Which Wolf Is The Right Wolf? Pt 2 By Toby Bridges
Apr 21, 2010 - 4:45:25 PM
A scene like this one taken before the wolf is one that will take decades to build back if the wolf population is controlled immediately.
So, what kind of damage has already been done to our elk, deer, moose and other big game populations?
You've surely heard some of these figures before, but in order to paint the true picture, I'll use some of them again.
In 1995, the northern Yellowstone elk herd numbered approximately 19,000...today that herd is closer to 5,000.
In 1995, the moose count for the Yellowstone area was around 1,200...the 2010 count was 117.
In 1995, there were right at 13,000 elk in Idaho's famed Lolo Zone elk hunting unit (Units 10 & 12), this year the zone harbors only about 2,100 elk.
Montana's Gallatin Canyon elk herd has precipitously crashed from just over 1,000 to less than 300 elk today.
And the same degree of loss is being felt all along the western mountains of Montana and throughout much of Idaho. These once great elk herds are being destroyed by wolves - and not enough is being done to reverse that loss. To do so will require a quick and immediate reduction in the number of wolves.
Despite the claims by misguided environmental groups, wolves have attacked humans around the world. At what point will it become
child endangerment to take a youngster fishing...unless accompanied by an armed guard?
Let's face it, those we have financed to wisely manage our big game populations here in the Northern Rockies have sold sportsmen out. They've taken all the funding that hunters have provided year after year, and they are now using YOUR dollars to eliminate hunting opportunities. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game have been willing victims in this fiasco. While USFWS, and its mother governing agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, may have had some power over what these state agencies could or could not do about wolf depredation of big game, those two wildlife departments sure played right along and followed the script that USFWS wrote for them. And that was to continuously down play (and lie about) how many wolves there really are in these two states. Currently, following sorry excuses for wolf management hunts, Idaho is saying they have just under 900 wolves, and in Montana those charged with keeping tabs on the wolf populations claim (once again) there are 500 wolves.
Of course, these two state agencies are quick to point out that these are just the recognized "minimum" wolf populations. And that's their way of saying they don't have a clue how many wolves are in these two states. Sportsmen in Montana feel there are easily 1,000 to 1,500 wolves there, and many Idahoans feel that the population in their state is closer to 1,500 to 1,700 wolves. And the horrendous loss of big game in these two states say that those who spend the most time in the outdoors (the sportsmen) are more in tune to the real number of wolves than the desk jockeys at MT FWP or IDFG.
Compounding the problem are a couple of do-nothing individuals who are now occupying the governor's offices of each state, who talk a lot, but do not have the nerve to stand up to the feds, and tell them they will manage the wildlife in their states in the manner it needs to be managed. Likewise, there is a federal judge presiding at the U.S. District Court in Missoula that must be the most intelligent human being that ever walked the earth, and who knows everything about everything - and apparently who must love wolves. This judge is either gullible enough to swallow hook, line and sinker every lie thrown at him by the environmental groups (Defenders of Wildlife, HSUS, Sierra Club, etc.), or he has an entirely different agenda and is part of a much bigger picture.
One of the lies he has defended is the need for the so-called "genetic connectivity" to insure that wolves will continue to sustain a viable population in the Northern Rockies. The question I'd like to ask is, if that "genetic connectivity" is so important, how in the heck did we end up with so many wolves right now? My understanding is that the 1,700 to 3,500 wolves (depending on whether you want to believe wildlife officials or fellow sportsmen who are witnessing the game loss) we are now being forced to live with came from just 66 wolves released by USFWS. Or did they actually dump a lot more wolves on us that they're admitting to?
This is not just a Western problem. The mid-west is already seeing wolves.
Wolves are now showing up in Oregon and Washington, with established packs in each. Likewise, a number of wolves have been found in northern Colorado. And if you think that was a long walk for those wild canines, there have been a couple of more recent sightings that are even more amazing.
Wolves have already spread from Idaho into Oregon and Washington...and from Wyoming into northern Colorado. The wolf shown here was actually
caught walking by thanks to a hunter's trail camera - in northern Illinois. And there have been reports of wolves elsewhere in the lower Midwest.
Did they actually "walk in" from great distances...or were they covertly dumped there by USFWS or pro-wolf groups?
Thanks to the widespread use of trail cameras by today's hunters, four or five wolves have now been photographed in northern Illinois...with about the same number of "wolves" reported in northern Ohio. In fact, last month one hunter in Ohio shot what he thought was a "very big coyote" - which turned out to be a wolf. But, Ohio DNR officials were quick to claim that it was a wolf-dog cross that they "knew" had been running loose for about 6 months. (But had said nothing about?)
Sportsmen in Oregon, Washington and Colorado are now saying hogwash to wolves walking in and establishing small nucleus's of predators which will soon begin to destroy big game herds in those areas. They feel these wolves have been covertly dumped on them by an overzealous and out of control USFWS...or some pro-wolf group. Those wolves in Illinois and Ohio are now under the same suspicion.
The wolf population is out of hand. There may be only one viable solution and it needs to happen now.
The wolf war is continuing to heat up. Whether you feel wolves are great or not, you need to realize the damage they can deal other wildlife populations and the need to keep wolf numbers tightly managed as low as possible. So, what will happen in the Northern Rockies to get a handle on the problem? One candidate for Montana's seat in the U.S. House of Representative, Mark French, says it's time to get the helicopters in the air and get the reduction of the population under way.
If that sounds a bit overkill, then you may need to read Will Graves' book, "Wolves in Russia". (Go to www.wolvesinrussia.com) That's exactly what it took to get wolf numbers down to an acceptable level in that country, using semi- and full-auto AK-47s to get the job done. For those who feel compelled to save hunting in this country, it is vital for you to get involved now. Next month the situation will be in your own back yard if it isn't already.