March 17, 2018

Nearly Three Quarters Of Maine Moose Hunters Successful In 2017

*Note* – In the Press Release below, the second paragraph states, “For success rates in all Wildlife Management Districts and in each season, please visit the 2017 Maine Moose Harvest Summary.” The problem with that is when visiting the website, at least at the time of this writing, accessing such a report appears to be impossible. the MDIFW website scrubbed publishing harvest data, we were told, and now they are telling us to visit the Harvest Summary, which can’t be found.

I copied “2017 Maine Moose Harvest Summary” and pasted it into the search box on the MDIFW website. The results gave what appears to be a link but the link gives only an error message. I also pasted the same search criteria into a Google search and received nothing.

Perhaps sometime in the future, that link will work. What is certain though is that the website evidently has no intention of making any information wanted easy to find. I curse some of the changes made to the site and I might suppose that was their purpose in doing so, i.e. accountability, or so it appears.

*Update* – Mar 7, 2018, 10:45 am. I placed the link above as I was able to find a link that worked. Still not sure the link on the MDIFW website is any good.

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — Despite warm spells during both the September and October moose seasons, 73% of all moose hunters harvested a moose last season.

With 2,080 moose permits issued, 1,518 hunters were successful in getting their moose. Hunter success rates varied throughout different regions of the state with over 80 percent of the hunters getting moose in Wildlife Management Districts 1-3 and 5 and 6 in Aroostook County. For success rates in all Wildlife Management Districts and in each season, please visit the 2017 Maine Moose Harvest Summary.

“Weather impacted many hunters, particularly the first week,” said IFW’s moose biologist Lee Kantar. “Moose tend to travel less and spend more time in cover when it’s hot. Hunter effort also declines.”

The 73% success rate for hunters is consistent with the 71% success rate for moose hunters over the past five years. Success rate for turkey hunters generally is over 30%, bear hunters in Maine are successful 25% of the time and deer hunters in Maine are successful 15-20% of the time.

Maine’s moose season is split into three segments with six-day seasons in September and October. Temperatures were above 80 degrees on the first few days of the season in September, and some warmer weather in the 70s prevailed during the early part of the October season.

“High success rates for moose hunters in northern Maine are consistent with what we are seeing with our moose survival study,” stated Kantar. “Adult survival rates are consistently high in our study areas, and calf survival rates are higher in our northern Maine study area compared to our western Maine study area.”

The radio collar study is just one component of the research that IFW conducts on moose. IFW also utilizes aerial flights to assess population abundance and the composition of the moose herd. During the moose hunting season, biologists also examine teeth to determine a moose’s age, measure antler spread, monitor the number of ticks a moose carries, and examine cow ovaries in late fall to determine reproductive rates.

Biologists are preparing to recommend moose permit numbers for the fall 2018 moose season. The number of available moose permits is based upon population numbers and the composition of the moose population in wildlife management districts, as well as the population goals and objectives for that district.

*Editor’s Comment* – It puzzles me, but then again a lot of things puzzle me, that in this press release, it says that “Moose tend to travel less and spend more time in cover when it’s hot. Hunter effort also declines.” And then goes on to tell us that temperatures during parts of the moose hunting season were in the 80s and/or in the 70s.

In addition, we are also told that the moose hunter’s success rate was 73% compared to the previous 5-year average of 71%. That amounts to about 20 moose, which doesn’t seem at all significant in the grand scheme of things. So what’s the point of the statement about temperatures? It appears contradictory that warm temperatures would drive success rates down but it looks like the success rate was ever so slightly higher than the five-year average. Is this just smoke and mirrors?

Not knowing (and I searched) what the aggregate success rate for moose hunting since 1985 is, we really can’t get a true idea of whether 73% is average, higher or lower. Are we then to assume that the purpose of the statement made about high temperatures and hunter effort declining is the perpetuation of the myth that global warming is the cause for all things the might negatively affect one’s job? What are we to think?


Time To Apply For Your Dwindling Chances at a Moose Permit

From the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

MDIFW NEWS – – Apply Online Now For The 2018 Maine Moose Permit Lottery

AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is now accepting applications online for the 2018 Maine moose permit lottery. Applications for the 2018 Maine moose permit lottery will be accepted online only. The online application process is fast and simple and you receive instant confirmation that you have successfully entered the lottery.

To apply online, go to and fill out the online moose permit application. There, applicants will be able to indicate several preferences, including which wildlife management districts (WMD) they are willing to accept a permit in, and if they would accept a permit in another WMD if their name is drawn and all of their top choices are filled. They will also be able to select your preferred hunting season, whether or not they would accept an antlerless permit, and their choice of a sub-permittee.

If an applicant does not have access to a computer or the Internet at home, the Department has the following suggestions for applying online:

• Use a computer at work during lunch or a break • Use a computer at your local library • Ask a friend or relative with a computer for help in applying

The deadline to apply for the lottery is 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2018.

Applicants are awarded bonus points for each consecutive year that they have applied for the lottery since 1998 without being selected and each bonus point gives the applicant an additional chance in the drawing.

Bonus points are earned at the rate of one per year for years one to five, two per year for years six to 10, three per year for years 11 to 15 and 10 per year for years 16 and beyond.

Since 2011, applicants can skip a year and not lose their bonus points. So if they applied in 2016 but not in 2017, they still have their points available if they apply in 2018.

Want to be there for the drawing? The 2018 moose lottery permit drawing will take place during the Skowhegan Moose Festival. The festival runs June 8-10, 2018 at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds and the drawing will take place on the afternoon of June 9. For more information, please visit For more information about moose hunting in Maine and the moose permit lottery, please visit:


Maine’s Moose Lottery: It’s About Gaming the System Isn’t It?

Man is inherently dishonest even when they think they are not. Most come down on the side of the ends justify the means and/or there’s nothing wrong with a “white” lie. Also clawing at my brain is the idea that ethics is something you do when nobody is watching. As a result, untold amounts of energy are being expended on an hourly basis to “game” any system that is in place in order to gain a personal advantage.

Maine has an annual moose lottery. It’s not perfect and many (those who seem to never win) think it’s unfair. It’s about to become more complicated and corrupt. Why? Money!

A bill has been introduced that would allow money to exchange hands during a legal moose permit swap. According to the man who is in charge of permitting, around 100 moose permits are swapped each hunting season. The intent of the swapping regulation is to allow two people to exchange their permits for reasons other than a profit. Here’s a real example of one such swap that was beneficial to both parties involved without the need to buy or sell anything.

Two people were drawn as winners in the moose lottery. Both drew a permit in a zone they didn’t live near. It was not their first choice. As it happened, that if they swapped permits each would be closer to home for their hunt. What’s wrong with that? And wasn’t that the intent of the rule, to begin with?

Now it seems that complaints have surfaced because wealthy moose permit winners want to offer someone else with a permit gobs of money for an exchange (are their no limits?). Currently, that kind of remuneration is prohibited. It appears the most complaints came about when someone holding a moose permit for a calf or cow moose, wanted to pay someone who held a permit for a bull to swap. What’s wrong with that?

When applying for a chance for a moose permit, each applicant must choose the zone they prefer to hunt in. I believe the system allows for each applicant to name first and second preferences of what zones. Perhaps a third or more. You don’t get to choose what sex or age moose you will hunt, which makes one wonder who does.

I know of at least one, and I’m sure there are more, applicant who put in for a zone to hunt moose knowing it was the least requested zone increasing their chances of winning. The intent was that if they won, they could find someone to swap permits with. He won his permit but couldn’t find a swap. He didn’t go on the hunt and the permit was wasted. This is part of gaming the system. It still goes on and I would expect it would go on even more if money is allowed to enter the swap.

What might happen if I live near Zone 1, one of those areas few apply for because of its remoteness, and I am approached before the permitting process with a proposal to apply for Zone 1 and if I get drawn and draw a bull permit, I can make $10,000 or more by swapping my permit with someone else who has already arranged for a guide to take them on a Zone 1 hunt. Obviously, there are certain risks being taken here but millions of dollars are wagered each and every day for taking risks.

There are other issues to consider. It was brought up by someone else that allowing for the exchange of money would prompt those not interested in moose hunting to apply for a permit knowing that money could be made by “swapping.” In effect, the Maine Moose Lottery would become an endeavor at catering to the whims of wealthy hunters who could buy every permit issued.

Some may see all of this as not such a big deal. If so, where do we stop? If the demand by the wealthy to get a moose permit is so high, then why not begin with allowing the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to simply auction off the 2,000 to 3,000 permits allocated each year. Think of the revenue they could generate to go toward their raises and pensions. They could continue to work with the guides and outfitters in order that all can profit…all at the expense of the taxpayer who simply is seeking a chance at hunting a moose.

Consider that with the ability to buy a moose permit, interested parties will go far beyond locals and out-of-staters. International interest will grow as well.

Maybe the Maine Legislature will consider passing and modifying this proposal in order that they can tax it and they too will generate more income for raises and pensions. There is no end.

Money corrupts! It always has and always will. Each time the Maine Legislature allows for more infiltration of money the more corruption will take place. The system will continue to be gamed by those seeking an unlawful advantage for their selfish wants. You cannot avoid this!

Even though the MDIFW Joint Committee has put in language in the proposed bill that would prevent licensed guides from reaping any profits from buying and selling moose permits, or arranging for them, are members of the committee so naive to think this loophole can’t be beaten. Come on man! Under the table deals and straw “purchases” would run rampant. And those are the only ones I’m smart enough to think of.

In the meantime, the so-called honest moose hunter’s chances at a moose hunt are further diminished because the majority of permits are being taken up by nonhunting applicants for profits.

As the saying goes, “Money talks and shit walks.” I’m walking.


2017 Maine Moose Lottery Drawing Results

Follow this link and click on the letter that begins your last name to see if you won.


Apply now for the 2017 Maine Moose Permit Lottery

The deadline to apply for the 2017 Maine Moose Permit Lottery is fast approaching!

The online application process is fast and simple and you receive instant confirmation that you have successfully entered the lottery.  To apply, please visit The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2017.

Applicants are awarded bonus points for each consecutive year that they have applied for the lottery since 1998 without being selected and each bonus point gives the applicant an additional chance in the drawing.

Bonus points are earned at the rate of one per year for years one to five, two per year for years six to 10, three per year for years 11 to 15 and 10 per year for years 16 and beyond.

Since 2011, applicants can skip a year and not lose their bonus points. So if they applied in 2015 but not in 2016, they still have their points available if they apply in 2017.

The moose permit drawing will take place on June 17, 2017 at Caribou Parks and Recreation.

For more information about moose hunting in Maine and the moose permit lottery, please visit:


Maine Cuts Moose Hunting Permits by “Just” 3%

Opportunity! That’s the adjunct word that is readily used today in describing hunting, fishing, and trapping. Once everyone is brainwashed into accepting the word “opportunity” as a privilege granted by the state, what else is left?

Why should I, or anyone, get riled up over a measly little 3% reduction in “opportunity” to hunt moose? Maybe I shouldn’t but that’s not the whole and truthful story in the matter.

According to what the Portland Press Herald just reported,  in 2013 the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) issued 4,085 moose hunting permits. Those permits are handed out through a lottery process. Just announced by MDIFW is that this year’s permit allocation will stand at just 2,080. However, let’s make sure that Maine sportsmen understand that there is still “opportunity.” We can’t fault MDIFW’s management plans and execution of those plans because, well, we still have “opportunity.” That’s how many sportsmen see things. As I said, “opportunity” is the word.

If MDIFW keeps cutting permits, the moose numbers may recover to where 4,000 or more permits are allotted. By then the tick problem will resurface and MDIFW can find some Federal funds and/or grant money and conduct another study on the affects of winter ticks on moose, all the while never bothering to study the tick itself. It’s easier just to take what the environmentalists have perpetuated that global warming causes ticks. Science and common sense are no longer a part of the equations. Always be ruled by the demands of the social groups.

There is, however, hope…well, not really. I just like to say that, I suppose in the same fashion that fish and game departments love to promote “opportunity.”

Okay! So, we are supposed to cut the managers some slack because they are still in the middle of a moose study. Probably ten years from now, we will still be saying Maine is in the middle of a moose study. Or maybe the sharing of the results and data of this moose study will happen as efficiently as when we get harvest reports for deer, bear and moose…never? We had to find out through the grapevine that MDIFW was conducting a deer study with the major land owners of northern Maine. Evidently this study is about how protecting deer yards is having no effect on the deer. Let’s go discuss it in the coffee shop. That has always worked.

We know winter ticks are being blamed for fewer moose which results in fewer hunting permits (opportunist). I don’t have a problem with that….well, mostly not. Of course increased winter ticks has always been blamed on global warming, even though Maine’s head moose biologist says, “With moose the hypothesis that is being talked about has to do with climate, but it’s complicated. It seems spring and fall affect the winter ticks, that and high moose densities.”

Notice he did call it a hypothesis. It appears this hypothesis, like all other hypotheses, still provides the escape to blame all things on climate change. Winter ticks have been around the world since the beginning of time. Who did the first moose biologists blame the ticks on?

I refuse to even hint that Kantar is suggesting anything will ever be done about “high moose densities” unless it is done by Nature the way it has in the past 3 years. There are too many moose, causing too many ticks and those ticks are killing off the moose. The reports are that this year’s winter tick mortality has been considerably less than the previous 3. What has happened to the moose population during this time? Who knows. They won’t tell us. Is a reduction in moose population directly proportional to the reduction in ticks. Nah, it’s the drought and the cold winter. Don’t you know?

Aside from all this, the state wouldn’t dream of reducing moose populations to mitigate ticks and other diseases, including public safety and private property issues, because they fear the lobby of the environmentalists and those looking to make a buck gawking at moose. I don’t blame those looking to make a buck…but at what expense.

But, never fear. Maine sportsmen will always have their “opportunities.” Opportunities may not exist for all or even most. If you’ve got the money, you can increase your chances, even while the chances continue to dwindle. If there remain but one lone moose permit, deer permit, bear permit, etc. Mainers couldn’t complain because MDIFW has protected their opportunities.

If LD 11, a constitutional amendment said to protect hunting, fishing and trapping in Maine, were to pass, how easy it will become to protect opportunity.



Are They the King’s Moose Or Are We Now Subsidizing Maine’s Sporting Camps

According to George Smith, he reports, “DIF&W, as it has on almost all the bills this session, testified in opposition to the change.” 

The change in question here is in regards to another elitist, socialism-type, subsidized effort to give an even larger percentage of moose hunting permits to sporting camps struggling to make a go of things. If things don’t stop, all hunting permits will go to special interest groups and preferred, elitist organizations. This often means those who most are in need of meat for food, can’t afford to play or don’t stack up to some good-ole-boy’s idea of who can hunt and who can’t.

Since when is Maine now responsible for subsidizing sporting camp owners? Free Enterprise dictates that you either got a good product that is in demand or you don’t. Only socialistic/communistic societies bilk the general tax payer to subsidize a business so that government can benefit. In this case, it’s not just a subsidization, it’s a case of being able to afford the King’s ransom.

We further read, “…two national hunting trip brokers, Worldwide Trophy Adventures (A Cabela’s Partner) and Huntin’ Fool, direct clients to send a couple hundred thousand dollars to the Department, in part based on the odds of getting a tag in Maine…” And this somehow is justification for the proposed bill?

So, according to this article, the odds of winning a lottery permit to hunt a moose has dropped by 50%. Yes, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has seen fit, despite the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of moose suffering and dying each year due to winter ticks, to reduce the number of permits issued for hunting moose, evidently to perpetuate the winter tick problem. This reduction not only involves nonresident moose hunters. It has the same effect on Maine residents, and yet some in the legislature and those totalitarian/socialists think it’s equitable to subsidize the sporting camp owners and to hell with the rest of the hunting industry, as well as the many hundreds, or thousands, of Maine residents wishing for a chance to hunt a moose.

Maine Guides and Camp Owners already dictate to the MDIFW how to run game management and hunting seasons. Perhaps it’s time to end the good ole boy’s club of elitist participation and return to a science-based management plan and an even odds chance for every Maine hunter to obtain a permit to hunt.

Evidently, some are pushing to move hunting, and in particular moose hunting, into an elitist event of which only the wealthy can participate.

Thank you MDIFW for opposing such nonsense, and many of the other preferentially biased bill proposals aimed at benefiting special interest groups.

I have sympathy for people’s business’s that take a hit for any reason. That doesn’t make it right to force license holders and tax payers to foot the bill to keep them solvent. I doubt government would subsidize my business.


Selfish Environmentalists Have a Strange Way of Thanking Hunters

A photographer in Maine loves to take pictures of moose. I assume for profit, although his letter to the editor doesn’t exactly admit that. And that’s okay too. He has that right to exploit wildlife for profit – within the laws of course just as the rest of us do. And, I’ve seen some of his photography and it’s quite good. He also has a strange way of thanking the real conservationists – hunters – for assisting in his enjoyment of seeing a moose in the wild, as he writes: “It is a thrill unmatched to see a mature bull moose, amidst the brilliant colors of autumn in New England, up close, living life, chasing cows, battling rivals and splashing across a beautiful mountain pond into the mystical Katahdin woods.” Who could argue with that?

The author suggests that hunting is limiting the chances for people to be able to see moose, as he describes above, and that hunting of moose should be stopped so that he can make even more money by exploiting the resource for selfish gain. Why is it that the Left seems bent on propping up their selfish desires at the expense of destroying it for others?

The author also suggests that Mother Nature would aptly provide him and anyone else with such desires to moose watch, more so than employment of the North American Model of Wildlife Management – a scientific approach to wildlife management that has proven itself to be the envy of the planet AND providing photographers and others the opportunity to glimpse all wildlife in a mostly natural setting. Of course due to the author’s ignorance of things, he fails to understand the concept nor see the realities, while thinking only of himself.

Maine is probably experiencing a sample of what a “natural balance of nature” might look like as we witness thousands of moose dying each year due to the winter tick, an infestation that I believe, and can be supported by science, is caused by Maine’s attempt at growing too many moose. Part of that attempt to grow too many moose can be attributed to people, just like the author of this opinion piece, who want to view moose and take pictures and pressure the government to fulfill their wants.

I doubt the author understands that what makes his expressed love of seeing a bull moose in front of a backdrop of Autumn colors, doing what moose do, of value, is that it is not something everyone can do anytime they have a whim. Doesn’t the real value come from the total experience which includes a certain degree of rarity in finding such a treasure? What becomes of this value when moose are ignored and to grow as nature decides, the result being needlessly dying animals from disease and parasites? A lack of knowledge causes the author to believe hunting, as part of a scientific approach to moose management, is limiting his opportunity to view and photograph moose, i.e. to obtain his own trophy. He fails to understand that Mother Nature doesn’t manage for his desires either but provides periods of ups and downs, disease and suffering. Surely man doesn’t want to see this. We have brains to use to figure it out. Why can’t we manage for ample for everyone and their wants and desires?

Yes, moose hunters enjoy hunting moose as much as someone might enjoy taking a picture. The value of the moose hunt is increased by a greater effort to find success in the same way a photographer has to work harder to get that trophy photograph. Perhaps the difference in the two comparisons is that the hunter, while they might be disappointed, would approve and understand if survival of the moose required a stop to hunting. Would the photographer have the same understanding if the state had to stop causing moose to suffer by artificially growing too many moose and bring the population down to healthy and yet sustainable numbers?

My suggestion to this photographer is the next time he sees a hunter, thank them for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars, they personally have spent, to ensure that he can still go to Baxter State Park in hopes of photographing a bull moose doing what bull moose do.

I wonder what the photographer has done to perpetuate the conservation of wildlife? Perhaps he could begin by first learning the truth of what the North American Model of Wildlife Management is all about.


Some MDIFW Moose Hunting and Lottery Stats


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.

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.”