September 24, 2023

Youth Coyote, Wolf Derby Brings Death Threats

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By George Dovel

*Editor’s Note* – The below article appears in the Outdoorsman, Bulletin Number 54, Oct.-Dec. 2013. It is republished here with express permission from the author. Please honor the protection of intellectual property and copyright. The Outdoorsman is the leading publication of truth concerning outdoor issues. To the right of this webpage is a link to follow in which readers are encouraged to subscribe to the print publication. Money is necessary for the continued publication of this important work. Thank you.

Pages 19-20 of the Jan-Mar 2008 Outdoorsman, included a letter from Salmon, Idaho outfitter Shane McAfee in which he discussed discrepancies in the wolf study being conducted in the vicinity of Salmon by Gary Power and Jason Husseman. McAfee reported observing nine wolf-killed elk carcasses that Husseman later claimed were lion kills, and the outfitter reported unmistakable evidence they were killed by wolves – not lions.

McAfee also compared his 1996 opening weekend harvest of nine branch-antlered bull elk by 10 hunters with his 2007 elk hunt when they saw no elk for the first 15 days and only one hunter harvested a young bull during the season. He also reported the impact wolves were having on non-resident elk hunters but the F&G commission ignored his warning and approved a new plan to protect five times as many wolves as the Idaho Legislature and FWS had agreed to.

The next time I heard from Mr. McAfee, he was understandably upset by his discovery that the lungs of the elk his hunters killed in 2012 were infected with E. granulosus hydatid cysts. He asked me if he could ship the lungs to me to forward to a reputable facility but I explained I could not keep up with the spread of the disease as more Idaho areas became saturated with wolves.

McCafee Takes Action

Unlike many others who merely complain “to the choir,” McAfee worked with officials in the nonprofit Western Predator Control Association (WPCA) and began sending the elk lung samples to the pathology lab at Colorado State University. He and his associates also developed a “Public Warning” poster (see following page) and an education program conducted by WPCA officials Clay Dethlefsen and veterinarian Dr. Jack Ward, and by Dr. Charles Kay who 20 years ago accurately predicted the dire outcome of wolf reintroduction in the “Lower 48.”

WPCA also published an informative booklet titled “Predator Diseases” as a guide for outdoorsmen to recognize and protect themselves from many of the diseases transmitted to other animals and humans from predators. And WPCA’s “Canine Diseases – Part 1” and “Wolf Attacks – Part 2” provide an excellent reference for those who either missed Dethlefsen’s presentation, or who want to refresh their memory of the extensive subject matter later on.

Biologists Repeat Wolf Advocates’ Lies

As Dr. Val Geist pointed out, the multiple impacts of introducing large wolves that are accustomed to killing large prey animals did not happen all at once at every location. But the fact that state agency wildlife biologists continued to repeat the myths of the wolf worshippers gave them an aura of credibility that neither deserved.

And once our Western Governors authorized the biologists who had decimated our wildlife to implement the UN/Wildlands agenda to block virtually all development, rural Idaho communities like Salmon and Elk City were left with no recourse other than their county government and their own ingenuity to survive.

Voters Supported Otter’s Defiance of the Wolf Hunt Being Canceled – But Failed to Realize the Result
In October of 2010 when Idaho Gov. Otter was running for re-election, his failure to go ahead with the IDFG 10J plan to kill wolves was very costly to rural Idaho. His letter to Interior Secretary Salazar refusing to manage wolves after the court blocked delisting allowed the wolves another full year to multiply and spread their diseases to elk, deer and humans without any control.

Voters showed their approval of Otter’s last minute “defiance” of the Judge’s order when they re-elected him overwhelmingly 15 days later. But they should have been paying attention to his written claim that Idaho could live with the 518-732 wolves he and IDFG had illegally agreed to maintain if the sport wolf hunting season was reinstated.

Outdoorsman No. 40, distributed in September of 2010, published the truth that the 2008 IDFG/Otter wolf plan was never provided to the Legislature for approval or rejection as required by law. It also documented why F&G could not allow the 518 wolf minimum, and showed proof of other serious F&G wrongdoing including the illegal use of nearly half a $million in P-R and D-J excise taxes.

I sent that issue to several trusted friends and political allies of Gov. Otter and on Dec. 8, 2010 he officially reversed his position. That same day the F&G Commission discarded its 2008 plan to manage for 500+ wolves and returned to the legal 2002 plan to manage for 150 wolves that was approved by the Legislature.

The Commission instructed IDFG to move forward with its 10J Plan to reduce wolves to protect ungulate herds. Yet thanks to Otter abandoning wolf management, the 2010-2011 winter, spring and summer arrived and ended without even one wolf being removed.

The 2011-2012 wolf seasons showed an increase in the number of wolves taken but it was too little – too late. The back country elk herds were already in a predator pit from which they could not escape and the Salmon Region elk were already infected with the hydatid cysts discovered by McAfee in the 2012 hunting season.

After failing to reduce the wolves enough, Gov. Otter’s office did not respond to the pleas from rural communities where wolves were entering yards and school grounds at night to kill elk and deer. At the same time, these wolves deposited their infected feces where the E. granulosus eggs could be passed to children and their pets.