September 24, 2019

Youth Coyote, Wolf Derby Brings Death Threats

By George Dovel

*Editor’s Note*I inadvertently published an incomplete article with this title from The Outdoorsman. My apologies. Sometimes in the rushes and distractions of this work, buttons get clicked, things get deleted and/or published without my knowledge. Such was the case. Below is actually the complete article as it appears in The Outdoorsman, Bulletin 54.

The below article appears in the Outdoorsman, Bulletin Number 54, Oct.-Dec. 2013. It is republished here with express permission from the author. Please honor the protection of intellectual property and copyright. The Outdoorsman is the leading publication of truth concerning outdoor issues. To the right of this webpage is a link to follow in which readers are encouraged to subscribe to the print publication. Money is necessary for the continued publication of this important work. Thank you.

Pages 19-20 of the Jan-Mar 2008 Outdoorsman, included a letter from Salmon, Idaho outfitter Shane McAfee in which he discussed discrepancies in the wolf study being conducted in the vicinity of Salmon by Gary Power and Jason Husseman. McAfee reported observing nine wolf-killed elk carcasses that Husseman later claimed were lion kills, and the outfitter reported unmistakable evidence they were killed by wolves – not lions.

McAfee also compared his 1996 opening weekend harvest of nine branch-antlered bull elk by 10 hunters with his 2007 elk hunt when they saw no elk for the first 15 days and only one hunter harvested a young bull during the season. He also reported the impact wolves were having on non-resident elk hunters but the F&G commission ignored his warning and approved a new plan to protect five times as many wolves as the Idaho Legislature and FWS had agreed to.

The next time I heard from Mr. McAfee, he was understandably upset by his discovery that the lungs of the elk his hunters killed in 2012 were infected with E. granulosus hydatid cysts. He asked me if he could ship the lungs to me to forward to a reputable facility but I explained I could not keep up with the spread of the disease as more Idaho areas became saturated with wolves.

McCafee Takes Action

Unlike many others who merely complain “to the choir,” McAfee worked with officials in the nonprofit Western Predator Control Association (WPCA) and began sending the elk lung samples to the pathology lab at Colorado State University. He and his associates also developed a “Public Warning” poster (see following page) and an education program conducted by WPCA officials Clay Dethlefsen and veterinarian Dr. Jack Ward, and by Dr. Charles Kay who 20 years ago accurately predicted the dire outcome of wolf reintroduction in the “Lower 48.”

WPCA also published an informative booklet titled “Predator Diseases” as a guide for outdoorsmen to recognize and protect themselves from many of the diseases transmitted to other animals and humans from predators. And WPCA’s “Canine Diseases – Part 1” and “Wolf Attacks – Part 2” provide an excellent reference for those who either missed Dethlefsen’s presentation, or who want to refresh their memory of the extensive subject matter later on.

Biologists Repeat Wolf Advocates’ Lies

As Dr. Val Geist pointed out, the multiple impacts of introducing large wolves that are accustomed to killing large prey animals did not happen all at once at every location. But the fact that state agency wildlife biologists continued to repeat the myths of the wolf worshippers gave them an aura of credibility that neither deserved.

And once our Western Governors authorized the biologists who had decimated our wildlife to implement the UN/Wildlands agenda to block virtually all development, rural Idaho communities like Salmon and Elk City were left with no recourse other than their county government and their own ingenuity to survive.

Voters Supported Otter’s Defiance of the Wolf Hunt Being Canceled – But Failed to Realize the Result
In October of 2010 when Idaho Gov. Otter was running for re-election, his failure to go ahead with the IDFG 10J plan to kill wolves was very costly to rural Idaho. His letter to Interior Secretary Salazar refusing to manage wolves after the court blocked delisting allowed the wolves another full year to multiply and spread their diseases to elk, deer and humans without any control.

Voters showed their approval of Otter’s last minute “defiance” of the Judge’s order when they re-elected him overwhelmingly 15 days later. But they should have been paying attention to his written claim that Idaho could live with the 518-732 wolves he and IDFG had illegally agreed to maintain if the sport wolf hunting season was reinstated.

Outdoorsman No. 40, distributed in September of 2010, published the truth that the 2008 IDFG/Otter wolf plan was never provided to the Legislature for approval or rejection as required by law. It also documented why F&G could not allow the 518 wolf minimum, and showed proof of other serious F&G wrongdoing including the illegal use of nearly half a $million in P-R and D-J excise taxes.

I sent that issue to several trusted friends and political allies of Gov. Otter and on Dec. 8, 2010 he officially reversed his position. That same day the F&G Commission discarded its 2008 plan to manage for 500+ wolves and returned to the legal 2002 plan to manage for 150 wolves that was approved by the Legislature.

The Commission instructed IDFG to move forward with its 10J Plan to reduce wolves to protect ungulate herds. Yet thanks to Otter abandoning wolf management, the 2010-2011 winter, spring and summer arrived and ended without even one wolf being removed.

The 2011-2012 wolf seasons showed an increase in the number of wolves taken but it was too little – too late. The back country elk herds were already in a predator pit from which they could not escape and the Salmon Region elk were already infected with the hydatid cysts discovered by McAfee in the 2012 hunting season.

After failing to reduce the wolves enough, Gov. Otter’s office did not respond to the pleas from rural communities where wolves were entering yards and school grounds at night to kill elk and deer. At the same time, these wolves deposited their infected feces where the E. granulosus eggs could be passed to children and their pets.

EGphoto

In Elk City, two of Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings’ deputies killed their first wolf on June 25, 2011 and killing wolves has become a top priority to protect the small community ever since.

Coyote/Wolf Derby Announced in Salmon

In Salmon, the emphasis has been on education and as head of the local chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, McAfee announced its intent to hold a coyote and wolf derby on December 28-29, 2013. The USFS did not require a permit but the BLM responded in writing that it did not have time to advertise and hold public hearings and complete the lengthy process by the end-of-December hunt date.

Hunting coyotes and wolves on land administered by BLM was already legal on those two days and the Derby process, from registration through award of prizes, occurred on private land in Salmon. But IFW modified the rules to advise that no animal taken on land administered by BLM would qualify for the Derby and dropped the mandatory provision for a $20 registration fee for each two person team.

The teams generally consisted of a youngster and a parent or other adult acting as a mentor to guide the youth through their unique introduction to hunting predators. Reportedly included were a $1,000 first place prize for the most coyotes killed and another $1,000 for the largest wolf killed.

“Medicine Hunter” Sends Hate Mail

This was a very popular event among Salmon area residents and was sanctioned by the Regional IDFG Supervisor and by the Forest Service. But as soon as local sponsors were identified, they began to receive the usual death threats, many from out-of-state and other countries, if they failed to withdraw their support.

The threats reported by the news media included hanging the owners/operators with a noose, and setting fire to their store after making sure they were inside. These were similar to the bomb threats sent to Clay Dethlefsen and Dr. Ward earlier if they showed up to their workshop about hydatid disease spread by wolves.

Other emails involved wishful thinking including: “Sick (—–) like you need to be removed from the planet. I hope a pack of wolves eviscerates you and leaves your worthless carcass to die slowly, painfully and alone.”

Because I am neither a member of nor affiliated with IFW and had nothing to do with the Derby in Salmon, I was mildly surprised to receive the following email to me from Chris Kilham dated Dec. 20, 2013 at 12:16 P.M.:
Hi
“Idaho for (killing) Wildlife” is a hate group.
You, as an advocate, are a wildlife hater.
May you and your kind rot in hell.
Have a bad day
Chris Kilham

For those who do not recognize Kilham’s name, he is paid by cosmetics and health medicine manufacturers in France and elsewhere to visit primitive societies and obtain herbal ingredients for use in manufacturing cosmetics or herbal alternatives to prescription medicines. With frequent appearances on Fox News and the Dr. Oz TV show, Kilham is known as the “Medicine Hunter” and he has also devoted considerable effort and several books promoting use of aphrodisiacs and mind altering drugs, including marijuana.

I can forgive him and his animal rights activist wife for their possible ignorance of the unacceptable consequences of refusing to control excessive wolf numbers. But I do not condone the stupid arrogance of that email sent from their website ignoring the labor, dollars and equipment I and other family members have donated to restore healthy wildlife populations for half a century.

Shane McAfee and Others Displayed Courage

Readers who have followed these events in the media are already aware that U.S. Magistrate Candy W. Dale rejected the Plaintiffs’ request for a restraining order on Dec. 27, 2013, and the Derby took place with an expanded law enforcement presence. When the Derby ended on Dec. 29th IFW reported that more than 200 hunters in the field harvested 21 coyotes and no wolves.

I applaud Shane McAfee, IFW, and the citizens and officials of Salmon and Lemhi County for their courage in standing up to both the greedy hate mongers who pretend they are conservationists and the politicians who try not to offend a radical segment of voters. Instead of continuing to plead for help from a governor who had not offered a valid solution by then, they fired one small shot heard around much of the world for a return to sanity.

Activism Was Successful

And I suspect the Derby at Salmon, the pressure from Idaho County Commissioners, passage of HB 343 in 2011, Sheriff Giddings’ wolf control at Elk City, the 176 Siddoway sheep killed by wolves in August 2013, and publication of The Real Wolf (see page 11) all influenced Gov. Otter’s Jan. 6, 2014 request to the Legislature to appropriate $2 million to control wolves in Idaho.

According to Idaho Senator Jeff Siddoway, the $2,000,000 general fund appropriation, which will include funding for wolf control in FY 2015, will be administered by a state board co-chaired by the IDFG Director and the Idaho Department of Agriculture Director. He says a representative of sportsmen and a representative of livestock owners will be appointed by the Governor along with a member at large who will likely represent the interests of wolf advocates.

In subsequent years, $110,000 in funding will be provided by members of the livestock industry who recently announced an increase in brand renewal fees to cover that cost, and that $110,000 will be matched from sportsman license fees.

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Youth Coyote, Wolf Derby Brings Death Threats

By George Dovel

*Editor’s Note* – The below article appears in the Outdoorsman, Bulletin Number 54, Oct.-Dec. 2013. It is republished here with express permission from the author. Please honor the protection of intellectual property and copyright. The Outdoorsman is the leading publication of truth concerning outdoor issues. To the right of this webpage is a link to follow in which readers are encouraged to subscribe to the print publication. Money is necessary for the continued publication of this important work. Thank you.

Pages 19-20 of the Jan-Mar 2008 Outdoorsman, included a letter from Salmon, Idaho outfitter Shane McAfee in which he discussed discrepancies in the wolf study being conducted in the vicinity of Salmon by Gary Power and Jason Husseman. McAfee reported observing nine wolf-killed elk carcasses that Husseman later claimed were lion kills, and the outfitter reported unmistakable evidence they were killed by wolves – not lions.

McAfee also compared his 1996 opening weekend harvest of nine branch-antlered bull elk by 10 hunters with his 2007 elk hunt when they saw no elk for the first 15 days and only one hunter harvested a young bull during the season. He also reported the impact wolves were having on non-resident elk hunters but the F&G commission ignored his warning and approved a new plan to protect five times as many wolves as the Idaho Legislature and FWS had agreed to.

The next time I heard from Mr. McAfee, he was understandably upset by his discovery that the lungs of the elk his hunters killed in 2012 were infected with E. granulosus hydatid cysts. He asked me if he could ship the lungs to me to forward to a reputable facility but I explained I could not keep up with the spread of the disease as more Idaho areas became saturated with wolves.

McCafee Takes Action

Unlike many others who merely complain “to the choir,” McAfee worked with officials in the nonprofit Western Predator Control Association (WPCA) and began sending the elk lung samples to the pathology lab at Colorado State University. He and his associates also developed a “Public Warning” poster (see following page) and an education program conducted by WPCA officials Clay Dethlefsen and veterinarian Dr. Jack Ward, and by Dr. Charles Kay who 20 years ago accurately predicted the dire outcome of wolf reintroduction in the “Lower 48.”

WPCA also published an informative booklet titled “Predator Diseases” as a guide for outdoorsmen to recognize and protect themselves from many of the diseases transmitted to other animals and humans from predators. And WPCA’s “Canine Diseases – Part 1” and “Wolf Attacks – Part 2” provide an excellent reference for those who either missed Dethlefsen’s presentation, or who want to refresh their memory of the extensive subject matter later on.

Biologists Repeat Wolf Advocates’ Lies

As Dr. Val Geist pointed out, the multiple impacts of introducing large wolves that are accustomed to killing large prey animals did not happen all at once at every location. But the fact that state agency wildlife biologists continued to repeat the myths of the wolf worshippers gave them an aura of credibility that neither deserved.

And once our Western Governors authorized the biologists who had decimated our wildlife to implement the UN/Wildlands agenda to block virtually all development, rural Idaho communities like Salmon and Elk City were left with no recourse other than their county government and their own ingenuity to survive.

Voters Supported Otter’s Defiance of the Wolf Hunt Being Canceled – But Failed to Realize the Result
In October of 2010 when Idaho Gov. Otter was running for re-election, his failure to go ahead with the IDFG 10J plan to kill wolves was very costly to rural Idaho. His letter to Interior Secretary Salazar refusing to manage wolves after the court blocked delisting allowed the wolves another full year to multiply and spread their diseases to elk, deer and humans without any control.

Voters showed their approval of Otter’s last minute “defiance” of the Judge’s order when they re-elected him overwhelmingly 15 days later. But they should have been paying attention to his written claim that Idaho could live with the 518-732 wolves he and IDFG had illegally agreed to maintain if the sport wolf hunting season was reinstated.

Outdoorsman No. 40, distributed in September of 2010, published the truth that the 2008 IDFG/Otter wolf plan was never provided to the Legislature for approval or rejection as required by law. It also documented why F&G could not allow the 518 wolf minimum, and showed proof of other serious F&G wrongdoing including the illegal use of nearly half a $million in P-R and D-J excise taxes.

I sent that issue to several trusted friends and political allies of Gov. Otter and on Dec. 8, 2010 he officially reversed his position. That same day the F&G Commission discarded its 2008 plan to manage for 500+ wolves and returned to the legal 2002 plan to manage for 150 wolves that was approved by the Legislature.

The Commission instructed IDFG to move forward with its 10J Plan to reduce wolves to protect ungulate herds. Yet thanks to Otter abandoning wolf management, the 2010-2011 winter, spring and summer arrived and ended without even one wolf being removed.

The 2011-2012 wolf seasons showed an increase in the number of wolves taken but it was too little – too late. The back country elk herds were already in a predator pit from which they could not escape and the Salmon Region elk were already infected with the hydatid cysts discovered by McAfee in the 2012 hunting season.

After failing to reduce the wolves enough, Gov. Otter’s office did not respond to the pleas from rural communities where wolves were entering yards and school grounds at night to kill elk and deer. At the same time, these wolves deposited their infected feces where the E. granulosus eggs could be passed to children and their pets.

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DNA Studies – Smaller Native Wolves Existed in Northern Rockies before Canadian Wolf Transplant

By George Dovel (Republished with Permission)

In the Jan-Mar 2008 Outdoorsman Bulletin No. 26, the lead articled titled, “What They Didn’t Tell You about Wolf Recovery,” described the ongoing deception by federal and state biologists in their scheme to fill rural areas in the lower 48 states with wolves.

The article referred to 20 years of Dept. of Interior Solicitors (lawyers) changing the number of N. American wolf subspecies covered in the Endangered Species Act from 24, finally to two and back to four – and then to any or all wolves called “gray wolves” or “Canis lupus”. Then it told how FWS reclassified ESA-listed wolves as members of two “Distinct Population Segments”, which it later changed to three until a federal judge denounced the obvious attempt to circumvent the ESA.

The ongoing debate between wildlife scientists who classify species, concerns whether subspecies of elk (red deer), North American bison, grey wolves, etc., exist. Bona fide expert taxonomists include Dr. Valerius Geist who points out that changes in location, habitat, size and appearance alone do not necessarily change the genetic make-up to qualify an animal as a separate sub-specie.

However the Northern Rocky Mountains wolf subspecies – C. l. Irremotus – was documented by physical comparisons of skulls, etc., from larger wolves in 1959:

Page 2 of the 146-page FWS Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan dated August 3, 1987, contains the map showing the historical distribution of Canis lupus Irremotus in the lower 48 states, plus the 1987 distribution in black. It depicts immigration of Irremotus from southern British Columbia into Idaho and from B.C. or southern Alberta into the northwest corner of Montana.

It also shows the two 1987 Irremotus population areas in central Idaho, one of which included the three wolf pack territories mapped by Tim Kimmery between 1988 and 1991 (see Outdoorsman Bulletin No. 35).

Historical Impact on Wolf Subspecies

During the most recent (Pleistocene) ice age, water evaporating from the oceans became part of the glacial ice covering the land. Ocean levels dropped 300 feet or more and the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska dried up.
The exposed land bridge with little snow, later named Beringia, became a refuge for hardy Siberian animals and plants for several thousand years (see below).

Many scientists believe Beringia included a small human population from Siberia that was prevented from continuing into North America for 5,000 years by the North American ice sheets. Geologists report these continental ice sheets were 5,000-10,000 feet in depth and extended south in some places to the 40th Parallel below what is now the U.S.-Canadian border.

The artists’ three views of Beringia published by “Wikipedia” illustrate the changes that have occurred in the “Bering Land Bridge” during the last 18,000 years. But there is still disagreement among biologists about when, where and how several current mammal species first arrived on the North American Continent.

Subspecies Had Limited Opportunity to Crossbreed

Since 1995 a number of wildlife biologists have accepted the determination by Nowak that five subspecies of gray wolf (Canus lupus) inhabited North America during the early 20th Century. There is also agreement that Canis lupus occidentalis (the large gray wolf transplanted to Yellowstone and Central Idaho by FWS in 1995) had virtually no opportunity to influence the genetic make-up of coastal wolves in SE Alaska and Yukon and portions of five other Canadian Provinces where it existed.

For thousands of years the ice between interior Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia and the coastal area prevented the occidentalis wolves from mixing with the smaller wolves defined as C. lupis ligoni by Goldman in 1944. And the intensive efforts to kill all wolves in the early 1900s also left few of the large wolves alive in most areas where they might have mixed with the native wolves.

The map below in the study titled, “Legacy Lost: genetic variability and population size of extirpated U.S. gray wolves (Canis lupis),” published by Leonard et al in the 2005 Vol. 14 issue of Molecular Ecology, shows the five primary subspecies that existed in the early 1900s. The bold black line indicates the northern limit of gray wolf eradication that occurred in the 48 contiguous United States and Canada.

In 1995, C.l. nubilus, the primary subspecies common in the U.S. and Canada mainland included ligoni from the west coast of Canada, irremotus from the Northern Rocky Mountains and labradorius from Labrador. The “a” to “z” letters scattered on the map represent original locations of the various museum specimens whose DNA were recorded in the study.

A similar study titled, “Phylogeography of wolves (Canis lupus) in the Pacific Northwest”, by Weckworth et al (published in the 2010 (2) issue of the Journal of Mammology) used basically the same map, along with an expanded inset to illustrate locations of testing for the genetic difference between the smaller coastal wolves and the 30% larger occidentalis wolves from the Alaska and Yukon interiors.

Both of these DNA studies emphasize that the nubilus wolves migrated northward to populate Canada as the ice sheets and glaciers melted. They point out that the smaller wolves existed in the south before the larger wolves migrated into northern Canada, and the Weckworth study suggests the coastal wolves should be listed as a separate individual subspecies.

Court Allows Transplants – Then Orders Removal

Readers who actively opposed the FWS option to import Canadian wolves may recall the following events:
In 1994 the Farm Bureau, Audubon Society and other plaintiffs asked the Wyoming Federal District Court to halt wolf introduction because it could not legally occur where naturally occurring wolves already existed per the 10J Rule. But instead of issuing an injunction to halt the process while the arguments were presented, Judge Downes allowed FWS to go ahead and transplant Canadian wolves into Central Idaho and Yellowstone Park for three years until he issued his ruling in December of 1997.

Then after setting aside the final wolf introduction rules as unlawful, Judge Downes ordered FWS to remove all Canadian wolves and their progeny from both experimental population areas. This ruling was met with loud criticism by the wolf activists, including the state and federal wildlife agencies who apparently believed they could get by with ignoring both state and federal laws when it suited their agenda.

Judge “Passes the Buck” to Appeals Court

They quickly pointed out that it would not be possible to even locate most of the wolves – much less capture them. But even if that were possible, both Canadian Provinces refused to allow the wolves to return and there were not enough zoos willing to accept several hundred wild wolves so killing most was the only option.

Judge Downes could have prevented this disaster from occurring by simply putting wolf introduction on hold three years earlier until his decision was reached. But the second time he did essentially the same thing by later staying execution of his removal order pending an appeals decision by the 10th Circuit Court.

On January 13, 2000, five years after the first large Canadian wolves were introduced, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the December 1998 Wyoming District Court ruling that the reintroduction program was unlawful and should be revoked. The appeals court admitted that the evidence showed native irremotus wolves already existed when the larger Canadian wolves were introduced, but said FWS had the authority to determine what constituted a population.
The fact that the resident wolves coexisted with abundant big game populations and with negligible impact on livestock and human activity was already a matter of record in 1994. But on August 12, 1994, FWS Wolf Leader Ed Bangs sent a letter to Charles Lobdell telling him to stop issuing statements to the public advising that the number of reported resident wolves was increasing.

Bangs’ letter advised that FWS planned to introduce wolves from Canada and said: “From this day forward…confirmed wolf activity (will only include) individual wolves or members of packs that have been examined, radio-collared and monitored in the wild.” He also said he had transferred $9,000 to the FWS Boise Field Office to search for wolves and organize flights to locate any radio-collared wolves that might be in Idaho or the Yellowstone area during the summer and fall.

Bangs also included key issues to be presented to the public consistently by FWS:
“1. (I)t is likely that wolf populations would ultimately recover without reintroduction and breeding pairs of wolves would likely occur in Idaho before they would occur (in) Yellowstone.

4. Experimental populations will not knowingly contain a significant portion of the territory of any naturally occurring breeding pair that has successfully raised young. However once wolves are released all wolves in the area will be treated as experimental animals.”

Despite reported wolf sightings by more then 120 outfitters, trappers and others in less than two months, most in the same location where Kemery mapped three wolf pack areas from 1988-1991, and despite the USFS road closure to protect existing wolves (see Bulletin 35), Bangs dumped Canadian wolves halfway between the two known native wolf locations guaranteeing their extermination.

In February of 2012, I forwarded the Weckworth DNA study, without comment, to Dr. Valerius Geist. The following was his reply:

“Thank you, George, I have seen this study. To me it suggests that there was indeed a remnant of native wolves in Idaho that were finally done away with by introduced wolves from Canada. The native wolves would have been of the same clad as the coastal wolves. Anyway, that’s testable since some museum specimens of native Idaho wolves are still available for genetic analysis. However, somebody competent and trustworthy needs to do it. Cheers, Val Geist.”

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