August 23, 2019

Elk Are Tame Animals, Right?

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In Spite of Directors’ Claims, Idaho Fish and Game Refuses to Control Wolves Decimating Elk Herds

Republished on this website with permission from the editor/author.

The Outdoorsman – Bulletin Number 51, Dec. 2012 – April 17, 2013 Pgs. 1-3.

In Spite of Directors’ Claims, Idaho Fish and Game Refuses to Control Wolves Decimating Elk Herds

by George Dovel

In January 1999 I attended a predator symposium in Boise co-sponsored by the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Assn., Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game and eight other groups. Like many of the 17 panel members whose unsupported testimony claimed wolves would have limited impact on deer, elk and moose numbers, Wolf Education Center’s David Langhorst claimed poachers kill 10 times as much game as wolves do.

But Wildlife Ecologist Dr. Charles Kay provided facts to support his testimony – that the wolves transplanted from Canada would eventually drive Idaho’s already declining big game populations into a predator pit.

Beginning with his August 1993 Petersen’s Hunting article titled, “Wolves in the West – what the government does not want you to know about wolf recovery,” Dr. Kay had published extensive research exposing federal and many state biologists’ false claim that protecting wolves would create healthy game populations.

Biologist Can’t Refute Facts – Attacks Messenger

Unable to refute any of Dr. Kay’s expert testimony, one biologist publicly confronted him and implied that his testimony was not valid because he was not a biologist.

But Dr. Kay snapped back at him, “I’d be ashamed to admit it if I was, the way you biologists have destroyed our wildlife.”

Pretending that a simple degree in wildlife biology bestows the wisdom, integrity and judgment needed to recommend real solutions ignores reality. And attacking the credibility of the messenger is a tactic used by those who lack facts to defend their position.

These two observations are based on half a century of working alongside and closely observing wildlife biologists. Deceiving the citizen hunters who pay their wages has become a specialty with most of them.

Geist – Wolves Caused ~90% Decline in Deer Harvest

But like Dr. Kay, Dr. Valerius Geist, the featured speaker at the 1999 Symposium, strived to enlighten rather than deceive. He spent a couple of hours patiently explaining to those in attendance how the return of wolves to Vancouver Island resulted in nearly a 90% decline in the number of black-tailed deer harvested each year by hunters.

He warned the audience that strict control of wolf numbers in Idaho must occur to prevent a similar decline in Idaho big game populations. IDFG Director Steve Mealy, who was the Symposium facilitator, summed up the consensus that wolf predation is largely additive and wolves must be limited to preserve healthy game populations.

Despite being provided ample opportunity to question Dr. Geist, Idaho biologists and Commissioners remained quiet. Yet a group of them confronted me a few minutes later and said, “He told us what was going to happen but he didn’t tell us what to do.”

Two months later, Mealey was fired by a 4-to-3 vote, and replaced with a series of pro-wolf Directors. But on Jan. 5 2006 Interior Secretary Gale Norton signed an agreement with Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne designating Idaho to act as its agent, and directing IDFG to “implement lethal control or translocation of wolves to reduce impacts on wild ungulates in accordance with the process outlined in the amended 10J Rule.” (emphasis added)

That was seven years ago and during those seven years, IDFG has had the authority and the duty to lethally control wolves to reduce their impact on elk, moose and deer – either using the 10J Rule with the 2002 Wolf Plan as a guide – or following the 2002 Wolf Plan during the two periods, including now, when the wolves were/are delisted.

So How Many Total Wolves Has Idaho Lethally Controlled to Reduce the Impact on Wild Ungulates During the Past Seven Years?

The answer is only nineteen – all in the Lolo Zone.

That 19, plus the few wolves harvested by hunters and outfitters in the Lolo Zone, failed to halt the dramatic annual decline in its elk population and harvest. Yet in the following exchange of communications dated Jan. 21, 2013, Moore tells Viola sportsman Jim Hagedorn that many people have simply not been exposed to the Department “science” on managing wolf predation on Idaho’s elk.

TV Interviewed Moore, Stone – Ignored Citizens

On Jan. 17, 2013 KTVB published interviews with IDFG Director Moore and Defenders of Wildlife wolf promoter Suzanne Stone at IDFG Headquarters in Boise. Moore said hunters have done a good job controlling wolves in farm and ranch areas, but said wolves are increasing and further reducing elk populations in back country areas “like the Clearwater, Lolo and Selway.”

He announced the F&G Commission had removed $50,000 from a research project and directed it to be spent killing and trapping wolves in remote areas like these. Of course Stone disagreed and said the $50,000 should be spent on non-lethal methods which she falsely claimed were more effective than lethal control.

As always happens in the urban media, KTVB ignored the majority of Idaho citizens who share ownership of the wildlife resource, and the multi-million dollar loss the exploitation of that resource by both Moore and Stone is costing them every year. This understandably upset Viola sportsman leader Jim Hagedorn who, along with many others, contributes a great deal of time and money seeking honest scientific wildlife management.

On Jan. 20, the following letter from Hagedorn to Director Moore appeared in the Forever Free Press:

A direct question for Virgil Moore:

“[IDFG’s] job is actually to conserve wolves,” says Suzanne Stone with Defenders of Wildlife. “We propose that commission use the money for non-lethal tools that are more effective in reducing livestock losses, and certainly more effective in reducing the impact on wildlife, including wolves,” Stone said.

“Moore says he’s putting together opportunities for advocates like Stone to talk to Fish and Game biologists about their management techniques.”

Director Moore, would you please explain to me why you would waste your time, your IDFG employees’ time, and MY MONEY, by opening a channel of communication to your (or MY) employees so a clearly deranged individual (Stone) who can NEVER seem to get her facts straight with the media, or anyone else for that matter, can have ANYTHING to do with advising FISH and GAME management in Idaho?
——

The following day, Hagedorn emailed a copy to Moore and to several legislators, commissioners and other knowledgeable individuals. The subject line said simply, “How about an answer Virgil?

He quickly received the following response from Moore:

Jim,
I decided to go over the science that wolves are important predators to elk. Based on the testimony at the Commission meeting last week by 16 individuals it is apparent to the Commission that many people simply have not been exposed to the Department science on managing predation on Idaho’s elk. The meeting with folks concerned about our wolf reduction efforts is to allow a more in-depth opportunity to present Department information and answer questions that could not be addressed at the public meeting.

Ms. Stone is looking for an opportunity to do more of the non-lethal management that has been tried in the Blain (sic) County area. It certainly will not work for wildlife depredation and does not work in most livestock grazing situations either. Her statements do not represent what we are trying to accomplish by providing the correct information on hunting, trapping and aerial methods of reducing wolf numbers.

Jim – I believe some of these folks can be moderated by the correct information based on my discussion with some of them at the Commission meeting- as they do not have the correct information to judge the Department program properly. I do not believe, as you do, that Defenders of Wildlife can be convinced though but the discussion of what we are planning is open to public discussion and public input and we do have an obligation to meet with folks when appropriate.

I hope this helps. Let me know if we need to talk and I’ll give you a call.

Virgil
——

The Facts

The Department “science” on managing wolf predation of elk is a myth.

Every authority on wolf-ungulate management – including L. David Mech – who has advised IDFG on this issue, has warned that 70-80% of wolves must be removed initially, and the reduced numbers maintained for at least five years in order to restore healthy ungulate populations.

When the Lolo elk herd was still estimated at about 4,000 animals, IDFG biologists carefully prepared a 10J Plan to lethally remove 75% of the wolves from the Lolo Zone the first year, and kill enough wolves for the next four years to maintain 20-30% of the original number. But instead of implementing the plan to rebuild the Lolo elk herd, the Commission voted to use it only as “leverage” (i.e. blackmail) to FWS to insure they would be allowed to manage wolves as game animals.

They got the “on again – off again” right to hold a wolf hunting season but hunters killed only 13 Lolo wolves and the Lolo elk population went down the tube. Anyone who takes the time to compare IDFG’s published annual elk harvest statistics will find that elk harvests have also nose-dived every year in all back country units since the Commission approved the 10J plan – but refused to use it.

And Moore’s promise to the Commissioners and the public when he was hired as Director two years ago that he would also implement wolf control in 2011 in the Selway and other units where wolves were also impacting elk – was never kept. Between 2006 and 2011, both of Moore’s predecessors, Steve Huffaker and Cal Groen, made similar promises that were also never kept.

It is worth noting that at the same time former Director Steve Mealey was telling a packed Commission Meeting audience that wolves were having a detrimental effect on Idaho elk herds, his Wildlife Bureau Chief Huffaker was standing in the back of that room telling a reporter that wolves had co-evolved with elk for ten thousand years and would “reach a balance” without man’s interference.

In February of 2006 when the IDFG plan to remove 75% of the Lolo Zone wolves was being “scoped” by the public, a letter writing campaign by radical pro-wolf groups supplied then Director Huffaker with the excuses he needed to convince the Commission not to control the wolves.

A Feb. 14, 2006 letter from Tami Williams of Wolf Haven International at Tenino, Washington, reminded Huffaker of the large cost of paying (Wildlife Services) to control 75% of the Lolo wolves. She speculated IDFG would get a hunting season if it waited and said, “With patience, wolf control could end up as a revenue generator rather than a revenue drain for IDFG.”

Instead of obeying Idaho Wildlife Policy in I.C. Sec. 36-103 (to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage all wildlife), Huffaker and his biologists chose to listen to the wolf advocates and sacrifice the Lolo elk herd. Large Carnivore Coordinator Steve Nadeau prepared a 2006 10J wolf control plan claiming that declining habitat – not over-harvesting and later wolf predation – was the primary cause of the elk decline.

Nadeau’s lie ignored Clearwater elk research biologist George Pauley’s long-term and well documented research concluding that allowing hunters to kill too many bull elk was the cause of the steady decline in Lolo elk from 1986 – 2005. Read “IDFG – No Evidence Links Lolo Elk Loss to Habitat!” on Pages 6-8 of Outdoorsman No. 40.

Ignoring Pauley’s 1996 warning to stop over-harvesting bull elk, Clearwater Region Supervisor Herb Pollard increased the number of 1996 antlerless elk permits in the Lolo Zone from 350 to 1,900! In Dec. of 1996 when Steve Mealey was hired as IDFG Director, he replaced Pollard with Natural Resources Policy Director Cal Groen to halt the deliberate over-harvest.

But in 1997, Groen reduced the 1,900 antlerless permits by only 50 and changed 525 permits so hunts would end on Nov. 30 instead of Nov. 13. See results of Pollard’s and Groen’s mismanagement in harvest chart below:

elkharvestidaho

The 2006 10J wolf control plan could easily have been corrected by replacing Nadeau’s false claims with Pauley’s facts, and then submitting it to FWS. But even two years later, in 2008, IDFG Director Groen and F&G Commissioner Gary Power told the Legislature and the media that IDFG had no intention of controlling wolves in Idaho’s wilderness areas.

The appointment of Groen to the Governor’s staff in 2007 was apparently seen as an opportunity for IDFG to ignore Idaho law and the Legislature. Groen’s direction to Nadeau, to write an IDFG Wolf Plan containing massive changes to the only wolf plan approved by the Legislature, and Groen’s failure to transmit that plan for legislative approval or rejection, reflects his willingness to ignore state law and the welfare of Idaho wildlife.

The IDFG conspiracy that bypassed the lawful process and resulted in Groen, Otter and Otter’s Office of Species Conservation telling FWS Director Dale Hall that IDFG will manage for five times as many wolves as agreed to in the FWS Recovery Plan, happened without public or legislative input.

Idaho’s 2002 wolf plan emphasizes several times on pages 21 and 23 how extremely important it is for IDFG to conduct an annual census of selected important prey species. The Lolo Zone elk met every criterion for annual monitoring – yet in the 11 years since that plan was approved by the Legislature – IDFG has conducted only two counts in Unit 10 and three counts in Unit 12!

And when Nadeau wrote the bastard wolf plan in 2007 – approved unanimously by the F&G Commission on March 6, 2008 – the “annual count” language was changed to once every three to five years, plus it allowed biologists to wait another three years before taking any action! On May 22, 2008 Groen gave Nadeau an “Employee of the Year” Award for “outstanding management/leadership.”

In February of 2009, Pauley met with Montana sportsmen and the media and said there were 130-150 wolves in the Lolo Zone. He advised that the State of Idaho was making a request to shoot about 80% (104-120) of them, and would leave a minimum of 25 wolves.

Although Pauley said the 10J proposal would be presented to FWS shortly and Unsworth confirmed it, neither had any intention of controlling wolves. This was simply designed to show hard core wolf advocates they had better not oppose delisting or IDFG would kill 100 wolves in one location.

Even after Senator Jeff Siddoway forced IDFG to commit to control Lolo Zone wolves during the 2011-2012 winter, Deputy Director Unsworth ordered the helicopter control halted on the third day despite ideal conditions. Only 14 wolves were taken in that brief control action and Wildlife Services told me I would have to talk to Unsworth to find out why. The wolf control figures Unsworth claimed would reduce big game predation in the Lolo Zone were far too low to have any measurable impact.

Note: This article and many more like it can be found in The Outdoorsman magazine. Please click this link to a PDF page where you can print out a form and subscribe to the magazine. The work of George Doval, editor of The Outdoorsman, is arguably the finest work to be found anywhere in print or online publications.

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Wolf Attacking Bull Elk in Water

Looking at the photo below, it appears the wolf has his feet on the ground while in the water. Generally speaking elk, moose and deer seek refuge in the water as it becomes next to impossible for wolves to attack and kill prey if the wolves are having to “swim” in the water.

The photo was sent to me in my email without any information as to who took the photo or where it was taken so I can’t credit the photographer.

wolfeatingelk

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Minnesota Moose Dreamin’

By Jim Beers (republished on this website with permission from the author)

Link:

The following article (Minnesota moose.. hunt suspended)[Link provided above to referred to article] from the front page of today’s St. Paul Paper is worth reading to either make your blood boil or, if you’ve been following the demise of big game hunting in the US, give you a good excuse to shake your head with a wry smile.

There is a reward of a 50-cent coupon to the Wacky Minnesota Gift Store if you can find the word – WOLF – in the article. There is a 25-cent coupon to JoAnns Fabric Store if you can find the words – Echinococcus granulosis or tapeworms spread by wolves (the generic word “parasite” doesn’t count) – in the article.

So, to all you former Montana and Idaho elk hunters now playing violent video games on your kid’s smart phones while they are at school; take note that the Minnesota elk hunt this year (for two isolated and small herds in isolated woods in NW Minnesota where they should be vulnerable to hunting) was a bust. An expected harvest of 23 elk could do no better than 9; calling Sherlock Holmes and Watson. These same DNR/Outdoor Writer Worthies are also mystified about what is going on with the elk as well as the moose.

To all you Yellowstone Park Visitors, this Minnesota moose/elk disappearance practically overnight is credited to unspecified diseases and habitat changes due to global warming just like the missing Yellowstone moose and elk. I refrain from the other reason given by the nicely-uniformed National Park Service “experts” that the moose and elk are mysteriously “staying in the backcountry” since Minnesota “backcountry” is both inhabited and hunted thoroughly so such lies are hard to make. Of course wolves are blameless to all these government wolf-manipulators for their no longer hidden agendas from killing hunting to making gun ownership more problematic.

Why no less an authority than the “head biologist for the fish and wildlife department of the Grand Portage band of Lake Superior Chippewa” is quoted as saying, “Parasites, disease and habitat are all potential factors” (i.e. in the demise of moose). I refrain at this point from using another quote from the article that would be out-of-place and unfair –“That’s insane”.

Since I moved to Minnesota 5 years ago I have spoken and written about how Minnesota wolves are at their highest populations and densities in the past century for the past 20 years since the federal government ripped state (and therefore state resident) wolf management from a compliant state wildlife agency over 40 years ago. I have made pen pals of the outdoor writers to their great amusement and created a reputation with the paper as an hilarious old crank. The high wolf populations being maintained by livestock, dog, deer, moose and elk meat in Minnesota is having the SAME effect that it has in Montana, Idaho, Ontario, Alberta, Alaska, British Columbia, Siberia, Kazakhstan, etc. etc.

The primary Minnesota wolf habitat is and was EXACTLY where the moose and elk lived (note the past tense). The graph of wolf population increase over the past 20 years coincides with the moose/elk population estimate/hunting success rates for the same period. Duh!

Every news article about the missing moose only mentions wolves by way of vilifying those that even suspect wolf depredation as a factor (much less THE factor) as troglodytes that should be locked in the attic with the old uncle that slobbers and passes gas around genteel folks. This writer has been so designated.

So, the rest of the world take note: Alaska abandon your wolf control to maintain moose; Siberia abandon your wolf control to save reindeer; Kazakhstan and Russia abandon your wolf control to save livestock and the old ladies and kids that tend them – All of you look to Minnesota bureaucrats where such losses (except for the old ladies and kids that are too hard to deny) these losses are due to GLOBAL WARMING AND UNDEFINED DISEASES. Stop all that wolf control, until Minnesota determines the REAL REASONS and (along with uniformed US National Park Service Storytellers) reveals the deep dark secrets you have been too dumb to figure out. Keep up your anti-wolf-hunt lawsuits Michiganders and shut down your power plants – Global Warming and Diseases are the enemy, certainly not wolves! Wisconsinites stay cold and in the dark all winter to reduce your carbon footprint to save moose, elk and deer meat for higher wolf population densities to replace hunters and armed citizens while moving rural folks into cities!

Note how an esteemed Minnesota “wildlife research manager for the DNR” “thinks” Ontario is “seeing the same thing”. Thinks? Doesn’t he have a phone? Doesn’t he “think” those are the same woods (albeit measured in kilometers), wolves and moose in the contiguous wolf/moose habitat from central Minnesota to Hudson Bay? Two weeks ago my wife and I had lunch with a great retired Canadian law enforcement officer and his wife. His Ontario hunting camp (a dozen plus guys) was not good at all last year for either moose or deer. His (and his neighbor a retired Ontario wildlife guy) reason? There were wolf tracks and wolves everywhere but they are now killing wolves and coyotes year-around with complete expectation if they kill enough of them and keep killing them the moose and deer hunting will recover hopefully in a few years.

Finally, back in the 1990’s I testified before the US Congress about how US Fish and Wildlife Service hacks stole $45 to 60 Million dollars from the Hunting and Fishing Excise Taxes intended only for State agencies to manage State Fish and Wildlife Resources. This was after Congress had denied USFWS funding for this hair-brained scheme. But undeterred by lawful authority and on a mission for “Gaia” they stole millions from hunters and game management so that federal bureaucrats could capture Canadian wolves, import them illegally and release them without any state concurrence in Yellowstone Park to eliminate ranching, elk, moose and hunting/rural safety in the Upper Rockies states. I was shocked, angered and disgusted at the time as a hunter who still believed that at least the State agencies were still on the hunters’ side but how naive I was for a guy in his fifties. If this Minnesota “Moosegate” debacle is how they are using the excise taxes, USFWS might as well steal it all and if there is any left over after paying themselves bonuses, give it to Garrison Keillor to do a skit on The Prairie Home Companion explaining where all the Minnesota moose and elk and deer and pheasants have gone. At least it will boost the sale of those biscuits in the oil-stained bags and maybe create another non-government job or two to slow the slide in the Minnesota economy.

Jim Beers
7 February 2013

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

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Stellar 2012 Leads to Higher Hopes for RMEF in 2013

MISSOULA, Mont. – ?Fresh off a fourth consecutive year of record membership, growing total acres conserved to more than 6.2 million and placing an increased emphasis on hunting heritage, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation now ambitiously eyes 2013.

“?We are grateful for what was a successful 2012 on many different fronts,?” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “?Our volunteers and members continue to amaze with their passion and hard work in furthering our mission, but we have even bigger plans to do more for conservation in 2013.”?

2012 highlights:

*? Reached a lifetime mark of habitat enhanced or protected of 6,287,980 acres.
*? Continued priority focus and funding of public access projects. To date, RMEF has opened nearly 650,000 previously inaccessible acres for the public to hunt, fish or otherwise enjoy.
*? Completed 544 projects in 2012, bringing the total lifetime number of projects to 8,096.
*? Restored a wild elk herd in Virginia.
*? Fueled continuing elk restoration projects in Missouri, Wisconsin and Maryland.
*? Recorded fourth straight year of record membership, now at 196,079.
*? Provided 312 grants in 43 states for hunting heritage and conservation outreach, reaching more than 393,000 children and adults.
*? Enhanced mission statement to ?ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage? (new addition in italics).
*? Maintained strong fiscal performance with budget positive organizational performance.
*? Maintained the highest rating, 4 Stars, from Charity navigator, America’?s top charity ratings service.

With dozens of on-the-ground conservation projects already in the works in many states, hundreds of local banquets and fundraisers scheduled in the coming months, and RMEF?’s upcoming annual national convention later this month, excitement and expectations are sky-high for 2013.

?”We will unveil news at Elk Camp that will propel RMEF into a realm not previously known,”? added Allen. ?”This game-changing announcement will allow RMEF to do more conservation work, focus more effort on passing on our hunting heritage to our children and grandchildren, and free up more land for public access than ever before.”?

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Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Video by Scott McKinley

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“Charting a Course Where the Prey, and the Preyed-Upon Can Coexist”

In response to an article that appeared at KAJ18.com that quoted Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regional Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson as saying, “now comes the hard part of charting a course where the prey, and the preyed-upon can coexist.”, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist Jim Beers offers his rebuttal.

By Jim Beers:

While these state biologists are working hard to come across as good guys as they try to assuage the anger of rural Montanans, note what they say and not how they sound. Note especially that last sentence.

If they see their job as “charting a course where the prey, and the preyed-upon can coexist” they are no friends of rural Montanans. This Disneyesque fairyland where the “preyed and preyed-upon coexist” is EXACTLY the perverted philosophy that got us all into this growing pickle,

OH LOOK! Out there on that island in Lake Superior (where there is NO HUNTING, no towns, no farms, no rural residences, no ranches, no timber management, no economy, no livestock, no hunting dogs, no working dogs, no walking off the designated trails, etc., etc.) accessed only by ferry, owned and kept sealed off by the National Park Service and known as Isle Royal National Park: the wolves and moose coexist! OOOOHHHH!

Montanans concerned about what the state and federal government in league with radical environmental/animal rights cabals have done and are doing to Montana, take note. Those that do not recognize that you are the real “preyed-upon” are not your friends, whether it is through ignorance or secret evil motives makes no difference.

The “hard part” they envision is no harder than falling off a log. They think all they must do is maintain wolves/bears/lions while keeping a few elk/deer/moose in “coexistence”. Hello, is anyone home?

– They don’t see any responsibility to all those Montanans outside Montana cities that must live with wolves/bears/lions. They will just have to live with however many and wherever these large predators occur.

– They see no responsibility to maintain huntable numbers and distributions of elk/deer/moose. Whatever numbers and wherever they occur will be “natural” and therefore pleasing to Gaia and the national urban elites that they see funding their futures with OUR tax dollars.

– They see no responsibility to maintain the financial health of the livestock industry.

– They acknowledge no responsibility to protect rural dogs from pets and hunting dogs to watchdogs and working dogs.

– They acknowledge no threat from wolf diseases and infections that threaten humans, dogs, livestock, and desirable (i.e. sought for hunting) wildlife.

– They see no responsibility to the safety and well-being of kids catching rural school buses or old ladies walking to rural mailboxes or kids camping or fishing or fathers working far-off jobs while mother tends to the kids on an isolated rural home site.

No, all these Bozos think they “have” to do is “chart a course” to “prey and preyed-upon” “coexistence”. Do you really want Montana (outside a few Montana cities of course) to be another Isle Royal National Park?

Men, the road ahead is going to be tough. All of us have to fight our way back out of this tar-baby morass that government bureaucrats, radical elites, and our own past indifference has gotten us into. It is not going to be easy.

None of us need these namby-pamby bureaucrats either as advisors or certainly not as leaders. Letting the likes of these current state FWP, DNR, etc. bureaucrats remain in place is like emptying out Guantanamo Bay prisoners to scatter throughout US Forces fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. It not only won’t work. It is suicide!

Jim Beers
25 May 2012

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

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Easier To Blame Global Warming for Moose Tick Infestation Than Seeking Truth

One of the difficulties lazy readers have in finding facts comes from media-spawned political rhetoric and mythological hype from agenda-driven entities’ regurgitated propaganda sent to the media outlets, who, without questioning, publish it. Such is the case in an article found at Public News Service.

The article simply takes mostly tripe and propaganda put out by the Natural Resources Council (NRC) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and publishes it as though it were substantiated fact. It is unfortunate that, one, the NRC and NWF are still mired in agendas to promote man-made global warming, and they refuse to accept the truth about what it is that is effecting our climate. Second, that because of this cultist obsession with global warming, they seize on information about tick-infested moose and lie to readers that moose have ticks because of global warming.

At least two serious errors have occurred here. The first being that the news agency appears not to have questioned any of the propaganda put out by the NRC and NWF and second, the information given by the NRC and NWF is misleading, incomplete and agenda-drive dishonesty.

Not quite 2 months ago, I provided readers with tons of information about science-substantiated winter ticks and moose. I challenge all to read it. I’ll spare you the blow by blow errors and misleading information provided in the Public News Service piece and try to help readers understand about ticks and why we are seeing more and more dead moose in the woods of Maine.

While it may not be wrong to state that warm weather causes more ticks, in the context of the article cited, it is intentionally misleading. The study I am referencing says that what happens during the early fall when ticks make their way onto vegetation in preparation of hitching a ride on a moose, is the most determining factor on how many ticks survive and how much the moose is effected by the ticks. The study says that it is in September and October when ticks find their way to the vegetation where they ultimately wait for their hosts to appear. This happens to coincide with the annual moose rut. Let’s not also forget that these ticks use all ungulates, i.e. moose, elk, deer, etc.

However, if any one of three elements or a combination of all occurs, ticks finding their way onto moose will be lessened, sometimes substantially. The first are deep snows. In Maine, how often are their deep snows? While there are no given definitions to “deep snows” in the study, one could conclude that being the data indicates these ticks can be found from a couple inches to several feet above the ground, I presume a foot of snow or more might have an effect on the ticks. Again, how often does this happen?

A second event that effects ticks is “6 consecutive days in which the temperature does not exceed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.” When was the last time this happened in Maine during September, October and November?

And the third thing is windy weather. Strong and gusty winds will knock ticks off vegetation and more times than not are unable to reestablish themselves for that free ride. Consequently, the ticks die. How often does the wind blow in Maine? But, let me be honest. There could be little cold, no snow and no winds to interfere with the tick crop and we could have a banner year. Does that mean it’s all attributed to global warming? There could be little cold, no snow and windier than normal conditions leading to a minimal crop. Is this all attributed to global cooling?

From the point of finding their way onto moose, the ticks basically ride around staying warm enough to survive through winter. In late winter, around in March, the female ticks begin engorging themselves with blood from the moose. This irritates the moose causing them to rub, sometimes incessantly, in attempts to get rid of the ticks. The loss of energy, reduced periods of rest and loss of hair due to rubbing, all can contribute to a moose’s ability to tough out the rest of the winter. However, studies indicate the while ticks infestation contributes to ungulate death, it is not the main cause. Eventually the ticks are rubbed off and die and sometimes they survive. By spring, the ticks drop off the moose and the cycle begins again.

To create a blank statement that global warming causes more ticks to kill moose, simply is an incomplete and dishonest statement. An argument can be made that prolonged warming could attribute to an increase in ticks under certain conditions. However, I’m not sure that further studies exist to inform us as to how increased warming effects the entire ecosystem that includes the tick. Is it honest or intelligent to assume that warming is all good? Perhaps prolonged warming has detrimental effects on ticks that we have yet to discover.

Instead of dishonestly taking advantage of news reports of more dead moose being found in the woods and attributing it to global warming-caused tick infestations, why not take two minutes and examine stark and simple realities that can probably explain away much of what all the fuss is about.

It was but a mere 10 years ago that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife was stating that the state’s moose population was around 29,000. Today, those estimates have risen dramatically and now may actually be approaching 100,000. With 3 – 4 times the number of moose ramming around the forests and fields, doesn’t it make sense that there are 3 – 4 times the number of moose roaming about the countryside in September and October picking up ticks. And doesn’t it stand to reason that with 3 – 4 times more moose carrying ticks, that more ticks survive to repeat the cycle? And finally, if there are 3 – 4 times the number of moose than there used to be ten years ago, wouldn’t the chances be pretty good we might be seeing 3 – 4 times the number of dead moose?

Tom Remington

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From the Journals of Lewis and Clark: The Struggle for Food

As I continue my reread of the adventures of Lewis and Clark, often times the reading is dry with weather reports and what they saw on the right and saw on the left and how many miles they covered. At times however, both Lewis and Clark write in relative depth about certain issues and observations.

Included in the expedition that was sanctioned by President Jefferson and headed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were what was then considered “professional hunters”. I have no idea what qualifications these men possessed that earned them the distinction of professional hunters, but nonetheless throughout the entire journey they were on a daily basis dispatched by Lewis and Clark to hunt and gather food. Sometimes this involved having the hunters go ahead of the expedition and cache food along the riverbanks and/or trails for the troops.

Finding food was not always an easy chore. As a matter of fact, the expedition was forced many times to kill and eat horses they had bought from the Indians. Through many days travel from the Continental Divide and down through the Columbia River, Lewis and Clarke bought dogs from the Indians to feed their troops. During their first winter camping alongside the Missouri River, the expedition may have starved to death had it not been for the modest supplies of dried foods the natives had that Lewis and Clark were able to trade for.

In my reading at present, Lewis and Clark are camped for the winter near the mouth of the Columbia River where it flows into the Pacific Ocean. It rains and storms nearly everyday. Conditions are miserable, to say the least. Troops work everyday in the lousy weather building shelters, smoke house, supply storage and fort walls. Because of the conditions and hard work, the troops are suffering injuries and illness. Generally speaking conditions are not great and to add to it, the availability of fresh meat is just not reliable.

Several Indian tribes take up their winter residence in the same area. These natives eat a different diet than do the white men involved in the expedition. The natives mostly subsist on fish, roots and berries, Lewis and Clark are forced to buy a lot of this food from the Indians because there is not a lot of easily found meat, i.e. elk, deer, etc. nearby. They also struggle in keeping their meat from spoiling even though at this point they have constructed a smoke house used to cure meat.

Needless to say, the adventurers have learned to eat many different things along their journey, including spoiled meat as well as fresh meat from just about every wild critter they could kill.

During the time that Lewis and Clark spent on the coast of what is now Washington and Oregon, both Lewis and Clark wrote in their journals comments about eating certain meats that today in our society would be unheard of.

Written January 3, 1806 by Clark in the Journals of Lewis and Clark:

“Our party from necessity have been obliged to subsist some length of time on dogs, have now become extremely fond of their flesh; it is worthy of remark that while we lived principally on the flesh of this animal we were much more healthy, strong and more fleshy than we have been since we left the buffalo country. As for my own part, I have not become reconciled to the taste of this animal as yet.”

At the time this was written, I’m half guessing that perhaps William Clark was waxing a little nostalgic, hungry and missing those moments when fresh elk and deer meat were readily available for sustenance. The expedition’s hunters were able to locate and kill some elk, at times great distances from the newly built fort, there was never enough of this meat to feed the troops on a regular basis. Because of the great distances away where the elk were shot and killed, by the time the hunters, with help from the troops, retrieved the meat and brought it to the fort, it was spoiled or beginning to spoil. Smoking the meat didn’t take away the spoil.

At this time, both Lewis and Clark had expressed dissatisfaction with being forced to eat the dried fish the natives had and that which the expedition had to purchase or barter to get because of the lack of fresh meat. Also it was noted a few times that Lewis and Clark could not sustain trading away all of their supplies in order to subsist.

In short, I’m not sure that Lewis and Clark fully anticipated having the struggles they did to eat well on a consistent basis.

It was only two days later that we find where Capt. Lewis makes comment about what he eats. To set the stage for these comments, Meriwether Lewis had ordered some of his men to take canoes and travel to the beaches of the ocean and find a likely place in which they could set up and make salt. This place ended up being several miles from the fort.

After about 6 days had passed since the salt making party were to have returned to the fort, Clark and others went looking for them. In the meantime, the salt party returned to the fort temporarily and brought with them about a quart or so of fine quality salt they had been successful in making.

In the context of the below comments by Capt. Lewis, he is writing about how some of the men were excited to have salt to dress up, if you will, their meat and meals. Lewis makes note that he really could care little about whether he had salt and makes the following comments.

Capt Lewis, January 5, 1806, from the Journals of Lewis and Clark:

“The want of bread I consider as trivial provided I get fat meat, far as to the species of meat I am not very particular. The flesh of the dog, the horse and the wolf, having from habit become equally familiar with any other, and I have learned to think that if the chord be sufficiently strong, which binds the soul and body together, it does not so much matter about the materials which compose it.”

Part of the motivation to write this piece comes from comments that have been made by some animal rights groups about the recently released movie, The Grey. The movie is about people that survive a plane crash in the snow climes of the north country, smack dab in the middle of packs of wolves.

I’ve not seen the movie but evidently at some point for survival, some of the wolves that have been killed as the result of attacks by the wolves on the survivors, are eaten by the people. The comments from animal rights groups and other ignoramuses, are that nobody can eat a dog and there is nothing nutritious in them.

This of course is quite the contrary. Not only in our own history books, as I have shown above, and world history has the eating of dogs been a regular occurrence, in some societies today, the habit still happens.

Tom Remington

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