April 28, 2017

By Funding Trophy Wolf Hunts, We’re Destroying Real Game Hunts

wolfutah*Editor’s Note* – This post first appeared on this website on October 8, 2014. It was requested of me to republish it as a means of updating the importance of the article as a prediction of the future.

It seems just a short while ago that wolf (re)introduction happened – 1995 and 1996. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and as the water moved downstream, it has blended in with a lot of other water, not becoming lost but perhaps unrecognizable.

As most of you know, I’m writing a book about wolves. Actually it’s really not about wolves other than to point out the obvious behaviors of the animal. The book is more about the corruption. However, in working to put all this information together, I’ve come across some things that I had written about in which I had actually forgotten.

It really began in early 2009, when there was a glimmer of hope that wolves might come off the Endangered list and residents in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming could begin killing the animal to get it back down to 100 wolves as promised in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. What? Had you forgotten?

Around about that same time, I began reading about the plans Idaho was going to begin formulating in preparation for wolf hunts. I said then that utilizing a season for “trophy” wolf hunting would not work.

I wrote a five-part series that I know some of you have read, perhaps more than once, called “To Catch a Wolf” – an historical account of the extreme difficulty people had throughout history trying to control wolves to stop them from killing livestock and attacking people.

The real joke was when Idaho officials, in a fraudulent attempt to convince anyone who would blindly listen, that trophy hunting wolves, was going to protect the elk, deer and moose herds. This did not happen. As a matter of fact, it so much did not happen, that Idaho Fish and Game took to helicopters to gun down wolves in the Lolo Region because officials were willing to admit there was a wolf problem….or maybe they were just placating the sportsmen. They killed 5 wolves and yet somehow they want sportsmen to believe that a trophy hunting season will protect the game herds?

The myth here is that increasing or decreasing wolf tags will grow or shrink elk, deer and moose herds. Sorry, but controlling elk, deer and moose tags controls elk, deer and moose herds. Select-harvesting a handful of wolves does nothing to protect game herds.

Why, then, are Idaho sportsmen continuing to fund a fraudulent trophy wolf hunting season that may actually be causing the further destruction of the elk, deer and moose they so much wish to protect and grow?

On November 30, 2012, I wrote and published the following article. I took the liberty to embolden some statements I wish to now more fully draw your attention to.

Trophy Hunting Season on Wolves Destroying More Elk, Moose and Deer?

Recently I read a comment made by Bob Ream, chairman of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) Commission, state that:

We [MFWP] have implemented more and more aggressive wolf harvests. We also increased lion harvests considerably this year.

The word aggressive is certainly an overused adjective used much in the same fashion as say a male peacock when he displays his tail feathers. In the context used in the quote above, I’m assuming Mr. Ream intended his use of the word aggressive to mean something to be proud of, a feat of accomplishment or something related. But when talking about wolves, killing, attacks, predation, hunting, trapping, disease and every aspect associated with gray wolves, “implementing[ed] more and more aggressive wolf harvests” kind of rings a bit hollow.

In its simplest form, wolves, at least under the existing conditions in most of Montana, Idaho and Wildlife, grow and expand at a rate of anywhere between 20% and 30%, I am told and have read as well. Estimates of wolf populations mean little except in political and emotional battles because nobody knows how many there are and they are lying if they tell you otherwise. For the sake of argument, I have read that the tri-state region of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have at least 6,000 wolves. On the top end I’ve heard 15,000 but I’m going to guess that might be high but then again I don’t live there and spend time in the woods.

If there were 6,000 wolves then math tells us that 1200 – 1800 wolves should be killed each year just to sustain the population at 6,000; and states like Montana, who according to Bob Ream, are aggressively killing more wolves.

But now the question has been brought up that perhaps states offering hunting and trapping seasons, based on the principle of “trophy” and “big game” hunting and trapping, might be causing even more game animals, like elk, moose and deer, to be killed. Is this possible?

It was nearly 4 years ago that I wrote a series, “To Catch a Wolf“. Much of the purpose of that series and other related articles, was to explain how difficult it is to kill a wolf; historically and globally. It’s one of the hardest things to do over a prolonged period of time and that’s why I chuckle at comments like Bob Ream’s when he describes the MFWP actions toward killing wolves as aggressive. There is NOTHING aggressive about trophy hunting wolves.

The process was long and mostly wrought with illegal actions and corruption, but eventually, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming got the infamous and controversial gray wolf removed from protections of the Endangered Species Act and trophy hunting seasons commenced; after all, wasn’t that the target goals of each of the states’ fish and game departments?

And so how’s that “aggressive” hunting and trapping going to reduce wolf populations?

If any of this isn’t complicated and wrought with emotion and irrational thinking enough already, in an email exchange I received today, the idea was presented that hunting a token number of wolves, in other words, managing them as a game species and classified as a trophy animal, might actually be only amounting to breeding a healthier, less stressful wolf that will eat more elk, deer and moose and become an even larger creature than it already is, further capable of killing more and bigger prey.

This idea is based in science, although those who don’t like the science disregard it. The science is the topic of wolf size. Most people are of the thought that a wolf’s size is determined by the species or subspecies the wolf comes from. I’m not going to pretend I have a full grasp of this science but will pass on that the essence of wolf size is determined mostly by food supply.

Consider then this premise to manage wolves as a big game species, which is what is being done in Montana and Idaho. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which includes managing game for surplus harvest, has worked marvelously well over the years, producing in places too many of certain game species. We certainly don’t want that for wolves as the proportion of wolves to prey/game species will soon get all out of whack. Our only hope then, is that the fish and game departments will fail as miserably managing wolves as they have elk, moose and mule/whitetail deer.

There is a reason why honest wildlife managers classify bona fide game animals as such and coyotes (and it should be also wolves) varmints to be shot and killed on site. It’s the only way to keep them at bay. This would be considered an aggressive move toward wolf control. Anything, short of an all out organized program to extirpate the wolf, would work just dandy and would never danger the future existence of this animal.
End

In the years that I have written about wolves, wolf “management” and the political nonsense that goes hand in hand with it, it certainly appears to me that there has become quite an effort among sportsmen to protect THEIR “trophy” wolf hunts. Is that in the best interest of actually regaining a vibrant elk, deer and moose population, that is supposed to be managed for surplus harvest, according to Idaho code?

In its most basic form, at least ask yourself how that “aggressive” trophy wolf hunting is effecting the elk, deer and moose herds? At the same time, what has become and continues to become of those elk tags? There just aren’t enough “trophy” wolf hunters to be effective and supporting the farce perpetuated by Idaho Fish and Game isn’t helping. It’s the same as buying a fifth of gin for a gin-soaked homeless fool.

As was relayed to me today, it seems the, “participants are in a race for the final bull elk or big buck in various units.” That’s the direction it seems we are headed.

Here’s a mini refresher course in promised wolf management. When the Final Environmental Impact Statement was approved, leading to the Final Rule on Wolf Reintroduction, the citizens of the Northern Rocky Mountain Region, where wolves were to be (re)introduced, were promised several things. First, we were promised that wolves would be “recovered,” a viable, self-sustaining population, when 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves existed in three separate wolf management zones for three consecutive years. Those numbers were achieved by 2003. What happened? Nothing but lawsuits and wolves didn’t finally get delisted until 2011 due to legislative action.

All promises made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were based on 30 breeding pairs and 300 wolves. They lied!

Second, citizens of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming were promised that wolves would have no measurable impact on wild game herds. The only thing that might possibly be needed was a slight 10% or less reduction in cow elk tags should the occasion arise for the need to boost elk production in exceptional cases.

So, I ask. How many elk tags have been lost since those promises were made? As a matter of fact, all promises made were reneged on. There is no reason to believe or support anything promised us by government. Stop giving government money to run their con game. At this rate game animals will all be gone soon enough and no hunting opportunities will prevail….except possibly trophy wolf tags.

What will it be. As the old saying goes, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

Welcome to Montana

Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame to Induct RMEF’s Munson

Press Release from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame recently named Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation co-founder Bob Munson among its 2016 inductees.

“I am humbled and grateful for this honor,” said Munson. “I am especially proud that RMEF was born in Montana and still calls this great state home. I thank my wife, Vicki, who also played a key role in shaping RMEF, for always being by my side and supporting me.”

“This recognition is most deserving,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Bob’s induction is a reflection of his character, work ethic and endurance in establishing and helping this organization become the great conservation force that it is today. We thank him and Vicki for their past and continuing efforts.”

Munson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964 from the University of Montana. He served his country for four years as a U.S. Army captain. Munson was one of four Montana elk hunters who founded RMEF in 1984. He led RMEF in an executive capacity through 14 years of substantial growth and conservation achievement. He and wife Vicki, who have six children, currently serve as co-chairmen of the RMEF Habitat Council along with co-founder Charlie Decker and his wife, Yvonne. Munson is also a RMEF board member.

The Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals, both living and posthumous, who made significant and lasting contributions to the restoration and conservation of Montana’s wildlife and wild places. The focus of the awards is not only to recognize Montana’s historical and contemporary conservation leaders, but also to capture the stories of these individuals in an effort to contribute to public awareness and education.

Munson and his fellow inductees will have their names recorded by the Montana Historical Society and take part in induction ceremonies December 3, 2016, in Helena.

Requirement of Background Checks for Private Gun Sales a “Challenge to Constitution”

The city of Missoula, Montana recently passed an ordinance that requires background checks on all private gun sales within the city limits. (Note: I’ve been unable to find the actual text of the ordinance, but here’s some information about it.) Through legal channels, it has been requested that the Montana Attorney General investigate and come up with an opinion as to whether or not this requirement imposed on private gun sales is in conflict with the Second Amendment and the Montana Constitution.

“Knudsen says he has been concerned with Missoula’s proposed ordinance for over a year, and that the issue may come up in the next legislative session.

“The Second amendment and Firearms are a very big deal to me personally and I think that this is an important issue,” Knudsen said. “Any time you start messing with people’s Second Amendment rights, not only under thee Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but also under the Montana Constitution, people have the right to keep and bear arms…when you start messing with that, people get upset. I think there is definitely a possibility that the legislature could do something.”

Fox has already issued the following statement regarding the ordinance.

“Contrary to the opinion of the City Attorney, whom I respect, I believe that Missoula’s proposed gun control ordinance is prohibited by state law and likely violates our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”“<<<Read More>>>

 

Bullock Lied to Montana Voters and the Media

Press Release from Gary Marbut:

Bullock’s Statement about Second Amendment Support is Flat Wrong
MISSOULA – In the Billings debate between challenger Greg Gianforte and Governor Steve Bullock, the candidates were asked a question about their support for the right to keep and bear arms.  In his response, Governor Bullock claimed, “I’ve worked with the Legislature to make sure that you can protect your home and your property by passing the castle doctrine.”
Gary Marbut, author of Gun Laws of Montana commented, “Bullock’s statement is flat wrong.  Montana’s castle doctrine law, ‘Defense of an occupied structure,’ has been on the Montana law books since the Bannack Statutes of Montana territorial days, about 1865.  That existing law was most recently clarified in 2009 in a bill signed by Governor Schweitzer, before Bullock was Governor.”
“It’s pretty sleazy,” Marbut continued, “for Bullock to claim credit for a law that was enacted just after the Civil War, long before he was born.  That sure makes a person wonder about his answers to other questions posed by panelists during the debate, such as the one ‘Have you ever been involved in an extra-marital affair?’ “
When introducing his position on the right to keep and bear arms, Bullock said, “In Montana we use our guns for both self protection and for our public lands.”
About this comment, Marbut asked, “Just how do Montanans use guns for public lands?  How much further could Bullock be out of touch with the tens of thousands of Montana gun owners who use firearms for recreation, competitive shooting, collecting, predator control, and other legitimate uses?”
Marbut noted a Democrat from Bozeman running for Congress who pointed out that every political aspirant in Montana must claim to support the Second Amendment.  To do otherwise would be political suicide.  “Bullock’s multiple vetoes of pro-gun bills passed by the Legislature and his false claim of credit for a law enacted before his parents were born paint an accurate picture of Bullock’s true disrespect for the right to keep and bear arms,” Marbut said.
Marbut is also President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners.  MSSA has endorsed challenger Greg Gianforte in his bid to replace Bullock as Governor, because Gianforte has pledged to sign the bills that Bullock has vetoed.  The National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America have also endorsed Gianforte.

Ban on Trapping and Why Wording For a Right to Hunt Amendment is Important

The following email came from Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association:

Dear MSSA Friends,

The media tells us that anti activists have gathered enough signatures to put I-177 on the November ballot, to ban trapping on public lands.

Isn’t this proposed law unconstitutional under the right to hunt, fish and trap that MSSA got into the Montana Constitution?

Yes.  See my comment for the record last September to MT DoJ about I-177 at:
http://www.progunleaders.org/Trapping/

However, the rules are that an initiative cannot be challenged for constitutionality until and unless it is approved by the voters and becomes law.  Until that occurs, you may spread the word that, among other serious problems, I-177 is a waste of effort and taxpayer resources because IF Montana courts follow the law I-177 will eventually be stricken as in violation of the Montana Constitution.
Best wishes,

Lupus Mathematica

Observe! What you see is nothing but a plain, ordinary, black, top hat. Look inside! Nothing in it. I’m going to wave my magical wand and a wolf puppy will pop out of my hat. Or some such nonsense. Here’s an example of voodoo Lupus Mathematica when it comes to an all out effort to protect the disease-carrying varmints – regardless of the cost to humans.

The other day I read in a few Online news accounts where one headline read: “Panel Rejects Tripling Wolf Harvest Near Yellowstone.” (emphasis added) What a frightening proposition that anyone would even suggest the idea of needlessly slaughtering three times the number of wolves that are already taken by hunters and government agents. Isn’t that the reaction sought by the media? Did you swallow the bait?

“OMG! I heard that Montana has at least 700 or 800 wolves and that last year evil, mentally ill, hunters and government agents killed 200 wolves. OMG! If Montana had planned to triple the wolf harvest…OMG! That’s over 600 wolves!” as some ignorant environmentalist would exclaim. Isn’t that the reaction sought by the media?

However, that’s not true but it’s how people emotionally react and part of that training comes from irresponsible headlines that read that Montana decides not to TRIPLE the wolf harvest – Oh, did anybody seriously mention that harvest was only NEAR Yellowstone? In an area with more than enough wolves to go around?

A more honest approach to this non issue news story would be to first present how many wolves government officials allowed to be harvested last year in this same region NEAR Yellowstone – that would be TWO WOLVES!

Officials had recommended increasing that quota to SIX WOLVES! However, that figure just doesn’t sound so threatening to wolves as does a statement to TRIPLE the wolf harvest.

Get a life!

National Access Funding Cements Montana Elk Habitat, Public Access Project

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, U.S. Forest Service and other partners permanently protected 800 acres of prime elk habitat while also improving access to approximately 5,500 acres of surrounding public land in southwest Montana.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been instrumental in our ability to secure recreational access to Montana’s public lands,” said Leanne Marten, Regional Forester of the Forest Service’s Northern Region. “Recreation is a major component of Montana’s economy and access to our forests is so important. We are proud that Zekes Meadow was the first use of the 2016 LWCF’s Priority Recreation Access appropriations in the National Forest System.”

“We are grateful to our partners for recognizing the conservation values of this particular project and its benefits for wildlife and public access,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “We also thank our congressional lawmakers for supporting LWCF funding and urge them to fully reauthorize this vital program currently set to expire in 2018.”

Located in Granite County west of Georgetown Lake within the Rock Creek watershed, including its headwaters, the property consists of two inholdings on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The southernmost portion features aspen-lined meadows and riparian habitat including Moose Meadow Creek which provides spawning grounds for westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. The northern section includes a ponderosa pine-dominated forest, springs, wetlands and streams that are home to nearly 500 elk as well as moose, deer, grizzly bear, mountain lion and wolverine.

As part of the transaction, RMEF conveyed the land to the USFS for management purposes. The project connected more than 15 miles of public trails on land that was previously difficult to reach. Hunters, hikers, anglers and others now have access to the trailhead and can park on the USFS property.

“The landowners were willing to sell the entire property in order for the Forest Service to be able to extend public access across the land,” said Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Pintler District Ranger Charlene Bucha. “This access connects to an extensive system of trails within the Sapphire Wilderness Study Area and secures backcountry recreation for horseback riding, hiking, fishing, camping, and hunting.”

LWCF Recreational Access Funding is used by federal agencies to secure access for the American public to its federal lands. Agencies work with willing landowners to secure rights-of-ways, easements or fee simple lands that provide public access, or consolidate federal ownership so that the public has intact places to hike, hunt and fish.

In addition to LWCF Recreational Access Funding via the USFS, other funding partners include RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

RMEF uses TFE funding solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

Wolves kill cattle in Absarokee area; Wildlife Services looks to eradicate pack

Two yearling heifers were killed by wolves near Absarokee on March 25, prompting Wildlife Services to set leg-hold snares near the cattle carcasses.The same Rosebud pack killed a yearling on a neighboring ranch along Fiddler Creek at the base of the Beartooth Front two months ago, according to John Steuber, state director of Montana Wildlife Services. The pack was also blamed for killing two calves last year — one in May and one in July.

Source: Wolves kill cattle in Absarokee area; Wildlife Services looks to eradicate pack | Outdoors | billingsgazette.com

I Thought Wolf Delisting Law Prohibited Judicial Review

wolfutahIn March of 2011, I told readers that the Baucus/Tester rider bill on a federal budget continuing resolution was a fraud, corrupt, designed to exhort money and destroy urban America, deceptive, dishonest, political regurgitation, crooked, destructive, inequitable, preferential, and unconstitutional. I think I got all the bases covered. In short, I did not like it very much. I do recall on more than occasion saying that passage of this bill would come back and bite us all on the ass. The chickens have come home to roost.

First, a little history. Efforts by a small group of concerned citizens believing in the need for sensible wolf management and control, spent a great deal of time to get someone in Congress to work toward getting the Endangered Species Act amended, that would yield real results aimed at limiting the ability of environmental groups to bring frivolous lawsuits and managing wildlife through the court system.

Good and positive progress was made in Washington until another group of so-called sportsmen, decided their politics were more important than productive and equitable wildlife management. Having access to lots of money, they were successful in destroying the years of effort many of us had put in and in it’s place was born the rider bill to a budget continuing resolution brought by Senators Baucus and Tester.

*Note* – More information on the rider bill and the political shenanigans can be found here and here.

The “rider,” attached to the continuing resolution, reads as follows:

SEC. 1713. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review and shall not abrogate or otherwise have any effect on the order and judgment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in Case Numbers 09–CV–118J and 09–CV–138J on November 18, 2010.

*Note* – I added the links in this rider bill text for truth seekers interested in research. I also emboldened parts of the text.

On April 2, 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published in the Federal Register the plan to delist wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. This was challenged in the Courts and wolf delisting was repealed and wolves were placed back under protection of the Endangered Species Act. Subsequent attempts to delist, were, once again, met with lawsuits, until, out of frustration with trying to deal with a serious issue through normal channels, we ended up with passage of the rider bill shown above.

But did we then and do we now understand what that bill actually says? It is typical politician and lawyer mumbo-jumbo B.S., designed to deceive and leave wide open the door for further litigation and interpretation. (Defined as a way to make gobs more money.)

Dr. Charles Kay, wildlife ecology, Utah State University had said from the time of passage of the Baucus/Tester bill, that the wording of the bill is such that it ends the prohibition of litigation at the end of the mandated, 5-year monitoring period, which is found in 74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq. Upon hearing that environmental groups intended to sue the USFWS when the 5-year monitoring ended, Kay said, ““Congress said that the 2009 delisting regulations were the law of the land and that there was to be no more litigation regarding the 2009 regulations, which include a provision that the Feds monitor state management for 5 years before fully removing wolves from federal control……..Congress did not say that final removal of federal oversight could not be litigated.

What do you think the text means?

First we read that the Secretary of Interior must reissue the 2009 Final Rule to delist wolves. Simple enough. The text clearly states that the Final Rule has precedence or authority over any “statutes or regulations” that have been issued in this case. In other words, all previous court rulings from lawsuits brought after the initial filing of the 2009 Final Rule, are void.

Now comes the confusing words – I believe added by design (political bantering and corrupt back-scratching). Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review … Assuming that “including this section” means Sec. 1713 (shown above) then it must be interpreted to  mean that the passage of the continuing resolution, including Sec. 1713, cannot be challenged in a court of law.

I read the rest to mean that the “reissuance” of the 2009 Final Rule cannot be challenged in a court of law. What isn’t clear is whether or not the reissuance of the 2009 Final Rule can ever be challenged in a court of law. I see nothing in the above text that even prohibits lawsuits after the reissuance. All I read is that the act of reissuing a Final Rule cannot be challenged.

Perhaps a closer look at the actual Final Rule will shed more light. The Endangered Species Act requires that from the time of issuance of a Final Rule to remove a species from ESA protection, a period of, no less than, 5 years must be set aside for the USFWS to monitor the species and the actions of a state’s management plans and results. Inside that 5-year monitoring, the USFWS has authority to intervene and place a species back under federal protection if they so deem appropriate. In other words, the Feds have authority over the wolf management plan. After the 5-years, then what. Is the Final Rule null and void? If after the 5 years and the USFWS sees no further need to monitor the wolf, then isn’t it probable that from then into the future should the USFWS want to put wolves back under protection of the Endangered Species Act, they would have to begin the process all over again? Which would include no restrictions on lawsuits.

One might assume that under “normal” administration of the ESA and a final rule, that anyone would be free to petition and ultimately file a lawsuit intended to force the USFWS to continue monitoring of a species, should such a suit provide evidence to show a species may be in peril under existing circumstances. Because in this case, it is not normal, do environmentalist groups have freedom to challenge any part of the “reissuance” of the 2009 Final Rule?

Sec. 1713 of the Continuing Resolution says that the “reissuance” cannot be challenged. Now that the Final Rule has been reissued and the 5-year monitoring is near complete, can wolf delisting in Montana and Idaho be challenged?

I would assume that if it can, then any part of the delisting of wolves in Montana, Idaho or anywhere else in the United States can be challenged in a court of law. That being the case, then we should expect that with the past history of wolf litigation, along with the mostly bought-and-paid-for judges, wolves will systematically be declared endangered and will be federally protected anywhere the environmentalists would like for them to be, along with the help of the Courts.

Therefore, I return to my original anger when certain “sportsmen” groups used their own political agendas to destroy an effort in Congress that would have prevented such lawsuit nonsense. Instead, we are right back to square one where management of wolves is fully in the hands of the Courts.

In an email just the other day, I shared with a few recipients to remind them that the USFWS has never won a wolf lawsuit brought by environmentalists. As a matter of fact, I don’t think they have even challenged a court ruling on wolves.

Partisan politics, rooted in power hungry greed, destroys everything. That is why Washington is a dysfunctional cesspool of corruption and criminal activity.