made in eliminating them the century before is actually an act of profound wisdom and shows some genuine hope that not all Men are out to consume the world and decidedly alter Nature in a negative way . Restoring and recovering the Wolf is a good thing.

    But that is a tough sell in the gun shops and saloon science seminars of my Wyoming, and your neck of the woods , too, I presume.

    It took what became Man 4 million years to go from walking upright to making a stone tool and creating fire. It took a few thousand years to go from hunter gatherer to agriculture and cities and trade. It took only 180 years to go from the first practical steam engine to the Saturn V and a journey to another world to plant the flag. Now we have Moore’s Law of computing power and the internet.

    But are we any wiser ?

  38. Todd Wilkinson in Bozeman (not the other Todd)

    Dear Logger. I am curious. You wrote: “In the beginning, when only 10,000 Montana loggers lost their jobs to the ESA, no one really took notice.”

    That’s an extraordinary claim, that the Endangered Species Act is responsible for taking away 10,000 logging jobs in Montana alone. Ten-thousand?! By your assertion, you seem to imply that the number is even more.

    Would you please provide a source for your contention that can be confirmed? Thanks.

  39. It is a gross over-simplification for the logging industry or loggers to blame job losses on the ESA. That ignores the influx of Canadian and even Siberian timber into US and world markets, the lack of investment in US mills and the high-efficiency of foreign, especially Japanese mills that made it cost-effective to ship raw timber overseas and then ship lumber and wood products back.
    And it ignores the rise of Southeastern tree farms that came into production as the northern Rockies’ mills and timber sales started slowing and shutting down.

  40. We have missing people, murdered people, in the hundreds, and not a dime to find out what happened, no rewards. One frigging wolf gets shot and instantly there is a $2500 reward announced to find who did the dastardly deed. There is something very wrong in that scenario. It tells every person who can and does read that wolves have more importance than your sister, your brother, your family, or anyone else’s. Wolves have more value than humans by explicit example.

  41. Good point Bearbair! One would have to ask if these disnified people have there priorities right….. they want a reward for an animal that raises hell in the animal kingdom, an animal that eats it’s prey alive & kills for fun!

  42. Reality—uh, would that Rewarded Animal Club also include you and other ” disnified” hellraising fun killing humans ?

  43. Dewey: that is the point of my comment. There are rewards for finding the killer of every wolf, but maybe one in a thousand people dead or missing have a reward for finding who took or killed that person. Priorities. Wolf is more important than human. And that is why the Environmental Lobby is often seen as anti-people at its core.

  44. I’ll concede some ground here. Wolves are AS important as humans, but NOT more important.

    AS important with respect to wildlife ecology and big game conservation , to take up the slack and eliminate the distortion introduced by Really Bad Hunting Policy. The so-called North American Model of Big Game Conservation is good on paper, but in practice it’s gone off the rails. We should never have eliminated wolf packs in the first place. Every elk herd needs them

    Any true adherent to the NAMBGC would welcome wolves.

    Wolves are important, but not more important than you and me. Nor less important….
    *
    ( Off to the mountains for five days. Don’t load up my InBox with too many harangues in the interim )

  45. Gee, Dewey, that is really generous of you. I presume you mean in case of a wolf attack, the humans is not to use an unfair advantage to save their life. And of course in a food shortage, the wolf gets as much as the human.

  46. bearbait, there is only something wrong with that scenario according to you. Who are you to tell others what they should care more about? If someone cares more for wildlife than their fellow humans, who cares? They have a right to feel as they want. I did not know there is a rule book that says a human automaticaly has to put their species over other non human species.

  47. Ftr, yes bearbait, a wolf to me is much more important than you. I don’t know you, don’t care for you, etc. If we humans cared so much for each other and are supposed to put each other as more important than animals, we wouldn’t be killing each other in record numbers, would we?

  48. Heres what I get out of Deweys comments…… 4 people in a boat along with 4 wolves (dogs). The boats going down & the dinny can only hold four of the eight….. On Deweys boat the 4 wolves have just a much right to the dinny as the 4 people.

    This is disification at its finest….we all need to fight against these radical animal rights groups & cut off funding where ever we can! They have no right to be setting ESA policy as they have done they last decade!

  49. Are those 4 people hunters? I’d let them drown and save the wolves.

  50. This is one of the better articles I’ve read on NW. Thanks George.