Wolf Hunt Re-Opens Today in Montana

roping a wolf

Cowboys take in a gray wolf on “Round Up” in Wyoming. 1887 photograph by John Grabill.

Is it the wild west all over again?  Wolf hating fever seems to be on the rise, AGAIN.  Over 25,000 wolf tags were sold in Montana and Idaho  for a chance to kill 295 wolves in the two states.  Those are scary numbers.  Call it trophy hunting, blood lust, a political statement or sticking it to the conservationists,  the wolf has become a political football.  It’s all about who’s in charge in the West, it’s all about control. 

“Approximately 100,000 hunters are expected to spread across public and private lands in the state to go after elk, deer, and the new addition of wolves. As a result local hunting supply stores saw some big lines over the weekend.

Officials say the elk and deer populations in the area remain strong, and there will be plenty of game available to go around.”


Yet hunters continue to repeat the same tired old line, “wolves are killing all the elk”  when that claim has been de-bunked, by none other then the Rocky Mountain Elk foundation, certainly no friend to the wolf. According to the RMEF, elk numbers are higher then they were twenty five years ago, yet you wouldn’t know it by all the complaining.

Likewise rancher’s are  ” crying wolf” stating wolves are killing all their livestock but 2006 figures, from the USDA themselves,  state wolves killed a total of only 4400 cattle nationally compared to DOMESTIC DOGS, which  killed over 21,900 cows and coyotes 97,000Even so, that’s  only a tiny percentage of cattle deaths, 0.18%.

“In comparison, livestock producers lost 3.9 million head of cattle (3.69%) to all sorts of maladies, weather, or theft, respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving, unknown, other, disease, lameness, metabolic problems, poison (USDA, 2006)”


But the same tired rhetoric is repeated over and over.  Also not taken into consideration is the tremendous pressure wolves are under from Wildlife Services, who kill hundreds of gray wolves annually for livestock depredation, even though  wolves kill very few livestock compared to other factors.

It’s time for new voices to be heard.  You would think only ranchers, outfitters and hunters live in the West. They seem to be the only voices that are  listened to, maybe because they’re making the most noise.  It’s time wolf advocates voices are heard.  This statement can’t be repeated enough.

“If the wolf is to survive, the wolf haters must be outnumbered. They must be outshouted, out financed, and out voted. Their narrow and biased attitude must be outweighed by an attitude based on an understanding of natural processes.” -L. David Mech


Please click on the link below to Defenders of Wildlife’s website, which states:

“Please sign our petition to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, urging him to withdraw his flawed delisting rule that prematurely removed vital protections for wolves in the northern Rockies region — before a lasting wolf recovery slips from our grasp.”



Wolves in hunters’ sights as Montana big-game season opens

superior pack

The general big-game season opens in Montana on Sunday and wolves across the state will be one of the species targeted. This adult male is from the Superior pack along the lower Clark Fork River west of Missoula. Photo by Fish, Wildlife and Parks


Categories posted in:  Montana wolf hunt, Idaho wolf hunt, wolf myths, wolf wars, wolves under fire

Tags: Montana wolf hunt, wolf myths, wolf intolerance, ken salazar delists wolves

Yellowstone’s Cottonwood Alpha Female, 527, Falls To Hunter’s Bullet

yellowstones 527

Photo: Wolf 527, killed on Buffalo Plateau on Oct. 3. Credit: Dan Stahler / National Parks Service

October 25, 2009
Yellowstone’s famous Cottonwood pack Alpha female, 527, fell to  a hunter’s bullet outside the park at the beginning of Montana’s wolf hunt, which re-opens today.

Montana wolf hunt is stalked by controversy

The demise of a much-studied pack raises questions about lifting the hunting ban in areas bordering Yellowstone park.

October 25, 2009|Kim Murphy

GARDINER, MONT. — Wolf 527 was a survivor. She lived through a rival pack’s crippling 12-day siege of her den. When another pair of wolves laid down stakes in her territory, she killed the mother and picked off the pups while the invader’s mate howled nearby in frustration and fury.

She was not a charmer. But successful wolves are not known for their geniality. She was large and black and wary — and cruel when she needed to be. As the alpha female of the Cottonwood Creek pack, she also was equipped with a radio collar so wildlife biologists could track her movements, making her one of Yellowstone National Park’s best-known wolves.

 Then she ventured outside the park boundaries.

Wolf 527 was killed Oct. 3 by a hunter on Buffalo Plateau north of Yellowstone, less than three weeks into Montana’s backcountry elk season. Wolves often stalk elk outside the park and are attracted by entrails the hunters leave behind. But this year, the elk season coincided with the opening of the state’s first wolf hunt in modern times.

“She was a genius wolf in her tactics,” said Laurie Lyman, a former San Diego County teacher who has spent the last five years tracking the recovery of the endangered gray wolves that were reintroduced into Yellowstone in 1995. “Her strategies were just unbelievable. She knew how to survive anything, but she didn’t know how to survive a man with a gun.”

Park officials believe four of the Cottonwood pack’s 10 wolves — including 527’s mate, the alpha male, and her daughter — died during those first weeks, in effect ending research into one of the park’s most important study groups.

“Whether the pack exists anymore or not, to us the pack is gone,” said Doug Smith, the biologist in charge of the Yellowstone reintroduction program that helped bring wolves back from the brink of extinction in the Northern Rockies. Cottonwood “was a key pack on the northern range,” he said, giving researchers a window into the existence of animals that had little or no interaction with humans.

State wildlife officials, caught off guard by the ease with which the wolves were cut down, called off the backcountry hunt along a section of Yellowstone’s northern boundary for the rest of the year.

But the general wolf hunting season opens today throughout much of the rest of Montana, including other areas bordering the 3,468-square-mile park. Wildlife advocates have sought, so far unsuccessfully, a buffer zone to protect Yellowstone’s storied wolf packs.

With more than 1,600 wolves now in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, state officials are allowing hunters this year to take up to 75 in Montana and 220 in Idaho. Federal protections remain in Wyoming.

“We’ve got quite a number of other border packs. So people need to decide how hunting’s going to occur on the park boundaries,” Smith said. “Whose wolves are they? Are they national wolves? Montana wolves? And we have to decide what is the value of our research on wolf populations that are not affected by people.”

Read more: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/25/nation/na-wolf-hunt25


Montana’s wolf hunt re-opens today, with 65 more wolves in danger of losing their lives before the 75 wolf quota is reached. 

Yellowstone’s Cottonwood Pack is all but obliterated. Two members of the famed Phantom Hill pack in Idaho’s Sun Valley have been killed.  All the work, time, effort put in by wolf advocates, biologists and researchers,  is going up in smoke because of the  wrong-headed “management” policies by Montana and Idaho.  SHAME!!!



Categories posted in: Yellowstone wolves, Montana wolf hunt, wolf recovery

Tags: Montana wolf hunt, Yellowstone wolves, wolf myths

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