May 23, 2019

Understanding Coyote Behavior Can Contribute to Better Study Results

Below I emboldened part of a statement found in the article I linked to. Anyone who has maybe just slightly more than a basic understanding of how and when coyotes prey on fawn deer, would know that this killing occurs within moments of birth. Coyotes are bright animals and territorial. They know their habitat. They learn where deer, a creature of habit, often fawn. They will, at times, lay and wait. Coyotes have a keen sense of smell and can often “smell” when a fawn is born and move in for the kill. These same senses can be attributed to other predators that prey on deer, especially fawns – bear, bobcat, lynx, etc.

I have a camp in Maine. Around that camp, for many, many years I have been witness to a female deer that has given birth to a fawn(s). I’m quite certain the current resident doe is a descendant of the first mother deer I saw years ago.

It is on more occasions than not, that I see her in the early summer, “fawnless,” but is a treat to spot her with little ones.

When I first built the camp, shortly after spending some time there, I learned where this particular doe would go to drop her fawn. So did the coyotes. Over time, the deer have made several attempts to find a place to fawn that is safer. What may surprise some people is that the doe moves to within feet of my camp and hides her fawn there. After a week or two, when the fawn is quite capable of getting around, they disappear into the deeper forest, seldom to be seen again.

In association with this event, I am now seeing coyotes around my camp lot where I never did before. This is not a coincidence.

“These studies used a method that allowed fawns to be captured and collared at birth. Researchers did this by capturing adult does in the summer or fall and implanting a vaginal transmitter. When she gives birth to the fawn, she also gives birth to this implant and it signals the researchers to run in and mark the newborn fawn. With this approach, researchers discovered a lot of predation takes place that first week. In fact, the first week is the worst for fawn mortality from predators, especially coyotes. They concluded that all studies done with captured fawns that missed the first week underestimated the total fawn mortality due to coyotes.”<<<Read More>>>

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Reproduction and Nutrition of Desert Mule Deer With and Without Predation

Abstract

Desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus eremicus) in central Arizona declined from 11 deer/km2in the early 1960s to 2 deer/km2 in 2006. We had the opportunity to examine the causes of desert mule deer population fluctuations in Arizona from 1960 to 2006 by contrasting deer density, body condition, productivity, and diet quality inside and outside of the 259-ha Walnut Canyon Predator Proof Enclosure (WCPPE) on the Three Bar Wildlife Area (TBWA) in central Arizona. Mule deer inside the enclosure increased from 11/km2 in 1997 to 32 deer/km2 in 2004 while mule deer outside the enclosure in the TBWA remained between 1 and 5 deer/km2 during the same time. There was no difference in body mass and number of fetuses (in utero) between mule deer inside and outside the enclosure. However, there was evidence of mule deer in better body condition inside the enclosure compared to mule deer outside the enclosure. Mule deer inside the enclosure consumed a diet higher in energy than mule deer outside the enclosure. There were no differences in plant species diversity or composition inside and outside the enclosure. Current mule deer densities in the study area are below what the environment is capable of maintaining, and a history of higher mule deer densities inside WCPPE over 40 y has not resulted in measurable impacts on the highly diverse plant communities of TBWA. Observed differences in diet quality of mule deer may be related to trade-offs incurred through predation risk, where mule deer inside the enclosure are maximizing their energy intake without the burden of predator avoidance and vigilance. Our study provided evidence that current mule deer densities in central Arizona are below what the environment is capable of sustaining.<<<Read Entire Report>>>

Some very valuable information here.

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Benevolent Wolves & Stubborn States

*Editor’s Note* – I have taken the liberty to highlight the paragraph that I think is the absolute best. It sums it all up.

By James Beers

The following is a response to two assertions about wolves in Wyoming and my recent article about the recent elk predation by wolves on 19 elk in one March night on an elk wintering ground.  These came to me from Utah by way of California.

1.)       They (i.e. wolves) only kill what they need to eat!!!!

2.)      As I understand the problem…the Feds have been after the state of Wyoming to write a “Wolf management Plan” that they can approve so management can be turned over to state F & G …..but WY refuses to take the word ‘Predator”  out and the general philosophy that:

          “WOLVES NEED KILLIN ANY TIME AND ANYPLACE”…..so the Feds won’t approve their plan,

As to Question #1; wolves by definition must kill to sustain themselves.  All sorts of things enter into what they kill and what they attempt to kill:

–       There is the difficulty of killing the prey.

–       There is the opportunity to kill the prey.

–       There is the energy-expended/calorie-reward ratio of potential prey.

–       There is the desirability of the prey (i.e. veal v. a rotting carcass).

–       There is the state of hunger of the wolf.

–       There is the need to feed young in a den.

–       There is anticipated danger from attacking certain prey.

–       There is the behavioral experience of the wolves.

–       There are the dangers associated with certain locations.

–       There is the anticipation of future food opportunities.

–       There is the physical condition of the wolf or wolves.

Wolves will kill and eat any mammal or bird at any given time.  They routinely kill and eat adult, young and unborn (evidently a preferred meal) of everything from big game and livestock to dogs and, yes, humans.  While they prefer live prey and freshly-killed meat; wolves scavenge freely when food is scarce as in winters or when pushed into unfamiliar territory.

History is full, yes full, of incidents of wolves attacking and killing joggers, hikers, shepherds, children, old ladies, soldiers, loggers (one even while operating a chain saw), Native Americans, Europeans, Russians, Christians, Moslems, etc. from Oregon to Massachusetts and Ireland to Kazakhstan and Kamchatka.  Some wolves had rabies, some were spreading Smallpox from feeding on the dying and many just dragged the carcass into nearby vegetation and ate their fill and went on.  Anyone with half an interest in history realizes that most such attacks were never reported or documented for centuries while those living with the wolves had no doubts about what was happening and accordingly invested enormous time, money and scarce resources to control and eliminate wolves from the time of Plato and before, to North American Colonists and Western Expansion settlers and ranchers.

When wolves, just like a pack of dogs running loose from some town, encounter a flock of sheep; or some deer in deep snow; or some kids at a rural bus stop; or elk near some fence or cliff; or some jogger on a lonely road running away from them; or some unfamiliar dogs; or some or a coyote; or some old lady walking to her mailbox; they quickly run down the items listed above and make a decision.  Whether we call it “fun” or “surplus killing” or a “behavioral response” is immaterial.  When the decision to chase or attack or simply to boldly investigate is made; the outcome, especially if it is a pack of wolves or a pack of dogs, is too often harmful to human life, human interests, human society and what the Founding Fathers called “domestic Tranquility” – A Primary and Stated Reason Why The States Drafted, Signed and Agreed To “this Constitution for the United States of America” that established a federal government.

Wolves and free-ranging dogs often attack flocks of sheep or llamas or a group of calves or a herd of wintering deer or a moose cow close to giving birth just like sharks attack a school of mullet or swordfish attack a school of young tuna or wintering striped bass attack a school of menhaden; that is to say they slash, bite, and stab as quickly as they can and then eat what is unable to escape or that has been made into pieces.  They do this until they are full or until they find nothing left to eat.  Wolves and dogs will do the same and when they are “done” chasing, biting, and killing they may eat some of the choicest parts like eating out a cow’s rear-end while she lives and pulling out and devouring the fetus.

Every one of you urban wolf-lovers knows this and fears it about dogs roaming free in your neighborhood as you quickly call 911 or “the Animal Warden” and demand big fines and even jail for persons that let their dog or dogs loose, or that fail to get them vaccinated or wormed or keep them leashed – YET you whinny about how wolves (wild, unvaccinated, undomesticated, big, hungry, etc.) are NOT like that!  It is so stupid it defies a sensible answer.

The most important part about this Romance Biology theorem that “They only kill what they need to eat!!!!” is that it is then inserted into Environmental Voodoo for the media as in, “A wolf only needs 1493 calories a day to sustain itself and an average cow moose weighs 857 lbs. that provides 60, 472 calories: therefore it only takes 8 moose to sustain 2,376 wolves so don’t believe this stuff about wolves having to kill livestock or elk or deer or dogs or certainly not humans when only a few big game animals lost are of no concern except to a few greedy and selfish hunters.” Just like it takes a whole lot more mullet and menhaden to sustain those sharks and swordfish and striped bass than what they eat and just like all those urban mothers fear dogs harming or attacking children; the ideas that wolves ”never” attack people, and that wolves have some magical brain brake that tells them to stop when they have killed, “what they need to eat!!!!”, and that wolves should stick around a carcass (a dangerous thing to do) until it is “all cleaned up” despite preferring fresh meat: these things are the “issue” of the marriage of Romance Biology and Environmental Voodoo ground into documentary fecal matter for the general public.

As to Question # 2; I must immediately dismiss the pejorative statement “WOLVES NEED KILLIN ANY TIME AND ANYPLACE”.  It is silly to request a serious answer when you treat those that do not agree with you like Presidential candidate Kerry applying for an Ohio Hunting License saying, “is this where I can get me one of those huntin’ licenses?”  If you are going to write “killing” I suggest you put a “g” on the end and, even though they are fictitious assertions, write ANY TIME and ANYPLACE as either one word or two words but not in two different preferences separated only by “and”.  More than a few of us advocates for local authority over what is or is not in OUR environment do not drag our knuckles as we walk nor do we have more tattoos than teeth; those are simply fund-raising ploys spread by those environmental/animal rights organizations behind much of this issue.
As to everything else in your question before the final 7 words, I agree with your statement.  It is those last 7 words, “so the Feds won’t approve their plan”, that are the crux of the problem not only in Wyoming but in virtually every Local Community in the Lower 48 States that has been forced and coerced into hosting and living with wolves and the uncounted harms they cause to those forced to live with them.  Believe it or not, many of us feel strongly that the federal (government, politicians, bureaucrats, agencies, Law – take your pick) has NO authority, right or business imposing wolves (or grizzlies or mountain lions for that matter) on ANY Community that is not willing to accept or tolerate them!

So, “so the Feds won’t approve their plan”, by what authority do “the Feds” “approve” any State’s wolf “plan”?  Wolves cause great and irresolvable harm to residents and those residents elect state and local officials with the demand that they call wolves “predators” and that they should control the numbers, densities and distribution of wolves.  They tell local officials that they want wolves kept out of their County and that any entering their County should be dispatched by ballistic vaccination or traps or snares or however.  Do citizens have this right?

Further, if the states continue taking their homework (i.e. Plans) to federal overseers for “approval” they will NEVER regain the authority and jurisdiction stolen from them by the un-Constitutional Endangered Species Act and the lawless and tyrannical bureaucratic behavior it has spawned to the great detriment of rural America.  The ESA needs either a severe rewrite or better yet complete repeal.  The ESA is a Law; that is a lesser matter than a Constitutional Amendment.  When the 18th Amendment (the Volstead Act, i.e. Prohibition) was similarly passed and then ratified as a Constitutional Amendment in a comparable orgy of do-goodism, it took only 14 years for Americans to see the corruption and death it manufactured such that they Repealed that Amendment.  The ESA is similarly creating corruption and destruction far beyond this narrow portion of its reach and should be Repealed and that sound goal is only shoved further down the road when a State like Wyoming (most others have behaved like ladies of the evening for the federal favors “getting along” brings) humbly begs federal bureaucrats to “approve” what they do or don’t do with a Resident Predator that does not belong in settled landscapes and is no more in short supply (i.e. “endangered”, “threatened” or “of special concern”) in the United States (Alaska, Montana and Minnesota were doing just fine before the ESA) than are sparrows or starlings.

Consider the irony of someone telling you that they will only let you manage (?) your (?) wolves if they “approve” what you will or will not do!  In other words your employees and your operational dollars will do what the feds tell you to do or not do or they will simply “step back in”.  Then we can all warble about how “getting along” is the Only way to go.  Otherwise you are a “what”?  There must be an “ist” or “phobe” word for anyone adhering to a Constitutional view of wolves and State’s Rights.

There is so much else swirling about these wolves than all the simplistic chatter about “only killing what they eat” and how ignorant some states are about their subservience to federal masters.  This attempted answer actually reveals the egregious violations of the Preamble to the Constitution birthed by the ESA and exposes the current idea that the one sentence comprising the 10th Amendment is being ignored as the final word in the relationship between the States and the federal government!

Now that we have come to this point; the question I have is “where do we all go from here?”

Jim Beers

28 March 2016

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. 

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Predator-Prey Study: Wolves not threat to deer you may think

*Editor’s Note* – I have not read the entire report referenced in the below link. Most of the information presented is sensible and seems to substantiate most all other real scientific studies on predator prey relationships.

However, it still amazes me that Mr. Beyer, one of the DNR researchers makes some puzzling and seemingly contradictory statements. First he is quoted as saying that wolves will NOT decimate a deer herd. This is followed by: “What we know from the scientific literature is there are only two reports where wolves are believed to have contributed to a substantial reduction of deer … winter weather is still the driving factor, even in the low-snow zone,”

Even though the article begins by stating that there are several factors involved with trying to determine predator prey relationships, all of a sudden it now appears that none of that matters because “only two reports” suggest that wolves are believed to decimate deer herds.

I don’t know those reports but I’m willing to wager they are pro wolf, fake science reports.

I will not dispute that winter weather is a driving force of great influence on deer survival. Perhaps Beyer believes that 100 years from now there will be wolves, coyotes and deer sharing habit – and there may well be. But what happens in the interim? We cannot control the weather. We can only mitigate disease with good sound wildlife management. The possibility exists that wild swings in deer populations will be a reality. We also know through scientific studies that with the right combination of circumstances, uncontrolled large predators can easily destroy a deer herd and keep it at levels that are unsustainable. If this is the conditions in which the DNR believes will not decimate a deer herd, then one has to believe their goals will be the elimination of hunting as a management tool.

All this being said, the data being shared in this article reinforces what many of us have always known about the relationship of deer with weather and predators.

“We’ve been surprised by a few things in Phase I (low-snow study),” notes Dean Beyer, a researcher with the DNR. “We learned that adult does were avoiding core wolf areas and that coyotes were avoiding them, too. That put coyotes and does in the same area, which probably resulted in a greater mortality by coyotes. And we were all surprised by the rate at which bobcats killed fawns. The rate is much higher than other species.”

Source: Predator-Prey Study: Wolves not threat to deer you may think | MLive.com

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Dog Being Attacked by Wolves Aren’t Wolves

Last Friday I posted a video I had received that had been posted on another news website, showing, what was called at the time, a dog being attacked by two wolves. It turns out, the “two wolves” weren’t wolves after all – at least not from a scientific perspective. It doesn’t, however, prohibit anyone from calling any dog in the woods a wolf.

The video has made its rounds about cyberspace. Kaj Granlund, an expert on wolf anatomy, structure and DNA, a member and contributor to Wolf Education International, and author, upon viewing the video had this to share:

This is not a battle between two wolves and one dog but rather a battle between three dogs. Look at the “wolves”. As far as the fur is concerned they are adult “wolves”, but far too small and weak. They are not taller than the dog which probably has a shoulder height of 45-50 cm. Adult wolves should have a shoulder height of at least 70 to 80 cm. Look at the wolves’ eyes! They are brown and doggish. The skull is narrow and the zygomatic breadth not more than some 125  mm, which is typical to yearlings.

Real wolves do not attack a dog the way these do. Wolves attack prey with an intention to kill. When the dog surrenders and lies down on its back these “wolves” do not know what do do – real wolves do!

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Read How We Got Where We Are – Then Use Just Two Facts to Expose the Truth about Wolves

*Note* – The following article is published on this website with the consent of the author. Please support The Outdoorsman by clicking on the link to your right on the computer screen and subscribing to the print publication. The only way this honest and accurate work can continue is with your support. Thank you.

by George Dovel

If knowledgeable outdoorsmen had easy access to just two indisputable facts from bona fide wildlife experts, they could use just those facts to discredit the self-serving clichés from the quasi-environmentalists and self-proclaimed “wildlife conservationists.”

The two facts referenced in this article have been verified by long-term studies conducted by acknowledged wildlife experts on both sides of the wolf issue. This makes them virtually impossible to refute so the radical must resort to attacking you or your source of information.

If you go on the offensive for a change and arm yourself with just these two facts, and the names of the wildlife experts who provided them, there is no need to engage radical wolf preservationists in further discussion. Your job is to present facts – not to expose yourself or your sources to ridicule for errors in grammar, lack of academic credentials, etc.

Fact #1 – Failure to Properly Control Wolves to Maintain Healthy Balance with Their Prey Eventually Decimates Prey and Starving Wolves Kill Each Other

Thirty years ago, internationally recognized wolf authority L. David Mech published an article titled, “How Delicate is the Balance of Nature?” (see National Wildlife Vol. 23, No. 1, and the May 1985 Alaska Magazine). In that article, Mech admitted that his initial three year 1958-1962 wolf-moose study as a graduate student on Isle Royale helped fix the balance of nature idea in the public mind.

Mech wrote: “During two decades of wolf research, conducting studies in northern Minnesota and on Isle Royale in Michigan, I have learned that, far from always being ‘balanced,’ ratios of wolves and prey animals can fluctuate wildly – and sometimes catastrophically. Wolves may actually starve after killing off almost all the moose and deer in an area. This explains why wolf-control programs may sometimes ensure greater and more stable numbers of both wolves and the animals they hunt.”

Mech then described how the once famous white-tailed deer population in northeast Minnesota began to crash after wolf control was halted. He and his students flying in a ski-equipped plane radio-tracking collared wolves saw fewer deer every year.

Most of the deer in the 1,500-square-mile northeast region were not accessible to hunters during hunting season, and seven severe winters made the deer far more vulnerable to wolves. Mech and his students observed deer killed by wolves with little or nothing eaten, and the wolves increased and prospered until they ran out of deer.

Then a starving pack of wolves looking for prey invaded another pack’s territory resulting in wolves killing wolves. Meanwhile, malnourished juvenile wolves continued to starve to death or succumb to diseases instead of replacing adults that died.

The few wolves that survived had turned to killing moose and beaver and a similar scenario with the white-tailed deer and wolves in Northeast Minnesota was also playing out with moose and wolves on Michigan’s Isle Royale. Human killing was not a significant factor in either location.

In his 1985 article, Mech wrote: “However, there is little disputing the results of a recent well-controlled experiment in Central Alaska. Some 38 to 60 percent of the wolves were removed each year from a test area while wolves were not controlled in several adjoining areas. Moose and caribou calves and yearlings increased two- to four-fold where wolves had been taken compared with their numbers before wolf control and were consistently higher than in areas with no wolf removal. Actual moose and caribou herd sizes followed the same trends.”

“Control programs allow recovery of both prey and wolves so that each could live over a longer period. It is something I am reminded of every time I fly over my Minnesota study area and look at lake shores that were speckled with deer and wolves in the late 1960s, and that now lie empty.”

The following graph was photocopied from the 2014-2015 Isle Royale Report by Vucetich and Peterson:

IsleRoyaleMooseGraph

Contributors to the Balance of Nature Myth Starting on the left side of the graph, the first five black squares and five white diamonds indicate a four-year average of about 600 moose to feed an average of 22 wolves. That reflected an average ratio of only 27 moose per year per wolf but that ratio increased slightly to about 33 moose per year per wolf in 1963.

Using only the three years of wolves observed, and guessing the number of moose based on limited wolf kills that were mostly found by volunteers during the summer, did not prove Mech’s and Durward Allen’s National Geographic claim that wolves maintained a “balance.”

Mech’s bias was evident in two articles published in the June and July 1960 issues of Pennsylvania Game
News promoting the “Balance of Nature” as a supposed fact even before the brief Isle Royale study was completed.

In 1930, Charles Elton, the father of modern Wildlife Ecology, wrote, “The ‘balance of nature’ does not
exist and perhaps never has existed. The numbers of wild animals are constantly varying to a greater or less extent, and the variations are usually irregular in period and always irregular in amplitude (being ample).”

Yet 33 years later, an unproven hypothesis by Durward Allen and his student, catapulted them into instant fame and fortune when it was published in National Geographic. It also brought forth a series of “me too” biologists and others who ignored or altered facts to make it appear their favorite predator needed special protection.

The Craigheads “Sick and Crippled” Theory

In 1958, I spent several months transporting a USGS Tellurometer crew by helicopter between mountain peaks in Yellowstone National Park and adjacent high country. I became good friends with two Rangers and the YNP Biologist, who explained in detail how increasing grizzly bear numbers were reducing the little known YNP Madison-Firehole elk herd that wintered entirely in the Park on the upper Madison River.

He invited me back in May of 1959 to watch grizzlies and even a black bear pursue and easily catch and
kill those cow elk that were calving in late May and early June. That was the same year the Craighead twins, Frank and John, assisted by graduate student Maurice Hornocker, began to study grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park.

Each year the Craigheads were aware that after the grizzly bears emerged from hibernation, they were killing large numbers of Madison-Firehole cow elk that were ready to calve. Yet their 1968 National Geographic article included a photograph of a grizzly covering a bull elk carcass with dirt and grass with the following comment:

“The grizzly’s keen sense of smell enables it to detect and locate carrion from afar. Rarely does a grizzly kill a healthy adult elk, but it may fell a sick or disabled one.”

This change from managing our wild game to benefit humans, to researchers lying about the impact of
excessive predator-to-prey ratios, needed to be brought to the public. But the larger circulation national hunting and fishing magazines including Outdoor Life and Field and Stream declined to print factual articles about this, telling me they were “too controversial.”

In 1969 we began publishing The Outdoorsman and did what was necessary to send thousands of
complimentary copies to licensed hunters in the lower 48 states and Alaska. Our list of paid subscribers and their elected officials soon reached 30,000 and our publication of facts began to produce results.

In May of 1970 Rob Donley and I photographed grizzlies killing pregnant cow elk just before calving on the upper Madison, including evidence of bears ripping the fetus out of the womb and eating all but the lower legs of that delicacy. We invited outfitter Steve Jordan along to shoot 35 mm movies of a spectacular chase in the open during which a grizzly covered half a mile while the group of pregnant elk he was chasing ran little more than half that distance before the bear caught up with them.

Following the 1970 calving season, the biologist again contacted me to advise that he had recorded 90 of those elk killed by grizzlies. He also described how the bears killed all 11 calves from a small group of elk plus several of the adults.

He voiced his belief that the Craigheads’ failure to even mention bears killing the Madison-Firehole Elk was the result of their promoting the “sick and crippled” theory of academic biologists.

He also said the Craigheads were tagging and studying only those grizzlies habituated to garbage dumps rather than the wild grizzlies in remote areas in the Park. They opposed the Park Superintendent’s plan to close the remaining garbage dumps and eliminate black bear feeding by the public to cut down increasing injuries to humans. They recommended leaving two major garbage dumps open for another ten years plus shooting elk and bison to feed the bears.

But despite their efforts to discredit YNP officials, those same officials refused to issue their 1971 permit to conduct research in the Park which ended their bear study.

Outfitter Charges Hornocker Claims Not True

Back in 1964, the Craigheads’ assistant, Maurice Hornocker, secured his grants and hired local lion hunter Wilbur Wiles to study the relationship between mountain lions and deer in Idaho Unit 26 on Big Creek in the Idaho Primitive Area*. (*now the Frank Church Wilderness)

Deer and elk populations in Unit 26 had been severely depleted by multiple deer harvests and 90-day either-sex deer and elk seasons extending into the deep snows of mid-December. The ratio of mountain lions to deer far exceeded the healthy one lion per 360 deer that Leopold had recorded in his 1933 study in California.

Despite decreased hunter harvests, deer numbers continued to decline each year, and the study offered the opportunity to confirm whether excessive lion populations were a primary cause of that decline.

As the 3-year study unfolded during the 1965-1967 winters and was then extended for two more years, an ongoing letter-writing feud between outfitter Steve Jordan and Hornocker was published in the Idaho Statesman. Hornocker claimed the Unit 26 deer and elk populations were increasing while F&G helicopter counts continued to report sharp declines.

Governor Requests Evaluation of Big Creek Study

Idaho Governor Don Samuelson provided Rob Donley and me with a copy of Hornocker’s third-year and then his five-year study report, and asked us to investigate and report back to him with an evaluation by June 1, 1969. The June 1969 Outdoorsman contains a copy of our report as well as an article entitled, “The Great Cougar Controversy.”

In his research, Hornocker reported that 25-30 lions were captured repeatedly in the 200-square-mile study portion of Unit 26. He classified them as “residents” and said that any lion they captured only one time was considered a “transient.”

Rob Donley and I removed two large male cougar traveling together several miles outside of the study area boundary in Unit 27 (see photo below). Only one of them had been captured and tagged by the researchers once but was never seen by them again.

Donley

 

These two adult male cougar had been preying on an isolated group of elk in my Unit 26 outfitter area that was inaccessible to hunters once Thanksgiving week or earlier snows closed the passes to horseback travel. The curious lions ran right at us and then tried to kill Rob’s dogs but that’s another story.

I mention this incident on the Unit 27 side of the pass in Marble Creek to point out one of several flaws in Hornocker’s study reports. He coined the term “Mutual avoidance behavioral mechanism,” to claim that male lions never fight each other or travel with one another.

During an earlier year, I discovered evidence of two cougar fighting in the summer, with one bleeding steadily. Hornocker’s coined phrase was another example of alleged but non-existent “social regulation” that was claimed by Allen and Mech, the Craigheads, and Canada’s wolf advocate-environmentalist, Douglas Pimlott.

Highly Inflated Deer Estimates in Big Creek Study

Instead of searching for facts to prove or disprove the hypothesis that uncontrolled cougar benefited deer and elk, Hornocker ignored the radical decline of both species reported in IDFG helicopter counts. He substituted his own set of “estimated” deer figures claiming that both prey populations were increasing dramatically.

In 1967 he claimed the Unit 26 deer population had increased from 1,099 in 1966 to 2,595 in 1967 yet a four-day IDFG helicopter count in 1967 recorded only 466 total deer. He also claimed there was a ratio of 163 deer and 71 elk to each one of the 25-30 resident cougar.

On a “biomass” (relative bulk) basis, this equaled 358 deer – almost exactly the healthy 360 deer per cougar Leopold had reported in California back in 1933.

But if Hornocker had multiplied the claimed 163 deer and 71 elk times even the minimum estimate of 25 resident cougar, it would have required a minimum of 4,075 deer plus 1,775 elk to equal his claimed healthy balance.

Conflicting Claims Re: Cougar “Social Regulation”

The February 1970 issue of Field and Stream included an article by Associate Editor Ted Trueblood praising Hornocker’s “myth-shattering conclusion” that “predation by lions is inconsequential in determining ultimate numbers of elk and deer.”

Trueblood described Wiles’ and Hornocker’s actions as the hounds trailed and then treed a lion that had killed a cow elk. He then offered conflicting statistics in a confusing attempt to support Hornocker’s false claim.

But 30 years later, following 10 years of research, two of Hornocker’s associates, Logan and Sweanor, repeatedly emphasized in their 2001 book “Desert Puma,” that mountain lions do not socially regulate. Yet in the material Hornocker has published and in his recent media interviews, he has continued to insist that the lions he studied in Big Creek did socially regulate themselves – allowing their prey to increase and prosper.

Starved Cougar Illustrates Lack of Prey

I stopped outfitting and guiding at the end of the 1966 season because my conscience would not allow me to charge hunters for such a slim chance to kill a branch-antlered bull elk or even a mature buck. The lack of deer was emphasized when Rob and I discovered a dead female cougar in Unit 27 that had left an odd track in the snow.

About one foot of the tip of its tail was encased in ice and had dragged in the snow and in the icy water when it waded out in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River to scavenge a deer skeleton. The skeleton, wedged in a pile of debris below the Mahoney airstrip, had already been picked clean by ravens, and we followed the emaciated cat’s back-trail for several miles for more clues to its fate.

It had hunted two side drainages from the mountain top to the river, but we did not see any deer tracks in either drainage. During the 1950s, several hundred deer were harvested and hauled from the Mahoney airstrip each season by pilots flying from dawn ‘til dark.

But in 1962, the deer harvest from Mahoney declined dramatically and I suggested the Commission stop selling the extra deer tags in Units 26 and 27, and cut a month off the tail end of both deer seasons. I was helping IDFG with a Bighorn sheep study at the time and I explained that the hunter-killed deer I examined had no fat reserves resulting from constant hunter-caused stress in a 90-day season, and that extra stress would cause many more to die even during only a moderately severe winter.

However Big Game Manager Roger Williams insisted that killing even more female deer would solve the problem. The Commissioners approved his suggestion to add a Middle Fork Antlerless tag in Unit 27 and leave the either-sex season open through mid-December in both units.

That allowed a hunter to kill three deer in Unit 27; four deer by also hunting in its Big Creek tributary; and five deer by also hunting in one of several other selected Idaho units. My USAFE courses in Forestry and Zoology had not prepared me for this massive exploitation of wild game, yet hunters could also kill up to five more mule deer by hunting in Nevada after they killed their limit in Idaho.

This is Pertinent Information – Not “Ancient History”

On Jan. 28, 1970, about 300 hunters attended an Idaho Senate Resources Committee hearing with one-third forced to stand or spill out into the Capitol rotunda hall. Although Chairman Sen. Warren Brown kept calling F&G “damage control” witnesses to praise the agency’s “professionalism,” hunters who had been waiting for several hours to testify angrily demanded he call the witnesses in the order they had signed up.

Like other politicians then and now, who protect the bureaucratic agencies and special interests rather than the citizens who elected them, Brown continued to try to limit testimony that described the wanton destruction of the wildlife resource. But when the marathon hearing ended at 1:00 A.M., the attendance by 300 citizens had convinced a majority of the Senators it was time to find facts.

Multiple Harvests of Bears & Lions Restored Game

A three-year performance audit by Legislative Auditor James Defenbach reported F&G had knowingly published highly exaggerated big game harvest statistics during the preceding 10 years. The F&G Director was forced to resign by a new Governor, and Joe Greenley, the new Director, ordered the inflated 10-year harvest statistics be replaced with only the actual kills reported by hunters.

He either closed or dramatically shortened deer and elk seasons, and eliminated all female and juvenile elk and deer harvests except in Idaho’s Panhandle. He also implemented multiple bear and lion harvests statewide to increase the number of surviving juvenile deer and elk.

During the 1972 Idaho legislative session, a bill authorizing payment of a $7.50 bounty on 10,000 Idaho coyotes over a two-year period passed the House by a 44-22 vote. Based on inflation to 2015, that would equal $42.45 per coyote today but the bill was held in the Senate Committee for several weeks while IDFG and other lobbyists mounted a massive campaign to defeat it.

Finally, according to woolgrower Senator John Peavey, the F&G Director agreed to double the amount spent by the Department for federal predator control, and the bounty bill failed 18-17 in the Senate based on that promise. But only $10,000 was added to the $25,000 paid to federal Wildlife Services for coyote control, and it was used solely to settle a dispute about whether coyotes or drownings were killing deer on Dworshak Reservoir ice.

Gubernatorial hopeful Peavey then sent a letter to the Idaho Statesman explaining why he had voted “no” on the coyote bounty. He said that he had talked with IDFG Director Joe Greenley, and, “unlike his predecessor, Greenley believed in active predator management as a tool in providing adequate game for Idaho hunters.”

But in a Statesman Guest Editorial, Greenley responded: “Although predator control has long been an integral part of wildlife management in Europe, it is a sensitive subject, particularly among ‘wildlifers’*…Most American wildlifers have a strong ecological background embracing the full diversity of the natural world – they are hesitant over extreme single value alteration of the biotic community for game.” (* “Wildlifer” is the name of the Wildlife Society’s weekly newsletter to its members who also call themselves “wildlifers”)

The Exploitation of Wild Game in North America

Back in 1946, Ira Gabrielson resigned as the first Director of the new U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to accept the position of President of the nonprofit Wildlife Management Institute (WMI). The manufacturers and service providers who had depended on Uncle Sam buying their products during four years of war, now realized they had to create a vast new market for their products.

They became major financial supporters of the WMI and Ira Gabrielson returned the favor by directing WMI staff studies of the organization, authorities and programs of 31 state and two Canadian game agencies. Was it just a coincidence that the widespread WMI recommendations said excessive populations of game were destroying the habitat in remote areas, and non-resident hunters must be invited to harvest the surplus animals?

State Game Warden Expresses Concerns

In Idaho’s Twenty-First Biennial Report, the State Game Warden cited a 100% increase in non-resident hunters just from 1945-46 and warned that our big game is limited and expendable. He wrote: “The nation has had the greatest sales program for hunting that so far has been experienced. Resorts, dude ranches, airlines, railroads, sporting arms manufacturers, sporting magazines, and many other concerns have used game popularity in their advertising. Game and fish are definite attractions meriting public enthusiasm, but it is time to give some thought to how long we can meet the increasing demand.”

Now fast forward to 1970. After involving powerful international organizations, that he helped create and fund, in North American game management, Gabrielson retired as WMI President to head up its Board of Directors. He was replaced by Daniel Poole who, in his 1973 annual WMI workshop, criticized biologists for their failure to sell their “management” programs to the public.

The North American Wildlife Policy of 1973

Then Poole introduced Wolf Professor Durward Allen to present the “North American Wildlife Policy of 1973.” The New Policy emphasized the protection of all predators by either giving them game status or by prohibiting “indiscriminate” predator control.

In addition to outlawing predator bounties, and the use of poison except in emergencies such as a rabies epidemic, the 1973 Policy refused to recognize the need for predator control to benefit populations of game. Instead, it stressed the need to provide prey species to feed the predators which, it said, have high esthetic values.

Now fast forward 23 more years to the Idaho Deer and Elk Teams supposedly formed to halt declines in deer and elk populations and hunter harvests. On June 24, 1996, when Upper Snake Regional Biologist Ted Chu said one of the purposes in their Mission Statement was, “To provide elk and deer to feed bears and other large predators,” it was endorsed unanimously by all of the Team Biologists.

But when sportsman Elk Team Member Bill Chetwood suggested providing elk and deer for hunters to harvest (per I.C. Sec 36-103), none of the IDFG Biologists agreed and Facilitator John Gahl stated: “We’re not going to use anything that’s in the law as part of our Vision Statement or our Mission Statement.”

In the preceding 58 Outdoorsman Bulletins I’ve provided numerous examples of biologists’ refusal to control predators to protect and perpetuate game species. For a period of several years during the 1970s, desperate biologists even blamed families that vacationed together and harvested healthy wild game for the freezer for the lack of game caused by the biologists’ continued adherence to the WMI 1973 Wildlife Policy.

Hunting in Idaho Has Become a Sport for the Wealthy; Nearly Half of Households Can’t Afford Licenses, Tags

In their “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Reflections From a Non-Hunter” presentation to the Wildlife Management Institute Annual Workshop in Phoenix in 2008, and to the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society meeting in Moscow in 2009, IDFG employees Michele Beucler and Gregg Servheen presented the following 2007 survey results:

Hunter retention rates declined sharply in the nearly half of Idaho households with annual incomes of $40,000 or less.

Zero decline in hunter retention of individuals from households with $100,000 or more annual income.

Instead of charging the hunter and fisherman the $11 in 1969 license and tag fees plus just the inflation since then (a 2007 grand total of $62.15), and using all of that money to manage our wild game and fish resource, he or she is now charged nearly three to four times that much* to hunt the same wild game species – but with even lower populations and harvests. (* depending on whether a $124.25 sportsmen’s package is purchased initially or more expensive licenses and tags are purchased separately)

Then the extra millions of dollars are robbed from license fees and used to help support the dozens of former “nongame” biologists on the Fish and Game payroll who refuse to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage our wild game as the law requires.

Instead of bragging about the travesty of so-called wolf recovery, they should be held accountable for feeding Idaho’s endangered Selkirk caribou to bears, mountain lions and wolves and for introducing multiple diseases into Idaho wildlife where there is no evidence they ever existed in or were spread by Idaho’s wild animals before.

The Compass Guaranteed Non-game “Management” Would Remain IDFG’s Number One Priority

In 2000, after 10 years of changing all state game agencies’ top priority from hunting and fishing to non-game activities, the [International] Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (later shortened to AFWA) used new Idaho F&G Director Rod Sando to implement “The Compass” – a 15-year Management Plan to make that change permanent.

During a 2001 Commission meeting, Natural Resource Policy Bureau Director Tracey Trent introduced Michele Beucler to the Commissioners. She gave them a presentation claiming that 85% of Idaho citizens supported increased emphasis on non-hunting/fishing as outlined in The Compass, while only a few “Utilitarians” supported only hunting and fishing and a few “Greens” did not support either.

Conspiracy to Get Hunters to Approve “The Compass”

Although Commissioners Nancy Hadley, Gary Power and John Watts supported The Compass, the other four Commissioners did not. Watts made a motion for outgoing Chairman Hadley to appoint two or three Commissioners to help Deputy Director Mansfield and Tracey Trent “tweak” The Compass to make it more acceptable to license buyers.

The motion passed and Hadley appointed Power and Watts and gave them instructions to make the necessary changes and get it back to her before her term as Chairman expired. On Dec. 23, 2004, with assistance from Mansfield and the two Commissioners, Tracey Trent changed the Funding and other portions of the controversial document, “The Compass,” in order to get license-buying sportsmen’s approval for the full Commission to pass it as follows:

“Page 8 – Funding
The Department’s main funding source comes from one segment of the population – hunters and anglers – primarily through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. This money has been – and will continue to be – used to manage fish and wildlife for hunting and fishing.

The Department will not use hunting and fishing license fees to meet all the desires of the public, other agencies and local governments for managing fish, wildlife and native plants.” (emphasis added)

“Page 10 – Objective
Maintain or improve game populations to meet the demand for hunting, fishing, and trapping.
? Manage predation to achieve a balance between game and predator populations.
? Collaborate with tribes, private landowners, and agencies to manage populations and harvest for long-term sustainability.

“Page 17 – Objective
Improve funding to meet legal mandates and public expectations.
? Continue to use revenue generated by hunters, anglers, and trappers for programs that benefit hunting, fishing, and trapping.”

The stipulations on Pages 8 and 17 that revenue generated by hunters, anglers and trappers would be used for programs that benefit hunting fishing and trapping are uniform and understandable.

Yet 2-1/2 years later, on July 3, 2007, F&G Commission Vice Chairman Wayne Wright, and IDFG Director Cal Groen told an ad hoc Legislative funding committee that Nongame funding provided only 25% of the money F&G was spending on non-game, and the rest was being taken from sportsmen license fee funding of law enforcement, fish stocking and other hunting and fishing programs. Then Director Groen candidly admitted this had been going on for the previous 15 years.

The license fee and predator-prey balance promises written into “The Compass” were not worth the paper they were printed on. The obvious solution was to stop stealing sportsmen’s license fees and reduce their license, tag and permit costs by at least 50% so the less affluent families could continue to hunt and fish. But that was not what Beucler had in mind.

Not long after the F&G officials confessed they had been robbing the excessive license fees – which forced lower income families to give up hunting – Beucler was recommending to The Wildlife Management Institute and the Wildlife Society that they recruit non-sportsmen to replace the license buyers who were being forced out of hunting by excessive costs and lack of game to harvest.

In 2010, as the new President of the Organization of Wildlife Planners, Beucler wrote an article titled, “The Death of Wildlife Management?” in which she proposed an end to wildlife management that benefits hunters and fishermen. She wrote, “Hunting and fishing will remain important threads of the American Tapestry regardless of how many people participate,” and cited false figures to claim that the percentage of licensed hunters and fishermen was already declining rapidly.

That, of course, proved to be another lie when the national survey showed an increase of 9% for hunters and 10% for combined hunters and fishermen. Yet she recently worked closely with Director Moore to have the Management Assistance Team teach IDFG employees to prepare for changes that reduce the number of hunters.

Legislative Investigation That Was Never Completed

The January 2009 Outdoorsman No. 32 published the unlawful use of $231,338 in P-R/D-J funds by just two IDFG Bureaus in FY 2008. An Idaho Legislator contacted me at the beginning of the 2010 session and said the Legislature was investigating F&G’s illegal use of Federal Excise Tax funds as a match for nongame/endangered species projects, and asked for additional proof.

I obtained and photocopied public documents that showed the illegal use of $427,534.00 in sportsman excise tax dollars in FY 2008 to match nongame and endangered species funding. In the June-Aug 2010 Outdoorsman No. 40, I published photocopies of these documents and described how alarmed Director Groen and Deputy Unsworth became when I requested additional information, and how they destroyed the original documents to hide their misuse of the P/R and D/J funds.

During the 2011 Legislative session I asked how the investigation was progressing but I’ve never received an answer.

Fee Increases since 1969 Nearly Triple Inflation Cost In order to understand what has happened since 1969, please study the following chart carefully, including the footnotes and the few comments. Once you understand what has happened, you will realize what must be done.

CostToHuntGraph

Except for a handful of game preserves with limited elk hunting, from 1966-1970 my wife and I and our older sons could each hunt and fish in any open season in Idaho for everything except trophy species for $11. It cost only $8 for my wife and sons who normally didn’t hunt elk, but if they chose to kill a second deer in limited units, they could by paying another $2.

When Joe Greenley was rebuilding Idaho’s wild game and fish populations during the 1970s, changing license & tag fees from $11 to about the $21.76 Consumer Price Index Cost of Living increase in 1979 was proper. But charging hunters to hunt lions and bears which had formerly cost nothing was not.

And giving muzzleloader and longbow hunters special early and late seasons when the game was far more vulnerable, and charging them extra money for that special privilege harvest opportunity established a bad precedent.

When Jerry Conley replaced Greenley for the next 15 years, and then a growing list of subsequent Directors replaced each other, Game Biologists threw science out the window and began creating all manner of bonus special privilege hunts/seasons requiring special weapons permits and/or drawings with a limited number of permits awarded.

Abundant Game Numbers = Abundant Nongame

For the first half of the 20th Century when so-called sport hunters and dedicated game wardens restored the game species that had been decimated by a small number of market hunters, everyone saw an abundance of non-game. It wasn’t until excessive game harvesting combined with refusal to maintain a healthy ratio of game to its predators, that declines in both game and non-game species became evident.

But instead of restoring that healthy balance, biologists continued to increase the hunting and fishing fees, but use the extra money in a futile attempt to rebuild nongame numbers by manipulating habitat.

Brave Commission Action Does Not End Corruption The ray of hope in all of this was when the F&G

Commission forced Deputy Director Jim Unsworth to seek employment elsewhere, and forced Director Moore to tell his employees to stop “stirring the pot” and obey the law to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage Idaho’s wild game and wild fish for hunters, fishermen and trappers to harvest (see Aug-Oct 2014 Outdoorsman No. 57).

I have provided all of the foregoing information to try to make the reader understand that these two corrective actions by the Idaho Commission were still not enough to dismantle the corrupt system that is dedicated to destroying our heritage of hunting (i.e. for all but the few wealthy individuals who may continue to support it).

The Commission’s next opportunity to restore IDFG’s lawful mandate to manage wild game and fish for hunting, fishing and trapping began as Agenda Item 13 in the May 20, 2015 Commission meeting in Lewiston. It is the process of re-writing the State Wildlife Action plan for another 10 years and Sagle resident Ed Lindahl recommended adding a statement describing the Department’s first priority as “providing surpluses of wild game and fish for those who hunt, fish and trap in Idaho.”

In March of 2004 when Rita Dixon gave her presentation about the federal grant money her group had already received to prepare Idaho’s first State Wildlife Action Plan, Commissioner John Burns asked her if any sportsman license dollars would be used. She responded that the matching funding had already been secured but failed to answer his question or mention the alleged source(s) or amounts of the alleged matching funds.

In the Lewiston Commission meeting on May 20, 2015, she bragged to the Commissioners about the millions of dollars in matching funds her nongame group has received to match the dollars it has received from the feds.

But what she failed to tell Burns in 2004 or the Commission in May 2015 was how much of that matching money has been stolen from license fees and excise taxes paid by Idaho sportsmen – a deliberate violation of the Congressional legislation that created the grants.

Despite all of the gimmicks (from “chipmunk” donations to specialty license plates) only a tiny handful of nongame supporters are willing to donate any money for their special privilege wildlife viewing areas, etc. Managing nongame endangered wildlife is NOT a function of a GAME Department and should be transferred to the Governors Office of Species Conservation – the Idaho agency that is legally mandated to handle them.

If you understand the chart comparing the radically increased fees charged to sport hunters and anglers with what they should be charged according to the Consumer Price Index, you must realize that state game management agencies are being destroyed from within by nongame and non-hunting activists posing as biologists.

Do not be deceived by their false claims that this expensive program was forced on them by the federal govt. Remember it was non-hunting activists posing as Idaho & Montana biologists who allowed wolf introduction.

Until we stop letting the non-governmental groups from the Washington, D.C. beltway and the MAT training center in West Virginia dictate what we manage and how we manage it, our Constitutional right to hunt, fish and trap will continue to be destroyed.

If enough concerned sportsmen from each state would take the time to write their elected representatives in Congress and ask them to stop voting to appropriate funding for the State Wildlife Grants, it could restore our hunting and fishing heritage. Why not give it a try?

More Research Supporting Fact No. 1

Dr. Val Geist’s study conclusion of wolves’ return to Vancouver Island resulted in the annual black-tailed deer harvest declining from about 25,000 to only 3,000.

The same scenario that has occurred with wolves in Idaho played out in Southern Alberta about 15 years earlier when the northern wolves repopulated SW Alberta. Initially they found abundant prey, but Canadian researcher Mark Hebblewhite spent 10 years documenting the destruction of the area’s big game herds by wolves in the Banff ecosystem.

He recorded a 90% decline in elk numbers, slightly less in moose populations, and extinction of several caribou herds. And after half a century of research involving Canadian wolves, Tom Bergerud’s undisputed conclusions that uncontrolled wolves destroy herd after herd of woodland caribou, are accepted even by those who advocate keeping big game herds in a predator pit.

To learn why Dr. Charles Kay insists Isle Royale Research is not appropriate; to read the claim that moose were originally transported by train and boat to Isle Royale; and to read Fact #2 – Why Wolves Cannot Exist near Human Settlements, don’t miss “The Outdoorsman No. 60.”

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Frank Murkowski Lives on a One-Way Street

Former Governor of Alaska and U.S. Senator, Frank Murkowski, in a rant about environmentalist lawsuits to stop timber harvesting in portions of Alaska, seems to invoke “balance of nature” in one breath about wolves, while holding his breath about “balance of nature” in the next.

In the Juneau Empire he writes:

To try to link timber harvest with reduction in deer population and thus a decline in the wolf population is nothing more than a fabricated argument to stop logging. If environmentalists really wanted to increase wolves they would instead support the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s proposal to reduce the cap allowing hunters to take 60 wolves per year. This would directly and immediately increase both deer and wolf populations. But, there is a balance in nature — an increase in wolves will result in a decrease in deer. The wolves will then move to where there are more deer. Logging has little to do with nature’s balancing in this regard.

If Murkowski is employing the “balance of nature” myth as it pertains to predator/prey relationships in order to protect timber harvesting, intimating that if man just left it alone it would be alright, then certainly if ecosystems balance themselves out then there is no need for timber and forest management (timber harvesting) other than the greed of consumptive use…right?

Perhaps there’s a need to better polish the argument here. Or double check with the Council on Foreign Relations and make sure he has his talking points right.

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From When the New York Times Printed Truth

By Jim Beers

The following link to a New York Times article from 1907 should be considered by all those currently living in wolf country; those living in soon-to-be wolf country; and those supporting the forcible use of unjust central power to force wolves on their neighbors and fellow citizens.

Wolf History:

Wolves Killing Deer

The New York Times Published: May 26, 1907
http://tinyurl.com/ku9n5cn

When I try to explain to fellow Minnesotans the role of dense wolf populations on the disappearance of moose and deer, they smirk and sneer. They talk of global warming, ticks, unspecified diseases and the need for more research. Newspapers, Universities (especially the U of Minnesota and the U of Wisconsin that are true hotbeds of environmental/animal rights extremism), and State wildlife agencies that have become clones of these State Universities all avoid the mention of wolf predation and identify anyone questioning this as an uninformed crackpot.

Nonetheless, consider how everyone accepts the “fact” that year-around wolf predation on Isle Royale, an island far offshore in Lake Superior, steadily accounts for the disappearance of moose. This romantic notion of “Mother Nature” at work makes the very efficient but gory killing of calves, pregnant cows and adult moose by wolves into a “natural” and entertaining children’s story. The same scenario when proposed by hunters, trappers, ranchers, elderly rural residents and others regarding wolf effects on deer and moose in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan is merely proof of “old”, uninformed and anti-social political incorrectness.

There is no denying the following simple truths about wolves in settled landscapes like the Lower 48 States:
– Wolves kill moose and deer, reducing them to levels that will not sustain hunting.
– Wolves spread over 30 deadly and destructive diseases to humans, wildlife, livestock and dogs.
– Wolves are dangerous and deadly threats to children, the elderly, dog walkers, hikers, and a wide array of rural residents and recreationists.

The thing to remember about wolf predation; whether on an adult moose caught in a snowy woodland by a group of wolves, a pregnant cow moose giving birth caught by one or more wolves, a doe deer and fawn run down by a couple of wolves – IT IS ADDITIVE to whatever else is happening to moose and deer. Even if you accept global warming (I do not) or think maybe ticks or some errant and unknown disease has just popped up (each of which I find unlikely as significant until I see evidence I can trust) – wolf predation is steadily more and more efficient as wolves learn (just like that dog in your backyard) AND IT IS ADDITIVE!

Consider again that 1907 NYT article. In addition to what we deny as it is all around us today, weather phenomena like the winter snow depths, snow characteristics, and snow duration can and will create an environment wherein suddenly wolf predation both for food and for the joy and fun of killing (even dog packs will kill a large number of deer in snow or sheep by cliffs for “fun” and “excitement”) will dramatically reduce the number of deer and moose regardless of the “experts” protestations to the contrary.

When wolves are not kept at very low densities or eradicated from regions inhabited by people like the Lower 48 States or Europe, what happened in 1907 will happen again and again. This article is about but ONE of many reasons wolves were eradicated in The Lower 48 States and Europe by our wise and determined ancestors.

Two years before this article, in 1905, George Santyana, a 19th century philosopher and author said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Some say Santyana was paraphrasing the 18th century Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher Edmund Burke who observed, “People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.” Posterity is truly what we no longer concern ourselves about as abortion, birth control, births out-of-wedlock and non-child-oriented marriages proliferate in these very same American and European societies looking to secular morality and self-gratification in matters like “restoring the native ecosystem” and returning large predators to settled landscapes no matter the human costs.

In either case, both men were telling us to heed the lessons of history. In the case of wolves, environmental extremists and self-serving politicians and bureaucrats have not only denied history: they have perpetrated a great crime against Americans and Europeans in a way that relieves them of responsibility for their actions and the terrible fruits of their crime.

One last quote from Edmund Burks seems in order:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Jim Beers
15 Sep. 2014

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.
Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Statement: Predators Kill the Sick and Weak Prey Species

Yesterday I posted a video that showed a woman representative of PETA who wrote a letter to a young girl who had been attacked by a bear. PETA wanted the girl to sympathize with the bear because the girl deserved to be attacked for being a hunter. In that video, the PETA representative made the statement, that we hear on a regular basis, that bears kill only the weak and sickly of their prey species. Do readers fully understand how ridiculous that statement is?

First of all, I believe that for anyone to make such a statement and believe it true, they are placing human traits on animals that just don’t belong. This, of course, has gone on for many years as people have been programmed to think that animals have equal rights with humans, have emotions and feelings like humans and, we know that corporations, like Disney, have made billions of dollars, fabricating human-like animals and forcing them onto our children.

However, if you believe that a large predator (after all, the talking point is that all large predators kill only the sick and weakly of the prey species and that this makes for balanced and healthy ecosystems.) kills only the sick and lame prey, then you must believe that the predator possesses the ability to recognize when the prey they are seeking is in poor shape, diseased, going to die; whatever condition fits into the narrative of those worshiping the predator to justify its protection.

If someone was to tell me that a predator might be able to recognize a badly limping prey species and over the years had learned that that’s an easier catch than a non limping prey member, I might have reason to believe that as a possibility. How else does a large predator recognize “the weak and sickly” of the prey species? Can a mountain lion stare at an elk and recognize that the elk’s lungs and liver are full of Hydatid cysts, and know that elk can’t run so far and so fast because of the cysts. Do they recognize rabies, or Taenia krabbei or Taenia arctos in the muscle tissue of the animal they are about to chase and kill? What constitutes lame, sick, weak?

I think you might be getting my point.

But let’s turn this around a bit. Let’s agree that a large predator possesses a natural ability to recognize the sick and lame (undefined) of the prey species. If so, isn’t this predator just as capable of recognizing a healthy prey species? Isn’t this predator capable of recognizing a pregnant prey species? If we wish to place human traits on animals, then one would have to ask why a predator would want to kill and eat a disease-laced prey species? Yuck! (Human reaction here. Follow along.)

Boots on the ground observations and studies have revealed that wolves, for example, love to kill pregnant elk cows, rip out the fetus and have a favorite feast. Did the wolf recognize the pregnant cow? Or was it a coincidence that the wolf must have noticed a limp in that cow and it was only a bonus that that limping cow elk was with calf?

Also yesterday, I covered much of an article that Dr. Charles Kay had written originally for Muley Crazy magazine. In that article Dr. Kay spoke of how advocates for wolves wanted to have things both ways in the roles that wolves play on our ecosystems; that being that wolves were a “keystone” species but did not have any substantial effect on the population of their prey base. And this, by definition, is impossible.

In much the same way, making claims that predators kill only weak and sick prey is an attempt at dishonestly convincing people that the predator is only smart enough to kill and eat bad food and not capable of picking out a preferred meal. Silly isn’t it? Predators, by definition, “prey” on their food. If you’re a prey species and you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, you’re a quarter-pounder with cheese to go.

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Wolf Attacking Bull Elk in Water

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

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

wolfeatingelk

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