Once There Was A Wolf Pack….

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It fills my heart with sorrow when I think of the wolves and wolf packs that are gunned down by Wildlife Services for agribusiness every year. They write their reports to back up the killing of wolves and their families. Emotionless words like confirmed kills, probable kills, strongly suspected kills or “probable depredation confirmed”, mask the meaning of what is really happening. Wolves are being slaughtered for the livestock industry and it’s all paid for with tax payer dollars.


From the Sept.11-24, 2010 Montnaa FWP Wolf Report:

“On 9/9, WS confirmed a calf was injured by wolves in the Bitterroot Valley east of Stevensville (10j area).  The calf was likely injured several days prior but took some time to round-up.

The Welcome Creek pack denned near this herd of cattle and wolves have been active in that area throughout the summer.(what does that even mean? It just says wolves, what wolves?) In June a bunch (a bunch?) of cattle were run through a fence and a cow and calf were run into an old barn and died as a result. Wolves were strongly suspected at the time. (Where’s the proof? What did the cow and calf die from? Where are the rest of the facts?)FWP stepped up monitoring efforts afterwards and set up a volunteer range rider to also help increase monitoring.  Seven calves have been reported missing in the past month. (Were these calves ever recovered? Why were wolves suspected of their disappearance?)

The Welcome Creek pack numbers 7-9 adults and has a litter of 7 pups.  FWP has authorized Wildlife Services to remove up to 5 members of the pack, preferentially removing a combination of pups and adults.

It seems the Welcome Creek Pack, who according to the report, wasn’t actually caught killing livestock but happened to den in the vicinity of cows, was selected as the villains. The report states a calf was injured by wolves on 9/9 but it doesn’t identify a wolf pack. Then wolves were suspected of running a “bunch of cows” through a fence and a cow and calf ran into a barn and died. It doesn’t say what they died from. It also doesn’t prove those wolves had anything to do with it, only that “wolves were strongly suspected at the time.”

It states wolves were active during  the summer, but active doing what and what packs were involved?  Seven calves supposedly disappeared but no wolf packs were connected to the disappearance. Did wolves just drag off calf carcasses somewhere without a trace?   In the end the Welcome Creek Pack paid the ultimate price, five members slated for death, “preferentially removing a combination of pups and adults.”

Isn’t that “stone cold”? I ask again, who kills PUPPIES? Who traps and kills wolves, coyotes and other wildlife for a living?

(*Blue italics mine)


That’s just one example, read through the reports yourself to see what I’m talking about.

I ask you this, who’s watching WS? What supervision does Wildlife Services face? Who goes behind them and questions their judgement? Who determines wolf kills? Do ranchers have a vested interest in having wolves kill livestock instead of say a coyote or mountain lion?  They aren’t paid for those kills. All we have are the ranchers, landowners, private citizens and Wildlife Services’ side of the story. Where is the oversight? Think about it.

There are 3 million cattle in Montana. Most of the losses are from non-predation like weather (over 10,000 calves died in winter storms one year), disease, reproduction, theft, even altitude sickness in some states. Wolves were responsible for just 97 cow losses in the entire Northern Rockies in 2009. That’s Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Out of millions and millions of cows. Does that sound like a wolf crisis to you? It would be laughable if the hysteria and myths weren’t so deadly for wolves.

Here are some of the wolves that met their untimely deaths at the hands of Wildlife Services (formerly Animal Damage Control) in 2010. These are shadow wolf hunts that are being carried out with your tax dollars. And yet the states want to kill even more wolves. They want  state-sponsored wolf hunts. Is this what wolf recovery was all about? To kill wolves, their pack-mates, their babies, their brothers, their sisters, their mothers, their fathers? Is this what the American people want.? If not stand up and make your voices heard loud and clear in 2011.


Tell your Politicians, the Interior Secretary, the President, Fish and Game agencies, write letters to the editor, get this story out of the Northern Rockies. Tell everyone you know!! Raise a ruckus. We  have to outshout these people. They may be a tiny minority but they’re loud and well-funded.



Montana Wolf Mortality WS 2010

(I’m only reporting wolves killed)

12/31 & 1/5 Horse Prairie Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

1/8 Miner Lakes Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

1/20 Bender Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

Dry Forks Pack…2 wolves killed by Mt. WS

Feb..Fish Trap Pack….3 wolves killed by WS

2/17 Camas Prairie Pack….1 gray male wolf killed by WS

3/5 Silcox Pack…..1 female wolf pup killed by WS

3/8… 1 wolf killed by WS

3/13 Camas Pack…2 gray female wolves killed by MT WS

3/18 Ninemile Pack….1 wolf killed by WS

3/23 Superior Pack…3 wolves killed by WS

3/23 Ninemile Pack…1 uncollared black wolf (more than likely a yearling) killed by WS via aerial gunning (helicopter)

4/5 Horse Prairie Pack …1 wolf killed by WS

4/7 Dry Forks Pack…1 -2 wolves shot by WS but not recovered.

4/20 Superior Pack…1 uncollared black wolf killed, 1 uncollared gray wolf killed by WS

4/21 Superior Pack …alpha male (father) of the pack killed by WS (entire pack removed)

4/21 Horse Prairie Pack…1 collared female wolf killed by WS

4/21 Camas Prairie Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

4/22 Camas Prairie Pack…1 collared male wolf killed by WS

4/22 Fishtrap Pack…1 collared wolf, NW221F, was killed by WS

5/6…1 wolf trapped and killed WS

5/7 Ninemile Pack…2-year-old collared male wolf killed by WS

5/11 Trapper Peak Pack…1 black male wolf trapped and killed by WS

5/17 Trail Creek Pack…1 wolf trapped and killed by WS

5/18 Bender Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

5/18 Elevation Mtn. Pack….the collared alpha female (mother) and uncollared gray male were shot by aerial gunning (helicopter)WS

5/19 Bender Pack…1 collared wolf killed by WS

5/19 Trail Creek Pack…1 wolf killed via aerial gunning (helicopter) by WS

5/20 Selow Pack?….1 black adult male wolf killed by WS

5/21…4 wolves killed in two separate actions by WS

5/26 Selow Pack?…2 gray male wolves killed by WS

6/1 Cedar Creek Pack…1 collared gray male wolf killed by WS

6/2 Trapper Peak Pack…1 gray yearling female wolf was trapped and killed by WS

6/2 Selow Pack…1 collared male wolf killed by WS

6/7 Trapper Peak Pack….1 yearling wolf killed by WS

6/18 Selow Pack…1 black adult female wolf killed by WS (believed to be last member of pack)

6/25 Silcox Pack…1 female wolf killed by WS

6/27 Silcox Pack…1 male wolf killed by WS

6/28 & 6/29 Table Mountain Pack…3 wolves killed by WS

6/30 Miner Lakes Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

7/9 Horn Mountain Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

7/10…2 wolves killed by WS

7/15 Canyon Creek?…1 wolf killed by WS

7/29 Horse Creek Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

8/6 Horse Creek Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

8/17 Horse Creek Pack….2 wolves killed by WS (not sure if they were from this pack, report confusing)

9/2 Montitor Mountain Pack?…MT FWP authorizes the removal of 3 wolves

9/4 Monitor Mountain Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

9/5 Monitor Mountain Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

9/10 Horse Creek Pack…2 wolves killed by WS (believed one adult and 2 pups remain in the pack. Wildlife Services is looking to wipe out the rest of the pack or “full pack removal”

9/10 Murphy Lake Pack….1 wolf killed north of Whitefish, Mt by WS

9/10 Horse Creek Pack…1 black adult male wolf killed by WS

9/12 Ovando Mountain Pack…3 wolves killed by WS

9/16 Horn Mountain Pack…WS given permission to kill the entire pack of 9 wolves or more

9/16 Horn Mountain Pack…1 wolf killed from the pack by WS

9/21 Horse Creek Pack…1 gray female radio collared wolf & 1 gray wolf killed by WS

9/23 & 9/24 Horn Mountain Pack…4 wolves killed from the pack by WS.

Wildlife Services looking to remove the remaining 5 members of the pack

9/27 Welcome Creek Pack…1 adult male wolf killed by WS

9/29 Welcome Creek Pack…1 adult male wolf killed by WS

9/3o Horn Mtn. Pack…5 wolves killed by WS (entire pack is now dead)

10/5 Irvine Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

10/7 & 10/8 Murphy Lake Pack..3 wolves killed by WS

10/8 Irvine Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

10/15…3 black wolves killed by WS

New Pack (unnamed?)…WS has been authorized by FWP to kill breeding pair (mother and father) and their 3 pups

10/15…1 adult wolf killed by WS

10/15…1 wolf killed near Hall by WS

10/21…1 wolf killed by WS

10/25 Welcome Creek Pack…2 adult male wolves were killed by WS

11/11…1 wolf shot under 10(j) Big Hole Valley (under investigation by USFWS)

11/24 Mill Creek Pack…1 black wolf pup killed by WS

12/21…1 wolf killed in Ulm area by WS

12/21 Baker Mountain Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

Except for one mention of a range rider and a few instances of using fladry, pro-active animal husbandry is sorely lacking from this picture. When are the ranchers going to step up and protect their investment instead of running to the federally funded Wildlife Services for “predator control?”. Who say’s they have the taxpayer-funded right to have predators removed? What business doesn’t have risk? Why should the taxpayers fund their “tiny” risks from wolves? Please ask these questions of your Senators and Representatives. Tell them you don’t want your tax dollars funding WS, so they can kill wolves and other wildlife.  Don’t let the anti-wolf crowd direct the conversation. Ask these common sense questions about this wasteful, expensive, deadly program of killing wolves for agribusiness.


Law Enforcement/(Wolves dying from other causes in 2010)

(IE: motor vehicle accidents, “state defense of property”, (10j), suspicious deaths being investigated, et. al)


1/9 DeBorgia Pack? …1 gray female wolf pup hit by a car and killed on 1-90 near St. Regis

1/10…1 dead wolf found, North Fork of the Flathead, investigation by MT FWP

1/15 Saphire Pack…1 collared gray female disperser wolf shot by livestock owner.

1/21…Satire or Wolf Creek Pack?…1 wolf hit and killed by vehicle on Wolf Creek Road.

1/30…1 yearling wolf killed in a snare that had been placed for coyotes, in Wolf Creek Area.

2/9…1 wolf pup hit and killed by a vehicle on Hwy 287

3/27…1 wolf found dead south of Butte. Death under investigation

4/18…1 wolf shot by private citizen on private land in Madison Valley, warning issued, no follow-up by FWP

4/18…1 wolf  shot by private citizen near Lennep, FWP investigating

4/27…1 wolf killed by ranch manager, south of Butte

4/27  Trapper Creek Pack..1 yearling wolf found dead by FWP. It’s collar was found on 4/28. It was determined by FWP the wolf had  been illegally killed.

4/29…1 two year old gray male wolf was shot by landowner, north of Missoula

5/11 Elevation Mountain Pack…1 female black yearling wolf shot by rancher

5/11…report of possible wolf who was killed on private land in Carter County. After investigation it was determined it was not a wolf but of domestic dog origin. The animal was also wearing an orange fluorescent pet collar.

5/11 Elevation Mountain Pack…1 black yearling female wolf was shot by rancher, near Helmsville.

5/18 Mitchell Mountain Pack…wolf hit and killed by vehicle north of Wolf Creek.

May 2010…Person plead guilty in federal court in Missoula for shooting and killing a wolf illegally, violating the Endangered Species Act. (This incident was also mentioned in the Feb 27 to March 5th wolf report. I’m assuming it’s the same case?)

5/18 Mitchell Mountain Pack…1 collared gray female wolf (last remaining member of this pack) shot by landowner

5/25 Cilly Pack…1 breeding female (mother) wolf was hit and killed by a vehicle on the Swan Highway. She was lactating, which means it left her pups motherless.

6/22 …1 adult gray wolf was hit and killed by a vehicle  on 1-90 between  St. Regis and Superior.

7/27…1 adult wolf was hit and killed by a vehicle on 1-90 near Lookout Pass.

8/19 Cougar 2 Pack?…1 yearling wolf hit and killed by a vehicle on Hwy 191 near Daly Creek

9/9 Silver Lake Pack…. 3 wolf pups were found dead at the pack’s rendezvous site. Investigation ongoing.

September 2010…Cache Creek Pack…2 wolf pups found dead were autopsied, they had not been shot and no cause of death determined. Investigation ongoing.

9/12…1 black wolf pup found dead by FWP west of Clyde Park, Mt. Cause of death under investigation.

9/12…1 black wolf pup was found dead by FWP, Brackett Creek Area, Bangtail Mtns. The death is under investigation

9/17 Ksanka Pack…1 gray wolf pup was euthanized by FWP near Eureka. The pup was emaciated and in poor condition. The death is under investigation.

10/8…1 wolf killed by ranch manager in the Big Hole

10/11…1 wolf  shot and killed by landowner in Miller Creek.

10/24…1 wolf killed by livestock producer

10/30…1 wolf killed by hunter. Under investigation by USFWS.

11/3…1 wolf found dead, west of Missoula. Turned over to USFWS for investigation.

11/11…1 wolf shot in the Big Hole Valley under (10j). Under investigation by USFWS.

11/17…1 wolf found dead near Olney. Death under investigation.

11/17…1 wolf found dead in the Coal Creek area, North Fork of the Flathead. Under investigation.

So many little pups found dead under suspicious circumstances? Were their parents and packmates killed in the hunt or by WS? Was their nobody to protect them, feed them, give them love and care? Did they stave to death?  Were any poisoned? What happened to those pups?

*Information obtained from Montana FWP 2010 weekly wolf reports.


Americas Secret War on Wildlife

A Federal Agency Keeps The West Safe For Cows By Killing Coyotes, Wolves, Bears…..and Pet Dogs


Safe For Cows

 […] Montague Stevens saw only the surface of the land he hunted over. His active days afield coincided with the advent of erosion in the cow country, but he did not see it. The better to keep up with his hounds, he practiced riding his horse across the cavernous arroyos which were then invading the fertile valleys, but he did not recognize the invasion as something new in history, nor did he perceive its cause: the terrific overgrazing practiced by the early cowmen. Small wonder, then, that less intelligent men still fail to perceive that something more important than bears is departing from the western range. New Mexico’s grizzlies succumbed visibly to trap, gun, and poisoned bait, but New Mexico’s fertile valleys slipped down the Rio Grande in the night. Neither will return.

The University of New Mexico has done well to preserve this saga of how the state was made safe for cows. How the state is to be made safe from cows is a saga yet to be written

Aldo Leopold, “Review of “Meet Mr. Grizzly”, Journal of Forestry, March 1944.”


Top Photo: Courtesy kewlwallpapers.com

Bottom Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves

Tags: Wildlife Services, killing wolves for agribusiness, wolf slaughter, killing wolf pups, killing wolf families

Nowhere To Hide…The Intrusive Collaring of Wolves

Pack after wolf pack has been tracked down by WS and killed in “lethal control actions” BECAUSE wolves were wearing radio collars, making them easy to find. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

As you can see from the photo, leg hold traps are also used to capture wolves for collaring. What effect does this traumatizing event have on a wolf? 

The USFWS wolf recovery coordinator, Ed Bangs, estimates two percent of wolves, trapped for collaring “die from the trauma”. Is that acceptable to you?

Wolves can and do suffer from PTSD,  just like people.

The famous Ninemile pack female wolf, Tenino, was afflicted with it.

“Tenino was an adult female wolf, born in the wild and placed into captivity at 1 year of age because of her participation in livestock depredation. Her method of capture, well documented, involved being darted twice by helicopter and translocated twice. This method of capture would have exposed her to the 2 factors that are important in the etiology of post traumatic stress disorder inhumans uncontrollability and unpredictability.

In a case study we conducted, Tenino displayed symptoms that were similar to those of humans with post traumatic stress disorder. These symptoms included hypervigilance, exaggerated startles, generalized fear, avoidance, and arousal. She also displayed looking up behaviors that occurred during the presence of perceived threats such as a neighboring rancher’s gunshots; the keeper truck; some keeper activity; and, occasionally, aircraft. When compared to 3 other wolves, including her enclosuremate, these behaviors were exclusive to Tenino”…Jay S. Mallonee, Wolf and Wildlife Studies

Wolves are sensitive, social animals. Being chased by helicopters or having their paw caught in a trap must be horribly frightening for them. How would you feel? Wolves experience the same emotions we do, including sorrow, loss, fear and pain.

Wolves are continually harassed by the collaring process itself.  Chased, darted with tranquilizers (Telazol), handled, having collars fitted, collars replaced.

Radio-Tracking Timber Wolves in Ontario

“Miniature collar-type transmitters originally designed by W. W. Cochran, Illinois, were adapted for use on timber wolves (Canis lupus sp.) in east-central Ontario. Wild timber wolves were captured in steel traps, restrained with a forked stick, fitted with radio-collars and released at point of capture. Receivers were adapted for use in trucks, airplanes, and for walking in rough bush country. Maximum ranges were 3.2 km with ground and 9.6 km with aircraft receivers.”

That’s why I believe the knowledge gained by studying collared wolves is far outweighed by the negatives.

Another adverse effect of collaring is the dreaded mange mite. It finds a warm home under their collars, which can torment wolves who are infested with the pest, causing itching and distress, leading to further deterioration of their condition.

Look at the size of that thing. Think of mange mites hiding under it and the wolf not being able to do anything about it.

To my knowledge Yellowstone biologists didn’t lift one finger to treat the Druids sarcoptic mange, which contributed to their demise. The last little Druid female was plagued with mange. Burdened by a radio collar, which I’m sure exacerbated her infestation, she eventually drifted out of Yellowstone, weak and hungry. She was shot and killed in Butte, Montana. The last little Druid, dying alone, without a family. What a tragic end for an iconic wolf pack!!

From the Missoulian:

Wolf No. 690 from Yellowstone National Park had seen her pack ravaged by disease and attacks by other wolf packs before she wandered south of Butte and started attacking cattle.Herself stricken with mange, the 2-year-old female was shot recently by a rancher when he spotted the black wolf attacking cattle.

State wildlife officials inspected the collared wolf and found she was from the former Druid Peak pack, which no longer exists after members caught mange and then dispersed into the hostile territory of other packs.

“We had the last location with her in March, then she disappeared,” said Erin Albers, a biologist with the Yellowstone wolf project. “We were searching for her and we were just assuming that she had left the park, but we didn’t expect her to go to Butte.”

The Druid Peak pack was well-known and a favorite of wolf watchers in the park’s Lamar Valley. It was also the subject of several documentaries about Yellowstone’s wolves.But it began to fall apart last fall when the alpha female died, presumably at the hands of wolves, Albers said. The remaining members of the pack were also hit hard by mange.The pack had a litter of pups last summer that all died of the parasite, which causes wolves to lose their hair. The remaining members dispersed, but found a tough environment in the park with its dense wolf population, Albers said.The weakened wolves would wander into a carcass, only to be attacked and killed by other wolves that were protecting their food and territory. Three wolves from the former pack were found dead, their bodies left mutilated by other wolves, within a four-month period.”

Do Yellowstone park biologists believe it’s invasive to treat mange in resident wolf packs but completely miss how intrusive it is to continually collar wolves? If true, how ironic, because Canadian biologists successfully treated wild wolves for mange. If biologists can handle and interfere with wolves while collaring them, they can certainly treat their mange with Ivermectin.

Wolves tranquilized for collaring: Photo Kevin White (Wolf Song of Alaska)

After reading the USFWS wolf reports for the Northern Rockies, I was stunned by the continual intrusion into wolves lives. Two collared wolves were accidentally killed by Wildlife Services in Idaho, while carrying out a lethal control action on other wolves. Collaring has become a tool to track and kill wolves, instead of what it was originally developed for, scientific research.

Just last year IDFG asked the forest service for permission to land helicopters in the Frank Church Wilderness, the largest area of protected wilderness in the continental United States, comprising 2.3 million acres. Can you guess why they wanted to land there?  To dart and collar wolves of course. Even though the Wilderness Act of 1964 states:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

That means, helicopters should stay out. Unfortunately, IDFG was eventually granted permission to collar wolves in the Frank Church, even though Western Watersheds Project mounted a court challenge. Hundreds of Americans sent comments to Regional Forester Harvey Forsgren, with a clear message:


Sadly, Judge Winmill ruled IDFG could land helicopters in the Frank Church but with a caveat:

“Chief US District Judge B. Lynn Winmill denied injunctive relief sought by Western Watersheds Project to prevent IDFG from landing helicopters in the Frank Church Wilderness to collar wolves.  This is another blow for wolves and wilderness. It will only embolden IDGF to continue their war on wolves.  The judge did warn:

“The next helicopter proposal in the Frank Church Wilderness will face a daunting review because it will add to the disruption and intrusion of this collaring project. The Forest Service must proceed very cautiously here because the law is not on their side if they intend to proceed with further helicopter projects in the Frank Church Wilderness. The Court is free to examine the cumulative impacts of the projects, and the context of the use. Given that this project is allowed to proceed, the next project will be extraordinarily difficult to justify.”

The outline of  the proposal submitted to the Forest Service by IDFG, asked permission to land a helicopter in the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness, up to twenty times last winter to dart as many as twelve wolves.  The reason/excuse was to research and observe wolves. Their intentions aren’t so noble. I believe they wanted to collar wolves in the Frank Church so WS can track them easily, or boost wolf quota numbers for future hunts, if they can document more wolves in the FC. In the end IDFG had to land twelve times in the Frank Church to collar FOUR wolves. Pretty ridiculous. That’s an example of the current state of “wildlife management”.

If IDFG wanted to study wolves they could hike or ride into the Frank Church on horseback. The collaring of wolves in this vast wilderness is just another ploy in their continuing harassment of wolves. The Frank Church/River of No Return wilderness is a vast, refuge for wolves and other wildlife. Now they can’t escape humans even there. The collar program has become a means to an end.  And that end spells trouble for wolves.

Wolves have no place to hide, they’re being monitored as if they were common criminals.  Wearing a radio collar is like being under house arrest. The authorities know where you are at all times.

There is a less invasive way to track wolves with the use of Howl Boxes. I personally think wolves should be left alone, to live in peace but “HOWL BOXES” can be used in place of radio collars!!

Ed Bangs, of the US Fish & Wildlife service, …… estimates that approximately 2 percent of the wolves trapped for radio collaring die from the trauma. “The howlbox is efficient, inexpensive, and less intrusive,” says Bangs. “It uses the wolves’ own communication system to monitor populations.”

Teresa Loya’s invention broadcasts a recorded howl into the wilderness and records any responses from wolves in the following two minutes. From that response, Loya hopes wildlife biologists will be able to get an accurate count of the number of wolves in any particular area, reducing the need for the expensive, invasive and time-consuming process of outfitting wolves with radio collars.

It’s time to stop collaring wolves. It’s intrusive, traumatizing and gives Wildlife Services “a leg up” to track and kill wolves for agribusiness. It harasses wolves in Yellowstone and steals their “wildness”. According to a knowledgable reader of this blog, 759 wolves have been collared during the Yellowstone Wolf Study. Further, he states wolves are chased with helicopters to exhaustion, darted and handled by “gloveless self-serving researchers”. What is this doing to Yellowstone’s wolves?

Collaring is also a potential weapon to be used against wolves by poachers, who may have acquired access to their collar telemetry. Think of the four highly endangered Mexican gray wolves who were found dead this year. How many of the dead wolves or members of their packs were collared?  Since wolves stick together, you can track the entire pack that way. Did poachers use wolves’ collars to track and kill them?

Collaring wolves is out of control. Wolves have enough problems, they don’t need to be hounded by biologists or Wildlife Services to further some nebulous agenda.

What right do we have to chase wild wolves around for collaring? Wolves don’t belong to us. Let them live in peace for godsakes!!


A USDA Wildlife Services employee radio-collars a wolf in the Madison Valley after darting it from a helicopter.


Photos: Collared wolf: Courtesy Howard Golden, Tranquilized wolves: Courtesy Kevin White (Wolf Song of Alaska), Tranquilized wolf: Courtesy USDA

Posted In: Let Wolves Live In Peace

Tags: Druid Peak pack, intrusive collaring of wolves, aerial gunning of wolves, Wildlife Services, sarcoptic mange, Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness, Yellowstone National Park, HOWL boxes, PTSD, Telazol, Ivermectin

*This post has been re-written. I posted a version of it in December 2009 but have since changed my opinion about even collaring wolves for research in National Parks.

Remembering The Hog Heaven Wolf Pack…

Hog Heaven wolf pack

February 3, 2014

I wrote this post in October 2009, a month after  Howling For Justice was created and mere months after wolves in the Northern Rockies were delisted by the Obama administration. The first wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho had just gotten underway  but the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack wasn’t killed by hunters, they were wiped out by Wildlife Services in 2008.

27 members strong, with two breeding females and 15 puppies, they are now just a memory, as so many wolf packs are. Today they barely have names, they’re anonymous wolves, who live and die without any recognition. But I remember when Wildlife Services gunned down one of the largest wolf packs to roam Montana. Here’s a look back at the doomed Hog Heaven Pack. In their memory please vow to work harder than ever to stop the slaughter of wolves.


Hog Hell: The Demise of the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack

October 23, 2009

In 2008, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming killed 245 gray wolves in the name of ”livestock depredation”.

Twenty seven of those wolves were members of the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack, residing southwest of Kalispell, Montana, in the Browns Meadow/Hog Heaven area. They had been accused of preying on a few calves, some llamas and a bull.  The decision was made in November 08 to take out the entire pack.  Eight members of the pack had already been shot from the air by Wildlife Services.

In a three-day period, December 3rd, 4th and 5th of 2008,  the remaining 19 members of the Hog Heaven pack were gunned down, an almost unprecedented event, causing public outrage. Many articles were written  and opinions voiced, opposing the action. FIFTEEN PUPPIES AND TWO BREEDING FEMALES were among the slain.  The Hog Heaven pack was “the seventh entire wolf pack to be killed by Montana in 2008.”

The zero tolerance wolf management plan is just plain wrong and senseless, especially since cattle deaths by wolves are minimal.  Domestic dogs killed five times the number of cows than wolves in 2005.  I don’t see Wildlife Services taking out Labs and Huskies from the air?

The average number of cattle losses specific to wolf predation in these States is less than 0.7%.  This compares to an average of 1.6% of cattle losses due to predation by coyotes and an average of 90% of losses due to non-predator related causes such as health problems and disease.”

*The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), reports on cattle losses in the lower 48 States every five years.  Nationally, health issues such as respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving complications and disease were overwhelmingly the most significant causes of cattle death in 2005.  (The year for which we have the most recent detailed data.)”

“Only 0.11% (about 1/10 of 1%) of all cattle losses were due to wolf predation in 2005. Coyotes killed 22 times more cattle than wolves killed that year.  Domestic dogs killed almost 5 times as many cattle, and vultures killed almost twice as many cattle as wolves in 2005.  Theft was responsible for almost 5 times the cattle losses as were lost by wolf predation.”


The Hog Heaven pack was special, one of the largest wolf packs ever recorded in Montana, (the once mighty Yellowstone Druid’s had 37 members at their peak).

Instead of trying non-lethal methods to preserve the pack, the state  eliminated them!  AND this all happened while wolves still had ESA protection!!

The anti-wolf crowd wants you to believe wolves are hanging around ranches waiting to prey on livestock, when in reality most of the miniscule depredations take place on our vast public lands, where cattle and sheep are left unprotected.

George Wuerthner, the famed ecologist, calls cows, “walking picnic baskets”. What would you do if you were a predator surrounded by an ocean of cattle and sheep?  Would you munch on them or go after more difficult prey? We already know the answer. Yet the wolf pays the ultimate price for lazy, sloppy ranching practices and the federal government’s refusal to pull public land grazing permits, even though cattle pollute streams, trample riparian zones and over graze the land.

Wolf supporters realize the unfairness of what’s happening.

In 2008, when the Hog Heaven pack was lethally removed, people spoke out:

“Gunning down an entire pack of wolves — a species that is supposed to be protected under the endangered species act — borders on criminal,” said Jerry Black of the Missoula group Wildlife Watchers.

“We are outraged by this senseless slaughter of one of nature’s most majestic animals.”

Added Whitefish resident Roger Sherman: “It seems to me the so-called ’scientific management’ of wolves boils down to simply killing them to conciliate the livestock industry.”

“Brian Vincent, communications director for the group Big Wildlife, insists that the elimination of the Hog Heaven Pack could have been avoided.”

“Why should an entire pack of wolves pay the fatal price for a situation that could probably have been avoided?” he said.

“Both agencies are acting like it’s the Wild West with all guns blazing.”


It’s too late for Hog Heaven, they’re not coming back. This unique pack, was wiped out by Wildlife Services before Montanans could react. Is it any wonder wildlife advocates question the motives behind so many wolves losing their lives for so little reason? Why are the lives of predators held so cheaply?

If the failed policies of the states and feds to “manage wolves” continue, it’s certain they will never fully recover. We’ll be left with fragmented populations of wolves, genetically isolated, constantly under the gun.

What’s behind the intolerance of wolves?  It’s certainly not because they’re killing large numbers of livestock, wolf predation on livestock is minimal.  It’s not because wolves are decimating elk populations. Elk in Montana and Idaho are strong, with numbers way up.  Idaho has 105,000 elk and Montana numbers are even higher at 150,000 plus.

Yet the war on wolves continues. This year the Sage Creek Pack and Yellowstone’s Cottonwood pack were gunned down, one wiped out by Wildlife Services and the other shot in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness at the beginning of Montana’s wolf hunt.  They join the Hog Heaven Pack and many others in the ever-increasing death toll of gray wolves.

Will it be Hog Heaven or Hog Hell for wolves in the Northern Rockies?


Wolf photos: Courtesy Wikipedia Commons, All About Wolves, Wolf Wallpaper
Categories posted in: Montana Wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife
Tags:  gray wolf, wolves or livestock, wolf intolerance, Wildlife Services, Hog Heaven Wolf Pack, National Agricultural Statistics Service

Action Alert: The Assault On The Endangered Species Act Has Begun…

Are we going to sit by and let politicians use wolves to further their political ambitions? Are we going to allow them to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections? HELL NO!!

Are we going to protest “conservation hunts” proposed by Montana FWP? HELL YES!!

Get ready Wolf Warriors, the assault on the ESA has begun and we better be ready to fight. That means calling every senator and congressman, as many times as necessary, to defeat any and all attempts to remove gray wolves’ ESA protections. It may mean organizing  pro-wolf rallies across America to show support for wolves. 

There are so many new schemes in Montana and Idaho to kill wolves, it’s hard to keep up with them all .  I’ll try to give you a comprehensive look at the shenanigans.

Since the anti-wolf bunch lost in court they’ve been tying themselves in knots trying to figure out ways to kill (manage) wolves and circumvent the ESA. 

There’s been coalition building by Montana FWP with ranching and hunting lobbies, to find ways around Judge Molloy’s ruling. There’s wolf hysteria in Idaho County, Idaho, asking the Governor to allow wolves to be shot on sight.(that was tried once before).

The latest and most popular assault on gray wolves is coming from the legislative branch. Montana’s Representative Denny Rehberg (who has a dead, stuffed wolf in his DC office) along with Utah’s Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, are signing onto the anti-wolf House Bill 6028, which aims to strip wolves of their ESA protections. The bill was drafted by a Texas Congressman, lord only knows why, since there are no wolves in Texas. But it’s fairly obvious this is a political ploy to garner support from the “hook and bullet crowd”, right before the November elections.

Even though there is very little chance HR 6028 will pass the House THIS YEAR, it shouldn’t be ignored, because it will certainly be introduced again next year. The current Congress is lame duck and when it expires on December 31, 2010, all bills in committee will be moot. But that doesn’t mean the threat will disappear because the new Congress will likely be majority Republican, making it a more favorable climate to continue the war against gray wolves and assault on the ESA.

HR 6028:

To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to prohibit treatment of the Gray Wolf as an endangered species or threatened species.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


Section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

‘(4) The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) shall not be treated as an endangered species or threatened species for purposes of this Act.’

Rehberg also drafted his own legislation: (Remember this is the man with the dead, stuffed wolf in his DC office. CLICK HERE to see it.)

 Rep. Rehberg’s Anti-Wolf Bill (Draft):


He also conducted a survey to ask Montanans how they feel about wolves. I think you can guess the results. I’m sure every hunter, outfitter and rancher answered the survey, clearing their cookies over and over.

Rehberg thinks the support of ranching and hunting lobbies gives him cover to move forward with his anti-wolf agenda, presuming they are speaking for all Montanans. This of course is ridiculous. People are distracted by the bad economy, they might not be paying attention to the wolves’ plight. I’m sure Rep. Rehberg is counting on that.  

Our voices may be drowned out by the rabid wolf haters but please take the time to tell Denny Rehberg just what you think of stripping gray wolves of their ESA protections.  I urge all Montanans who support wolves to continue to answer the survey.

Rep. Rehberg’s “wolf” survey, CLICK HERE

He’s also going to hold meetings on his anti-wolf bill. Can you just imagine what will go on? The wolf hating crowds will show up in droves. Then he can preach to the choir and run back to DC to say Montanans want somethin done about those dang wolves.

This is a slippery slope, if we allow wolf haters to tamper with wolves’ protections, then grizzly bears are next. All animals shielded under the ESA will be in trouble. I believe groups like the Safari Club, The Cattlemen’s Assoc. and  Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife  are behind this push. They would love to see the ESA dismantled, leaving our wildlife at their mercy.

As if the House bills aren’t bad enough, Montana Senators Tester and Baucus,  joined by Idaho Republicans Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, are also pushing to have wolves stripped of their ESA protections:

From the Seattle pi:

Idaho’s U.S. senators will introduce a measure to lift Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in Idaho and Montana, as well as portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah.

The bill Idaho Republicans Mike Crapo and Jim Risch plan to introduce on Wednesday is a response to a federal court order in August that restored protections.

Senator Baucus (D) has been in the Senate since 1978 and before that he served in the House starting in 1975. THAT’S THIRTY FIVE YEARS. He’s a career politician, what the heck ever happened to term limits?

Personally I think he jumped into this because there are lots of ranchers and hunters in Montana that he wants to please. Also he played a large role in writing the wildly unpopular health care bill, which among other things, robs Medicare of 500 billion dollars and guts Medicare Advantage, a very popular plan for over 10 million seniors. What better way for Baucus to distract voters before the November election, then to demonize wolves? He earns points with the anti-wolf groups and takes the focus off health care, which no Democrat wants to talk about. Well, Democrats don’t want to admit they are the ones that delisted wolves, not George Bush, even though he tried hard enough. I read that on Bush’s last day in office, he tried to delist wolves. So sad.

Wolves are an easy target, they don’t vote, don’t pay taxes and are voiceless.

Sentator Baucus quoted in 8Kpax.com:

“This debate on wolves has gone on long enough. I’m working to craft a bill that will put wolves in our state back in our control once and for all, because nobody knows how to better manage wolves in Montana than Montanans,” Baucus said. “In the meantime, the Fish and Wildlife Service needs to do the right thing and allow all Montana ranchers protect their livestock regardless of arbitrary boundary lines.”

Right Senator Baucus. Wolves were responsible for 97 cow losses in Montana in 2009 from a population of 2.5 million cattle. Sounds like a huge emergency. What a joke. Thousands of cows drop dead every year from weather, disease and reproduction. Coyotes and domestic dogs are the main predators of cows.(NASS 06) There are also cattle losses from theft. I don’t think 97 cow losses are going to cause anyone to go broke, especially when ranchers are reimbursed for every confirmed minuscule wolf kill.

To put the tiny number of cattle losses to wolves in perspective:

“A total of 19,400 cattle and 43,600 calves were lost in Montana due to non-predators. The value of non-predator losses was $40.0 million. The value of cattle losses were $21.9 million and calf losses amounted to $18.1 million. The leading causes of non-predator cattle losses were unknown, 4,200 head; other, 3,500 head; and respiratory with 3,100 head. The leading causes of calf losses were calving problems, 11,300 head; weather related, 10,200 head; and respiratory with 7,800 head.” (NASS 06)

Hmmmm, I wonder why ranchers have such a big interest in wolf losses, since, as you can see, cows are dropping like flies from non-predators related causes. Yet Wildlife Services has the nerve to run around Montana, Idaho and Wyoming killing hundreds of wolves for predation. A whole federal bureaucracy has grown up around killing wolves. Wildlife Services continually targets wolves, using traps, gunship helicopters, they’re proposing to gas wolf pups in their dens and sterilize alpha pairs. All for what? 97 cows?

There’s more. Montana FWP filed a petition with USFWS asking them to allow “conservation hunts” of a PROTECTED SPECIES. Here are are the ugly details.

From KAJ18.com:

HELENA – Montana wolves may be back on the endangered species list, but that didn’t stop the state from petitioning the government to hold its own wolf hunt this fall.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks applied for a permit to allow for a conservation hunt and requested that federal authorities deliver a permit by early November.

FWP Administrator Dave Risley said the 28-page application is allowed under specific sections of the Endangered Species Act.

“FWP seeks authorization to create a conservation hunt to relieve population pressures and associated biological, social, and political pressures that currently jeopardize support of wolf recovery in Montana,” Risley said.

FWP joined in a federal lawsuit in defense of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2009 decision to delist wolves in Montana and Idaho, but not in Wyoming.

District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula reinstated federal protections of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains on Aug. 5.

At least 525 wolves live in Montana right now, and FWP wants to reduce the population to about 450 by the end of the year.

The wolf population in the Northern Rocky Mountain Recovery Area, which comprises parts of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, was estimated to be at least 1,706, with 242 packs, and 115 breeding pairs at the end of last year.

The conservation hunt would be modeled on what Montana planned for this hunting season that had a statewide quota of 186 wolves across 13 management units.

This is the key sentence in the article: “FWP seeks authorization to create a conservation hunt to relieve population pressures and associated biological, social, and political pressures that currently jeopardize support of wolf recovery in Montana,” Risley said. 

Social and political pressures? Those are telling words.  They want to hunt an endangered species because of social and political pressures? The pressure is certainly on them from special interests to have a wolf hunt. They are all crying in their beer because the hunts were halted. Hunting a protected species to relieve political and social pressures is not science and it makes them look ridiculous and desperate. Getting hysterical over a tiny population of 520 wolves in a huge state like Montana would be laughable if it wasn’t so deadly serious for wolves. Minnesota has 4500 wolves, almost nine times the number in Montana.

Wolves are not even close to being recovered in the Northern Rockies.  Hundreds died after the delisting. Alphas were slaughtered along with their pups, entire wolf packs destroyed. There have been no studies on the effect that killing had on Montana’s wolves, or any other wolves in the Northern Rockies for that matter, yet the state is begging to have another wolf hunt THIS YEAR, to slaughter more wolves to relieve political and social pressures? They are proving to everyone why Montana cannot manage wolves without prejudice. This is why the ESA was created, to shield a species like the wolf, who suffers from tremendous scapegoating and persecution.

The war against wolves in the Northern Rockies has only escalated since they won back their protections on August 5th, 2010. There are new plots to circumvent the ESA popping up almost daily. We have to focus on the threats I’m discussing in this post and the ones yet to come.

We cannot allow ranchers, hunters and outfitters to dictate policy concerning our wildlife. They are pushing the state game agencies to kill wolves and weaken the ESA. Now the politicians are posturing for votes by bad mouthing wolves. We have to stand up to these recent attacks. Wolves are completely vulnerable. We are their only voice.

I’m again posting the links to Congress, both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. Please make it your duty to call and write not only your own legislators but as many names as possible. Find out where they stand, don’t let them off the hook. We must let them know wolves have tremendous support in this country and we DO NOT WANT THEM GUTTING THE ESA.  There can be no more important issue facing wolves and wolf advocates. We can’t let wolves down or no protected species will ever be safe again.

“The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret….It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.”…….Dr. Schweitzer







Bill would exempt Idaho wolves from protections



Baucus pushes feds on wolf issue



Reps. Jim Matheson, Jason Chaffetz want states to manage wolves



Wolf Bill

Bill Would Prohibit Wolves from Federal Protections



Risch, Crapo want Congress to delist ID, MT wolves



Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: ESA, threats to the ESA, stand up for wolves, wolf persecution, wolf hatred, Wildlife Services, Montana FWP, Senator Baucus, Senator Tester, Rep. Rehburg

Beautiful Boy! UPDATE: It’s Confirmed, He’s Been Shot Dead!

UPDATE: October 6, 2010

It’s true!! A disgusting poacher killed a federally protected Oregon male wolf. They need to find this person or persons and throw them in the slammer. Aren’t you sick and tired of reading about dead wolves? Enough!!

Wolf Wars is in full swing. While Mt. Rep. Rehberg, Mt. Senators Baucus and Tester, Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, Utah’s Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah and Utah Senator Orin Hatch-R are backing legislation to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections, this little wolf is proving why wolves are not even safe while protected by the ESA, let alone without it!!


Protected wolf in tracked pack killed in Ore.

The Associated Press
POSTED: Tuesday, Oct. 05, 2010

GRANTS PASS, Ore. State authorities confirmed Tuesday that a federally protected wolf has been killed in northeastern Oregon.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf coordinator Russ Morgan said the killed wolf was a 2-year-old Wenaha pack male recently fitted with a radio tracking collar. The silver male was captured and fitted in August, Morgan said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has jurisdiction since wolves were restored to the endangered species list in August, is investigating, he said.

Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Joan Jewett said it had no comment.

The wolf was a subdominant male and the only member of the pack carrying a radio collar, allowing biologists to track the pack’s whereabouts. The pack has four adults and at least two pups.

Wiped out in Oregon by bounty hunters more than 60 years ago, wolves first returned to the state in 1998 from Idaho, where they were introduced in a federal effort to get them off the endangered species list.

Two other wolves have been illegally shot since then. Two from the Imnaha pack were killed by government hunters for attacking livestock.

Ranchers angry over the state management plan’s limitations on killing wolves to protect livestock spoke out last week at an Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.

“The more and more these depredations occur, ranchers are going to – I think these guys are going to defend themselves,” Oregon Cattlemen’s Association President Bill Hoyt said in an interview.

Steve Pedery, conservation director for Oregon Wild, a conservation group, said the Wenaha pack has not been tied to any livestock attacks.

“This wasn’t something easily brushed aside, like somebody mistaking it for a coyote,” said Pedery. “This was a silver wolf wearing a big honking radio collar that is hard to miss. Somebody was out to shoot a wolf. It is very important that the agencies get on top of this so it is a deterrent to other yahoos who want to follow suit. That’s what makes us nervous about them being completely silent now.”



UPDATE: October 5, 2010

There’s an unconfirmed but reliable report, posted in Oregon’s La Grande Observer, that this sweet guy has been shot and killed. Apparently he was found by wildlife officials during a routine telemetry check. Just another sad chapter in Wolf Wars that’s raging across the West, fueled by the blind hatred that caused the first Western extermination. It’s 1910 all over again.

Ironically there are meetings being held today in Hamilton and Dillon, by Montana Rep. Rehberg, to discuss his anti-wolf bill, that would strip gray wolves of their ESA protections. The meeting panels are stacked with the anti-wolf crowd but did we really expect the “listening sessions” to be fair and balanced? Absolutely not!!

The killing of this beautiful wolf is the reason wolves cannot survive in this country without the protection of the ESA. It’s very disturbing this Wenaha pack male had recently been collared. Coincidence that he is now dead? Did someone gain access to his telemetry? I’ll report more on this sad case when the information becomes available.


August 9, 2010

Isn’t he a beauty?  He’s a two-year old male from Oregon’s Wenaha pack. The pack consists of four adults although he looks so much like a puppy. There are unconfirmed reports the pack has puppies. This picture was taken during the collaring process.

I don’t like collaring, someday this collar could get this guy in trouble. Traditionally collaring was used for research but now if wolves are suspected of livestock depredation it’s a way Wildlife (Dis)Services can track down the pack and kill the wolves. They’ve killed entire packs this way in the Northern Rockies.

Oregon has two confirmed wolf packs, the Imnaha and Wenaha packs. The Imnaha pack has been in the news because Wildlife Services was hunting two  uncollared  gray wolves from the pack. They say the wolves were involved in livestock depredations back in late Spring 2010. Several conservation groups filed a lawsuit to stop the hunts.

From NaturalOregon.org

Four groups, the Hells Canyon Preservation Council, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands and the Center for Biological Diversity sued to stop federal agents from killing two members of the Imnaha wolf pack in Wallowa County. The agency carrying out the hunt is USDA’s Wildlife Service.

The lawsuit claims that Wildlife Services should have first conducted an environmental analysis to assess how much damage would be done by the hunt. There are two known packs in the state, with 14 wolves. There’s also a few more lone wolves roaming Oregon, so the total could be closer to 20. Killing two of them means reducing their numbers by ten percent – or more. If that kind of damage is considered “significant”, then the feds may be required to take the additional step of writing an Environmental Impact Statement.

Wildlife (Dis)Services called off the hunt until they conduct an environmental review, so basically the hunts are over. I can do the review for them. Oregon has approx. twenty wolves, tops, two confirmed wolf packs and a few lone wolves. If they kill two of them for a few calves, that could seriously impact the wolves survival.

What you won’t hear about are the thousands upon thousands of cows  ranchers lose every year to weather, disease, reproductive issues and theft.  All predator losses are a tiny percentage of the totals. Wolves killed fewer cows than vultures nationally  (NASS 2006).

Happily the Imnaha’s are safe for now.

UPDATE: Remote cameras captured images of four Imnaha pups and six adult wolves, including B-300, the alpha female, nick-named Sophie. The alpha male was finally spotted on camera as well after he seemed to disappear for several months. His collar was not functioning and he hadn’t been sighted since May 31. Thankfully he’s alive.

Here are pics of the Imnaha pack with pups taken by the trail cameras.

Imnaha pups frolicking

Imnaha adult

Four Imnaha adult wolves

I’ll continue to follow the progress of  Oregon’s Wenaha and Imnaha wolf packs. These wolves are now protected by the ESA, since Judge Molloy relisted wolves on August 5th, 2010.


Male wolf from Wenaha pack radio-collared and released in northeast Oregon

August 6, 2010


Photos: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves

Tags: Wenaha pack, Imnaha pack, Oregon wolves, collared wolf, Wildlife Services

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 12:50 am  Comments (23)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Where Is The Imnaha Alpha Male?

Imnaha alpha male 2009 ….Is he dead?

He’s been gone for over three weeks and no sign of  him, his radio collar silent. Is he the victim of ramped up wolf hysteria in Wallowa County, Oregon?  I hope he’s found quickly but it sounds like the Imnaha pack alpha male may have been a victim of  SSS (Shoot, Shovel, Stutup). 

 From My Central Oregon:

The wolf was outfitted in February with a GPS collar that is capable of tracking his whereabouts. Morgan says it’s not uncommon for a radio collar to fail, but another possibility is that the wolf is dead.

After seven wolf kill permits were issued to ranchers over five cow depredations AND Wildlife Services was given two wolf  kill permits which have been extended twice, what did ODFW think was going to happen?

You have lots of people running around with guns. There is whipped up wolf  hysteria, even an effort in the legislature to initiate a state of wolf emergency in Oregon over FOURTEEN WOLVES, is anyone surprised one of the Imnaha alphas may have been targeted?

But wait, we were told by ODFW, that won’t happen, the kill permit only allows ranchers to shoot a wolf caught in the act. I’m sorry but I live in the Northern Rockies and I know how it works. We have a wolf hater’s website talking about killing wolves with Xylitol so it’s not too far a leap to think someone targeted the alpha male, knowing that could destroy the pack.  This will make life a whole lot harder for Sophie (B-300) and her pups, the pups would about two months old now. The Imnaha pack is the ONLY breeding pair in Oregon.

I hope they find the Imnaha alpha male and find him soon. This is not only worrrisome but  if it’s proven he was killed illegally, it’s criminal.

I thought Oregon would be happy to have their wolves back after a sixty year absence but it’s the same old story. A few ranchers are holding the wolf population hostage and they get away with it because fish and game agencies go right along with it.  Does ODFW get upset when ranchers lose calves to weather, disease, reproduction or theft? I don’t see any explosive headlines about those losses. But let a wolf look at livestock cross-eyed and the situation is blown completely out of proportion.  

Oregon’s reputation has taken a hit. If the alpha male is dead, people will remember this for a long, long  time.


Missing alpha male wolf concerns ODFW

June 19, 2010    02:27 pm

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife says the alpha male is missing from Oregon’s only confirmed breeding pair of wolves.

Russ Morgan, the ODFW’s wolf coordinator, told The Observer newspaper of La Grande that the animal has been missing for about three weeks.

The wolf was outfitted in February with a GPS collar that is capable of tracking his whereabouts. Morgan says it’s not uncommon for a radio collar to fail, but another possibility is that the wolf is dead.

The Oregon Wolf Plan says four breeding pairs must be established in Eastern Oregon before the animal can be de-listed as an endangered species.v



Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, gray wolf, wolves in the crossfire

Tags: Imnaha alpha male, Wildlife Services, Oregon wolves, wolves in the crossfire, gray wolf

Wolf Kill Permit Extended AGAIN in Oregon, the Imnaha Alpha Male Is Missing!!

Imnaha Alpha Male 2009   (Where is he?)

Could things get any worse for wolves in Oregon? This has to be the most beleaguered wolf population in the US, besides the Mexican gray wolves.

From Natural Oregon:

Federal agents are getting another week to hunt down two wolves in Wallowa County. This is the second time ODFW has extended the hunt.


the alpha male of the Imnaha wolf pack is missing. He should be wearing a tracking collar. But wildlife officials haven’t seen or heard from him in nearly three weeks.

So ODFW extended Wildlife Services kill order deadline for the second time! It was set to expire on June 19 but now it’s been moved ahead to June 25th. This gives Wildlife Services another week to hunt these two wolves down, even though there have been no depredations since June 4. Why would they do that?  Pressure from ranchers? Does this ever end?

The most disturbing news concerns the missing alpha male. If he was shot illegally, this would be so tragic. The Imnahas are Oregons only breeding  pair of wolves.  The loss of the father (alpha)  is the worst possible outcome. 


Wolf News: Hunt Extended Again, Alpha Male Is Missing

June 18, 2010

By Dennis Newman



Write to ODFW concerning the extension of Wildlife Services kill permit. Are they bowing to pressure from ranchers? 

There are only 14 wolves in the entire state of Oregon and this is how they treat them?


Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

3406 Cherry Avenue N.E. 

Salem, OR 97303





Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

Comments:  odfw.info@state.or.us

To Enter Your Opinion About This Issue Into Public Record: Contact: odfw.comments@state.or.us


Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, gray wolf/canis lupus, Wolf Wars

Tags: Imnaha wolf pack, Imnaha alpha male, Oregon wolves, Sophie, Wildlife Services

Five Bloody Days in May For Montana Wolves

gray-wolf-howling 1

The war on wolves is escalating in Montana, with state wolf  “managers” admitting they are stepping up the aggression against wolves.

In a five-day period in May, fifteen wolves were gunned down in Montana by Wildlife Services for agribusiness, from five different packs.

Some of the packs involved in the bloody May campaign: The Trail Creek Pack, Cedar Creek Pack, Elevation Mountain Pack eliminated, Trapper Peak Pack, Selow Pack (entire pack will be eliminated), Bender Creek Pack (last pack member eliminated) plus other wolves from unnamed packs.

And to make matters worse Montana FWP has given the green light to kill 18 more wolves from five different packs.

From The Helena Independent Record:

So far this year, 64 wolves have died, with the majority — 44 — being shot by federal agents for preying on livestock. The others were killed by cars or property owners or died from unknown causes.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials also have authorized the shooting of at least 18 more wolves from five packs. If successful, that will bring the total to 82 dead wolves in Montana so far this year.

One lone dissenting opinion:

 “It seems a little heavy-handed, when at last count there were only 524 wolves in Montana and a lot more cows,” said Jesse Timberlake with the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife.

The rest of the article was basically a soft ball interview with Montana wolf managers and USFWS  Ed Bangs:

“We have 20 people scattered throughout the state, and it’s becoming more and more work, which is stretching them thinner and thinner. But these are probably the most committed government workers you’ll find,” Steuber said. “Our wolf work has been increasing for three, four, five years now so we’re getting kind of used to it, but it’s a little overwhelming right now.”

The poor things, their trigger fingers must be seriously hurting right now from all the killing. I want to know who in the world takes  a job shooting wolves for a living?

This is trophy hunting, I don’t care what Wildlife Services or the Montana Wolf  Team wants to call it.

AND its pupping season. How many pups were  killed outright with their parents or left to starve?

Why are wolves being targeted?  If you look at predation stats (NASS 2005), it makes no sense.

Montana Cattle Losses (NASS 2005)

Non-Predator Related Cattle Losses: 63,000

Respiratory Problems



Other Diseases




Other Non-Predator

Unknown Non-Predator


All Predator Related Cattle Losses:

(Coyotes, Domestic Dogs, Mountain Lions, Bobcats, Vultures, Wolves, Bears, Other Predators, Unknown Predators)  Total 3000

Coyotes: 1300 calves …Total 1300

Dogs: 100 calves….Total 100

Felids (Mountain Lions, Bobcats, other predators)  200 cattle, 200 calves…Total 400

Unknown Predators: 200 cattle, 300 calves…Total 500

Wolves aren’t ever mentioned as a category..that’s how small their losses were.


So there you have it folks.

63,000 cattle lost to NON PREDATION: Respiratory problems, Mastitis, Lameness/Injury,Other Diseases, Weather,Poisoning and Theft.

ALL predators including coyotes, domestics dogs, felids, bears, wolves, vultures, eagles and unknown predators only accounted for 3000 losses in Montana (NASS 2005)

Did you know 10,200 calves were lost to weather alone in Montana that year?

Yet wolves, IN THE ENTIRE NORTHERN ROCKIES, were responsible for just 214 cattle losses in 2009 out of a population of SIX MILLION cattle.

Hundreds of wolves were wiped out by Wildlife Services last year and they continue to track and hunt down wolves. Why?

Wolves are not a serious threat to agribusiness? So what is their motive? I think the answer is clear, “because they can”.  Because that’s what the two interest groups they manage wolves for, hunters and ranchers, want. Think for one minute if those two groups weren’t being catered to and the state actually took into account the opinions of the rest of its citizens? What a different world it would be for wolves.

Meanwhile more dead gray wolves, more lame explanations:

“Liz Bradley, a Missoula-based wolf management specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, readily acknowledges that the state is acting more aggressively this year on control actions because more wolves are on the landscape than have been here in the past decade. It’s part of an ongoing upward trend; in 1999, when about 80 wolves were spotted on Montana’s landscape, 19 were killed for wildlife depredation. Ten years later, with more than 500 wolves in the Treasure State, that number rose to 145 wolves.”

Apparently last years hunt was just a warm up, now the state is going after wolves with a vengeance, the blood shed continues.


May 17-21 | 15 from five packs killed in Montana

5 deadly days for wolves


Posted in: Montana wolves, Wolf Wars, Howling for Justice

Tags: Wildlife Services, wolf wars, stop killing wolves for agribusiness, wolves in the crossfire


Action Alert From WildEarth Guardians


Unlimited License to Kill

Photo Alpha Fe Wolf Basin Butte Pack and Lynne Stone

Wolf Activist Lynne Stone with Alpha Fe, a wolf gunned down by Wildlife Services November 2009.


Last month Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director proclaimed that the State’s wildlife agency would cede its authority over wolf-livestock conflicts to an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, euphemistically named Wildlife Services. 

This agency uses a hammer approach with wildlife management (read our “War on Wildlife” Report for more details), killing literally hundreds of thousands of native carnivores every year.

This State’s proclamation saw no public process and was not made by the body that governs Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Join WildEarth Guardians and tell Governor Brian Schweitzer that you don’t support this back-room deal.  Montana’s wildlife belongs to the public and the wildlife-making decisions must stem from a public-decision making process, not some imperial decree.

Under the March edict, this federal agency can kill any wolf, any time, any day, and anywhere without first getting the State of Montana’s authorization.  In other words, Wildlife Services was handed an unlimited license to kill – and that will mean entire packs of wolves will be butchered.

This will make a dire situation for wolves in the Northern Rockies even worse.

Rather than requiring livestock growers to take responsible, non-lethal measures, including removing carcasses of livestock that might have died from weather, disease, birthing problems or other causes, agribusiness can simply call upon the USDA’s agency to kill wolves because the State’s wildlife agency is no longer watching.

While you can count on WildEarth Guardians to continue our work to protect wolves and halt anti-wildlife policies, we and the wolves are counting on you to contact Governor Schweitzer today.

Together we can ensure wolves have a brighter future.

For the wild,



Wendy Keefover-Ring
Wildlife Program Director
WildEarth Guardians


Action Alert: Please Protest New Policy On Wolf Killing!!


Posted in: Action Alerts, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars

Tags: TAKE ACTION FOR WOLVES, aerial gunning of wolves, Wildlife Services, wolf intolerance

Earthjustice: Wolves in Danger: Timeline Milestones

Click here to visit the EARTHJUSTICEWolf Timeline.  The timeline follows wolves extermination in the West to their protection under ESA to their slow recovery and finally to their tragic delisting by the Obama Adminstration and the litigation to reverse it.

Over five hundred wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009/2010. The hunts claimed 263 wolves in Idaho and Montana. Wildlife Services, the extermination arm of the USDA, killed 272 wolves for agribusiness. Twenty five entire wolf packs were gone at the end of 2009, approx. 64% of them wiped out by WS.  Our tax dollars at work. 

The feds spent $3,763,000 on Northern Rockies “wolf management” in 2009 and their projected budget for 2010 is $4,206,000.  Lots more wolf killing coming up. 

When has a species been targeted in this way? Oh wait, I can think of one. WOLVES. Remember, that’s why they were listed  in the first place because ranching and the government teamed up to wipe them off the face of the Western map? They were exterminated in the West!!

Within months of wolves losing their ESA protection, the states of Montana and Idaho  initiated wolf hunts. This is almost unprecedented, that an animal coming off the Endangered Species List would be hunted immediately.  Minnesota, with a population of  3000 wolves,  has stated they would wait FIVE YEARS, if wolves were delisted, to consider if or when they would have a wolf hunt, with plenty of public input. 

“Under state law, no public hunting or trapping seasons on wolves is allowed for at least five years after delisting. Federal law also requires USFWS to monitor wolves in Minnesota for five years after delisting to ensure recovery continues.”

It certainly puts the Montana and Idaho rush to hunt in perspective. What was the hurry? Where is the reasoned management we were promised?  It’s unbelievable behavior and shame on  US Fish & Wildlife Services for pushing for wolf delisting. They had to know this would happen. All the years of work and money spent on recovering wolves and it’s come full circle back to killing them again?

Once totaling more than 350,000 in the US West, wolves “were hunted and killed with more passion and zeal than any other animal in US history,” according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

As their numbers dwindled toward extinction in the contiguous 48 states, the gray wolf became protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1974.

The states couldn’t wait to start the wolf hunts. These are the people that are responsible for a newly delisted species? And we’re supposed to trust them with the welfare of wolves? Five hundred wolves died and that’s a success story?  

Oh but wait, they counted wolves again at the end of 2009 and TA-DA their numbers had grown 4% (still the lowest growth since wolves reintroduction.) 

Supposedly there are now 1706 wolves in the tri-state area, after all the killing. So how can this be you say, if there were approx 1500 wolves at the beginning of 2009 (that number fluctuates depending on who you talk to from a low of 1450 to a high of 1650). How did the population grow when five hundred gray wolves were slaughtered?

Their 2009 count was actually done at the end of 2008, before the pups were born in the Spring of 2009, the year they were delisted. So those pups weren’t included in the count. Here is what we are being asked to believe.  There were approx. 1500 wolves in the Northern Rockies at the beginning of 2009, pups of that year had not been counted yet. Over five hundred wolves were killed in 2009/2010 between the hunts and Wildlife Services.  That would bring their numbers down to 1000 wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  That’s 1/4 of the total wolf population. But somehow when they counted wolves at the end of  2009 they came up with 1700 wolves. So that means more then 700 puppies were born in the Spring of 2009 and they all survived.  Since wolf pups have a high mortality rate, it would have to be way higher then 700 pups to account for their high death rate. Wolf pups die from disease, predation and unfortunately starvation because Wildlife Services and now the hunts are making orphans out of  many of them.  Now pups have another danger, they can be shot.  31% of wolves killed in Montana’s hunt were under a year of age (juveniles) and another 31% were yearlings. 62% of wolves killed  in Montana’s wolf hunt in 2009 were a year old or under a year of age, in other words, PUPPIES!  My malamute puppy weighs a little over sixty pounds and he’s six months old.  That was the average weight of the puppies (juveniles) who were shot and killed. Shocked? Did you know the wolf  hunt included  killing  puppies? Only 38% of wolves killed in Montana’s hunt were adults. 

At the end of 2008 the US Fish & Wildlife Services reported there were 95 breeding pairs in the Northern Rockies. Wolf litter size varies from 4 to 7 pups, so using 5 as an average number of pups per litter and multiplying 95 breeding pairs by 5, it comes to 475 pups. Even being generous and using 6 pups as the average litter size you would still get only get 570 pups. And of course many of these pups died or were killed as I stated previously. 

The only other scenario that would increase the wolf population is dispersing wolves from Canada. Those are the only two possibilites.  In light of this information, are we buying these wolf counts?

Also if anyone thinks killing 500 wolves had no effect on pack structure, think again.  Of course in the world of  “wolf management”, a wolf is a wolf is a wolf.  They’re  interchangeable, didn’t you know?  Wolves just make more wolves and everything is peachy.  This is science? 

Wolf researcher, Dr. Daniel MacNulty states wolf hunts drive the age of wolves downward. resulting in younger and younger wolves.

 “It’s been shown in other hunted populations of wolves that hunting skews the population toward younger age classes,” he explains. And, as his research shows, that could spell more deaths, not fewer, for the elk.

The reason hunting pushes a population’s age structure downward is because being hunted is like playing Russian roulette. If, starting early in life, every member of a society had to play Russian roulette regularly, not too many would live to a ripe old age, he says.

Elk are doing just fine in Montana and Idaho according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation 2009 press release but I wanted to point out just one of the effects wolf hunting has on pack dynamics. 

When Idaho Fish and Game started selling wolf tags, 3500 were sold in three hours. Eventually Idaho would sell  26,428 wolf tags at $11.50 a pop, hauling in $423,280 to kill 220 wolves. Montana sold 15,603 wolf tags, which filled state coffers to the tune of $325, 916, for a chance to kill 75 wolves. And they call wolves blood thirsty?

Mourn the 500 dead. Don’t believe the propaganda about livestock or elk. Wolves are in danger, make no mistake. Sadly, they are being persecuted once again in the West. What a surprise. Did anyone think anything different would happen once they were delisted?  They were on the Endangered Species List for a reason and now without ESA protection they are in danger of history repeating itself.  


Idaho and Montana Wolf Hunts End

States plan to kill even more wolves next season

April 1, 2010



02 April 2010, 12:07 PM Terry Winckler

Wolf Hunts End But Not The Fight



Delisisting A Recipe For Conflict

Open Season On Wolves





Posted in:  gray wolf/canis lupus, Idaho wolf hunt, Montana wolf hunt,  Wolf Wars, Howling For Justice, wolf 2009 delisting

Tags: wolves in the crossfire, Wildlife Services, ESA lawsuit wolves, aerial gunning of wolves

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