Skip to main content

Gray Wolf, Photo Credit: GreenpeaceGray Wolf, Photo Credit: GREENPEACE

In Montana during the 2012-2013 season, 225 wolves were killed. In addition in 2013, 63 wolves were killed for preying (not always killing) on livestock. 18 were killed by cars or poachers. That's 306 dead wolves. Since then Montana has expanded the wolf rifle hunting season to six months, from September 15 to March 15. The bag limit has been increased to 5, silencers and electronic calling are legal. So far 6,000 licenses have been purchased at $19. each. The cost of out-of-state licenses have gone down from $250. to $50. causing a big jump in out-of-state hunters, 370 up from 55 last year.

Under that kind of "harvesting" program two hunters can kill a whole pack. Since this is trophy hunting, the biggest and the strongest wolves will be targeted. Only Yellowstone National Park can offer a safe haven but the bio-diversity of that group is threatened as they become more and more isolated by the hunting, trapping, bow-hunting surrounding the park.

Concerned with what is happening in Montana, Yellowstone National Park administrators tried to get the state to decrease the bag limit from 5 to 1 but they were unsuccessful.
Yellowstone officials say Montana plan targets park wolves
BILLINGS – A proposal to relax gray wolf hunting and trapping rules in Montana got a cool reception from Yellowstone National Park administrators who said Monday the move appears to be aimed at substantially reducing the park’s population of the animals.

Wolves regularly cross from the hunting-free safe haven of Yellowstone into Montana, where wildlife officials want to drive down pack numbers in response to complaints about the predators from ranchers and big-game hunters.

Under pressure from the park and advocacy groups, Montana wildlife commissioners tried to set up a no-kill buffer zone east and west of the town of Gardiner, but a judge struck down those restrictions after ranchers and property rights advocates sued.

In Yellowstone park where wolves are protected the wolf populations have gone down from a population of 174 in 2003 to 80 in 2012. Fifteen have been killed (including 7 collared wolves) while straying outside of park boundaries. One collared wolf was shot for killing a chicken. Wolves will also decline for the same reasons all wildlife will decline, from global climate change which brings severe winters and drought in summers.

What real public information about wolves looks like

This is a comprehensive article by Norman Bishop and presented by Ralph Maughan. It is worth reading the whole thing.
Is wolf hunting necessary?
Cariappa et al (2011) analyzed data collected at 32 sites across North America using linear and nonlinear regression and found that the evidence supported wolf population regulation by density-dependence as much as limitation by prey availability. The data suggested that wolf populations are self regulated rather than limited by prey biomass by at least a 3:1 margin.
And, can hunting be overdone?
Scott Creel and Jay Rotella (2010) wrote, “Following the growth and geographic expansion of wolf (Canis lupus) populations reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995–1996, Rocky Mountain wolves were removed from the endangered species list in May 2009. Idaho and Montana immediately established hunting seasons with quotas equaling 20% of the regional wolf population. Combining hunting with predator control, 37.1% of Montana and Idaho wolves were killed in the year of delisting. [...] Finally, wolf populations declined with harvests substantially lower than the thresholds identified in current state and federal policies. These results should help to inform management of Rocky Mountain wolves.”
Killing wolves is wrong
Should we control wolves? Biologist Bob Hayes offers some thoughts about controlling wolves in his 2010 book, Wolves of the Yukon. He wrote: “I spent eighteen years studying the effects of lethal wolf control on prey populations. The science clearly shows killing wolves is biologically wrong.” As I began to better understand the wolf, I developed a clear answer to my question about the effectiveness and moral validity of lethal wolf control programs.” A decade after his retirement in 2000, Hayes wrote, “I can now say the benefits of broad scale killing of wolves are far from worth it – not to moose, caribou, Dall’s sheep or people. It should never happen again.”
Meantime, legislators in Montana
are demonstrating total ignorance of the public trust doctrine, wildlife ecology, conservation ethics, or anything related thereto. House Bill 27 would legalize silencers for wolf hunting. HB 31 would allow 12-year olds and up to hold five wolf licenses, allow recorded sounds and calls, and would have set a wolf population cap of 250.

Marc Cooke, president of Wolves of the Rockies, says
With 1,500-plus wolves killed in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming in the last three years by wildlife services, hunting and trapping, we are on the road to the second eradication of wolves in the Rocky Mountains. Clearly, state fish and wildlife agencies are not using the best available science. Instead they appear to be puppets of the hunting and livestock producers who have an obvious anti-wolf agenda.
Basically we need to rescue wolves from politics and put their existence back into wildlife management based on science.

Originally posted to Wildlife Endangered and Threatened on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Canadian Kossacks, Public Lands, and DK GreenRoots.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Can anyone apply for a permit? (0+ / 0-)

    And is there a penalty for not using it?

  •  The assault on wolves in the US is shameful. (7+ / 0-)

    There is no biological reason, it's purely greed-oriented. It's a policy that needs to be changed at the federal level, for good, and that will never happen.  I weep for the wolves.

    "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying."Edward Snowden -6.62, -6.92

    by CanyonWren on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:01:37 PM PDT

    •  Thank you CW, I feel the same (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wolf advocate, CanyonWren

      They have lost Federal Protection in Western states and the states are making policy that has no basis in real wolf science. I'm afraid we are looking at a second eradication.

      One lone female wolf travelled hundreds of miles to Kentucky and was shot on sight. The first gray wolf in 150 years to be seen in the state. Hunter said he thought it was a big coyote.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:52:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not purely; it's also (5+ / 0-)

      kulturkampf, aka hippie-punching. That is, they are slaughtering wildlife not only for the pure joy of killing, but also as a raised middle finger to people who value wildlife.

      "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

      by dumpster on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 04:30:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My experience here in MT seems to prove your (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimene, CanyonWren, Agathena

        hypothesis. My fellow Montanans, (the ones who are glued to Fixed News) seem to take a particular joy in doing anything that upsets the "tree-huggers", "enviro-nazis", etc. Idaho and Wyoming are even worse. These wolf-hunters/killers don't care about science, they just know it upsets the advocates - same as buying guns and ammo, using as much fossil fuels as possible, burning instead of recycling, etc. "Buy a gun - piss off a liberal"; "Save an elk, kill a wolf", "Wolf - the other red meat". Trying to change the hearts and minds of these people is almost impossible. Wolves are considered vermin here by many. There is no respect for wildlife and wildlife habitat. It's hard to not just give up trying...but I just can't abandon my wolf brothers and sisters.

        "In wildness is the preservation of the world." - Henry David Thoreau

        by wolf advocate on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 05:02:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  By your name it sounds as if you at least make (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          a serious hobby out of it--thank you.  It's a heartbreaking task, I'm sure.

          "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying."Edward Snowden -6.62, -6.92

          by CanyonWren on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 05:56:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  When I showed this diary to my son, he asked (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Why? Why? He is not aware of the culture that loves to kill wolves. We can see a taste of it when looking up photographs of wolves. There are so many people showing off their trophies online with triumphant looks on their faces. As if there is any challenge to the hunt when they can use electronic calls and bait and silencers.

          I forgot to mention, Montana has 2,400 certified wolf trappers ready to go as well as the 6,000+ shooters.

          To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:42:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The immaturity of these people is in the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        negative values. It's really mind-boggling to imagine killing a beautiful animal just to piss someone else off. It truly seems like the mindset of a 2-year-old.

        "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying."Edward Snowden -6.62, -6.92

        by CanyonWren on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 05:59:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This. (4+ / 0-)
    Basically we need to rescue wolves from politics and put their existence back into wildlife management based on science.
    All of this.

    I could say a lot more about this, being from the state of Wisconsin, but I will refrain for now.

    remember to use positive affirmations. "i am not a dork" is not one of them

    by Altoid77 on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:22:56 PM PDT

  •  Americans are good at exterminating, sigh nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, wolf advocate

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 02:05:47 PM PDT


    Today (9/30) at this moment a hearing is going on at the Dept of Interior regarding the wolf.  Another will be in Sacramento on 10/2 and another in Albuquerque on 10/4.

    Americans for Prosperity are being bused in by the Koch brothers to attend as anti-wolf advocates.  There will be tight security at all hearings.

    Folks, go on line and look at the photos of the slaughter of this American Iconic creature that is needed for the survival of our eco-system.

    It's not about shooting them, it is about trapping, snaring, using packs of dogs to hunt them, baiting with dogs, horses, cats, etc, using night vision equipment and high-powered rifles and the like.  It's about using ATVs, snowmobiles and on  and on.

    Oh and let's not forget that they are going to the dens and torturing the pups as well...gassing them, breaking limbs...these people would be serial killers of humans if they didn't have so many animals to get their hard-on about.

    We advocates are fighting HARD.  There will be a 2014 NATIONAL RALLY...the location will stun you.  There are also plans for a walk across America with wolves, which will go through all the wolf states.  We are also preparing a booklet that will be distributed to each lawmaker.


    by Barbara on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 02:22:01 PM PDT

    •  Thanks Barbara for your comment (0+ / 0-)

      which I only read today. In Montana they can use electronic wolf calls and silencers. With a bag limit of 5, 2 hunters could wipe out a pack. And in Wyoming, open season, no limit.

      The October 2 hearing was likely cancelled because of the shutdown.

      FWS has backed down against banning three wolf expert scientists from the hearings because they co-signed a letter against lifting protections of wolfs in the lower 48 states. The FWS no longer chooses the scientists. Also the comment period for the law has been extended till the end of October.

      Thank you for all your hard work for the wolves. Trapping wolves and chasing them by helicopters is torture. And by killing whole packs they are decreasing the biodiversity needed for the survival of the species.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 07:08:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site