December 3, 2020

Idaho Wolf Management Receives Boost from RMEF Grant

MISSOULA, Mont.–Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) accepted a $50,000 grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to assist with its wolf management plan.

The funds will increase IDFG’s knowledge of interactions between wolves and elk, and expand the radio collar program to help managers gain a better understanding of pack and territory size, home range, and other biological traits and actions of the wolf in order to better implement effective management techniques.

“To properly and effectively carry out science-based management practices, it is critical that state agencies recognize and understand predator-prey relationships and wolf populations,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

“This grant will help IDFG gain a more thorough knowledge of wolves and wolf behavior so it can better implement its approved predator management plan.” “This grant is another example of the outstanding support we’ve received from RMEF and elk hunters for nearly 30 years”, said Brad Compton, IDFG assistant chief of wildlife. “This grant is particularly important because it comes at a time when federal funding is being incrementally eliminated, thus allowing us to continue to maintain our active wolf monitoring and management program. Idaho’s program is designed to reduce conflict, including addressing unacceptable levels of predation on elk populations.”

In keeping with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, RMEF supports state-regulated hunting and trapping as the preferred tools of wolf management. RMEF staunchly supports management to balance and control wolf populations.

“We maintain our longstanding commitment to and support of the goal of state management which is to sustain all wildlife species in balance with the available habitat and the local communities where so many of us live,” added Allen.

RMEF also remains committed to learning more about wolves through research efforts. Since 1989, RMEF invested nearly $664,000 in research grants to advance scientific understanding of wolves, wolf interactions with other species, and overall wolf management. The total includes more than $200,000 in science grants in just the past five years. Most of the contributions paid for independent research by leading universities, state and federal wildlife conservation agencies and tribes.

“A key part of RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk and other wildlife,” said Allen. “This grant helps Idaho managers do that by helping them determine how many wolves are out there, where they travel and what effect they have on elk, deer and other ungulates.”

RMEF previously awarded 2013 grants to Montana and Wyoming to assist with wolf management in those states.

RMEF will allocate nearly $2.9 million for elk and wildlife-related conservation projects in 27 states with wild, free-ranging elk populations in 2013. Additionally $570,000 will also be allocated to hunting heritage programs in 49 states.

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RMEF Grant to Help Wolf Management in Wyoming

*Editor’s Note* This editor acknowledges the money and effort the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation puts into wildlife and habitat programs in the United States. It is this editor’s opinion that doling out money to any fish and game department for the purpose of, “better implement management techniques” for wolves is idealistic and ineffective. This editor also understands the politics involved with today’s wildlife management and can only hope that one day game management can return to a rational form of scientific implementation.

So long as wolves are treated as a game species and “managed” accordingly, most all other wildlife species will suffer. How long will it take, if ever, before this fact is realized?

MISSOULA, Mont.–A $50,000 grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will assist the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) with its wolf management plan.

The funding will expand WGFD’s knowledge of predator-prey interactions between wolves and elk. It will also expand the radio collar program to help managers better understand the home range, territory size, pack size and other biological traits and actions of the wolf so they can better implement management techniques.

“It is vital that state agencies have a firm grasp on predator populations in order to properly implement science-based management practices,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “This grant will help WGFD gain more knowledge to better understand its wolf population so it can better implement its approved wolf management plan.”

“Our partnership with the RMEF is extremely valuable to us and this grant shows how this relationship continues to develop great opportunities for conservation,” said Tom Ryder, Wildlife Assistant Division Chief for WGFD. “This grant will help the Department execute its adaptive wolf management plan by helping to increase our knowledge of wolf/elk interactions, wolf home range, and pack and territory size. Each of these biological components is important for the management plan and to our shared constituents.”

In keeping with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, RMEF supports state-regulated hunting and trapping as the preferred tools of wolf management. RMEF staunchly supports management to balance and control wolf populations.

“We maintain our longstanding commitment to and support of the goal of state management which is to sustain all wildlife species on balance with the available habitat and the local communities where so many of us live,” added Allen.

RMEF also remains committed to learning more about wolves through research efforts. Since 1989, RMEF invested nearly $664,000 in research grants to advance scientific understanding of wolves, wolf interactions with other species, and overall wolf management. The total includes $174,079 in Wyoming-specific research projects and more than $200,000 in science grants in just the past five years. Most of the contributions paid for independent research by leading universities, state and federal wildlife conservation agencies and tribes.

“Part of RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk and other wildlife,” said Allen. “This grant helps managers do just that in Wyoming by helping them know how many wolves are out there, where they travel and what effect they have on elk, deer and other ungulates.”

RMEF will allocate nearly $2.9 million for elk and wildlife-related conservation projects in 27 states with wild, free-ranging elk populations in 2013. Additionally, $570,000 will also be allocated to hunting heritage programs in 49 states.

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Oregon Senate Hearing on Wolf Management

YAWN!

The Oregon Senate should have invited the wolves and sheep both to testify. Same outcome.

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RMEF Files to Intervene in Great Lakes Wolf Suit

MISSOULA, Mont. – The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit by several animal rights groups seeking to return gray wolves in the Great Lakes region to the Endangered Species List. If granted, Judge Beryl A. Howell will consider RMEF positions in her U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.

“It is of paramount importance that everyone recognizes that states, not the federal government, are best qualified to manage a recovered species like the wolf,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “This suit, like so many previous frivolous filings, will frustrate science-based management and cause conservation damage into the future.”

Gray wolves recovered to more than 4,000 in the Great Lakes prior to delisting in January 2012.
Minnesota had an estimated population of 3,000, while Wisconsin and Michigan had about 850 and 700 respectively. The removal of wolves from federal protection happened after several years of litigation and returned responsibility for managing wolf populations to the states.

“These animal rights groups are crying wolf by claiming state management threatens to push populations to the brink of extinction,” added Allen. “There is no science that supports these claims and wolf experts like Dr. David Mech, founder of the International Wolf Center have already stated that regulated hunting by states will not negatively [effect?] the states’ wolf populations.”

Allen went on to say that, “In fact there is very recent credible evidence in both Idaho and Montana that regulated hunting and trapping of gray wolves is not harming the overall wolf population as both states have the autonomy to manage their wolf populations and they are using best science practices.”

In October 2012, the Minnesota Court of Appeals denied an attempt by environmental groups seeking to stop the state’s wolf hunting and trapping seasons stating the “petitioners failed to demonstrate the existence of irreparable harm.”

In response to the Great Lakes suit, the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Cathy Stepp, issued grave concern over the legal maneuver stating that the wolf population in her state already grew to more than eight times the delisting goals.

“Our intent is to manage the wolf, now that it has recovered, as we do other species – informed by science and in balance with social needs. Relisting the wolf under the Endangered Species Act is neither informed by science nor in balance with Wisconsin’s needs,” said Stepp. “This has the potential to halt wolf hunting in Wisconsin and leave the state powerless to effectively address livestock depredations, and would end the state’s ability to actively manage our wolf population.”

“RMEF will vigorously defend the delisting because states need to manage wolves just as they do elk, deer, bears and all other wildlife. There is no real science that disputes the fact that gray wolves are recovered and expanding, and there is no compelling reason why states cannot manage wolf populations,” said Allen.

If successful as an intervener, RMEF will join the Hunter Conservation Coalition group comprised of Safari Club International, National Rifle Association, U.S. Sportsmen?s Alliance Foundation, Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation.

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Washington Wolf Debate Following Same Footsteps as Idaho, Montana, Wyoming

On January 18, 2013, I posted a copy of a letter written to the Washington fish and game commissioner Phil Anderson from Lynn Stuter. A person who uses the online identity of “Immer Treue” opted to rebut what Ms. Stuter wrote and posted that opinion piece on another website found here. (You will have to scroll down through the article and many other comments to find it.)

Stuter, out of concern her rebuttal to the rebuttal might not get posted on the other website, decided to send her rebuttal, via email, to various recipients, one of which ended up in my mail box. It is posted below.

Looking at what Immer Treue wrote above, his supposed critique of my letter to Phil Anderson, I’ve come to conclude that the problem with the pro-wolfer crowd is an inability to think logically or rationally, and reasoning is totally out of the question. Not uncommon of people easily used. They are called sheeple for a reason.

Interesting what Immer Treue chose to pick at. He carefully avoided the pro-wolfers contention that wolves are the precursor to your dog, that non-lethal tools are ineffective and the Range Rider program has to be paid for at the ranchers expense. He also carefully avoided the fact that hunting wolves as game animals will not hold numbers in check; that aerial gunning will be required. Even at that, wolves will not be wiped out as the pro-wolfers continually whine.

His claim that the Canadian Grey is indigenous to the Pacific Northwest shows his ignorance, not his knowledge. The designation of Canis lupis irremotus was changed to Canis lupis because the USFWS wanted to import wolves from Canada; they could not do so as long as Canis lupis irremotus was recognized as the native wolf by the Endangered Species Act. Even a modicum of research, on his part, would divulge the path the process took. Old timers remember the Timber Wolf well; it was an entirely different animal than the Canadian Grey.

Immer Treue’s rundown of the Lolo Zone elk herd is interesting. What he wrote is tantamount to saying that your sick animal, killed by a bear, died because it was sick, not because it was killed by a bear! The fact that your sick animal might have survived, if the bear hadn’t killed it, is obviously outside Treue’s ability to comprehend. And yes, IDFG did finally acknowledge that wolves had decimated the Lolo herd.

I also liked when he made this statement, “The Canadian Wolf eats 10 to 20 pounds of meat per day! Well, wolves can down over twenty pounds in a day, but per day? The insinuation wolves eat that much daily is disingenuous.” I have to laugh. It was the WDFW forum panelist who made the claim that the Canadian Grey eats 10 to 20 pounds of meat per day. Quite obviously, had Immer Treue figured that out, before he flipped out, he would have said nothing. But since he thought I was making that claim, he decided that it was disingenuous. Conclusion – Immer Treue’s critique of my letter to Phil Anderson is, you guessed it, disingenuous, start to finish.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with how many elk one wolf kills in one year – about 50/wolf. And while that was also in my letter, he makes no mention of that. Quite obviously, talking about how many elk a wolf kills in one year versus how many they actually eat does not serve the pro-wolfer agenda.

And I just love the “voodoo math” thing. In the end, he makes no reference to the crux of the matter – that percentage loss is being used, deliberately, to minimize the far greater economic loss that percentage represents; a fact that the pro-wolfer crowd definitely does not want brought into the equation of wolf management. Of course, it’s not the livelihood of the pro-wolfer crowd that is being adversely affected.

You people really need to stop and look at yourselves. You are so rabidly pro-wolf that logical thinking and reasoning totally escapes you. In reading some of your posts, you worship wolves like they were some kind of god; but, in the end, that worship seems to emanate from a need to adversely affect other people’s lives. So when someone speaks of the reality of living with wolves, you go off the beam – just like Immer Treue did in his supposed critique of my letter to Phil Anderson.

As for Bob Ferris’ off-the-wall claim that “Nothing in here demonstrates that she has any qualifications to comment on wolf issues” – what you know and what you assume are quite obviously miles apart. And what you assume is also obviously what you act on, ergo all the assumptions in your rant!

One last thing, ladies and gents, you know you are having the desired effect when people like you start squealing!

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To Catch A Wolf – Part III

Links to Part I and Part II and Part IV and Part V.

We have learned greatly from the previous writings that wolves were not only a real problem for people in many parts of the world but also the animal was despised and feared, mostly for justifiable reasons. We’ve discovered that often it was only the wealthy barons owning the resources to take up the hunt for the wolf, while the peasants were left to their own devices, sometimes their lives ending in death from wolf attacks against them.

They say necessity is the mother of invention and often out of the desperate act of survival the peasants created some ingenious contraptions to capture and kill wolves.

In Part II, we spent most of our time taking a look at how France dealt with wolves, from an outing with a local baron and teaming up with peasants to lure wolves into a makeshift but very effective palisade, to the design of a self-attending wolf trap.

Before we leave France and travel further north, I would like to also share from “Saint Pauls Magazine” as edited by Anthony Trollope (1868); specifically one chapter called “Wolves and Wolf-Hunting in France“.

Trollope’s accounting of how locals dealt with wolves very closely follows those I shared with you in Part II, however the author seems to show a bit of disgust, perhaps at times pity on the despised wolf, while offering up some humor as well. What is clear is that the wolf is no one’s friend, despised and abused.

In this account and several others I have read, it is often mentioned that the dogs that hunt the wolf will not touch a dead wolf after they have killed it. During the chase, as part of the hunt, the dogs will fight and bite and hold, doing whatever is necessary in order to take down and dispatch the wolf. Once the feat is accomplished the dogs will not touch a dead wolf.

Trollope describes for us certain aspects of the wolf.

“Ah! the unclean beast.” ” Peuh, the son of a polecat, how he stinks ! ” This last compliment alludes to the wolf’s offensive odour, which, as Buffon remarks, is truly disgusting, and which issues with overpowering strength from any place he may have occupied for several successive days.

We see that people are yelling their abuses toward the wolf as they “beat” through the forest in an attempt to chase the wolf from his cover. Trollope tells us the wolf “stinks”, has an “offensive odor”, is “truly disgusting” and whose smell “issues with overpowering strength”.

Later on, we are given a glimpse at how the hunting dogs react after the wolf is dead.

The conduct of the dogs is peculiar; the small ones howl strangely, hiding their tails and trembling with convulsion. The large ones appear transported with a kind of rabid ecstasy, their jaws grind and chop, their eyes become wild and bloodshot, and their hair bristles on all their limbs. When once, however, the dogs have fairly killed the wolf, they refuse to touch his dead body.

What is interesting about this aversion to a dead wolf by the hunting dogs, doesn’t seem to be the same in the reverse. Often I have read that wolves like the taste of dogs and in this book, the author claims that wolves will pass up an easy chance at a sheep in order to sink his chops into a dog.

Imagine if you can, which I realize may be difficult to do, after reading what you have, what wolf meat must be like. I would suppose that growing up in a time and place where encounters with wolves consumed a fair amount of your time, it wouldn’t take long to build up a dislike for the animal. The wolf caused death and destruction and clearly was hated to no end. The descriptions of the wolf being “the son of a polecat”, “stinks”, having an “offensive odor” and the “rankest carrion in creation”, among others I’ve shared above, leave us little hope that wolf meat would be good to eat. Combine that with the actions and reactions of the dogs who refused to touch the wolf after it was dead. All of this and the built-up resentment, fear and hatred over the years, real or imagined, how could anybody bring themselves to eat wolf meat. (rational thinking)

Even Trollope alludes to the fact that most of this aversion to wolf meat was, “less fact than imagination”. Yet through all of this, we find that people still, well at least some anyway, were able to retain a good sense of humor.

The flesh of the wolf may be taken certainly to be about the rankest carrion in creation, not even excepting that of the common vulture and the turkey-buzzard. Yet all this in reality is less, fact than imagination. M. Charles Gauthey, a well-known sportsman in the Cote-d’Or, relates that the landlord of a country inn, himself a sportsman, and wishing to play the brethren a confraternal trick—or as it is called in French, leur jouer un tour de chasseur,—had a piece of wolf’s flesh cut into small square morsels, and stewed up with veal and mutton cut into pieces of a different shape. The landlord helped the ragout himself, and being careful to serve each guest with one of the square morsels, was enabled to inform them after dinner that they had all been eating wolf. Two of the guests were thereupon seized with horror, and one to such a degree that he was compelled to retire from the table with precipitation. The others took the joke in good part, and one an all declared they had detected nothing in the dish to excite suspicion in the least degree.

Once again, in this quest to discover the true character of the wolf, I want to make it clear I am not advocating that we Americans need to learn how to massacre wolves. We do however need to learn about them because the depth of that knowledge runs shallow. In future times as the wolf continues to expand and grow, it is most certain that we will have to deal more and more with similar wolf confrontations as those in Russia, India, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Alaska and Canada have come to know.

It is unclear whether the imported Canadian gray wolf or any other wolf for that matter, will ever be removed from federal protection. States such as Idaho have preliminary rules that will govern a wolf hunt (found in Part I) should the time present itself. Unfortunately the rules strip the hunter of most tools needed to successfully hunt and kill a wolf. He essentially is allowed to go into the woods with only his rifle.

If you have been reading Parts I and II, you have learned through several accounts that it is impossible to hunt the wolf by any means other than with “powerful and well-appointed” hounds, as Teddy Roosevelt attested. It is believed that initially there will be some success but as the wolf adapts and learns that humans want to kill him, his avoidance skills will out last that of a lone hunter.

Hunting is and has been a readily accepted tool for population control in wildlife management. When the time comes that we need to control wolf populations (which is now), hunters will need the proper tools to accomplish that task. We have learned that no management of the wolf over the years in other countries, often where guns are outlawed and only the wealthy can hunt, wolf populations were always a problem. We can’t let that happen here in America.

Gaining further knowledge from these historical accounts of wolves, wolf hunting and the tactics used against them, can help to further our understanding of this creature. With better knowledge we are better equipped to properly manage this beast.

Tom Remington

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