March 18, 2019

The Outdoorsman Book Review: The Real Wolf

*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 on 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.

The Real Wolf
The Science, Politics and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times
Book Review by George Dovel

When Will Graves asked me if I would consider writing a chapter for The Real Wolf, which he co-authored along with Ted Lyon, my first reaction was that it would be a wonderful opportunity to provide factual information to countless people who have been bombarded with fairy tales about living with wolves.

But after learning the names of several bona fide experts from various fields who, like Graves, had already agreed to provide their facts, I felt that anything I added to the book would be coming from a researcher rather than an expert.

In late November of 2013, Ted Lyon sent me a manuscript of The Real Wolf and asked me to write a review in The Outdoorsman. When I took the time to read the manuscript thoroughly, I was amazed by the straightforward collection of facts presented without anger, apology or attempts at political correctness.

I agree with comments by Tom Remington in his “Foreword” that The Real Wolf is loaded with resources from several of the most renowned scientists, researchers, investigators, and historians the world has to offer. I also share Tom’s confidence that this book is destined to become the encyclopedia of wolf facts for readers who have never had the opportunity to read the whole truth.

Ted Lyon Did Not Believe Horror Stories at First

After briefly sharing his outstanding 37-year career as an attorney representing clients in more then 150 jury trials, Lyon said he always relied on the truth. Then he confided that he did not fully believe the horror stories he kept hearing about wolves until after he bought a second home in Montana and experienced that reality himself.

His background as an avid hunter, including a period long ago as an outfitter and guide, probably influenced the amount of time he spent researching and verifying the information he has collected. The fact that he reported FWS biologists providing false information about wolves, and later, state biologists in Idaho and Montana lying to support what FWS said, reflects his intent to report all of the facts.

The Real Wolf also includes documentation by experts other than scientists of frequent radical changes in what was considered the legitimate wolf species to be protected. For example, Jim and Cat Urbigkit documented the existence of the original Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf, Canus lupus irremotus, on their sheep range in Wyoming before the larger Canadian wolves were introduced.

Cat Urbigkit reminds us that they presented their information through the courts, and Federal Judge William Downes finally ruled that introduction of Canadian wolves was illegal. He also ordered immediate removal of all Canadian wolves that had been introduced two years earlier, along with their offspring.

But several days later he put a stay on the removal order until it was appealed. And several months later the new court held that FWS had authority to change the subspecies that was being preserved, and the charade continued.

Chapters by Arizona’s Laura Schneberger and Catron County New Mexico Wildlife Investigator Jess Carey are vital to explain why wolves that are crossbred with dogs and raised in captivity represent a special threat to livestock and humans. The calculated non-reimbursed losses for livestock in both locations should end efforts to continue the wolf transplants – but they haven’t.

Epilogue

On November 1, 2013, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter wrote the “Epilogue” to The Real Wolf. Part of that document follows:

“There have been few issues during my 40 years in public life that have provoked the raw passions of so many people from around the world as the debate over wolves. I was deluged with some of the nastiest, most disparaging, and truly hateful letters, emails and phone calls from well-meaning but badly misinformed folks, who saw wolves only as big beautiful dogs harmlessly pursuing their majestic lives in the trackless wild. Wolves are an essential and misunderstood part of the Rocky Mountain ecosystem, many argued, and we owe it to our Western heritage to enable wolves to once again roam freely in the Idaho wilderness.

“The problem is that wolves don’t stay put. Their enormous range, high reproductive rate and insatiable hunger for ungulates inevitably draw them out of the woods to interface with man. As their numbers spiraled far beyond expectations, so did the conflicts, and so did my determination to manage wolves as we do any other species – with an eye toward the bigger picture of a balanced ecosystem that includes man.

“I’m grateful to Ted and the many good people who feel a strong affinity for Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the other states where wolves were another government-imposed challenge to overcome. It was a problem created by “conservationists” who speak floridly about the primal necessity of having wolves in our midst, but for whom the real goal is raising money and disrupting or shutting down such traditional multiple uses of public lands as grazing, logging, mining, and especially hunting. It was a problem created by “conservationists” who consistently move the recovery targets, forum-shopped for
a sympathetic judge, collected millions of taxpayer dollars to pay their lawyers, and looked for any opportunity to abandon their commitment to pay for our ranchers’ losses to wolves released in Idaho.

“Ted, and many others who recognize that reality, fought tough odds to turn the tide on the wolf issue. Now Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming are managing wolves – wolves that never should have been here in the first place. But since they are, the happy ending to this story is that the people most affected by their presence now are managing them in a way that’s far more balanced and reflective of the realities of today’s West. They will never be “our wolves,” but at least now we have a primary role in controlling their population and impacts.

“It’s my sincere hope that The Real Wolf will help open some eyes to the bigger problems with the Endangered Species Act – a once well-intentioned but incredibly flawed law that undermines the real interests and values of conservation by placing the well-being of humans and their livelihoods far down the food chain.”

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter
November 1, 2013
(NOTE: The Epilogue that Governor Otter has supplied tells it ‘like’ it is in my opinion. Yet I remain concerned at his repeating our Fish and Game biologists’ standard phrase that they intend to manage wolves as we do any

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other species. I’ve been very close to this for a lot of years and I know of no place in the world that has ever been able to manage wolves as our wildlife managers do with other species.

When the ratio of wolves to elk – their primary prey species in Idaho – got higher than it is in any other place in North America, we needed to lethally remove at least 75%-80% of the wolves in those high density areas. Maintaining very few, if any, wolves for five years until recovery occurred was essential.

But now that our primary elk populations are in a predator pit from which they cannot recover, and wolves soon find them and drive them down each time they produce a few calves, we must initiate really aggressive control until elk numbers have reached the desired goal in each depleted area.
I am pleased that Gov. Otter has taken this step which will allow recovery IF he selects the proper individuals with the sole motive to lethally remove wolves with all of the tools at their disposal until our elk and deer populations have recovered.

I believe anything else would be a serious mistake at this point in time. – ED)

Dear hunter,

No matter what state you live in, I urge you to visit http://www.farcountrypress.com/details.php?id=575 – then read about The Real Wolf and order at least one copy.

The price is $21 for the Soft Cover or $30 for the Hard Cover and I know of no book of this quality for sale anywhere near this low price. Once you have had the opportunity to read it, I urge you to get a copy into the hands of your resource committee members, or at the very least, to the state legislators who represent you.

Thank you,
George Dovel

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Book Review: Wolfer – a Memoir

wolfer
Wolfer – A Memoir
By Carter Niemeyer
Published by BottleFly Press
Copyright 2010 by Carter Niemeyer
ISBN-13 978-0-984-8113-0-4
ISBN-10 0984811303
Second Paperback Edition

For trappers, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, animal lovers and anyone with any interest in the process of gray wolf introduction in the Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho, I believe this book is a must read. I enjoyed it immensely and gained a different perspective about the author.

To be completely transparent about this book review, I have never met Mr. Niemeyer, the author, nor have I ever communicated with him, at least that I am aware of. I believe once I received an email from his wife suggesting I read this book. That was some time ago and it has taken me a couple of years to get around to reading it, mostly because of the recommendation of a friend.

When I first began reading the book, which sets the stage of a young boy growing up in rural Iowa, it didn’t take long to see that there were many similarities between Carter Niemeyer’s upbringing and young past in rural Iowa and mine in rural Maine, including the early deaths of our fathers.

Carter falls in love with trapping. It begins at an early age and his love for and knowledge of trapping grows with each turn of the page. His circumstances while growing up caused Carter to use trapping, the killing of animals, to pay his way in life. He never seemed to take much issue with killing most any animal for their resource, with the exception of the wild canines, excluding foxes.

In the book, I read where in his teen years, I believe it was, that Niemeyer shows his first unexplained affection toward coyotes and even displays hesitation in having to kill one; something that never is shown throughout the book, with the exception of the wild wolves.

After losing his father, Carter Niemeyer comes in contact with people who encourage him to go to college and through it all is presented with opportunities to work outdoors and especially take advantage of his trapping abilities, most of which he learned from people he grew up around.

Much of the author’s story of his trapping life isn’t all that much unlike many diehard trappers. Those around him, in this case his wife and children, have to put up with the long hours, hard work and rancid smells that get embedded into just about everything a trapper comes in contact with.

Eventually Niemeyer takes a job with the Federal Government in Montana and works for animal damage control (now Wildlife Services) through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There he trapped and mostly killed predators that were killing and harassing privately owned livestock.

Things seem to change and Carter Niemeyer begins to morph into either someone different or into the man he really was inside, when he becomes involved in the Federal Government’s gray wolf introduction program. He teams up with Ed Bangs and the two of them travel into Canada, trap gray wolves, then release them in Yellowstone and central Idaho.

Carter Niemeyer comes across as a ballsy, stubborn and often arrogant man. From the book I gathered he was not afraid to stand up to anyone. A large chip grows and sticks firmly onto his shoulder. At times he doesn’t seem to understand that he is a turncoat; a man who willingly, nay, eagerly killed any animal threatening ranchers’ livestock, including the handful of wolves naturally re-habituating northwestern Montana, to one now bringing the most savage of predators, the gray wolf, into the lands surrounding some of the best ranching lands in the nation.

Niemeyer’s attitude toward these ranchers changes and throughout this book we find little good he has to say about any of them. His attitude becomes that of an elitist, self-taught authority on trapping and wolves. Pity the man who dared to stand up to him. He develops enemies.

The book is mostly well written and interesting enough to keep a reader’s attention. It’s a fascinating revelation of how one man can be transformed into a completely different person because of an animal.

From what I gleaned from the book, Carter Niemeyer, a good man, a great trapper, loses his way and forgets his past. His enthusiasm and learned dedication to whatever he attempts, makes him a prime target for being taken advantage of because of his skills as a trapper. But he prevails, always determined.

Pick up a copy, as I’m sure you will enjoy it. I hesitated because, to be honest, I’m tiring of the same old wolf wars and there’s little new that can be added to the debate. However, information I found in this book helps to show that the actual event of going to Canada to trap wolves and bring them back to the U.S. was extremely poorly planned and wrought with problems. I think, had it not been for Niemeyer’s determination for accomplishment, the wolf introduction may never have taken place. We can either thank him or blame him.

Out of five stars, I would give this book 4 stars.

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Book Review: Killing Lincoln

I finished reading Killing Lincoln a few days ago. I recommend the book but with some suggestions.

Killing Lincoln, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC., covers many of the details about President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Depending upon your level of knowledge and the amount of research you have done in your lifetime, will depend very much on how much in O’Reilly’s book you would find “new” information and how much as rehashed and regurgitated.

I have read numerous books and writings on the killing of Lincoln, and I can say this one is well-written in the sense that it keeps your interest, even while constantly moving from one arena to another as the plot unfolds. However, no new information is revealed and the book falls short on any in-depth research into the vastness of the conspiracy.

Killing Lincoln spends much of the first 16 chapters setting the stage of Lincoln’s death by detailing battles and events that occur leading up to the ultimate surrender of General Lee at Appomattox. Mostly leaving the Civil War battlefields, Killing Lincoln draws in the majority of the conspirators behind the plot to kill, not only Lincoln, but V.P. Andrew Johnson, Secretary of State William Seward, Sec. of War Edwin Stanton and Union General Ulysses S. Grant. O’Reilly provides enough background and information on those he and co-writer Dugard believe to be the main planners in the conspiracy.

As O’Reilly might call his “Back of the Book Segment”, the back of his book gives readers a glimpse as to what became of many of the key characters in his work. He even goes so far as to reproduce a copy of the April 29, 1865 edition of Harper’s Weekly. O’Reilly’s intent is to help readers get a better understanding of how the country was dealing with the killing of President Lincoln.

Over the years many theories have existed as to who was really behind the killing of Lincoln. While Killing Lincoln, the book, casually addresses some of those theories, it is my opinion that had the authors spent less time (16 chapters) recounting the Civil War battles leading up to the assassination and more time digging a bit deeper into the most readily recognized and easily proven conspiracy theory, they could have provided readers with more or a real jaw-dropping read.

The main hypothesis as to who or what was behind the killing of Lincoln points to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, led by the Jesuits and under the full direction of the Vatican.

Much discussion can be made as to the Vatican’s involvement or lack thereof in Lincoln’s death but if you consider the testimonies and actions that took place after the assassination, a different light is shed on the conspiracy theory; at least enough to pique the curiosities of some and give pause to others.

General Thomas M. Harris was a member of the military commission that tried and condemned the conspirators in Lincoln’s death. His accounts of those trials are quite revealing.

If we follow the trail on one conspirator, John H. Surratt, whose mother ran a boarding house of sorts near Washington, D.C., it was learned that at different times all the conspirators would meet to discuss plans to kill Lincoln. Shortly after Lincoln’s murder, John Surratt was among the missing.

O’Reilly, a catholic himself, mentions very little of John Surratt. In the Afterword, he tells how Surratt, the son of Mary Surratt who was hanged for her involvement, might have been saved if her son had returned to testify. The book states that John Surratt fled to Montreal and later ended up at the Vatican “where he served in the Papal Zouaves“. However, General Harris describes Surratt’s time at the Vatican as being confined to a room and protected from those searching for him in connection with the death of Lincoln.

The Pope is forced to arrest Surratt but arranges for his escape. He is eventually captured in Egypt and taken back to America to stand trial. Gen. Harris points out the work of the Jesuits in controlling and manipulating the trial that ends in a hung jury and the release of Surratt.

Gen Harris’s information is probably some, if not the most, credible of all those claiming theories on Lincoln’s death. His work is well worth the read I think.

While many books have been written about Lincoln’s murder, Killing Lincoln could have been an even bigger blockbuster if they had taken the time to research into the validity of some of these theories, particularly that of Gen. Harris. Should I create my own conspiracy theory by saying that perhaps O’Reilly purposely avoided this theory because he is Catholic?

All very interesting.

I recommend the reading of “Killing Lincoln” and then follow it up with “Rome’s Responsibility for the Assassination of Lincoln” by Gen. Thomas M. Harris and “Fifty Years in the Church of Rome” by Charles Paschal Telesphore Chiniquy.

An addendum to this story: Charles Chiniquy is key to the story of Lincoln as well as his testimony that members of the Catholic Church were telling people of Lincoln’s death hours before it even happened. Chiniquy, is a friend of President Lincoln and repeatedly warns the president that the Vatican wants him dead and that eventually he will be killed. Of course, even as is revealed in the book, Lincoln not only suspects he will someday be killed but he has recurring dreams about it.

Tom Remington

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