March 22, 2019

Backcountry Safety Course Likely Will Be Incomplete and Ineffective

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has plans for a backcountry safety course to teach people how to protect themselves against bears, lions and wolves when they, “…get into conflicts with people’s dogs.” And that may be the extent of it.

According to the linked-to article above Wyoming officials admit, “…wolf attacks on people are rare but sometimes wolves get into conflicts with people’s dogs.” Is this suggesting that if you venture into the backcountry without a dog, you will not be attacked by wolves?

Topics include how to use pepper spray and proper food storage. These are all well and good but why not present a complete an honest course on what MIGHT happen in order to properly teach people to be prepared? I just don’t get it.

Missing from this short list is how to be safe from contracting Echinococcus granulosus (Eg) from wild canine scat or other sources.

Will Graves, author of “Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages” and canine disease researcher says of the planned safety class, “This is a bit of ‘progress.’ Authorities admitting that wolves can, under circumstances, become dangerous. Also, there is the threat of becoming invected with E.g.”

To which Dr. Valerius Geist, professor emeritus University of Calagary, replied, “Agreed. But it could be better. Time will tell.”


Feds in Cahoots With Environmentalist With “Sue and Settle?”

“Oklahoma’s attorney general and an oil and gas industry trade group have filed a lawsuit against the federal government over its decision to settle a lawsuit with an environmental group over the listing status of several animal species.

Scott Pruitt claims in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Tulsa on Monday that federal agencies are colluding with like-minded special interest groups and using “sue and settle” tactics that violate the federal Endangered Species Act and have a “crippling effect” on the U.S. economy.

“Increasingly, federal agencies are colluding with like-minded special interest groups by using ‘sue and settle’ tactics to reach ‘friendly settlements’ of lawsuits filed by the interest groups,” Pruitt said in a statement.”<<<Read More>>>


Ailing Alaska Wolf Kills and Eats Pet Dog While Owner Watches

According to an article in the Alaska Daily News that was sent to me, a woman, who lives in Alaska, was walking her 4 dogs (two hers and two her sister’s), evidently a regular routine, when she and her dogs were confronted by a wolf that the dog owner described as: “…weak and wobbly and was panting a lot.”

After a few struggles, one of the dogs gets killed by the ailing wolf, that evidently just remained in place and ate the dog.

The wolf got him by the throat and killed him in an instant. It was done in a second. Without ever looking at us, she began eating his body, with us standing right there,” Bochart said.

The article presents the story as though the dog owner, Hannah Bochart, 24, mostly apologizes for the wolf, saying it meant her no harm. She also made statements of never needing any kind of protection when walking dogs in the wilds of Alaska.

“I don’t want it to make me fearful. Ninety-nine percent of the time you can move through the wilderness and be safe if you’re respectful of large animals. It’s a one-in-a-million occurrence when you meet an animal that’s desperate and willing to take a chance.”

“I really wouldn’t want this to end with the wolf getting shot. I’d rather she just leave and live a full life somewhere else,” Bochart said.

There are untold numbers of records available that might refute some of Bochart’s claims that 99% of the time large predators won’t bother you “if you’re respectful” of them. One of the problems that exist in dealing with people that seem to have some corrupted and ill-perceived ideas of wild animal behavior, is that upon mention of historic records that show that people like Bochart might be pushing the envelope a bit, they deny the records exist, claim them to be nothing but folk lore or simply deny the accuracy of the report.

After receiving the Alaska Daily News article, I also received a copy of a study done by Mark E. McNay, in 2002 for the State of Alaska. I had a copy of this report which I have read a few times and referred to often, but I will make it available for readers. The report is titled, “A Case History of Wolf-Human Encounters in Alaska and Canada.”

It might be of interest for Bochart and others like her to take a reading of McNay’s report and then decide whether you want to venture into the Alaska and Canada forests and wilderness without any kind of protection other than a ski pole.

Of course a person has a right to go into the woods with no protection but I encourage people to have a full understanding of the risks involved before rendering such a decision.


Too Low Bear Mortality Results in Overpopulation Crisis in Ontario

In Maine, the Humane Society of the United States and their trusty blind followers, are promoting a fall referendum to outlaw bear hunting, using bait, traps and dogs. Opponents to the referendum argue that such a move would usher in an overgrown number of bears presenting a myriad of problems. Anti hunters use false claims to support their myth that bears, like all other wildlife, “balance” themselves in numbers.

In Ontario, Canada a proposal is being considered to institute a spring bear hunt in order to help reduce the bear population that is, by some, described as a crisis. From an editorial opinion:

Today Ontario has a black bear overpopulation crisis, stemming from over 15 years of uncontrolled growth due to extremely low mortality yield percentage (hunter harvest mortality is less than 4%) over total population.

Black bears in growing numbers in Ontario are invading cottage areas, backyards, schoolyards, city and town streets. Landfill sites are full of overcrowded hungry bears.

During spring, summer and fall, Ontario news media endlessly report stories of problem bears, destroying public property, attacking, mauling, injuring and indeed tragically killing humans.

Both sides in this issue cannot be right!


What’s Wrong With Wildlife Management – Part II

“Having only one harvested coyote reported during the new coyote hunting and trapping seasons was a bit of a surprise,” said David Saveikis, director of the state’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. “It is unclear if the lone coyote harvested is indicative of coyote population size, the partial hunting and trapping seasons or a lack of awareness of the harvest reporting requirement.”<<<Read More>>>


Are Coyotes Herding Deer Into the City?

*Editor’s Note* – The teased and linked-to article below is a few years old but does not fail to show what will happen when predators are allowed to get out of control in numbers.

“Ranchers warned Bandera County Commissioners at their Jan. 11 meeting that deer populations around the county were declining due to coyote and feral hog predation. They were told that deer had moved into the City of Bandera for protection and that coyotes would follow the fleeing food source, thus endangering city residents.”<<<Read More>>>


Al Gore Posts New “Selfie”



Wolves in Italy Show Little Fear of Humans

A wolf just outside the yard, in broad daylight, intent on tearing the carcass of a deer ../.. in Villaretto Chisone, a village of Roure in Val Chisone, where a few days ago, a wolf approached the home of Daniel Valter ../… very tranquil, even though in broad daylight and near neighboring houses.


Guns Make Me Feel Uncomfortable




MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is pleased to team up with outdoorsman and filmmaker Jason Matzinger in the production of #PROJECTELK, a feature film highlighting rare elk footage and a hunter’s quest to fill his tag in the rugged backcountry.

“Jason is as talented with a camera on his shoulder as he is with his bow or rifle,” said Steve Decker, RMEF vice president of Marketing. “The goal of #PROJECTELK is to educate hunters and non-hunters alike about the level of commitment we have for the hunt and the animals we pursue.”

“There isn’t one organization across this world that I would feel more proud to have behind me than the RMEF,” said Matzinger. “With their involvement, it’s going to push me that much harder to do that much better. It’s going to be a film like nobody’s seen.”

Born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, Matzinger spent much of his youth in the woods and mountains. He is a life-long hunter, a cinematographer, a former professional guide and a conservationist. He is also the host of the television show Into High Country.

#PROJECTELK is the story of one elk hunter’s journey to take the bull elk of his dreams. Throughout the changing of the seasons you will witness everything from the cruelty of winter’s grip to the majesty of the fall rut.

“That passion never ever shuts off and I want to portray that through documenting elk throughout one season and the struggles they go through to survive, along with the backstory of the hunter and how it shadows that time of year,” said Matzinger. “I try to bring on conservation messages including how to be a good sportsman. It’s all about respect to the animal.”

“Jason has rare insight, first-hand knowledge and video evidence of elk behavior and biology many of us have not seen before. He also understands and demonstrates how Hunting is Conservation,” added Decker.

Filming and editing will wrap following the 2014 hunting season with the film’s debut expected in early 2015.

See the #PROJECTELK trailer here: