September 25, 2022

Isle Royale Wolf & Moose Implications

*Editor’s Note* – The editor would like to point out that he believes it is in error to state that introducing wolves, once again, to Isle Royale is “unconstitutional” and quotes the Tenth Amendment as the sole reason for such. The Constitution, for what it is worth, operates as a complete document not by picking only certain Articles to fit a narrative. While one might argue for or against the meaning of the Tenth Amendment, Article I, Section 8 is disregarded as well as the government’s bastardization of the Commerce Clause. Beyond this, the actions on Isle Royale with moose and wolves are but a reflection of the fascist, Marxist, Totalitarian, Collectivist society/government we have grown. 

By James Beers

A fellow-Minnesotan recently read what I wrote about Isle Royale National Park and it caused him to write the following question.  My two responses follow and may prove helpful to urban residents that are unsure of the advisability of relying on federal and state bureaucracies when dealing with endangered species, government land holdings, and explanations of what they do.

  1. The Question:

Thanks for the emails.

The spin I read is that as you see in this article “more wolves mean a better chance of keeping the island’s growing moose population in check.”

So, I’m not sure if 1600 moose on Isle Royale is a problem or not.

  1. Response #1.

There are many threads woven in this and similar wildlife issues.  I will try to unravel a few in this article I write for both the concerned public and professional wildlife professionals.

  1. Wildlife, with the exception of those species named on a Treaty (i.e. for instance the Migratory Bird Treaties with Britain on behalf of Canada, Japan, Mexico and Russia) ratified by the US Senate and signed by the President of the US, are Constitutionally under the authority and Jurisdiction of the State wherein they occur.
  2. In the past 50 years, thanks to the unjust (for what it does to families and rural communities) and un-Constitutional (see ARTICLE X, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” powers granted to federal bureaucracies by 1960’s/1970’s environmental legislation (Endangered Species Act, Wilderness Act, Wild Horse and Burrows Act, Animal Welfare Act, etc.) that was introduced and passed by Nixon as he was “managing” Watergate and Ford as he sought re-election: federal bureaucrats seeking more money and power; politicians seeking votes and financial donations from NGO’s; and rich and politically powerful environmental/animal rights organizations and wealthy individuals in both Europe and North America have been expanding and using these powers (like naming and placing species like wolves and grizzlies) to advance all manner of hidden agendas from collapsing rural land values, making state wildlife powers more and more irrelevant, and making rural America hostile to families, rural communities, vibrant economies, private property, Local governments and any state powers that exceed assisting federal programs as laid out in federal directives.     (WOW, that must be the granddaddy of all Faulknerian sentences!  I seem to be incapable of editing it because any edit seems to detract from my intentions.)
  3. Federal natural resource agencies like the National Park Service (NPS), US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), US Forest Service (FS), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have, simultaneously with #2, been expanding their regulatory power, working with Congress to “tweak” (make small amendments in concert with other legislative matters like Budget Appropriations) the laws mentioned in #2 and expanding their manpower and budgets (higher grades, more bonuses, bigger retirement costs, etc.).  Additionally, each year the federal government buys thousands to millions of more acres for the four agencies named above and, in both open and clandestine “partnership” (Grants, later purchase with markup) with the NGO’s – especially The Nature Conservancy – place untold acreages under permanent (No Use/No Management/No access etc.) Easements to both federal agencies and private NGO’s.
  4. Isle Royale National Park (Island) while a National Park is still just as much under the jurisdiction and authority of the State of Michigan as though you and I had purchased it.  The only exception is that you and I would have to pay state and local taxes on the property while NPS (like USFWS, FS and BLM) cannot pay such taxes per the Constitution and thus pays an entirely discretionary amount annually (and sometimes not) called “Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes” or “PILT that is always far less than the tax burden for a private owner.  You and I would have no more say about what animals were there or introduced or exterminated or hunted or otherwise meddled with under state oversight than if we owned a thousand acres bordering on Lake Minnetonka and thought to introduce free-roaming buffalo for hunting or resident Nene geese and Australian pochard Hardhead ducks for “safari” photography tours around the ownership.
  5. Yet, on Isle Royale NPS decides that they will manage Isle Royale for the (Non-Native) moose that were originally brought to the island by rich early settlers to provide food and “sport”.  Further, NPS decides that wolves will be introduced artificially to “control” any moose population explosion.  According to NPS brochures the wolves only came to Isle Royale in the 1940’s so they too are Not Native.  Enter the silent partners in this saga, USFWS under the illusion of the wolves being “endangered” or “threatened” everywhere in the Lower 48 States, traps wolves and cooperates in caging and transporting them to Isle Royale.  We are told that they were trapped in “Minnesota” but that is not true.  They were trapped on and transported from the Grand Portage Indian Reservation, where, as any Minnesota walleye fisherman knows, “the state has no jurisdiction”.  This little ploy was also used when Canadian wolves were caught and transported clandestinely to Yellowstone National Park (an early Park established before WY, ID and MT as States and therefore not subject to the jurisdiction of WY, ID, or MT) using $45 to 60 Million stolen by USFWS bureaucrats from state wildlife funds.  Not only had Congress refused to authorize or fund the wolf introductions in the Upper Rockies, FWS additionally defied Congress by also shipping some of the wolves to an Indian Reservation in central Idaho for release despite the loud objections of Idaho residents and their State and Local governments.
  6. So, the truly “endangered” caribou that are all but extinct in the Lower 48 are ignored by FWS on this island  where they occurred naturally 100 years ago, FWS (the enforcer of the Endangered Species Act) supports and enables NPS plans to make a (expensive to get to; all but impossible to get around in due to a Wilderness Declaration; and closed 5 months of the year) National Park into a rich folks fantasy land.  If caribou were restored, wolves would even more (than moose) quickly extirpate them from the island but what business does NPS have to proceed with this moose/wolf ecosystem preference anyway?  Why is the wolf considered a wolf valid “controller’ here on Isle Royale; when it is blamed for making a once-hunted (until recently) Minnesota moose herd only a remnant that no longer can support hunting or Upper Rocky Mountain elk herds all but a shadow of their former numbers since wolves were released, the wolf is denied as the culprit by federal and state bureaucrats and environmental NGO’s that blame “climate” or “ticks” or a lack of funding for the moose/elk demise everywhere but Isle Royale?  What business does FWS have trapping wolves and helping transport them to the island?  Is the MN DNR assisting in this FWS/NPS/Native American game of smoke and mirrors?  Where is the Michigan DNR in all this?  Why are they approving (or ignoring) this NO HUNTING federal scheme?  If Non-Native Wolves are being introduced to “control” Non-Native moose; why would Michigan simply ignore a gold mine of revenue for moose hunting when the Island is closed anyway each fall until next spring?  If NPS doesn’t want to cooperate on “their” island – FWS and NPS really have NO JURISDICTION to introduce wolves on the island without a Michigan permit since it is not a valid “ESA action.
  7. Michigan like most other Lower 48 States no longer have DNR’s that even imagine standing up to federal wildlife actions.  Minnesota hasn’t met a federal action in 50 years that it did not rollover for and wag its tail.  So, although ISLE Royale is unpopulated, this sort of “Me Federal: You State” Tarzan-like wildlife management and federal land management rolling over State and Local authorities and jurisdictions are simply accumulating legal PRECEDENTS when at some future date some poor rural  schlub stands up in some “Hearing”, or writes a letter to FWS or NPS, or even goes so far as to hire a lawyer to “defend” his and his State’s Rights and is told by some federal bureaucrat, or federal politician or some judge (“from the right court”) that this was all settled in the Isle Royale moose and wolves Decisions years ago!
  8. The magical qualities of certain wildlife species (the howl of the wolf and the honking of migrating geese are two prime examples) are being dissolved by federal oversight.  Resident Canada geese were bred and released by federal biologists in Jamestown North Dakota in the 1950’s.  Today millions of resident Canada geese throughout the Northern Lower 48 States are little more than infectious vermin in cities, on golf courses, in urban waterways, urban parks urban schoolyards and urban playground  In all honesty, those early wildlife “scientists” thought they were doing God’s work with not the slightest inkling of what they would wrought   It is the same with federal “science” giving sainthood to wolves, grizzlies, and encouraging state to do the same for mountain lions.  What was once a rare glimpse or sound to stir the soul is now a note of fear for ranchers, hunters, dog owners, parents, school teachers in rural America where these animals are forced on a populace that has no recourse under sterile State governments and gradually disappearing Local governments to represent rural American problems (Trump?).  Giving these large predators carte blanche federal/state protection in the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 States is a travesty to human dignity and scientifically is like the resident geese wintering in a park or schoolyard.  Geese should migrate and any large predator in The Lower 48 States should be legally classified as subservient to and treated as subject to immediate consequences when destroying or threatening any human or human endeavor.

  1. Response #2.

There is one more aspect of this Isle Royale saga that I should mention.

First, I believe it is more likely than not that some NPS guy or guys trapped and transported those first (1940’s/50’s) wolves to the island.  You did not have to have “scientific” training in those days to realize that if you just bought an island full of moose and you were absolutely committed to NO HUNTING or wildlife management (only “observation”, “interpretation”, and “study”) that you somehow had to keep moose numbers down or watch the island turn into some sort of Falkland Island suitable only for seabird nesting (albeit 1,000 miles from the sea).

However, whether the NPS’ers brought wolves to the island or even supplemented their gene pool occasionally and clandestinely (if you doubt that look no farther than the wolves trapped and transported from a non-disclosed location in Canada, brought into the US without Importation Documents or declared origins and financed by stolen state wildlife program funds for release in Yellowstone and an Indian Reservation in Idaho by USFWS) is immaterial for purposes here.  Trapping and transport, probably with the willing collusion of FWS, Grand Portage Reservation managers and the MN DNR (each of whom are and were for a long time in a quid pro quo relationship over Isle Royale as some sort of scientific-tourist “laboratory” remains very likely.

When the first wolves arrived, they encountered a very robust and by all accounts over-population of food, i.e. moose.  Like German submariners off the coast of the US in the first 5 months of WWII, wolves would no doubt recall (if they could) those times as what those German submariners called “The Happy Times”.

Wolves ate good, moose meat is very healthy, and the numerous moose were and always are (see Alaska or Siberia) particularly vulnerable to wolf predation.  Puppies galore grew up without any problems.

Imagine such a high moose population after 10-20 (?) years absorbing that predation from the growing wolf population, so the moose stay numerous and the wolves increase and increase in a cornucopia of food.

Then the wolf predation starts to overtake moose production disrupting the equilibrium and the moose decrease as the wolves keep increasing because there are still plenty of moose around albeit growing harder and harder to find.  Moose begin to decrease steadily.  Wolf competition and deadly aggressive encounters increase as food availability decreases.  Moose numbers begin to “plunge” and soon wolf stress increases as wolves begin to decrease while NPS, FWS and MN DNR burble about “interbreeding” suddenly appearing and concern about moose “recovering”.

The low wolf numbers and an apparent slow moose increase becomes fantasy fodder for kid’s books and tales about “Mother Nature in Lake Superior, Gaia be praised”.  In actual happenings, the moose start to slowly recover because the remaining wolves (the last of a dwindling population without food, i.e. moose) must expend more calories finding and killing a moose.  Recognizing that the public expects more than “slow” or “no” moose recovery, government stands ready to “do something”.

This scenario was the culmination of the moose population “plunge” that began with the first “ice-crosser” wolves back to the mainland, where at least one was shot on the Indian Reservation, in the late 1990’s.  It finally became undeniable over the last 10 years.  It took 60 (?) years.

Now the Romance of Large Predators obsessing urban Americans today gets a boost from the current government program to “Save” the Wolves of Isle Royale to great fanfare.

I probably won’t live to see this, but you may, otherwise I would make a bet that this next “bring in the wolves and watch the moose disappear” cycle will (without any more clandestine government intriguing) take 30 years or less.  The reason being that these few wolves are being released on an island with a recovering moose population that will, much sooner than when last wolves “arrived” on the island, see its increasing moose numbers losing ground to wolf increasing much sooner due to a lower food supply for wolves.  The period of quasi-equilibrium will be shorter because the moose population will be starting from a lower level than those Post-WWII years arrivals.

None of this is “natural”.  The irony is that it will be heralded as such (as well as legal) and be used for propaganda in the schools, legal precedents for more federal government mischief (too weak a word), and by a plethora of NGO’s bent on destroying Rural America as part of the Socialism apparently sweeping the country and bent on mimicking the likes of Cuban, Venezuelan and Russian governance.


Jim Beers

5 November 2018

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.

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Isle Royale’s Reversal of Global Warming

If we listen to those who assume the high ground and are the only bearers of “Best Available Science” we are told that moose are struggling to survive in several places across the country and it’s all, directly or indirectly, being caused by global warming.

We learn that the wolf population on Isle Royale has, for all intent and purposes, killed itself off for various reasons. Because the wolves are gone, the moose population is “undergoing a population explosion.”

But don’t think for a moment it is exploding because there’s only two wolves left alive. No, no! It must be that somehow, the two remaining wolves have “magically,” as their magic has no bounds, reversed the effects of global warming and thus are growing more moose to kill and eat. According to the same “High-Grounders” because there are now more moose, the result of the wolves’ magic, more magic will take place in that wolves will rebound because there is more food. Seeing all those moose causes their reproductive organs to go bonkers. Let’s hope the wolves aren’t too busy moving rivers to save the birds. And even though disease and inbreeding killed the wolves, we know the moose have no diseases and there are no “weak and sickly” ones left because the moose magically took care of that.

Maybe it’s time that we look very closely at these magical moose such that Al Gore can spread them across the entire planet to spare us all from the devastation of global warming. Maybe they will even magically kill the sickly and weak among the people. Think of the money we could save.


Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves at Isle Royale National Park

The National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves at Isle Royale (draft plan/EIS). Because your feedback is essential to the development of the EIS, we are asking for your thoughtful review and comments during the 90-day comment period, concluding March 15, 2017.

The purpose of the draft plan/EIS is to determine whether and how to bring wolves to Isle Royale to function as the apex predator in the near term within a changing and dynamic island ecosystem. A decision is needed because the potential absence of wolves raises concerns about possible effects to Isle Royale’s current ecosystem, including effects to both the moose population and Isle Royale’s forest/vegetation communities.

You are encouraged to comment on the draft plan/EIS through this website. Comments can be made by clicking on the “Open for Comment” link at the left side of this page and selecting the document and then clicking “Comment Now” button. You may also mail or hand-deliver your written comments to Superintendent Phyllis Green, Isle Royale National Park, ISRO Wolves, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896.

The NPS will schedule public meetings to be held during the comment period in the Great Lakes Region near the park. Dates, times, and locations of these meetings will be announced in press releases and on this site, see Meeting Notices on the left side of this page.

As vital contributors to the planning process, we hope you take the opportunity to provide feedback, and if possible, join us at the public meetings. Thank you.

Superintendent Phyllis Green
Isle Royale National Park
ISRO Wolves,
800 East Lakeshore Drive,
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896

Contact Information
Phyllis Green, Superintendent; Isle Royale National Park; ISRO Wolves; 800 East Lakeshore Drive; Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896

To view the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, click this link.


Amended Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement To Address the Presence of Wolves at Isle Royale National Park

*Editor’s Note* – I brought to readers’ attention yesterday that environmentalists have petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for Endangered Species Act protection for moose in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. The regions of Michigan included in the petition involves Isle Royale. Does it make sense or is it irresponsible to introduced and perpetuate a wolf population on Isle Royale, the only real threat to the moose when at the same time petitioning the Feds to place the moose under Federal protection? You just can’t make this stuff up.

SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) is amending its July 10, 2015, Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) and Management Plan for Moose, Wolves, and Vegetation for Isle Royale National Park, Michigan (Isle Royale). The NPS is revising the scope of the EIS to focus on the question of whether to bring wolves to Isle Royale in the near term, and if so, how to do so. This amended NOI describes a range of alternatives for bringing wolves to the Island.<<<Read More>>>


Officials taking closer look at Isle Royale wolf population

Taking the closer look does not necessarily mean the park service is leaning toward moving more wolves to the island, Superintendent Phyllis Green said. But internal discussions and public comments have led staffers to drop consideration of alternatives for keeping moose numbers in check through methods such as hunting, as opposed to maintaining the reliance on wolves as predators.

Source: Officials taking closer look at Isle Royale wolf population –


Dr. Charles Kay: “Isle Royale Conditions Are Not Applicable Any Place Else in North America”

*Editor’s Note* – The following article from “The Outdoorsman” Bulletin Number 60, June-November 2015, is republished here with permission. Please respect the copyright of this work. If you would like to ensure that The Outdoors remains in circulation, please donate to the cause. It is extremely worthwhile. Please click on The Outdoorsman “Subscribe” button to the right of this screen. Thank you.

Dr. Charles Kay: “Isle Royale Conditions Are Not Applicable Any Place Else in North America”

By George Dovel

In 2009, following an ongoing 2008 celebration of 50 consecutive years of wolf-moose research on Isle Royale, Research Leader Rolf Peterson warned that the island’s record low estimate of 500 moose could not provide enough sustained food for the 24 wolves they had counted. He predicted the wolf population could become extinct.

His prediction was based on basic facts from his research, which began as a graduate student in 1970 when there were 1,045 moose to feed only 18 wolves. That was nearly twice as many moose as the 30-moose-per-wolf that researchers had learned were required to feed them on a sustained basis.

But as inevitably happens when there is abundant prey and a healthy wolf population, the wolves rapidly expanded at a rate which far exceeded the reproductive rate of the moose. However that was not the only factor causing a rapid decline in the moose-to-wolf-ratio.

During Several Severe Winters, Deep Snow Trapped the Prey Species – Allowing the Wolves to Kill up to 3X the Prey They Killed during Normal Winters

In a 1985 article titled, “How Delicate is the Balance of Nature?” *, L. David Mech described how two decades of studying wolves in Michigan’s Isle Royale and in Northern Minnesota had taught him that a so-called “balance of nature” never lasts long. Instead, he learned that ratios of wolves and prey animals eventually fluctuate wildly – and sometimes catastrophically.(*see Jan-Feb 1985 National Wildlife or May 1985 Alaska Magazine)

Several severe winters with abnormal snow depths in the Lake Superior area allowed Minnesota deer and the Isle Royale moose to be killed easily by wolves. Killing sprees resulted in up to three times as many deer or moose being killed as in a normal winter – with little or nothing eaten from some of the carcasses the researchers examined.

By 1980 the Isle Royale wolf population had increased to 50 wolves in five packs – with only 788 live moose left to feed them. That <16 moose-per-wolf was the lowest ratio ever recorded on Isle Royale at that time, and the starving wolves began invading neighboring packs’ territories and killing each other in their search for food.

Regardless of any other contributing factors, it was obvious from the records both Peterson and Mech kept, that the wolves’ excessive killing depleted their primary prey species causing the 1980-82 crash in wolf numbers in both locations. The graph below shows that crash in Isle Royale, and the failure of inbred wolves to recover after the starving moose herd crashed 18 years later in 1998 Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Populations 1959-2015.

Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Populations 1959-2015


In 1988, 30 years after Mech’s Isle Royale wolfmoose research began, the agencies and groups involved finally decided to capture, radio collar, and take blood samples from Isle Royale wolves for three years. The object was to determine whether food shortage, disease, or genetic loss was causing the wolves to decline.

Although they found Parvovirus antibodies present in only two wolves only during the first year of testing in 1988, it did not prove the disease was active in the 1980-82 wolf population crash – or whether the wolves encountered it and other diseases after the crash as a result of their mass starvation from lack of prey.

However several members of the Study Support Group immediately began to claim the 1980-82 crash was caused by one or more hypothetical tourists who brought an infected dog to the island. But all five of the principal researchers, published a research paper in the August 1998 Journal of Mammology (18 years after the crash) attributing the 1980-82 wolf crash to the obvious shortage of prey – with parvovirus as a probable contributing factor.

The Corruption of Science

When wildlife biology professors emphasize to their students both the glory and the financial benefits of announcing an exciting new discovery, an increasing number fail to warn them of their responsibility to consider all of the facts they encounter. Sadly, instead of enriching our knowledge and our understanding of the natural world we live in with what is often a slow painstaking process of unbiased investigation, charlatans who pretend to be motivated by science often ignore that part of the process.

When Dr. Val Geist forwarded a May 14, 2013 erroneous article claiming the Isle Royale study area was a “Pristine Wilderness” to Dr. Charles Kay, Dr. Kay’s reply addressed the gross misrepresentations that have been a part of the world famous wolf-moose study since it began.

He pointed out that the entire island had been privately owned – with mining, logging and commercial fish camps. The original Native owners/administrators of the island had been replaced by various commercial interests, yet retained a senior right to hunt, fish and gather.

Dr. Kay explained that the state of Michigan had acquired most of the land and donated it to the National Park Service in order to create a national park and provide more income from tourists. Yet, like the Indians before them, a few of the white settlers retained use of their property, buildings, and even commercial fishing rights.

But once the National Park was created followed by Wilderness designation for the ~400 island land area, the Park Service prohibited all forms of travel on the land areas except hiking, canoeing and kayaking. Instead of providing increased income to Michigan from park visitors as was planned, Congress soon cut the NPS staff funding.

Dr. Kay had previously pointed out that importing uncontrolled moose to Isle Royale, where the largest predators were coyote and lynx, had resulted in wholesale destruction of critical browse for moose and other species. This caused the moose population to crash and made the survivors susceptible to deformities and disease.

And wolves also had very infrequent access to the island – an assurance of their ongoing debilitation and eventual self-destruction through inbreeding. Dr. Kay’s final comments to Dr. Geist express his frustration:

“The entire study has been a waste of time because it is a unique situation and the results are not applicable any place else in North America…and anyone who says it is applicable to other areas is committing scientific fraud. I was going to write an article on all this, but the publisher has had second thoughts. – Charles”

Why True Facts about Isle Royale Are So Important

Back in 1937 as part of his doctoral program, graduate student Durward Allen conducted a two-year study of skunks living on a poultry farm and bird sanctuary owned by Michigan State College. He concluded that skunks that were killing chickens should not be controlled, and he opposed controlling predators or re-stocking prey to restore depleted game populations for the rest of his life.

He was also a lifelong advocate of reducing human populations and creating new restricted “Wilderness” Areas to protect wolves and other large carnivores from human activities. In 1954, when he couldn’t get grant funding as a US Fish and Wildlife Service researcher to study the newly arrived wolves’ impact on moose on Isle Royale, he resigned as Assistant Chief of Wildlife Research for FWS to join the faculty at Purdue University.

By 1958, he had obtained funding from National Geographic and the National Science Foundation for a 10- year study. He coached PhD candidate L. David Mech, who began the study during a 3-year-period when both wolf and moose numbers appeared to be stable – with each increasing slightly.

But instead of directing Mech to continue the study for the full 10-year-period – when he would have seen the moose population begin to crash while the number of wolves skyrocketed – Allen was determined to jam his predator preservationist philosophy down the public’s throat during the first three years, and again two years later.

His actions resulted in Maurice Hornocker doing exactly the same thing with mountain lions and deer from 1964-67 – except the mule deer population in his Central Idaho study area was already nose-diving. Instead of using the Idaho Fish and Game deer counts, he substituted highly exaggerated figures to claim the lions were incapable of limiting deer numbers after only three winters of research.

Farley Mowat’s 1963 “Never Cry Wolf” fiction published as fact, claimed wolves were misunderstood mouse eaters. It paved the way for widespread propaganda campaigns by federal agency employees and intellectuals promoting the continuing Isle Royale study as being vital to understand all predator-prey management elsewhere.

The May 14, 2013 article titled, “Wolves Teach Scientists Their Limitations,” that Dr. Kay received from Dr. Geist, shows the far-reaching scope of that propaganda. It was published in the Washington, D.C.-based The Chronicle of Higher Education, which claims to be the number one source of news, information and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators.

The weekly Chronicle newspaper has more than 64,000 academic subscribers with more than 315,000 total readers, and the daily website reports more than 1.6 million unique visitors each month. The article by Science Editor Paul Voosen perpetuated the myth that prolonging the 57- year-old study is the only way mainland Minnesota moose managers can find out why their moose herds are declining.

For example, Voosen’s article said the Northeast Minnesota moose population had plummeted by two-thirds during the previous three years while quoting Isle Royale Co-Project Leader John Vucetich as saying the nearby Isle Royale moose population had increased by 80% over roughly the same period. Yet Vucetich admitted that genetic repression of Isle Royale wolves from inbreeding “might” be “part of” the reason for the Moose increase.

In his 2013 article Voosen also claimed the Isle Royale researchers only “recently” discovered the spinal deformities* caused by inbreeding that makes walking or running painful for the wolves. Yet in an April 7, 2009 Scientific American article, Vucetich said researchers had been examining wolf carcasses for 50 years, and back in the 1960s about one-fourth had the spinal deformity. And in 2013 he wrote: “we haven’t found a wolf with a normal spine for the past 15 years.” (*see photos below)



Upper left photo shows a cranial view of normal C7 vertebra on spinal column, while upper right shows C7 vertebra of Isle Royale wolf #3529, with part of it resembling a C6 vertebra (arrow). Unlike normal C7, this painful deformity, called “LSTV,” is a result of inbreeding which impairs movement of the tail and hindquarters.

The bottom photo shows a ventral view of LSTV in wolf #3387. The red line (“gray” if you’re viewing this in black & white) drawn between S1 and S2, illustrates the painful malformation that pinches nerves and affects normal movements.

But this and several other spinal deformities are not the only major impacts from continued inbreeding of the stranded wolves on Isle Royale. Others include greatly increased vulnerability to disease pathogens such as Parvovirus and Lyme Disease, and increasing loss of the ability to breed and produce an adequate supply of healthy surviving replacements.

New Wolf Introduced New Genes to Inbred Wolves

In February of 1998, Isle Royale researchers noticed a different and larger “Alpha Male” leading the Middle Pack which resulted in increasing that pack size to 10 in 1999. That pack also forced another pack out of existence that year and vigorously protected its territory.

While on a surveillance flight in 1999, the pilot and researcher saw the new Alpha male defecating as his pack crossed a frozen lake. When the pack moved on, the pilot landed and they collected the scat (droppings), labeling it from the Alpha Male designated as #93.

The Alpha male began breeding a daughter, #58, in 2002, and other sons and daughters began forming packs and producing young with each other. The brief genetic advantage was soon reversed because, by 2002, five of the six breeding pairs on Isle Royale were either from wolf #93 and his daughter, or his other offspring.

Wolf #93 died in 2006 after eight years as the “Alpha Male” of the Middle Pack, siring 34 offspring, including 21 with his daughter #58. Following #93’s death she began breeding with one of her sons, #152.

Several years after #93’s death, his scat collected in 1999 was finally tested and he was not from Isle Royale.


Large almost white Wolf #93 center, led Middle Pack for eight years, sired 21 offspring with daughter #58 at left side of photo

Several years after #93 died, researchers admitted his offspring were breeding each other because inbreeding had caused the existing Isle Royale wolves to be in such poor condition they were almost incapable of reproducing. Yet the new batch of inbreeding soon destroyed the ability of #93’s offspring to produce their own healthy offspring.

The following is a photo of a severely deformed C7 vertebra in a five-year-old female wolf that was viciously attacked by two pack members several times, and finally escaped via an ice bridge to the Minnesota mainland in February of 2014. It illustrates the return of severe inbreeding and LSTV by Wolf #93 and his offspring.


This wolf was reportedly shot numerous times with an air rifle and one of the pellets entered its lungs between two ribs causing internal bleeding and death. This occurred on private land owned by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, who delivered the carcass to the Park Service. The necropsy (autopsy) that discovered the fatal pellet by X-ray and recorded the spinal malformations, was performed jointly by the Colorado State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and the Park Service Chief Veterinarian.


Photo of abnormal damage to young female wolf’s teeth was part of necropsy report.

In a 6-page research report published in Biological Conservation 142 (2009), and titled, “Congenital bone deformities and the inbred wolves (Canis lupus) of Isle Royale,” Swedish canine anatomy expert Jannikke Räikkönen published the analyses of 36 wolf skeletons collected by Isle Royale researchers from 1964-2007.

Except for skeletons collected in 2006-7, portions of the tail end were missing in many of the spinal columns. Yet she found sufficient evidence of spinal abnormality resulting from inbreeding in the Isle Royale skeletons to conclude that the number of wolves affected had grown progressively worse with each generation.

During the 15 years from 1964 through 1978, only one skeleton out of seven (14%) had malformed spines;

During the 19 years from 1980 through 1998, 13 skeletons out of 17 (76%) had malformed spines;

During the five years from 2003 through 2007, 11 skeletons out of 12 (92%) had malformed spines.

In the 6-1/2 years since the Räikkönen et al study results were published, Isle Royale researchers report that 100% of the spines they located have been malformed. Also, one of only three remaining live wolves observed from a distance this past winter was obviously malformed.

Räikkönen conducted her study with assistance from: (a) Rolf Peterson who had been studying Isle Royale wolves as a student in 1970, and was put in charge when Durward Allen retired in 1975; (b) Ecologist John Vucetich who joined the project 20 years later; and (c) Environmental Philosopher Michael Nelson who has been the official Philosopher and Historian for the Isle Royale wolf and moose project since 2005.

Ms Räikkönen addressed the lame excuses her coresearchers used to claim Isle Royale wolf spinal columns did not contain abnormalities caused by inbreeding. Yet she accepted their version of events at Isle Royale, and even altered her report with Vucetich’s suggested changes.

For example, the researchers’ report published in 1998 – 18 years after the 1980 Isle Royale wolf population crash – repeated their initial conclusion that food (prey) shortage was the primary cause of the crash. Yet in 2004, those same researchers began pretending that canine parvovirus – theoretically introduced by one or more undocumented tourists who illegally brought their infected dog(s) with them – was the sole cause of the 1980 crash.

The fact that Isle Royale wolf researchers spent nearly half a century collecting, cleaning and cataloging wolf skeletons, yet claimed they saw no evidence of spine malformations resulting from inbreeding, should have raised serious questions about their real agenda. Unless you believe we should not be allowed to harvest the renewable natural resources we own, and whose management we pay for, you share a responsibility to expose their real agenda.

The environmental extremists who claim to be documenting the wolf-moose relationship on Isle Royale are instead addicted to the destructive agenda promoted by Durward Allen (i.e. that protecting wolves is always necessary and beneficial to moose populations regardless of density or ratio to their prey).

In 2006, Peterson and Vucetich joined two environmental professors from Pennsylvania publishing a “Study Paper” solely blaming “human induced Parvovirus in 1980 or 1981” for the 1980 Isle Royale wolf crash. Because the Parvovirus already existed in wolves and dogs on the surrounding mainland in both the U.S. and Canada, and they still do not have factual evidence when or how it got to Isle Royale, in 1996 they were still claiming visitors had transported it to Isle Royale on their boots*. (* see “Science Times” in the March 19, 1996 New York Times.)

Their 2006 7-page Study Paper published in Ecology Letters claimed the few remaining Isle Royale wolves were still valuable by reducing the impact of global warming on the moose, and by reducing the impact of the moose on their forage. But like the other Isle Royale study predictions, the next few years proved the researchers’ new predictions were just as inaccurate as others had been.

From 2006 – 2015 the wolf population nose-dived from 30 wolves to only three, allowing the moose population to increase from 450 to 1,250. Despite two severe back-to-back winters out of the last four, the four year moose increase averaged 22% per year – more than double any other annual increase since wolves first began killing moose on the Island more than 60 years ago.

The 3 Remaining Wolves Are No Longer Impacting Moose, Which Will Severely Damage the Forage Again

Wolves are no longer making a measurable impact on Isle Royale moose. If the 22% annual moose increase exists for the next three years, moose numbers will nearly double causing severe damage to the forage. Before wolves arrived, uncontrolled moose caused extreme forage damage and crashed from 3,000 to 500 in 1934 (Adolph Murie).

Both researchers and residents reported sighting a significant number of moose on the Island after the 1912- 1913 winter. At that time it was speculated that the moose had crossed from the Canadian mainland on an ice bridge but an employee of a private railroad was interviewed and said his boss had paid him to capture the moose, build shipping containers and ship them by railroad and then boat to Isle Royale to provide moose hunting.

That employee’s statements were being considered by National Park Service officials when Outdoorsman No. 59 was mailed, but have since disappeared from the record. In order to determine whether moose appearance was a socalled “naturally occurring event,” which they support, or “human caused,” which they oppose, it is also necessary to understand the confusing rules for designating a National Park and for creating a quasi Wilderness.

Those rules are further complicated by the fact that Congress and the National Park Service approved the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park, but the NPS remains undecided about whether or not to reintroduce wolves into Isle Royale National Park.

The major difference is that Isle Royale is an island surrounded by several hundred tiny islands, with the closest mainland 15 to 40 or more miles away. The single large predator – the wolf – normally has no escape from the island, and no alternate large prey besides the moose. The wolves multiply much faster than the moose, which finally forced the moose into a “predator pit.”

A Remote Island is a Poor Place to Raise Wolves

When the ratio of moose to wolves fell below about 30:1, there were no longer enough moose to provide sustained nourishment. With no place to go, the starving wolves began to invade each others’ territory searching for food – resulting in wolves killing and eating other wolves.

As mentioned previously, being malnourished also caused the inbred wolves to be more susceptible to disease pathogens, and less likely to breed and produce healthy offspring. The injection of new genes from Wolf No. 93 in 1998 resulted in only a very temporary reduction in the percentage of inbred wolves on Isle Royale.

Also, moose calves that are born following a severe winter weigh less and mature to produce calves that also weigh less and are considered substandard. Skeletons of these young moose exhibit premature crippling arthritis when they are only five years old, making them much easier prey for the inbred diseased wolves.

Isle Royale Biologists Ignore Other Wolf Research

In 1960, Alaska wildlife biologists transplanted two pairs of wolves onto SE Alaska’s Coronation Island in an experiment designed to reduce forage damage by blacktailed deer. During the following summer, a commercial fisherman shot both of the adult female wolves but biologists then discovered wolf tracks made by pups mixed with the two sets of adult male wolf tracks.

Articles in Outdoorsman No. 35 by an Alaska science editor explained how these wolves had three litters over several years, and how 11 or more wolves had finally killed all but three of the formerly abundant deer that had ultimately taken refuge on a steep brushy cliff at the other end of the island.

Dr. Val Geist had shared an office with the research project leader and he confirmed how the wolves killed seals, and finally killed and ate each other after the seals stopped hauling out on the beach. The last remaining wolf starved and Alaska biologists learned not to introduce wolves to an island where there is no opportunity to leave once the wolves decimate their sole source of large prey.

Denali National Park Wolf History Also Ignored

But Isle Royale biologists ignored that as well as the long term Denali National Park research by David Mech and or Layne Adams et al, when protected wolves drove once abundant caribou, moose and Dall sheep populations into a “predator pit”. Despite the establishment of buffer zones* outside of the Park to protect wolves that strayed outside of the park boundary seeking food, 60% of Denali wolves that die each year are killed and eaten in the Park by other hungry wolves defending their territory. (* Buffer zones were established outside the NE boundary of Denali Park but were discontinued by the Board of Game in 2010, not to be reconsidered until 2016.)

Snared Wolf Prompts Petition to Restore Buffer Zones

In 2012, long time Alaska big game guide and trapper Coke Wallace caught one of two breeding females from the Grant Creek wolf pack in a snare outside of the Park. The pack’s other breeding female was found dead from “natural” causes near its den site in the Park that same spring and the two deaths plus the remaining wolf pack moving their new den away from the road in 2013, resulted in a further decline in wolf viewing success from a record high of 44% in 2010 to only 4% in 2013.

After the Park’s name was changed to Denali and its size tripled in 1980, officials recognized the danger to tourists from getting out of their vehicles to get a closer look at wolves that weren’t afraid of humans. They used bus tours for viewing wolves to better control the tourists.

That, plus the negligible impact of hunters and trappers killing a maximum of only one or two Park wolves compared to the much larger number that die from cannibalism and other “natural” causes, were two major reasons given for eliminating the buffer zones by 2010.

Trapper Wallace reported that the female wolf he snared in 2012 was severely malnourished with hip bones and backbone protruding, but a Park Biologist disagreed. However, long time wolf advocate/biologist and former ADFG Game Board member Vic Van Ballenberghe publicly agreed with the trapper’s assessment.

He said the Denali wolves all looked very thin in 2012 and all three big game species they depended on to survive were very low compared to past numbers. Park biologists estimated the total number of wolves in the six million acre Park had declined from 143 in 2007 to only 70 in 2012, and now, three years later, to only 48 in 2015.

The excuses Denali Park biologists used to try to justify their hands-off “natural (ecosystem) management” instead of maintaining a healthy ratio of predators to their prey, produced the same results they have in Yellowstone, Banff, Jasper, Wood Buffalo, Isle Royale, Vancouver Island, and every other place where protected wolves are allowed to exceed a healthy ratio to their prey.

In Mark Hebblewhite’s ten-year study of the impact of returning wolves to the Banff ecosystem in the 1980s, he recorded an annual decline of 8% of moose and a 90% drop in elk numbers – with several woodland caribou herds becoming extinct. But instead of restoring healthy wildlife management in national and provincial parks, Professor Hebblewhite and his fellow extremists insist game managers must allow predators to drive the prey species into predator pits outside of the parks as well (see Outdoorsman No. 38).

Otherwise, he says, there will be more wildlife on the outside than in the parks, and this would discourage visitors from spending money for a remote chance to view a handful of semi-tame “Watchable” wolves in the Parks. That is exactly what has happened in Denali Park.

Why Not Manage for Healthy Wildlife in the Parks?

Even with only 48 wolves in 6 million acres of Park, there are still not enough large prey animals left to feed them year-around on a sustained basis. Yet in the 4.2 million acres of adjacent Game Management Unit 20A that is open to hunting, there are about 300 healthy wolves and 10,000 healthy moose.

In a guest editorial in the 03-29-2015 Alaska Dispatch News, retired forester, biologist and former Game Board member Pete Buist pointed out that the 10,000 moose in Unit 20A provide a human harvest of several hundred moose every year in addition to the estimated 2,000 moose per year that are killed by the 300 wolves.

His editorial explained why the Board of Game’s recent rejection of a petition by primarily outside interests to restore buffer zones to protect Park wolves outside of the Park, was both legal and logical. He also explained why the petition was simply an anti-hunting anti-trapping fund raiser for an extremist group rather than a sincere effort to increase the number of wolves in the Park by restoring a healthy balance of wolves with their prey.

He compared the declining prey and the starving wolves in the Federal Park with the abundant healthy wolves and the human harvest of thousands of pounds of healthy wild game meat by the State in GMU 20A. Then he asked why, if the petitioners wanted more wolves in the Park, they didn’t simply encourage the same healthy management in the Park as existed in 20A.

In 2008, the Isle Royale research/propaganda team consisting of Michael Nelson, Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich published “The Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project: Fifty Years of Challenge and Insight” revealing years of underhanded activities in the George Wright Forum*. In 2011, a second version titled: “The Isle Royale Wolf– Moose Project (1958-present) and the Wonder of LongTerm Ecological Research” can still be found at: http:// Nelson2011ISRO.pdf as this issue is being printed.

Both versions contain harsh criticisms and namecalling of people who control wolves, as well as the claim they also slowly torture the wolves as part of the price for their evil existence. The 4-yr.-old report also documents the researchers’ brazen refusal to quit the study and leave Isle Royale three times when ordered to by two different Inrterior Secretaries and by their FWS boss.

Then a 2012 article by Rolf Peterson published in Moral Ground titled, “Will There Be Wolves in Paradise?” stated the following “On the Fourth of July in 1981, a dog brought illegally to Isle Royale by a visitor on a private boat carried a new mutant virus—canine parvovirus—to the island. The wolf population was devastated, and most wolves died.”

His comments falsely implied that a human and his dog brought parvovirus to the island and caused the radical 1980-82 wolf decline. Yet of the 36 wolves that died during the two-year crash 20 were recorded several months before the alleged July 1981 trip to the Island with a dog.

The truth is that all of the Isle Royale National Park Svc. Wolf research leaders from Robert Linn in 1956- 1957, Durward Allen in 1958-1975, Rolf Peterson in 1975- 2001 and John Vucetich from 2001 to the present, have tried to convince the public that humans – not wolves – have caused both the moose declines and the wolf declines.

But remember David Mech’s 1985 article cited on Page 1 of this article in which he referenced the Isle Royale wolves doubling to 50 by 1980 while the stunted yearling and two-year-old moose were totally vulnerable to excessive killing by wolves during the series of extreme winters. Mech continued, “Then the population of Isle Royale wolves crashed as expected.”

What Did They Expect?

The fact that the malnourished wolves were killing each other or starving to death once they destroyed too many moose during the series of extreme winters was never questioned by the researchers until after Vucetich and Nelson joined the group and increased its “blame civilized humans” agenda.

During the past few months I have read several dozen pages of their publicized efforts promoting green energy and denouncing bona fide wildlife experts, including Val Geist for his support of hunting and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. They propose to change the “North American Model” so that it has no connection with hunting.

The Organization they formed, “The Conservation Ethics Group,” is actively seeking to convert our energy source to solar panels while outlawing fracking, exploration, development and use of fossil fuels, and promoting their radical vision of Conservation Ethics and Sustainability Ethics.


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:


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.



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.


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.”


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

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:


So the bartender says to the vertically-challenged guy on the stool …

A guest post by Jim Beers:

Although I enjoy a good joke, I don’t generally share them with a wide audience but this is an exception.

* After 30 + years of Minnesota “scientists, bureaucrats and self-righteous environmentalists” warbling incessantly about the marvelous wonders of nature’s “apex” predator (i.e. the wolf) REDUCING the moose population on Isle Royale National Park since the wolf’s vaunted passage across an 18 mile “ice bridge” on Lake Superior from Minnesota 50 years ago.

* After constant annual newspaper articles about how vegetation has “returned” and “recovered” and blossomed (so to speak) on Isle Royale since the wonderful wolves REDUCED the moose and thus relieved the pressure on the plant life that was never quite so important or desirable that hunting to MAINTAIN the desirable numbers, distribution and density of moose (as well as support other wildlife management on the Park and in the State) to achieve the highly stupendous plant communities that are so touted from sea to shining sea.

* After 15 + years of explanations by “scientists, bureaucrats and self-righteous environmentalists” in annual newspaper articles about how there was ABSOLUTELY NO RELATIONSHIP between the steady disappearance of moose on the Minnesota mainland and the steady increase of protected wolves throughout the range of the mainland moose until the recent permanent closure of moose hunting in Minnesota.

* After 10 + years of “scientists, bureaucrats and self-righteous environmentalists” out West in Yellowstone Park and Idaho/Montana surroundings copy-catting this scam by denying wolf numbers they found politically-incorrect; inflating elk and moose numbers with lame excuses about census-affecting weather anomalies, changing migration patterns and bad Karma; denying vehemently that the simultaneous loss of elk and moose hunting that coincided with the introduction, protection and spread of wolves were related.

* After 5 + years of watching Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington wildlife bureaucracies claim “slightly increasing”, “steady” or “declining” wolf populations as hunters, ranchers, dog owners and rural residents’ screams and objections have reached crescendo levels it is becoming evident that “trust” is not a word to be mentioned when discussing “scientists, bureaucrats and self-righteous environmentalists’ and “wolves”. Keep in mind that even estimates of annual changes for (notoriously hard to count) wolves are only slightly easier to generate than “counting” the field mice in the state, much less to fabricate these”nine-hundred and eighty-THREE” or “three thousand eight-hundred and sixty-two” wolf “count” placebos for friends and foes.

* After all of the above being conjured up as “science” to bamboozle hunters, befuddle ranchers and generally flim-flam rural Americans and their political representatives AND NOW as “some of the people some of the time” seem to be waking up about the disappearing Minnesota moose and now deer, and the loss of elk, moose and deer in states where wolves have become ubiquitous in the West: along comes this fortuitous “discovery” that:

1. Moose “COME BACK” after being decimated by wolves. So quit whining hunters and admit the “scientists, bureaucrats and self-righteous environmentalists” were right. Take up curling and TV for a couple of years and everything will be back the way you once had it. We’ll call you when it happens.

2. Wolf numbers decline and STAY LOW. So shut up you ranchers, dog owners, parents and rural residents and recreationists: you don’t know what you are talking about! Either take the easements we offer and live as we say or move elsewhere.

3. Soon, wolves and moose (and elk, deer, wild and domestic sheep , goats and cattle, et al?) will be “in balance” and everyone will be happy.

Those wolves and moose on Isle Royale are as comparable to mainland American, Canadian and European wolves and their impacts as are articles about Russian landowner/peasant relations in the Middle Ages relevant to modern US college athlete lawsuits to unionize college athletes for pay and collective bargaining rights from University administrators.

Isle Royale wolves have no – deer, elk, horses, foals, cows, calves, dogs, domestic sheep and lambs, bighorn sheep, rural garbage pits, nighttime rural town and residence yards and outbuildings, school bus stops, sleeping campers, etc., etc. to shift to when the clearly vulnerable moose cows and moose calves get scarce (due to??). The answer is “wolf predation”. They also do not have constant genetic infusions from dogs, coyotes and every manner of Canid attracted to females in estrus from miles and miles in every direction as do the wolves on the mainlands.

Articles like the one below are so absurd as to be humorous. They are probably written by activist government employees and writers that moonlight under nom de plumes of romance novels written for young girls and what sailors once referred to as “skin books”.

I recommend you dismiss such romance propaganda but if you read it, read it for the unintended humor it contains and imagine Jay Leno or Jimmy Fallon explaining it. Remember all this as deer and elk disappear and wolves get more and more “bold” around settlements and dogs become liabilities and ranchers reduce herds and rural towns decline further. Remember Isle Royale and laugh.

*Link to the article in reference*

Jim Beers
3 April 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.


Just Asking

Just Asking – Guest article by James Beers

After reading the article following this one about poor “Isabelle”, “a loner that had been bullied”, it took me several seconds to compose myself. When I had composed myself sufficiently to think clearly once again, several questions came to me and I was at a loss for answers.

Now I know all about Treaties, Reservations and Native American government. I know all about US government preferences and how Native Americans run their own voting Precincts and how they have counted and recounted votes in recent elections from Minnesota to Washington State. I know that all men and women are created equal and that we are all God’s children. So it is in this spirit that I am reminded of Mark Twain’s famous quip, “There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.” St. Paul newspaper, National Park Service bureaucrats, Minnesota DNR bureaucrats, Defenders of Wildlife, US Fish & Wildlife Service bureaucrats and all you Environmental/Animal Rights activists and your lawyers; “are you honest?”

If some chubby, plaid-clad, middle-aged farmer had killed a wolf where his children played:
If a lady walking her dog had shot a wolf:
If a cattleman had killed a wolf killing his cattle;
If a sheepman killed a wolf killing his sheep:
If a hunter had killed a wolf attacking a moose or an elk:
If a father killed a wolf near his children’s school bus stop:
If a grandma killed a wolf nipping at her as she checked her mailbox:
If a young deer hunter killed a wolf as it approached him:
If all these things and more occurred, would we read about it in these terms?

Would the article begin with a stunning picture of “a gray wolf known as Isabelle takes refuge last year on an icy bluff over Lake Superior to lick her wounds after being attacked by other wolves”?
Would we be treated to a picture of frolicking wolves?
Would the wolf’s death be described as a “fluke thing”?
Would the “howls” (pardon the pun) from wolf-lovers from Minneapolis to San Francisco and UN Headquarters be as non-existent?
Would the “researchers” that “named her Isabelle” be as quiet and understanding about “her” demise?
Would the Native, federal and state law enforcers blithely tell us they “won’t try to identify the shooter”?
Would there to be no future education/assurances that this will not be repeated?
Would the crime be sandwiched between beginning and ending paragraphs of classic “Romance Biology” about “bullied” wolves with lovey-dovey names and how such wolves seize “the rare opportunity to traverse at least 15 miles of ice separating Isle Royale from an area along the U.S.-Canadian border”? (NOTE: This winter you could have convoyed tanks and Caterpillar earth-movers to and from the island.)
Would the crime serve as a platform for the trite and worn-out lie that although wolves have “ helped keep the moose population in check, preventing them from overbrowsing park vegetation” on Isle Royale, wolves and predation have NO EFFECT on disappearing moose and deer on the Minnesota mainland. Period!

Would the “fact” that the highly-romanticized “ice bridge”, that periodically (like Moses at the Red Sea) provides the means for wolves to go back and forth to the Isle Royale paradise, connects Isle Royale to “the Minnesota shoreline on property owned by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa” where the law “allows people to chase away or kill those (wolves) creating a nuisance” not be closed to all people by any means necessary? Calls for such closures, lawsuits and “howls” from urban Americans and urban Europeans would certainly result for non-Native land so strategically located, so the question must be asked, “Are wolves more important than non-Native Americans and less important than Native Americans?”

Of course we all know that if one of those non-Native perpetrator instances I noted previously happened, all $%#& would break loose. There would be calls for gun control, investigations involving families, property and destruction of one or more citizens. We would be swamped with New Yorkers and Parisians telling us about “apex” predators, “native ecosystems” and rivers no longer meandering (due to all the thick bank vegetation since no herbivores, wild or domestic, are left). The perpetrator would be described as some rural bumpkin that abused animals as a child and who should be locked up to protect society from any further depredations. We would all live in mortal fear until dear Isabelle’s niche in the ecosystem was once again filled. Descriptions of the incident would be used in school classes as an example of why more laws and more government enforcement are necessary.

Instead, it is treated as some historic fairy tale without a scintilla of critical mention of the way the crime is no longer the subject: The perpetrator and the fabricated moral of the story determines how or if it is to be told. Welcome to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some animals are indeed more equal than others.

If any rural people are reading this, please note “The Grand Portage Band prohibits hunting or trapping wolves on its territory but allows people to chase away or kill those creating a nuisance”.

Is this not what rural Americans (since both the Original Colonies and the Founding of our nation) have found to be how wolves should be administered in rural America -BY COUNTIES – the Local and most responsive level of government (called Subsidiarity) under the protection of responsible State governments? Is this not what Europeans are discovering about expanding wolf populations under EU/UN bureaucrats and less than protective national governments? If what Native Americans can and are doing in-line with their culture and historical interface with the natural environment to “live with” wolves by successfully prohibiting “hunting or trapping wolves” while “allowing people to chase away or kill those creating a nuisance” works and is tolerated; why can’t or shouldn’t Counties follow this example? Since state governments are proven notorious cowards about protecting rural residents from deadly and dangerous wild animals of interest to federal interlopers and far-off urban dandies, forget about state licensing and state revenues – let Counties define “Nuisance” as broadly as they want to loose their residents and their agents with a broad range of “Nuisance Eliminator” devices and means.

Evidently this sort of Native American wolf “management” works for the urban newspapers, state and federal bureaucrats and all their wolf enablers. One might say, what is good for the Native American should be good for the non-Native American. Besides, after years of reading about how Native Americans live and have lived in “harmony” with Nature; I for one can only say we should emulate this ancient and honorable system that probably goes back as far as that other famous bridge, The Land Bridge across the Bering Straits between Asia and North America.

Ancient Egyptians credited Isis with the oversight of order, law and custom. Hellenic people first depicted their God of order, law and custom as Dike, the daughter of Themis. She was the first shown with a sword (for power), a blindfold (for objectivity) and a scale (to measure support and opposition). Romans gave this concern to their Goddess Lustitia or Lady Justice. Lady Justice has since appeared on coins and in front of courts and courthouses from Berlin to Seattle and beyond.

As I close with the question to the newspapers, bureaucrats and enviro-tyrants “are you honest?” allow me to suggest a replacement for Lady Justice on the basis of the wolf travesty you are perpetrating upon rural North America and rural Europe. I suggest a 200lb/kilo drooling baby in a diaper with only a sword (no blindfold and no scales), swinging the sword at anyone who will not feed him. That is how the media and bureaucrats in servitude to eco-tyrants really “weigh their options”.

What do you think? Just asking.

Jim Beers
15 March 2014

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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.

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