Stop The Presses….Wolves Aren’t Killing All The Elk in Idaho or Anywhere Else For That Matter!


Later, man (Photo Courtesy Flickr Sigma Eye)

UPDATE: I was ready to post this on August 5th but the relisting news broke the same day and that trumped everything.  It’s a little dated but still timely. 


Stop the presses. IDFG recently released a study confirming what we already knew, wolves aren’t killing all the elk in Idaho. Now I can sleep at night. I was tossing and turning trying to figure out why or how a predator would kill off its prey base?

This is not news to wolf advocates. After all, if wolves ate all the elk in Idaho they’d be leaving Idaho in droves, dispersing to other states to eat all their elk. See how this works? Eventually they would travel the country wiping out ungulates everywhere. Once every last deer and elk were gone the wolves would be forced to return to GINORMOUS Canadian wolf land, where I suppose those wolves  haven’t eaten all the elk for some unknown reason? 

Of course I’m kidding but the hysteria surrounding this issue has been staggering. Hunters act like wolves are the only predators in the forest. It seems they’ve selectively forgotten the deadliest predator of all,  THEMSELVES.  In my opinion human hunters role in the decline of some elk populations has been understated. It’s just too politically incorrect for any politician or state game agency to infer that hunters kill lots of ungulates. Not only do they kill a large number of them but they go after the best and the biggest elk and deer. Wolves OTOH, cull the weak, sick and old. Yes they occasionally kill healthy animals but wolves are opportunistic hunters.  They don’t own high-powered rifles with scopes or  fancy hunting gear, wolves are fed by their feet , as the famous quote goes. They have to work very hard for a meal. When wolves chase down elk, deer or moose there is the potential for a flying  hoof making contact with any part of their body. Many wolves suffer crippling injuries or fatal ones while hunting.  If anyone deserves to hunt it’s the wolf.  To continually be called on to defend wolves for doing what they were put on this earth to do is ridiculous.  As long as we’re talking about elk we’re not talking about wolves.

From the Times News,

“……the report showed that hunters were the biggest cause of elk kills in two other areas with declining populations: the Pioneer zone east of Ketchum, and Island Park near Rexburg. In the Island Park zone, hunters killed 17 percent of collared elk while wolves killed none.”

So there you have it, hunters actually contribute to prey declines. What shocking news….NOT!

State game agencies exist to “manage” wildlife, meaning lots of deer, elk and moose but few wolves, bears, lions and coyotes .

That’s how it works, it’s called “Wildlife Management” and it’s turning our forests into zoos. There is nothing natural about artificially high numbers of one animal over another, manipulating our wildlife for their own purposes which are:

• Money for state game agencies from licensing fees.

• Lots of animals for hunters to kill.

What about the wants and needs of over ninety percent of Americans that don’t hunt?  Well my friends, as you may have guessed, we don’t count. 

I noticed the study didn’t fail to mention the six elk lost to wolves in the LOLO zone.

“Biologists found that wolves killed significant numbers of collared elk in only one area, the Lolo zone along U.S. Highway 12 in north Idaho. Over the three years, the report claims wolves killed 20 percent of the Lolo sample, or about six elk. Three-quarters of the collared elk survived, less than Fish and Game’s survival goal of 88 percent.”

Of course they aren’t trying to justify IDFG’s recent edict allowing four outfitters to kill up to five wolves each in the LOLO.  No not at all.  I think the outfitters only managed to kill five poor wolves, who were just minding their own business, after having survived the brutal Idaho hunts, that didn’t end until March 31, 2010. Just to refresh everyone’s memory the Idaho wolf hunt lasted seven long months, right through wolf breeding and denning season but I digress.

Well at least they admitted the LOLO elk  herd was sinking long before wolves were ever reintroduced to Idaho. And finally someone mentioned the severe winter of 96/97, which anyone living in Idaho and Montana knows about. There was so much snow people’s roofs were collapsing. It wiped out the white tail deer in Montana and had the same effect on deer and elk in Idaho.

“White said deteriorating habitat in the Lolo zone has contributed to declining elk numbers since at least 1988, before wolves entered the picture. The population dropped by 40 percent during the severe winter of 1996-97 alone. Bears and cougars also kill many elk. Just across the border, Montana biologists are starting a similar collaring study in Ravalli County, where one factor of elk decline may be high human population growth.

The report said wolves caused the highest number of deaths in two other areas with declining populations. But in the Smoky Mountain zone west of Ketchum, where wolves were said to have killed 5 percent of about 30 collared elk, other predators and hunters together killed 7 percent. The Sawtooth zone, west of Stanley, had similar results.

Conversely, the report showed that hunters were the biggest cause of elk kills in two other areas with declining populations: the Pioneer zone east of Ketchum, and Island Park near Rexburg. In the Island Park zone, hunters killed 17 percent of collared elk while wolves killed none.”

Maybe if  they stopped killing wolves and other predators things wouldn’t be so out of whack. And it is out of whack because our forests and wild lands are not meant to have elevated numbers of one animal over the other. The states decide who the good and bad animals are.  The good animals are the ones that hunters pay to shoot, the bad animals are the ones that compete with hunters for the same prey.  Since wolves, bears, mountain lions and coyotes don’t pay licensing fees or vote, they are expendable. 

We can’t let anything get in the way of artificially boosting ungulate numbers for profit, now can we?


F&G: Wolves not causing most elk losses

Saturday, July 31, 2010 1:20 am


Photo: Later, man (Photo Courtesy Flickr Sigma Eye)

Posted in: Idaho wolves, Howling For Justice

Tags: elk study,  hunting, wolf hysteria,


Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 2:29 am  Comments (14)  
Tags: , , , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m acting astonished!!!

    “…Another study, by Eli Geffen and colleagues, conducted in 1996, found that larger canids do not necessarily have smaller pups but instead litter size varies with the availability of prey…”

    Rogers, Lesley J., “Spirit of the Wild Dog”, p.111


  2. Man is the hunter with the rapacious appetite. So it has always been.


  3. Great post Nabeki.
    That is the truth and only the truth Wolfs hunt not matter what just to be feed and only for that reason. Hunters do it for fun and only for fun period. Nabeki now about us we count too and all this race all this fight soon will be have good results Wolfs will have the opportunity to live free and with our voices our mails calls and letters we will make the difference. I want to say if you dont know the new series that Shaun Ellis prepared with National Geographic start at 16 September and the reason is only one people must learn the truth about the most beautiful creature God create the Wolf. Also it is a promise that Shaun gives to a Native American Wolf expert the man who teach the Shaun everything he knows about Wolfs Shaun promise he will do anything just to see the Wolfs be free and safe again. Shaun do a big step media and other shows are all the time close to him and with that way sent his messages world wide. Also something else recently i see a documentary the imax Wolfs (it was awesome) it is the story about Wolf relocation at the Yellowstone national park well there was the today big star of series Lost Matthew Fox. Well i think he enjoy so much all the things that he do for the Wolfs and many times on a radio show faces the hate of people who they are against on that action (relocation of Wolfs) with so much passion and kindness. Well my point is that we must aware all this people they can talk on media and people will listen they have the power to hit hard all the Wolf haters…


  4. Well call me shocked and amazed!! This is a great post Nabeki. What I simply cannot understand is the mentality (well actually the lack thereof) of hunters. It doesn’t seem to me that you have to be a rocket scientist to realize the if you hunt elk and deer year after year after year with high powered automatic rifles with high powered scopes that eventually you are going to kill a great percentage of them. Then Mother Nature kicks in. Yes, human hunters you really can’t control Mother Nature, so get used to it. Some get sick and die, some die because of harsh weather, and yes some of them are killed by apex predators such as the wolf and the grizzly, JUST AS MOTHER NATURE INTENDED! I remember seeing a show years ago on the Twilight Zone I think it was about a hunter hunting the ultimate prey – man. If they don’t start using a little bit of common sense, that may in the end of the day where they end up: hunting one another because all wildlife has been wiped out.


    • You guys fail to realize that these whining little hunters think the elk are THEIR property. How dare wolves try to eat them to feed their pups! It’s the same old arrogant entitlement feeling that they have in their little peabrains.


      • But William, their families will starve without elk meat! How cruel and evil we are to advocate a wolf stealing food from them!


      • William is right. hunters believe elk belong to them and them only. They feel like this because they pay to kill animals. One fact will never change and that is wolves need elk in order to truly survive, elk hunters don’t. I don’t buy into that hunter spewed garbage of how they need elk to get through the winter or whatever else they spew. I can tell you one thing, they most likely ain’t starving to death if they don’t get their elk. I also notice that most hunters I come across on hunting forums and others tend to only care about the animals they hunt and they usually don’t have any good to say about predators. I see this same bs with hunters blaming wolves and other predators for low elk or deer #s or whatever the case may be. I am sick to my stomach when I see MI and MN hunters claiming that wolves are responsible for the low deer #s in those states when it is obvious when you look at the #s that hunters are killing many more deer than wolves. The deer, elk, and moose do not belong to the hunters. These people are not conservationists. If they had their way, only elk, deer, and moose would be on the landscape as they are huntable animals that hunters want. These people are clearly anti-predator and they hate any animal that makes it harder for them to get their elk, deer, or moose.


      • The sustenance argument is bs Jon as far as I’m concerned. Hunting is a very expensive sport….guns, ammunition, licensing fees, special clothing, rigs, taking time off from work…the expenses go on and on. Most people that hunt aren’t out there for the meat. It’s the thrilll of the kill, the meat is secondary.



      • William, I would rather see a wolf get an elk over a hunter any day. I am disgusted at the attitudes of these hunters acting like they are the only ones that should be entitled to elk simply because they pay to kill animals. These people are a threat to wildlife. They only like those animals that they hunt and kill.


      • William you are so right. It’s all about dominion and Safari Club attitudes..that animals are here to benefit us. I remember someone asking me several years ago what was the point of the “roadless initiative”. If the land can’t be exploited for “multiple use” then why have it? I stood there in utter disbelief.



  5. This is awesome! Of course humorous to us wolf advocates who knew this all along. It IS astounding they would release this study; perhaps in their own twisted way they think it somehow supports their position? Crazy ! Anyway I will be spreading this info far and wide and you can bet it will be on the front page of my next NIWA newsletter!


    • Great Ann. I was actually stunned they would release this info but of course in their arrogance they probably wanted to prove the Lolo elk population was declining and forgot about the other damning info. They know the Lolo elk herd has been diminishing for decades, especially hit hard by the winter of 96/97. Human hunting pressure takes a great toll on ungulates and doesn’t provide the culling brilliance of the wolf, who will test their prey for any sign of weakness.



  6. Take a look at this story. A massachusetts woman hunted and killed a 900 pound alligator in South Carolina. The alligator was shot 8 times and the woman gator hunter said,

    “I stabbed his a couple times to break his spinal cord,” said Christian.

    It disgusts me that this woman and others think this is normal behavior. Killing an animal just to have it stuffed and sick. The woman was laughing as she was behing the alligator she killed as she was talking about the hunt.


    • Jon…this literally made me sick. Just horrible.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s