October 31, 2014

New Mexico Investigator Offers Stern Wolf Warning To Arizona

“Wolves are the main killers of cattle in Catron County, N.M., and are setting a record for the number of confirmed kills in 2014.

Catron County, which borders eastern Arizona and is included in the Gila National Forest, is the site of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. It was one of the first areas where Mexican gray wolves were released in an effort to reestablish their population in western states.

According to Catron County Wildlife Investigator Jess Carey, the results have been devastating to local ranchers. In a report titled Mexican Wolf Recovery Collateral Damage Identification in Catron County alone, he noted that of five ranches he studied, two went out of business and a third did not restock cattle after 2009. Over the course of the study, the five ranches lost a total of 651 head of cattle valued at more than $382,000.”<<<Read More>>>

Instant “Look Big” for Bear Attacks

A reader has sent me a suggestion on a new product to use in order to “LOOK BIG” when about to be eaten by a hungry black bear. The mantra from those wishing to make love to bears instead of dealing with reality is, when being attacked by a bear, “look big” and make lots of noise.

The below picture is an example of what the finished product might look like. You’ll have just one chance to make it work so better know how to deploy.

The Look Big for Bear blow-up dolly comes in an easy to carry pouch that can be strapped onto you belt or carried in your hand. It is hoped that another version will soon be available that can be carried on your pack like a parachute. When under attack from a bear, simply pull the rip chord and the Look Big for Bear inflates in one second and “looks big.” It makes noise like a party favor while inflating and stands 12-feet tall. One prototype is reported to look like Hillary Clinton – without any clothes on. Now that would scare a bear away. (Note: An original prototype was made to look like Barack Obama but each time the rip chord was pulled it was always several days late deploying.)

As was pointed out by the engineer, if traveling with someone, this quick inflatable “Look Big for Bear” gives you time enough to outrun the others in your party. This is sure to keep you from getting eaten by a bear.


Alberta Will Kill Wolves That Are Killing Livestock

“A pack of wolves roaming Elk Island National Park and a neighbouring provincial recreation area has grown in the past few years, and concerned farmers believe the wolves killed several grazing cattle this summer.

Dan Brown, president of the Blackfoot Grazing Association, said 29 calves, yearlings and cows have either been killed or have gone missing from pasture in the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Grazing, Wildlife and Provincial Recreation Area, about 50 kilometres east of Edmonton, since the end of May. He believes wolves are largely to blame.

“We’ve had cows that have been absolutely ripped open from one end to the other and the majority of that was done when they were still alive,” he said.”<<<Read More>>>

Stop Trying To Silence Actual Mainers

From Save Maine’s Bear Hunt:

HowAboutNoPosted on October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014
Re: Letter to James Cote

Dear Katie,

It seems “Mainers” for Fair Bear Bear Hunting will stop at no lengths to silence actual Mainers.

You have failed to convince a judge to muzzle the state’s bear experts from telling the truth about the impact of Question 1. So now, you attempt to twist words, take comments out of context and to convince the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council to remove our advertising from the public airwaves.

Why don’t you tell real Maine citizens that the organization you work for, the Humane Society of the United States, opposed ALL bear hunting in New Jersey and Maryland? Why don’t you tell them that you oppose any effort to hunt Florida black bears even though they have far exceeded the population goals that indicate a healthy and growing bear population?

Why don’t you explain why the organization that pays you to run the Question 1 campaign removed the following quote from its website during the campaign here in Maine?

“As a matter of principle, The HSUS opposes the hunting of any living creature for fun, trophy, or sport because of the animal trauma, suffering, and death that result. A humane society should not condone the killing of any sentient creature in the name of sport.”

Why don’t you explain how this statement is in line with the statements that HSUS makes that it is only opposed to “certain” hunting practices?

The truth is that you don’t think you can win if you tell Maine voters that you could not even raise 5% of your campaign funds inside Maine. That you had to get almost all of the funding for Question 1 from your Washington DC- based employer. That without these outside dollars, there wasn’t even enough public support to qualify Question 1 for the ballot?

Now, to address the allegations in your letter:

The woman in the ad is not “purportedly” screaming in response to a bear attack, as you claim. That is indeed her voice screaming during her son’s actual 911 call as she is being attacked in front of her children. The attack did indeed take place in Florida, a state that your organization worked to prevent from actually controlling its bear population.

Maine voters need to know that the public safety methods allowable if Question 1 were to pass, would only take place after a problem, such as a bear attack or a home entry has already happened. After the bear attacked the woman in Florida, authorities killed the bear.

Maine’s hunting seasons currently in place help prevent the over population of bears that have been an issue in Central Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere. Maine voters should not have to wait for something bad to happen before we control bear numbers. Your definition of “preserving public safety” is not one that I would trust for my own family.

Your use of Maine bear biologist Randy Cross’s emails is completely disingenuous. The email was written in 2012, and was related to someone’s question about encountering bears under Maine’s current program of controlling bears. Mr. Cross, Judy Camuso, Jen Vashon, and others have all been open that they are very concerned about their ability to control Maine’s bear population without the methods Question 1 would prohibit.

The truth is that bear attacks and conflicts are increasing all across the country. Your contention that attacks like the ones we reference are somehow not relevant to Maine’s Question 1 is based on one fact. Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife have done a wonderful job of controlling bear numbers for decades. That gives you the luxury of claiming that attacks that have occurred in New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, California and elsewhere aren’t a real fear in Maine.

Maine has 30,000 bears. And they have increasingly been seen close and within human population centers as both the number of bears and humans continue to increase. Just this last year we’ve seen them in Kennebunk, Topsham, and just last week a nuisance bear had to be killed in Lebanon.

Under your plan, Mainers would have the ability to contact the authorities only after something bad has happened. Our ads make sure that actual Mainers know what that looks and sounds like. We believe that makes those ads very relevant.


James Cote, Campaign Manager- Save Maine’s Bear Hunt/NO on 1!

Katie Hansberry’s letter asking the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council to take down recent ads can be found by CLICKING HERE.


More than 7K coyotes killed in Utah for bounties in 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s controversial coyote bounty program continues to rack up huge numbers. In a recently released report, the Division of Wildlife Resources said that 7,041 coyotes were turned in for the $50 reward in 2014. While that’s just shy of last year’s tally, more people participated in 2014, so the program appears to have maintained its momentum. <<<Read More>>>

Bears Must Be Pansies!

I find it really extremely funny as I read through some of the opinion pieces that some in Maine and outside the state have offered to news media in support or opposition to next Tuesday’s bear hunting referendum. It is laughable and in some cases really phoney as a three dollar bill.

But I’ll not go down that road because, well, to be honest, I think people are sick and tired of reading how somebody doesn’t have facts because they disagree or there is no proof and claims of false advertisements. Yes, and now we have lawsuits. We are in a campaign and campaigns provide multiple platforms in which all sides can lie, cheat and steal, make promises and get away with it like thieves in the night. Puke!

But in this one instance, I really feel badly for the bears. They don’t get no respect! A letter to the editor writer, in an attempt to paint his opposition as a bunch of fear-mongering liars, actually paints a picture of bears as being nothing but a bunch of sissified panty-waists.

In rational discourse we might learn about where certain predators fall in the hierarchy of who’s on top and who’s on bottom. In Maine, not including man, I think a black bear is probably considered top dog….or in this case top bear, the apex predator, the one animal that others don’t want to mess with very often, if at all. (Note: I put man as top predator because there are some who have enough sense to get in out of the rain.)

I guess for the ignorant, the question should be, how did a bear obtain the distinction of top killer? After all, that’s what predators are notorious for. Does “hungry as a bear” have any meaning for you? Does the idea that a hungry bear kills deer fawns and moose calves, help in gaining that distinction? A well-fed bear is of little concern to humans; a damned hungry one and you best get the hell out of the way! I/we have no control over food supplies for bears. Talk to Mother Nature about that.

In this opinion piece, linked to above, the author describes bears as: gentle, elusive, intelligent, timid and peaceful. If this is true then the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of previous scientists, who labeled the black bear a top predator, much have been wrong. Can that be?

The poor bear.

In perceiving bears in the manner of them being gentle, elusive, timid and peaceful, one has to wonder….no, not really. I wonder – I doubt all that many others do actually wonder – if this is what is often described as “new understanding” or “new knowledge” and “shifting the paradigm” and how we discuss wildlife issues.

The poor bear. What a wuss!


Trick or Treat Bear – No Warning for Kids?

In Middletown, Connecticut people are worried about a bear that’s been eating and smashing pumpkins, hanging out in neighborhood trees and generally milling about the area. From this report on NBC Connecticut, it sounds, by description, that there may be more than one bear taking up at least part-time residence in this central Connecticut town.

Here we are only 4 days away from Halloween, when kids by the gobs-full head out trick or treating….and no warnings being issued to parents and kids to be on the look out? Seems to me a bag full of Halloween goodies would make good fodder for a hungry bear.


The Shameful Saga of the Minnesota Moose

The following is an Abstract of a scientific research paper “Re-evaluating the northeastern Minnesota moose decline and the role of wolves”.

This research Paper was just published and can be found in The Journal of Wildlife Management 78(7) 1143-1150.

It was conducted and published by none other than Dr. Mech, the retired US Fish and Wildlife Service Wolf authority (still associated with the federal Wildlife research Center in Jamestown, ND and a major player with the August U of Minnesota Raptor Center). His co-author, Mr. Fieberg, is a biologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The mind boggles at the “gravitas” here. Mr. Mech, a long-time and current resident of Minnesota is highly revered in Minnesota and known internationally for his lifelong efforts to “bring back” wolves in The Lower 48 States. Dr. Mech resides in Minnesota and is held in as high regard in Minnesota as the latest running back of the Vikings football team. When he authors a paper on Minnesota wolves and Minnesota moose in cooperation with a DNR biologist under the auspices of the University of Minnesota; there can be no greater authorities nor can there be any greater acceptance about the results than had ex-Vikings Coach Bud Grant commented on Vikings football or Hubert Humphrey, rest his soul, commented on the upcoming election.

To the newspaper editors and outdoor writers that have treated me like an idiot for asking them to publicize or at least acknowledge that wolf predation on Minnesota moose was both significant and very likely the #1 reason for the recent decline of moose from a highly sought and profitable Game Animal to a Non-Game Species curiosity; and to the silent DNR and U of Minnesota “scientists” that publicly pooh-poohed the role of wolves in the moose decline and thereby gave encouragement to the general public and said newspaper folks and writers to be amused at my writing and to accuse me of not knowing what I was talking about both verbally to others and in e-mails – Please go to the Abstract at the bottom of this e-mail and read the 2nd sentence (my bold/underlining) of the 4 sentence Abstract.
Others are invited to do the same.

This is not about me: it is about the dithering and politically correctness about fear of offending powerful Minnesota and national environmental extremists and animal rights radicals that will truck NO negative comments about wolves. While this disgraceful diversion about ticks and global warming killing moose was taking place and common sense folks like me and many of those forced to live day in and day out with intolerable wolf densities were marginalized; one more magnificent and highly-prized game animal and hunting tradition disappeared.

Now that what has really been undeniable for years can no longer be denied, I say (without a hint of sarcasm or irony) we will now probably be treated to years of “science” and “the need for more research and money” to find ways to:
1. Control wolf predation without killing wolves.
2. Identify offending wolves and live trap them to train them not to hurt moose.
3. Keep seeing hints of ticks and global warming as being the problem with massive needs for more money for more research that can never be resolved or concluded.
4. Admit finally that the DNR has exhausted all the money generated by hunting license sales and there is no longer any Excise Taxes from the sales of Arms and Ammunition since President Hillary and a Democrat Congress and State government banned lead and then guns.

The loss of moose was as simple to understand as why high free-range cat densities in a suburban enclave might be the cause of the increased paucity of songbirds at suburban birdfeeders. The solution to both the loss of songbirds and the loss of moose is to reduce and keep reduced the densities – and perhaps even the presence of said cats and wolves’ if we prize moose hunts and what they mean or if we and our families enjoy seeing birds at our birdfeeders. Any North Country resident could have told us this years ago but what do they know? They have no initials after their name nor do they have any government sponsors or urban Romance Biology experts at an auspicious University to confirm their views.


We re-evaluated findings from Lenarz et al. (2009) that adult moose (Alces alces) survival in northeastern Minnesota was related to high January temperatures and that predation by wolves (Canis lupus) played a minor role. We found significant inverse relationships between annual wolf numbers in part of the moose range and various moose demographics from 2003 to 2013 that suggested a stronger role of wolves than heretofore believed. To re-evaluate the temperature findings, we conducted a simulation study, mimicking the approach taken by Lenarz et al. (2009), to explore the potential for concluding a significant relationship exists between temperature and survival, when no association exists. We found that the high R2s and low probabilities associated with the regression models in Lenarz et al. (2009) should be viewed cautiously in light of the large number of fitted models (m?=?45) and few observations (n?=?6 for each of 5 response variables).

Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

Jim Beers
22 October 2014

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: jimbeers7@comcast.net

Grizzly bear entered Claudia Huber’s house before fatal attack

“The grizzly bear that killed Claudia Huber on the weekend came into her house through a window, then pursued Huber and her spouse when they ran outside, says ?Yukon’s coroner.”<<<Read More>>>

Dear Bureau of Land Management Representatives…..

Dear BLM Reprentatives:

Since the BLM has elected to extend the comment period regarding the Idaho Predator Derby the request of an Oregon Congressman, please let me provide what I suggest is some rational comment in the face of substantial emotional comment you have received in opposition to the Derby. Since wolves cross state lines, I will refrain accusing the Oregon Congressman from “poaching,” even though he stands in opposition to almost all positions on everything taken by the Idaho congressional delegation. Likewise, I would not portend to deny the expression of opposition to the Predator Derby, much of which has a quality of quasi-religious species preference for wolves expressed by wolf advocates.

I do suggest, however, that a more rational comparison of the Predator Derby might be made to fishing derbies, where families gather to have fun and teach the young to fish (see attached). The Forest Service apparently took that view in ruling that no permit was needed for the Predator Derby (see attached). The species preferences for wolves exhibited by some people who live elsewhere should not be given any more weight than a preference, let us say, for the “iconic” rainbow trout. The Idaho Predator Derby is presented as a family event for people whose culture it is to engage in hunting in a place where these people practice this culture live (see attached).

The BLM’s economic analysis found that while the town of Salmon and surrounding areas might receive a $94,000 boost, the state as a whole could miss out on anywhere from $23,800 to $2,380,000 depending on how many people decide to not visit the state due to opposition propaganda. Clearly, it is difficult to quantify exactly how much the state will lose in economic activity. Past experience has shown, however, that the tourist industry has not been particularly affected by activist propaganda. I would suggest that the economic analysis might be more accurate if it took into consideration the positive affect that the predator hunting derby might have on the greater hunting community. Available Idaho Fish and Game statistics show the substantial reduction of non-resident hunting licenses and the related substantial drop in income that the State of Idaho Fish and Game Department has suffered since the introduction of wolves and the consequential devastation of the elk herds in certain of Idaho’s 28 elk hunting zones. The predator hunting derby in conjunction with Idaho’s efforts to control wolves would most certainly serve as a relevant inducement to that specific community of non-resident hunters to return to Idaho. I suggest that it is more likely that the predator Derby will have a positive economic impact overall, primarily because of its effective emphasis on control of predators through hunting and the message it sends to greater hunting community.

The Opposition claims that the Environmental Assessment failed to adequately address an alternative SRP request for a wildlife viewing contest submitted by Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity which, if the permit is issued, would take place instead of the derby or at the same time. By all rational analysis, this is a political effort to deny the people of Salmon and the hunters of Idaho their planned hunting derby – an event located in their own community. The nature of this effort by the opposition can be better understood by simply referring to the websites of these organizations to clearly see such effort for what it really is: A money raising campaign based on crass exploitation of anthropomorphic sympathies engendered by such propaganda. It has the quality of the bucket being passed at a revival meeting.

The Derby sponsors have attempted to comply with every procedural step, including early filing to avoid delaying tactics of the opposition. Accordingly, it is respectfully suggested that the BLM grant the application for a permit, if the decision is made that a permit is needed.

Best Regards,

John L. Runft
Runft & Steele Law Offices, PLLC
1020 W. Main St., Suite 400
Boise, Idaho 83702