October 4, 2022

Nevermore: Wolves in the Lower 48

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Guest post by Jim Beers

“What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.’” From The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

Definition: nev·er·more (n v r-môr , -m r ). adv. Never again.

A wolf just attacked a kid in Minnesota in a sleeping bag in a US Forest Service campground. The wolf grabbed the sleeping kid by the head and left him with cuts and a gash after it was driven off by the kids’ kicks and the response of others in the campground.

One month ago I was fishing with a friend only a few hundred yards off that campground by the mouth of the Mississippi River as it flows into Lake Winnibigoshish. Being an incurable duck hunter I had noted the large wild rice beds nearby and the boat ramp in the campground. After chatting with our fishing guide, Mr. Roy Girtz (Royal Guide Service in Grand Rapids- this is a non-paid and well-deserved plug for Mt. Girtz), about duck hunting in the massive wild rice bed called Sugar Bay; I had tentatively planned to camp in that campground and hunt ducks in the nearby wild rice in October.

When I read the initial report of this wolf attack in a local news item last night, the title referred not to a wolf attack but to a wolf “bite”. Additionally, the initial article mentioned a wound that “required multiple staples to close, but was not life-threatening.” The words “rare” and “extremely rare” are peppered throughout the initial report.

Both the initial local report and the front page article in this morning’s St. Paul Pioneer Press (which uses the description of wolf “attack”) were mainly explanations by the Chief DNR Law Enforcement guy about how this incident was a “freak deal” and “incredibly abnormal behavior”. He goes on that according to the DNR, “it’s the first one I’m aware of where there was actual physical damage to the victim.” First one? What other ones and how many have been “handled” quietly? HHMMM?

The St. Paul Outdoor writer, who assumedly hopes to follow his predecessor into a DNR job, sings a duet with the DNR Enforcement guy. For instance:

– “If confirmed, it would be the first documented wolf attack of such severity in Minnesota and likely in the continental US.”

– “There are two documented cases of fatal wolf attacks in North America, one in Alaska and one in Canada according to the DNR and a review of scientific literature.”

– “Until a few years ago the number of documented wolf killings of people in the history of North America was zero according to the most authoritative research on the topic, ‘A Case History of Wolf-Human Encounters in Alaska and Canada’ by Mark McNay of the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game.”

– The DNR offers the following tips for an encounter with an “aggressive wolf”, – Don’t run. Do not turn your back. Retreat slowly. Stand your ground. Use air horns or other noisemakers. Use bear spray or firearms IF NECESSARY. Climb a tree.


Three days ago I wrote a piece (Wolf Tales, Turning Reality into Myth) about two reported wolf feeding/habituation hotspots about 70-80 miles East of this wolf attack on Lake Winnie. It is worth noting that the newspaper pictures of the “cute” young wolves begging for food was composed around a Lady DNR Manager explaining about how these “cute (her word) young wolves needed these summer areas to wait for the return of mysteriously absent “parents”. This Ladies’ emotional explanation displaying DNR environmental/animal rights concern for these newly discovered wolf pup-care frolic and begging areas for wolves was a hit, I am sure, with urban progressives and a warning to local folks to adjust to living with wolves or move elsewhere. Girls can get away with that sort of thing like when you are upset with a company and you call for help in a fit of frustration and a young lady tells you how she will help even though she is no help. You calm down with the lady and are restrained where if it is a man, especially one that can make you feel he can ignore you with impunity, you are neither calmed down nor receptive to his inability to help. Suffice it to say that when a kid is bitten and locals are ready to take up torches and pitch forks, as with this kid getting nailed in a campground, the spokesMAN is not only a male, he is the Regional Manager for DNR Enforcement.

I have always been amazed at how Outdoor Writers whose wildlife knowledge is like the Platte River (“a mile wide and an inch deep”) can make politically correct factoids out of wildlife biology and human interfaces and still maintain any credibility. Like UN Ambassadors and Secretaries of State to whom the truth matters not; only pleasing their powerful employers and those they hope will benefit them in the future is taken into account. From Benghazi to wolf realities, call it human nature, lying or ignorance; the key is to keep what they tell you in perspective if it goes beyond the best bait for perch or where our UN Ambassador was recently during a UN Emergency Session on Syrian chemical weapons. Note how a firearm (the ONLY SURE defense) is at the bottom of the list with a caveat and bear spray (that didn’t work for the Idaho guy bicycling on the Alaskan Highway recently) is recommended. Thank you, Charlie Brown.

I have written until I am blue in the face about the history of wolves. From the time of Plutarch centuries before Christ, bounties and wolf killing have been the norm. The time and effort expended to rid settled areas of wolves in Europe are monumental and hard to comprehend in societies that struggled to feed their members and untreatable plagues killed millions. Specially bred dogs, poisons, traps, bounties, deadfalls, drives, denning pups, shooting, pits, spiked dog collars, snares, horseback chases, handguns, possees, etc.; nothing was too hard or too innovative or too expensive for those that were “living with wolves” to kill and minimize or eliminate wolves for the past two and a half thousand years that we know of. Now you can express the extreme hubris of our age and dismiss all those societies, farmers, townsmen, herders, woodcutters, parents, nobles, and travelers as a pack of ignorant superstitious folks but do you realize how stupid that is? To say that kids fables were not meant to warn them of very real wolf dangers or that woodcuts or old literature about wolves are simply propaganda by witches is funny to say the least. I have a book (Wolves of North America. 194) by Stanley Young the Head of US Predator and Rodent Control in Washington, DC) beside me as I write this that documents many wolf deaths in Colonial America; in America during the westward expansion in Forts and smallpox infested Indian Villages, on lonely plains; and in the developing American communities of the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s. No one; not children, trappers, hunters, scouts, soldiers, cowboys, farmers, Indians, pioneers, travelers, no one; was immune.

The fact that the current “experts”, bureaucrats and writers can dismiss history as fiction simply because it is “undocumented” is astonishing. We are using this eraser for millennia when there were no newspapers, no need to verify what happened in your village, no records, no “Scientists” (even Audubon reported a wolf death and attack in Kentucky), and immigrants and native people neither knew nor could determine, much less “document”, the fate of the many that disappeared for reasons as diverse as murder, kidnapping and fatal injury to predators like wolves, bears and cougars in expanses where remains were simply fast food for abundant animals and insects.

None of that matters. Urban radicals love wolves and will vote for politicians that will destroy livestock operations, hunting, rural economies, rural tranquility, and gun possession: wolves help accomplish all these things. Federal bureaucracies have built unbelievably powerful and expensive kingdoms based on the laws passed by pandering politicians to get the votes of the urban progressives and radicals. The fact that such laws have proven to be the most efficient means of destroying our Constitutional government with the possible exception of armed conquest by a foreign tyrant goes unmentioned and is vehemently denied. State governments have thus far sold out to their Constitutional Authorities and Responsibilities to the federal juggernaut and the DNR’s/F&G’s/FWP’s/etc. have become “people-of-the-evening” as they individually curry federal favor and even future federal emoluments, much like the Outdoor Writers, at the expense of those they ostensibly serve.

Hence the feces noted above that has become standard fair for decades now about how wolves are “shy” and “kill only the old and sick” and “encourage berries for bears by killing elk” and “have NO EFFECT ON MOOSE “(are you listening Minnesota?), etc. ; while remaining silent about diseases and infections spread by wolves, wolf impacts on dogs, wolf impacts on livestock operations, wolf/human incidents as much as they can, denying big game losses caused by wolves, the real danger to kids and the elderly where wolves exist, and the overall diminishment of rural American economies, life and Tranquility (a Constitutional word) as a result of re-introduced wolves.

But alas, none of that matters. So think about this. ALL wildlife studies and wildlife biology (i.e. “science” are reports of what they say HAS HAPPENED and what IS HAPPENING. It is like driving a car by only looking in the rearview mirror. Let’s assume, hard as it is, that wolves never killed anyone (the girl in Alaska and the guy in Saskatchewan, for the sake of argument, probably “turned their back” or “ran” or failed to “climb a tree”) and all the wolf destruction reports from early America, present day Russia/Siberia/Georgia/Khazakstan/India and all the stuff from Europe down through the Ages about wolves killing humans is all simply fiction.

So, “the government and “scientists” tell us that wolves “were here first”, “wolves belong here as Native Species” and wolves “complete” and “improve” the environment. Suppose further that “studies” and “experts” validate all this and that any danger to humans, like the talk about wolves carrying diseases and wolves killing livestock and reducing game animals and thus hunting is all silly superstition being spread by (?) old guys like me or people that were home-schooled or raised by rural Conservatives (as opposed the urban Christie/McCain Conservatives).

Now suppose that me and others like me (yes there are some) bred thousands of large (75-125 lb. dogs), took their puppies away from the adults right away, housed them separately and fed them road-kill and wild critters both young and old until the pups were about 6 months old. Then we took them separately and released them in woods and on plains and in towns and suburbs and on farms and ranches and on public and private property.

I submit that many would begin making it on their own. They would form packs. They would kill deer and elk and moose and try for bear cubs just as they would soon learn annual habits of finding moose calves and pregnant elk cows and beaver houses and school bus stops and ranch yards and town garbage at night. Since they and their offspring get no “shots” or veterinary attention when they carry hundreds of ticks or contract Rabies, Distemper, Parvo, Mad Cow, Anthrax, Brucellosis, or Tapeworms, Roundworms, Encephalitis, Chronic Wasting Disease, Bubonic Plague (from their fleas), Mange, Neospora caninum (an abortifacient), Foot-and-Mouth, etc. the public would quickly be in fear for their children and themselves and their dogs and their livestock and the animals they hunt in the fall.

I further submit that as these “wild” dogs increased and killed most of the game – making the last few harder to get as they tried to live “in town” or near buildings and as farmers/ranchers reduced their herd sizes and put armed guards and dogs everywhere and finally put the smaller herds and flocks under lock and key in buildings – wild dog food might be hard to get. What do you think happens then? Will the dogs disappear like some historians say Indian dogs did periodically during famines or bad weather? Will you believe ASPCA/government/”scientific” reports that dogs will simply infect themselves if sick and will simply die if food is hard to get or have always gone elsewhere far away (?) to find food?

OR, would you understand that they will explore and move into suburbs and cities like coyotes are doing? Would you understand that they are killing your dog in your back yard and that it is dangerous to “walk” your dog since the wild dogs attack and eat your dogs? Or that attacks on kids and the elderly are increasing as the hungry dogs see them as food? Or that these dogs you cannot shoot or trap or poison in suburbs and cities are “bold” and “habituated” and increasingly threatening you and your family and the outdoor public life and events that you can no longer pursue and/or enjoy?

How long would you tolerate your public officials and bureaucrats telling you that those dogs are good for some other animal and that “the ecosystem” must be made “whole” and “natural”, no matter what it costs you or your nation? Would you tolerate government that protected me and my friends that put the dogs everywhere? Would you tolerate courts telling you, after your son is injured or your daughter killed by those dogs, that my friends and I aren’t responsible? That your child failed to behave properly and you are suspected of anti-government urges (like that Missouri Rodeo Clown?) since you are not enthusiastic about learning all we tell you about how and why you “must learn to live with these dogs”?

Everything we knew about wolves is in thousands of years of old literature and art, and in recent “science” and, especially in the US and Europe, censored/propagandized media and news reports, given whatever you think of all of it, is meaningless. Never before, have wolves been brought into, protected and encouraged to expand in settled and technologically organized landscapes and communities as found in the Lower 48 States today. Containing:

– Abundant and managed big game herds unused to ravaging wolf packs and large herds and flocks of livestock untended on summer pastures unlike any other country in history.

– Disease-free dogs in homes and open rural yards, trained to protect, hunt (often at great distance from the hunter), trail, and give companionship.

– Children walking to and from and waiting at isolated rural school bus stops.

– Old rural folks with routine walks to often far off mailboxes and isolated homes in the midst of barns, sheds and outbuildings of interest to and cover for wolves.

– Porches and decks with greasy residues and barbecues combined with garbage bins and regular outdoor pickups that often kids fill and move bins to and from. –

– Rural settlements with everyone inside at night and wolves freely roaming in search of anything to eat or kill.

So far we have seen:

– Big game is disappearing and livestock operators are either going out of business of reducing herds or still trying the “Fladry”, electric fence’ guard dogs, “compensation” nonsense meant only to delay their complaints until wolf control is no longer feasible or affordable.

– Hunting is dwindling because of lack of game.

– Rural life adjustments from no longer camping or leaving the dog unattended to not allowing kids to go hiking or bike riding after school and constructing school bus stop cages for kids that no longer walk to or from the bus stop, etc.

– “Attacks” are beginning to become more difficult to cover-up and big game license money (along with the billions that all the ancillary business’ that hunting brought to rural America) is disappearing along with it.

– Diseases, tapeworms and infections are increasing desp9ite veterinarians too busy to answer questions.

– The real results of hiring all the anti-natural resource management and use radicals in the federal and state wildlife agencies is becoming evident from lies about safety and distortions about animal counts and disease threats to humans, dogs, livestock and wildlife.

– A Minnesota boy (where this NEVER happens,) is grabbed by a wolf on his head and narrowly escapes death as he sleeps in a government campground.

No one is to blame. No one is lying. If you believe that, you are a fool. The world and the “Science” you are being fed is no more. The Lower 48 States no more can tolerate widespread wolves in dense populations than Nairobi can tolerate leopards in their ravines or Moscow can tolerate wolves in their surroundings. The ONLY solution in Nairobi or Moscow or the Lower 48 is to kill wolves in significant percentages annually and to kill ANY wolf seen in communities or Counties that will not and cannot tolerate them. We are too slowly learning this timeless truth, the wolf pups being fed on a highway N of Duluth and a boy grabbed in the jaws of wolf while he slept are merely some of the first public indications leaking out of what is coming as the expanding wolf populations clear the landscape of available food and an increasingly meek human society surrenders guns and traps and the rights we took for granted as necessary to live productive and safe rural lives for ourselves, our families and our communities to coddle a dangerous animal in our midst. Trust me it is only going to get steadily worse. It is a new and far more dangerous world we face and whatever your beliefs about that past of either delightful or deadly/destructive wolves: it is a world that is Nevermore as far as wolves in the Lower 48 States today

Finally, do me two favors:

1. File this away under Global Warming/Wolf Deniers or Nutjobs or wherever you would file what you think is fantasy. I predict you one day soon and not far off will have seen more wolf carnage and destruction reports (increasing incidents and increasing severity not amenable to cover-up are inevitable) and there will be a hue and cry to get rid of them or reduce them dramatically or else. When that happens and you are having a flicker of doubt or remorse about how you supported wolf imposition on others or you are wondering which side you are on now: pull this out and reread it. I hope it might help you make up your mind.

2. Go to www.cryingwolfmovie.com, and watch a free showing of a superb movie video “CRYING WOLF”. You will learn about some young Montanans working to restore rural America and Constitutional government and also about their new video, “AXED The end of Green”. If it is half as good as Crying Wolf, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Jim Beers
27 August 2013

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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