51 Idaho Wolves Killed In Hunts

black ribbon

I’ve spent some time talking about Montana’s wolf  hunt recently, specifically the killing of Yellowstone’s Cottonwood pack, in the back country outside the park.  Meanwhile Idaho’s hunt marches on unabated.  Fifty one wolves have lost their lives and it’s only October 14, just a month and a half since Idaho’s hunts began.

Panhandle:  5

Palouse Hells Canyon: 1

Lolo: 2

Dworshak Elk City: 6

Selway: 3

Middle Fork: 7

Salmon: 1

McCall-Weiser: 8

Sawtooth: 13

Southern Mountains: 3

Upper Snake: 2


Total 51


Categories posted in:   Idaho wolf hunts, wolf wars

Tags: Idaho wolf hunts, wolves in the crossfire

Published in: on October 14, 2009 at 1:36 am  Comments (12)  
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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nabeki,I received an email from Center of Biological
    Diversity saying that the NRA is joining the others to prevent the wolf from being protected.I read the article and became numb.Is it me?Sometimes I feel that when wolf haters say that we get to emotional;they don’t realize they look about the same way about the deer and the elk.After reading some comments,I get the impression they see them as pets.


    • Hi Rita,

      I love the Center for Biological Diversity, they do amazing work. I’m especially impressed with Michael J. Robinson, their conservation advocate, who is an expert on wolves, specifically the Mexican gray wolf, who is so endangered. Have you read his book, Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West? It tells the sad story of how the gray wolf was systematically eliminated from their Western home range by the feds.

      I’m not surprised the NRA is getting involved in wolf wars. I think it’s a way to gain attention for themselves and make their members happy. Even though I firmly believe in second amendment rights, it’s obscene the NRA would insert themselves into this issue. This is not about gun rights and they know it!!

      When the anti-wolf crowd states pro-wolf people are emotional about wolves, I take that as a compliment. How dull would life be if we didn’t feel things passionately? Of course that’s a hypocritical statement on their part because how could you get more emotional then calling wolves “killing machines” or displaying nasty slogans like “Smoke A Pack A Day”? If anyone is emotional it’s that group.

      I’m very hopeful that Judge Molloy will restore the wolves ESA protections and we won’t have to sit through another hunt next year. If he does restore their protections, wolf advocates should press hard for a new recovery plan, one that encompasses their entire home range, which is pretty much the whole country.

      Thanks for stopping by!!


  2. People say respect the opinions of others and the choices they make, respect other people’s beliefs and their traditions. Just because something has been done in the past does not warrant its continuation in the present and future.

    What excuses does the ID/MT Fish and Game have for these hunts?

    1. To help the ungulate populations
    2. To alleviate livestock depredation
    3. To allow people to hunt wolves

    The first two rationales for the hunt are always mentioned with emphasis on how hard wolves make the lives of people (if only I had a violin). The third is less mentioned, with exception that ‘manage’ is used instead of hunt/kill whenever the justification is required. Put bluntly it interprets into people killing for pleasure.
    Do the people participating in this hunt and the Idaho/Montana Fish and Game remember what the grey wolf was reintroduced for? Lowering the number of herbivorous animals, in particular elk and deer, to bring back stability to the ecosystem. Unfortunately for the hunting community the grey wolf has been doing its job.

    It is often said that ‘wolves need a predator’ by wolf hunting proponents – which is an outright fabrication. Wolves are apex predators, they have no natural predator when they reach adulthood. None. So why would they ‘need’ one?
    The lives of these predators are not easy factors such as territorial disputes, adverse weather conditions, the condition of the landscape, available food and type of food, disease, injury and high pup mortality all ‘control’ of the wolf population. Do modern-day hunters pay attention to this? I think recent events have the answer to that question.


    • Hi John,

      You make excellent points. I completely agree but because the livestock and hunting interests dictate public wolf policy in Idaho and Montana they will find reasons to hunt wolves. We all know why these hunts are being conducted. The ranchers want those “dang varmints” gotten rid of and Wildlife Services was doing a pretty good job of killing them for livestock predation before they were even delisted. I think I linked to an article concerning the 19 members of The Hog Heaven Pack, outside of Kalispell, that were wiped out for livestock predation. It’s always the same story and in the Southwest the 52 beleaguered Mexican gray wolves are going though the same thing.

      Unless and until the power balance in the West shifts, things won’t change. Groups like WWP, who are taking the feds to court over grazing permits and winning, give me the most hope. We have to get cows and sheep off public lands. Little by little the battle will be fought and in the end I think we’ll win but it’s not going to be a cake walk.. People do not give up power easily. Ranchers are so used to crying wolf and having the feds come running. Now with the hunts ongoing, five hundred wolves could be dead by next year in Idaho if they hold another hunt because I don’t think wolf packs will be replacing the 220 dead wolves that are going to be taken this year. Idaho’s hunt goes all the way though wolf mating season, was that an accident or planned? In Montana, who knows, they might raise the 75 wolf quota next year, so that would be almost two hundred wolves gone out of Montana’s population of 500.

      I even wonder why the feds brought the wolves back, only to turn around and and let the states start killing them again?

      We just have to keep speaking out for wolves and grizzly bears, they have no voice and we can make a difference in the end.


  3. Thanks for the info on the book.


    • Your welcome Rita. It’s a real eye-opener.


  4. They are everywhere. Killing cattle, sheep, elk, deer, etc. There is not a lot of wildlife in these areas because of the amount of wolves. I go up into the mountains often and I don’t hear the elk bugle anymore. They are always on the run from the wolves. I don’t mind wolves, they are amazing creatures, but this is ridiculous.


    • Hi Alan,

      I understand your concern but elk numbers are way up in Montana, 166,000 of them. This is coming from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, who is no friend to the wolf. The problem and the reason you think that elk and deer have diminished is because they’ve changed their browsing behavior. When wolves are present in the environment elk don’t stand around in large groups anymore. They tend to stay in smaller groups and are on the move. Hunters have to adjust to this new behavior and learn different tactics. But the elk are out there in big numbers and it’s not just Montana. Idaho and Wyoming and other states saw increases in their elk populations. There’s enough out there for everybody without blowing away the wolves.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Elk Numbers Skyrocketing


  5. I only have Arizona as a reference point; but when doing some archaeological surveying in the Sierra Anchas region of Arizona in the 1990’s I encountered a few large bulls a rancher was grazing on public lands [for free by the way] that threatened me and if I had gotten out of my vehicle I am sure I would have been gored by one of them. I have to say that if I had a choice to go into an area with wolves or an area with full grown male bull cattle I would take the wolf area every time. As a tax payer I don’t want to see cow plops and large aggressive bovine all over public lands. Wolves have a real value on wild public lands by keeping the Javalina and small game populations healthy in the fragile southwestern pinion pine forests. An over population of wolves can’t really happen because they would simply starve to death as the game in these areas is not really abundant and there is the whole predator/prey model that says the predators reproduce more offspring in times of plenty and less in lean times- sort of self-regulatory really.


    • Thanks for sharing your experience concerning private ranchers grazing on our public lands. As you pointed out, cattle can be a nuisance but they also do a great deal of damage to streams beds, trample vegetation and are the main obstacle for recovery of the Mexican gray wolf. There are only 52 Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. For example, The Middle Fork pack in New Mexico, that live in the Gila National Forest, are surrounded by a sea of cattle. Both alphas have only three legs, losing them to leg hold traps. There are cattle carcasses laying around, not from wolf predation but from other causes. The ranchers are supposed to remove dead cattle but mostly they don’t. If the wolves feed on these dead cows it teaches them cattle predation. Then they may get shot for it. It’s a vicious cycle. Who loses? The Wolf.
      We need a whole new approach to living with wolves peacefully, starting with getting the dang cattle and sheep off our public lands.

      Thanks for stopping by Shadowfire!


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