Oregon Delists Wolves – Woefully Inadequate Wolf Management Plan To Blame


November 11, 2015

There was a chance, back in 2010, to make changes to Oregon’s bad wolf management plan, which requires only 4 breeding pairs for 3 consecutive years, in Eastern Oregon, to get the ball rolling on delisting. I know I’ve repeated this many times but it infuriates me that with barely 80 wolves in the state, a population not even close to “recovery”, whatever that means, Oregon did the unthinkable.  Just five years after the state’s wolf plan was up for review, Oregon wolves were let down. Now the state is on an inexorable march toward wolf hunts. Sound familiar?


From Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, November 9, 2015

Oregon Strips State Endangered Species Protections From Gray Wolves 

Decision Counter to Science, State Law

PORTLAND, Ore.— Ignoring state law, as well as experts who say that Oregon’s wolves are not yet recovered, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today voted to strip gray wolves of state endangered species act protections. The commission based its decision on a controversial Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife report that leading scientists have characterized as severely flawed. The Center for Biological Diversity and allies vowed to challenge the decision in state court.

“With just 80 or so wolves in the entire state, gray wolves are nowhere near recovery,” said Amaroq Weiss, the Center’s West Coast wolf organizer. “Wolves deserve a real chance at recovery. I’m deeply disappointed the commission decided to blatantly ignore the science, the law and the will of the majority of Oregonians.”

Wolves were once widely distributed throughout Oregon but were eradicated from the state by a government-sponsored effort and a bounty system on behalf of livestock operators. In 1999 a wolf from Idaho made her way into the state, soon followed by several other wolves from Idaho, most of which were illegally shot and killed. The commission adopted a state wolf conservation and management plan in 2005 and in 2008 the state’s first breeding pair was confirmed. Recent estimates by state officials estimate the current population at around just 80 animals; these animals live in only 12 percent of what researchers have identified as suitable wolf habitat in Oregon, with nearly the entire wolf population located in the northeastern portion of the state.

“There’s simply no science to support the conclusion that 80 wolves is a recovered population,” said Weiss. “This is a purely political decision made at the behest of livestock and hunting interests. Oregonians expect more from their state government than kowtowing to narrow special interests.”

The Department’s chief argument for delisting is that leaving wolves listed could result in a decline in social tolerance for the species, but this assumption has been debunked by multiple peer-reviewed papers reporting that removing protections for wolves elsewhere has had the opposite effect.

“The Commission’s decision ignored the most current science and has now placed these exquisite animals at greater risk of being killed,” said Weiss.



Contact the Governor of Oregon and let her know how you feel. 

Governor Kate Brown
State Capitol Building
900 Court Street NE, 160
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 378-4582


Help Change Oregon’s Wolf Management Plan, PLEASE COMMENT BY JUNE 30, 2010

Oregon’s first radio-collared wolf just after its release, with ear tags and a radio collar. Photo taken May 3, 2009. More information: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2009/may/050409.asp

Oregon’s first radio-collared wolf just after its release, with ear                    tags and a radio collar. Photo taken May 3, 2009.

June 21, 2010

Guest Post by Katie, Oregon resident and wolf advocate.

June 21, 2010

The Oregon Wolf Management Plan is currently under a 5-year review and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting comments from the public until June 30th. However, before I tell you about the plan and its obstacles, here is a brief history of the Oregon wolves.

In Oregon, the last gray wolf was eradicated from the state by the 1940s. It was almost 60 years before another one was seen. The first wolf to migrate to the state in 1999 was recaptured and sent back to Idaho. In 2000, two more gray wolves made the journey, but sadly they were both killed; one by a car and one by bullet. The fact that wolves were returning was undeniable, so the state decided they needed a plan. The ODFW sat down with wolf advocates and livestock owners to decide what should be done. Though the livestock owners may have gotten more say in the plan, wolf advocates seemed glad to simply be getting wolves back in the state. The result was a wolf management plan that everyone agreed on. Oregon became one of the first states to willingly open the doors for gray wolves to return.

In 2008, a female Idaho wolf was located in Oregon using the signals from her radio collar. The gray wolf was identified as “B-300”. To bring more attention to wolf recovery in Oregon, the members of a local environmental group, called Oregon Wild, nicknamed the wolf “Sophie”. Eventually finding a mate, Sophie soon became the alpha female of the largest pack in Oregon with 10 wolves total; the Imnaha Pack. Another pack of four wolves was also discovered in 2008. Together, the two packs made up Oregon’s known gray wolf population of 14 individuals.

The plan seemed perfect. Wolves were returning and things seemed to be going well. However, in 2009, two yearling wolves were convicted of killing 29 domestic animals from five different incidents. When non-lethal techniques failed, Wildlife Services was sent in and killed both wolves. Personally, I don’t blame the wolves, they were just pups. Being too young to hunt elk, it was either that or starve. They had no known pack and just seemed to have traveled into Oregon from Idaho on their own. It is possible that their family was killed by a rival pack, but I believe it is more likely that they were killed for “management” purposes.

Now, in 2010, history seems to be repeating itself as two more wolves are being targeted by WS. With only 14 known wolves in the entire state, killing two individuals would be a huge loss. ODFW has also issued seven kill permits to local ranchers, which could spell disaster for such a fragile population.


Oregon current Wolf Management Plan included three phases for population recovery:


 “Wolves may be considered for statewide delisting once the population reaches four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon…. The plan calls for managing wolves in western Oregon as if the species remains listed until the western Oregon wolf population reaches four breeding pairs.”

This means when there are four packs in eastern Oregon and four in western Oregon, wolves will be stripped of ESA protection statewide.

The average gray wolf pack size is about 8 wolves. If packs in Oregon follow the norm, then roughly 64 wolves will be present when they are delisted. A recent study suggests Oregon could support up to 2200 wolves and still maintain a healthy ecosystem. I don’t know about you, but 64 wolves doesn’t sound like recovered to me.


 “Once the wolf is delisted, more options are available to address wolf-livestock conflict. While there are five to seven breeding pairs, landowners may kill a wolf involved in chronic depredation with a permit. Five to seven breeding pairs is considered the management population objective, or Phase 2.”

Five to seven breeding pairs? Oregon currently has two breeding pairs and seven landowners have been given permits to kill wolves. Again, five to seven breeding pairs is 40-56 wolves if they are the average pack size.


“Under Phase 3 a limited controlled hunt could be allowed to decrease chronic depredation or reduce pressure on wild ungulates if confirmed wolf predation leads to declines in localized herds.”

Sound familiar? Idaho and Montana initiated hunts mere months after wolves were delisted. The difference is there were 1500 wolves in Montana and Idaho when the first hunts began. In Oregon the hunt could start with less than 100.

To read the full Oregon Wolf Management Plan, go tohttp://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/wolf_plan.pdf

As you can see, the Oregon Wolf Management Plan is weak and gives livestock owners plenty of tools to deal with wolf depredation. However, the Oregon Cattle Association wants more power. Since the plan is under a 5-year review, OCA is suggesting changes to the plan that will suit the cattle industry, not wolves.


1. Delisting rules (combine the whole state and begin delisting when there are 4 breeding pairs statewide)”

Four breeding pairs would be approximately 32 wolves. Even if each pack was as big as Sophie’s that would still only be 40 wolves, which is definitely not recovered.

2. “Relocation, location, and translocation eliminated”

The current management plan allows for “problem” wolves to be relocated to the closest wilderness area. The closest wilderness area is usually where the wolf came from before it found the livestock. This part of the plan needs to be strengthened, not weakened.

3. Ownership of lands ,IE; state lands is the only lands the Oregon ESA has authority on”

They are asking to change Oregon’s ESA. Not only would this be bad for wolves, but it would also allow anyone to shoot any endangered animal if it was on their property. Remember, these are changes they want now, not when the gray wolf population is 60+, but when there are only 14 wolves in Oregon.

To see the full testimony from the Oregon Cattle Association, go to:http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/OCA_Testimony.pdf

To see the testimony from Oregon Wild, a local environmental group, go to:http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/oregon-wild-wolf-plan-review-testimony-3-12.10/

ODFW is currently accepting comments from the public about changes they should make to the plan. ODFW has not said what they are thinking of changing but the first draft is scheduled to be done some time in August. The deadline to comment is June 30th.

Email your comments to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us


Talking Points:

 1. Make sure to let them know you want the wolf plan STRENGTHENED, not weakened. Tell them eight breeding pairs statewide are NOT enough. Mention the study that states Oregon could support 2200 gray wolves on its landscape.

 2. Wildlife officials need more options to relocate wolves. Suggest national or state parks, or larger wilderness areas.

 3. Ranchers need to do everything possible to protect their livestock before any action against wolves is even considered. Suggest proper fencing, fladery, radio collar activated sounds, guardian animals, lambing and calving sheds, frequent patrols of pastures, placing livestock in barns at night, and tracking packs to avoid placing cattle in areas where wolves are known to be.

4. Tell them wolves are more valuable alive than dead, because they are. Support this idea by stating Yellowstone Park makes $7-10 million annually from just wolves (The GYA brings in $35 million wolf generated dollars). Explain the positive impacts wolves have on the environment, like increasing beaver populations (beavers are Oregon’s state animal). Wolves keep ungulates moving, which prevents them from over-browsing vital beaver and songbird habitat. Wolves keep ungulate herds healthy by culling the weak, sick and old.

5. Tell them to increase the funding of the wolf plan. Currently the wolf plan is very underfunded and only has a few members on its management team.

6. If you don’t live in Oregon, you can choose to boycott the state if they weaken the management plan. Tell them you will not buy anything from Oregon or visit the state unless the plan is strengthened.

7.  Think of the Imnaha wolf pack and how much they need our help. Their exigence as a pack is in danger. How sad it would be to lose the only breeding pair of wolves in Oregon.


Don’t forget to email your comments to ODFW and voice your opinion about the Oregon Wolf Management Plan.Comments@state.or.us

Sources Cited:







Top Wolf Gif: Tumblr

Middle Photo: ODFW

Middle Photo: Courtesy Rick Lamplugh

Bottom Photo: ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, Ranching and Hunting, Wolf Wars

Tags: Oregon, bad wolf management plan, delisting, ODFW, ranchers, poachers, wolf dispersal


Photos: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags  Oregon delists wolves, bad wolf management plan, wolves not safe anywhere,  fish and game agencies, wolf wars, eventual Oregon wolf hunts, Center for Biological Diversity

1827 Dead Wolves -Northern Rockies/Great Lakes 2013/early 2014

gray wolf USFWS

Update: November 21, 2014

Putting this all together, adding the current 2014 wolf mortality numbers of 443, plus the 1827 wolves killed during 2013/early 2014, minus the 11 wolves who died of natural causes, adds up to 2256  wolves killed between January 2013 and November 21, 2014. They were wiped out by hunters, poachers, Wildlife Service control actions, ranchers and accidents. I believe the numbers are much higher than this. Many more wolves have been killed illegally and will never be counted, so we can only speculate on those numbers but I’m sure they’re not insignificant.

 In less than 23 months over 2200 wolves have been killed! This is an absolute outrage. Wolves cannot sustain these high mortality rates. Something must  be done to stop the carnage.

In the coming days I’ll be exploring a way in which wolf advocates may be able to challenge this slaughter. It’s been written about and discussed but hasn’t been tested.


November 20, 2014

My previous post dealt with the ongoing number of wolves killed in 2014. This post deals with total 2013/early 2014 wolf mortality in the Northern Rockies/Great Lakes.  It’s a huge number! A slaughter!  What’s behind this madness? It’s certainly not because wolves are harming humans or are a threat to the livestock industry.

From Wildearth Guardians:

Livestock Losses


Myth:  Wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bears, and others kill lots of cattle.

Truth:  Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agriculture report.

The government’s own data show that the real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife – it’s illness and weather.  Yet, the predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native carnivores.

The livestock predation myth is a big lie imposed on the American public. While lethal predator control does little to help the fat cats of agribusiness, it ensures that the USDA-Wildlife Services stays in business. While the feds assault millions of our native wolves, bears, cougars, and coyotes, the true cattle killers are illness and weather.  The Wildlife Services’ lethal predator control program must end, and the taxpayers, wildlife, and wildlands will reap the benefits.

Read the full report here

Wolves are being wiped out in record numbers, driven by a hate filled anti-wolf movement Their numbers are small but unfortunately for wolves, the haters dominate policy in wolf states. They also have powerful allies, like The Safari Club, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, Cattlemen’s Association, etc.  The profit motive is also driving the killing machine. State fish and game agencies win in two ways, a top predator is killed off to inflate ungulate numbers for their customers, the hunters and the state makes money off the sale of wolf hunt tags. Wolves are also the target of ranchers, Wildlife Services and poachers. Anywhere wolves turn,  they’re in danger. Even Yellowstone National Park wolves aren’t safe. Many collared park wolves have been shot by hunters when they step one toe outside the park. The most famous wolf in the world, the Lamar Canyon alpha female, better known as O6 (her birth year), was killed by a hunter’s bullet.

No wolf is safe in America.


Northern Rockies: 2013 Wolf mortality

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery
Program 2013 Interagency Annual Report


Northern Rockies or NRM -2013 Wolf Mortality

In 2013,  922 wolves were killed in the Northern Rockies. This USFWS chart, shows the breakdown of  wolves mortality in each state. Hunting (Harvest), Control, Human (Poaching/Accidents), Natural Causes, Unknown.

Wolf Mortality Chart NRM 2013

Idaho – 335 wolves

Montana – 473 wolves

Wyoming – 109 wolves

Oregon – 3 wolves

Washington – 2 wolves


Total 2013 Northern Rockies:  922 dead wolves



Great Lakes -2013/early 2014 Wolf Mortality

Unlike the Northern Rockies, the Great Lakes states combine 2013/2014 wolf mortality  numbers.  In my previous post I did not include the 2013/2014 wolf hunt mortality numbers in that total.



2013/2014 Hunt 238 wolves (previous hunt in 2012 killed 413 wolves)

2013/2014 Control Actions 127 wolves killed (previous control actions in 2012 killed 295 wolves)

*No numbers for poaching, accidents or natural mortality

Total wolf mortality Minnesota 2013/2014: 365 wolves



Wolf hunt 2013/2014: 334 wolves

Control actions 2013/2014: 65 wolves

Total wolf mortality Wisconsin 2013/2014: 429 wolves



Wolf hunt 2013 : 23 wolves

Control actions: Since there’s no breakdown on the number of wolves killed in control actions between 2012-2013 I’m going to half the 73 control action numbers to 36 for 2013.

*No numbers for accidents, poaching or natural mortality.

 Total wolf mortality Michigan 2013: 109 wolves


Great Lakes/Total Wolf Mortality 2013/early 2014 – 903 wolves



March 2013, 1 radio collared female wolf, from Wisconsin, found dead


North Dakota

1 year old male wolf killed by a deer hunter -2013



Total wolf mortality Northern Rockies/Great Lakes – 2013/early 2014

1827 dead wolves!

whats waiting for wolves 1


Top photo: USFWS

Bottom Photo: Idaho Wild Wolf Images Copyright 2011

Posted in: gray wolf, Wolf Wars, Animal cruelty

Tags: Idaho, Montana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, wolf hunts, wolf poaching, wolf persecution, wolf slaughter

Wisconsin Sinks To New Low..


We all know Wisconsin is allowing trophy hunters to chase down wolves with dogs. It was challenged in the courts by humane organizations who recognize this for what it is, cruelty, pure and simple.  An appeals court recently ruled  the state can go forward with this disgusting, ugly practice, essentially sanctioning  dog fighting.

Wisconsin is gaining the reputation as Idaho east, except even Idaho, as brutal as their policies are toward wolves, don’t allow this. Just wondering how these so-called Wisconsin “hunters” would like to be chased down by dogs?  They wouldn’t be so “brave” then, now would they?



LETTER: Wisconsin has poor version of ethical hunting

July 23, 2014 3:03 pm  • 

Black bears should no longer feel solely terrorized and persecuted by hound hunters in training activities; the gray wolf has now joined their ranks.

Here’s how hound training on both bears and wolves works: Bear baiting begins April 15, 111 days longer than the six other states still allowing pre-season bear baiting. Gallons of sweet treats are dumped in our woods to habituate bears and newborn cubs into showing up at dumping sites daily. After three months of getting fat on sweet treats, July 1 the rules and their world changes. Now packs of hounds are released into the woods from baiting stations or on a bear track crossing the road and the chase is on.

These chases can last for hours and cover up to 10-plus miles while hunters stay on the roads and drive from one block of woods to the next while following hounds on GPS, who are running their quarry to exhaustion. If cubs are lucky they make it to a tree before the hounds; some are not so lucky.

Now add wolves and wolf pups who, unlike bears, are now being run down by an unlimited number of hounds for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with no license required. Contrary to what the DNR and hound hunters state, walking up to a dog and wolf fight to put a leash on dogs while skipping home unscathed is far from the truth. Poaching of wolves will be rampant.

Bear hounds are bred to be tough and fight, but history tells us they are no match for a wolf as $500,000-plus in depredation payments have gone to hound hunters. This is canine against canine. In less than one minute a wolf can either break the neck or back of a bear hound or disembowel and rip it’s hide off. In the 20 minutes to an hour that it takes the hunters to make it from their trucks to the fight in the woods, how many hounds, wolves and wolf pups at rendezvous sites will already be dead? Since there is no limit on number of hounds on wolves, maybe 12 to 18 hounds on one wolf will get the upper hand?

Make no mistake, this will be brutal. Thank you, Wisconsin legislators, for Act 169.

Click here for link


 Wis. Court: Hunters Can Train Dogs On Wolves

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state appeals court ruled Thursday that hunters can train dogs to chase down wolves, rejecting arguments from a group of humane societies that wildlife officials are allowing deadly wolf-dog clashes and cementing one of the most contentious elements of Wisconsin wolf hunting.
Click here to read more:

Is Trophy Hunting a Form of Serial Killing? By Gareth Patterson

Lion expert and conservationist Gareth Patterson takes aim

“For me – and the many people who contact me to offer their support – killing innocent animals for self-gratification is no different from killing innocent people for self-gratification. By extension, then, trophy hunting – the repeated killing of wild animals – should surely be viewed as serial killing. And in the same moral light humanity’s thinking is, I feel, beginning to approach such a level of morality.

What are the comparisons between trophy hunting and serial killing?

To attempt to answer this question, I did some research into the gruesome subject of serial killing. I learnt firstly that serial murder is a grotesque habit which analysts regard as addictive. Serial murder, I learnt, is about power and control – both linked to the killers’ longing to “be important”.

It appears when the serial killer commits the first act of murder, he experiences feelings such as revulsion and remorse, but the killing – like a dose of highly addictive drug – leads to more and more murders until the person is stopped. Researchers have discovered that serial murderers experience a cooling-off period after a killing, but as with a drug craving, the compulsion – the need to kill – keeps building up until the killer heads out again in search of another victim.

Trophy hunters are mostly “repeat” killers. This is further fueled by elite trophy hunting competitions. It has been calculated that in order for a hunter to win these competitions in all categories at the highest level, he would have to kill at least 322 animals.

Pornography is perceived by analysts as a factor that contributes toward serial killers’ violent fantasies – particularly “bondage-type” pornography portraying domination and control over a victim.

Hunting magazines contain page after page of (a) pictures of hunters, weapon in hand, posing in dominating positions over their lifeless victims, (b) advertisements offering a huge range of trophy hunts, and (c) stories of hunters’ “exciting” experience of “near misses” and danger.

These pages no doubt titillate the hunter, fueling his own fantasies and encouraging him to plan more and more trophy hunts.

Trophy hunters often hire a camera person to film their entire hunt in the bush, including the actual moments when animals are shot and when they die. These films are made to be viewed later, presumably for self-gratification and to show to other people – again the need to feel “important”?

This could also be seen as a form of trophy which mirrors in some respect pornographic “snuff” videos known to be made by some serial killers. Other serial killers have tape-recorded the screams of their victims, which were kept for later self-gratification.

There is a strong urge to achieve perceived “heroism” in serial murderers. This is linked to the individual’s craving for “self-esteem”. Student Robert Smith, for example, who in November 1996 walked into a beauty parlour in Mesa, Arizona, and shot five women and two children in the back of the heads, said of his motivation to kill: “I wanted to become known, to get myself a name”.

Multiple killer Cari Panzram (among whose victims were six Africans he shot in the back “for fun” while working for an oil company in Africa) once stated of his actions: “I reform people”. When asked how, he replied: “By killing them”. Panzram also liked to describe himself as “the man who goes around doing good”.

The “Stockwell Strangler” of South London in the mid-1980s who told police he wanted to be famous is another example of how the serial killer clearly confuses notoriety for fame.

Are the trophy hunter’s killings linked to the serial killer’s addiction to murder, to achieve what is perceived to be heroism, to deep-rooted low self-esteem, to wanting to be famous – the “name in the trophy book”?

Certainly one could state that, like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans his killing with considerable care and deliberation. Like the serial killer he decides well in advance the “type” of victim – i.e. which species he intends to target. Also, like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans with great care where and how the killing will take place – in what area, with what weapon.

What the serial killer and trophy hunter also share is a compulsion to collect “trophies” or “souvenirs” of their killings. The serial killer retains certain body parts or other “trophies … for much the same reason as the big game hunter mounts the head and antlers taken from his prey … as trophies of the chase,” according to Colin Wilson and Donald Seaman in The Serial Killers, a book on the psychology of violence.

In The Serial Killers, the authors wrote about Robert Hansen, an Alaska businessman and big-game enthusiast who hunted naked prostitutes through the snow as though they were wild animals, then shot them dead. Hansen would point a gun at his victim, order her to take off all her clothes, and then order her to run. He would give his victims a “start” before stalking them. The actual act of killing his victims, Hansen once said, was an “anti-climax” and that “the excitement was in the stalking”.

How many times have I heard trophy hunters describing their actions in similar terms? “No, hunting isn’t just about killing,” they say. “It’s also about the stalk, the build-up to the kill”.

Hansen was a trophy hunter, who, according to Wilson and Seaman, had achieved “celebrity by killing a Dall sheep with a crossbow”. He also trophy hunted women but, as a married man with a family, he couldn’t put his human trophies next to those elk antlers and bear skins in his den.

As an alternative, Hansen, it was revealed, took items of jewelry from his victims as “trophies” and hid these in his loft so that, as with his animal trophies, he, the hunter, could relive his fantasy-inspired killings whenever he wished to.

According to Wilson and Seaman, Jack the Ripper cut off one victim’s nose and breasts and “as if they were trophies, displayed them on a bedside table, together with strips of flesh carved from her thighs”.

Jewellery, body parts, clothing such as underwear and so on, are all known “trophies” of the serial killer. One serial killer flayed his victim and made a waistcoat from the skin as a “souvenir” or “trophy”.

What could the non-hunting wives, girlfriends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children reveal of the nature and behavior of a hunter in the family? Could they reveal that the hunter had a very disturbed childhood?

Almost half the serial killers analyzed during behavioral research were found to have been sexually abused in childhood. Environmental problems early in life manifest in many cases in violence such as cruelty to animals. Maybe they have a frustrated craving for “self-esteem”, a deep desire to be recognized, a resentment against society? All these factors are some of the known links to the profile of the serial killer.

Lastly, serial killing has been described as a “20th-Century phenomenon”. The same could be said of Western trophy hunting in Africa.”



 Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 Posted in: Wolf Wars, Animal Cruelty
Tags: Gareth Patterson, trophy hunting/serial killing link?, Wisconsin, bear hunters, wolf hunters, animal cruelty

How To Kill A Wolf: An Undercover Report from the Idaho Coyote and Wolf Derby

Salmon Wolf and Coyote Derby From left to right Bryan Walker_Brian Ertz and Natalie Ertz

“From left to right: Bryan Walker, Brian Ertz, and Natalie Ertz”  (going undercover)

This is a much-needed expose on what wolves are being subjected to in the worst of the worst wolf killing state of Idaho. Four brave souls went undercover to shine a light on this horrific “contest”. I want to thank them for their courage and dedication to the wolves and the coyotes. Predator derbies go on all over the country, often including bobcats and foxes as well. When wolves were delisted, they became a target for these “killing contests”. California is considering a ban on predator derbies.

Warning: Graphic Photos Below


How to Kill a Wolf

An Undercover Report from the Idaho Coyote and Wolf Derby

By Christopher Ketcham

The best way to fatally wound a wolf without killing it instantly is to shoot it in the gut, preferably with armor-piercing ammunition. Unlike soft lead-tipped bullets, which mushroom inside the body cavity and kill quickly, heavy-jacketed AP ammo pierces the target and blows out the other side.

This has two advantages: The first is that, especially with a gut shot, the animal will suffer. It will bleed out slowly, run a mile or so in terrified panic, and collapse. Then it will die. The second advantage is that, if you’re hunting illegally (out of season, at night with a spotlight, or on land where you shouldn’t), there is little forensic evidence for game wardens to gather. No bullet will be found in the cadaver. Most importantly, the animal will have traveled some distance from where it was shot, so that tracing the site of the shooting is almost impossible.

I gleaned these helpful tips from a nice old man at a saloon in Salmon, Idaho, which last December was the site of the first annual Coyote and Wolf Derby. I had come to this rural town—population 3,000—to enter as a contestant in the derby. Over the course of two days in late December, several hundred hunters would compete to kill as many wolves and coyotes as possible. There were two $1,000 prizes to be had, one for the most coyotes slain and the other for the largest single wolf carcass. Children were encouraged to enter, with special awards for youths aged 10–11 and 12–14 listed on the promotional flyer. The derby’s organizer, a nonprofit sporting group called Idaho for Wildlife, advertised that the event was to be historic: the first wolf-killing contest held in the US since 1974.

Hunting for food is one thing, and in some cases hunting helps to keep overabundant species like deer in ecological check. But the reason we have too many deer in the US in the first place is simple: the steady decline of big predators like the mountain lion and—you guessed it—the wolf. The fact is that we need wolves in ecosystems. So why a killing contest to rid the land of them?

After digging into the wolf-hate literature featured on Idaho for Wildlife’s website, I wondered whether the residents of Salmon were looking to kill wolves out of spite. They hated these creatures, and I wanted to understand why.

Besides killing wolves, one of the group’s core missions, according to its website, is to “fight against all legal and legislative attempts by the animal rights and anti-gun organizations who are attempting to take away our rights and freedoms under the Constitution of the United States of America.” The website also suggested that media coverage of the event was not welcome. The only way I’d be able to properly report on the derby, I figured, was to go undercover as a competing hunter. So I showed up in Salmon a few days before the event, paid the $20 sign-up fee, and officially became part of the slaughter.

The derby called for hunters to work in two-person teams. In the weeks leading up to the competition I recruited pro-wolf activists Brian Ertz and his sister Natalie Ertz, native Idahoans who have worked for local conservation groups. Rounding out our teams was Brian’s friend Bryan Walker, a gnarled former Marine and an Idaho lawyer who has studied shamanism and claims to have an ability to speak with animals.

The nice old man in the bar, whose name was Cal Black, bought the four of us a round of drinks when we told him we were in town for the derby. Cal had grown up on a ranch near town, and his thoughts on wolves reflected those of most other locals we met. Salmon is livestock country—the landscape is riddled with cows and sheep—and ranchers blame wolves for huge numbers of livestock deaths. Therefore wolves needed to be dispatched with extreme prejudice. The derby was a natural extension of this sentiment.

“Gut-shoot every goddamn last one of them wolves,” Cal told us. He wished a similar fate on “tree huggers,” who, in Cal’s view, mostly live in New York City. “You know what I’d like to see? Take the wolves and plant ’em in Central Park, ’cause they impose it on us to have these goddamn wolves! Bullshit! It’s said a wolf won’t attack you. Well, goddamn, these tree huggers don’t know what. I want wolves to eat them goddamn tree huggers. Maybe they’ll learn something!”


“Proud derby contestants displaying a pair of coyotes”

We all raised a glass to the tree huggers’ getting their due. I fought the urge to tell Cal that I live in New York part-time, and that in college Natalie trained as an arborist and had actually hugged trees for a living. Her brother, who is 31 and studying to be a lawyer in Boise, Idaho, had warned me about the risks of going undercover when I broached the idea over the phone. As a representative for the nonprofit Western Watersheds Project, which has lobbied for wolf protections, he’d attended numerous public meetings about “wolf management” in communities like Salmon. “Salmon is the belly of the beast,” he told me. “There is not a more hostile place. It’s Mordor.”

Brian’s former boss at the Western Watersheds Project, executive director Jon Marvel, has received death threats for speaking out in favor of wolves and against the powerful livestock industry. Larry Zuckerman, a conservation biologist for the pro-wolf environmental nonprofit Wild Love Preserve, suspects that it was pro-wolf-hunting residents from Salmon who fatally poisoned his three dogs. Many pro-wolf activists across the American West, especially those who have publicly opposed the ranching industry, have reported similar threats and acts of aggression—tires slashed, homes vandalized, windows busted out with bricks in the night. Idaho for Wildlife’s opinion on the situation is made clear on its website: “Excess predator’s [sic] and environmentalists should go first!”

more dead coyotes

“more dead coyotes”

Prepping for the derby, we disguised ourselves according to the local style: camo pants and jackets, wool caps, balaclavas, binoculars, and heavy boots. When he wasn’t mystically communicating with elk, Walker enjoyed hunting them. He didn’t look out of place in Salmon, carrying his M4 rifle with a 30-round magazine and a Beretta .45 on his hip. He loaned me his bolt-action .300 Win Mag with a folding bipod, while Brian carried a .30-06 with a Leupold scope. Natalie, who is tall and good-looking, was armed only with a camera and played the part of a domesticated wife “here for the party,” as she put it.

At the derby registration the night before the killing was to commence, we were so convincing that the organizers didn’t even bother to ask for our hunting licenses or wolf permits. Instead they suggested spots in the surrounding mountains where we could find wolves to shoot illegally.

READ MORE: http://www.vice.com/read/how-to-kill-a-wolf-0000259-v21n3


Photos: Courtesy Christopher Ketchum

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Activism, Predator Derby

Tags: Salmon_Idaho, Wolf and Coyote Derby, Undercover Report, Wolf Activists, killing animals for fun and prizes, dead coyotes, wolf wars

Wolf Hell! Judge Says Idaho Can Continue Wolf Slaying In Frank Church….

gray wolf wisconsin dnr wi.gov

January 18, 2014

Idaho is wolf hell and the fires are burning hotter than ever for them now that a district judge has refused to stop the extermination of two wolf packs (Monumental and Golden) in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, after environmental groups filed a lawsuit to halt it. The wolf packs are bothering nobody, they live in a  2.4 million acre wilderness for god-sakes. BUT some elk hunters, who think Idaho is a giant game farm, want more elk to kill for themselves, hence the pressure on IDGF to eradicate even more wolves.  Who do these people think they are? Do they own Idaho’s wildlife? Apparently they do!!

And I highly doubt the Idaho hired gun or guns is just going after two wolf packs. Who in the heck really knows whats going on in that vast wilderness? They could be killing or have already killed wolves from other packs.

Judge Edward J. Lodge’s ruling allows the outrageous trapping and killing of wolves, by a state hired hunter/trapper, to continue. It’s bad enough Idaho allows a year round wolf hunt in some areas of the state or that Wildlife Services and poachers continue to kill them. Now wolves are being trapped and slaughtered in a protected wilderness.

“Hiring a bounty hunter to kill wolves in one of America’s crown-jewel wilderness areas, just to make sure there are more elk for hunters to kill, is one more example of the deeply sad, cruel and reactionary nature of Idaho’s ‘management’ of wolves,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center’s endangered species director. “This outrageous slaughter is a clear reminder of why all of our country’s wolves need the protection of the Endangered Species Act.”……Center For Biological Diversity

We can lay this debacle at the feet of the Obama administration and Congress. Mere months after Obama took office he and his rancher Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, delisted wolves in Montana and Idaho. Those wolves have been in the cross-hairs of brutal state management ever since and the bloodshed has spread to Wyoming and the Great Lakes.

The environmental groups plan to appeal the ruling to the 9th Circuit but that could be a lengthy process, meanwhile wolves continue to suffer and die. The only solution to the savage wolf killing, that’s gripped the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes, is to place gray wolves back on the Endangered Species List!


Judge Lodge Issues Ruling Allowing Wolf Extermination in Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

U.S. District Judge for Idaho Edward J. Lodge has issued a ruling denying plaintiffs’ case against an ongoing plan to eradicate two wolf packs in Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The judge ruled that plaintiffs are unlikely to prevail based on the merits of the case because the US Forest Service’s decision to allow Idaho Department of Fish and Game to use the cabin and airstrip at Cabin Creek was not a final agency action that is reviewable. The US Forest Service claims that it is still evaluating the wolf eradication plan and that it has not taken a final agency action. The Judge also ruled that the removal of wolves in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness does not constitute irreparable harm because the actions don’t irreparably harm the species as a whole.

So far the trapper has killed 9 wolves.

Read more: http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/01/17/judge-lodge-issues-ruling-allowing-wolf-extermination-in-frank-church-river-of-no-return-wilderness/


Definition of Wilderness (from the 1964 Wilderness Act)

(c) an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which(1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has  at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.


Posted in: Wolf Wars

Photo: Wisconsin DNR

Tags: wolf wars, wolf trapping, wolf persecution, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, WWP, Ralph Maughan, DOW, WWP, CBD, Wilderness Watch, Wilderness Act, Judge Lodge, Idaho, Idaho elk hunters pressure IDFG, 1964 Wilderness Act

For Our Beloved Wolves, For The Murdered, Fallen Ones…

Earth Island Journal Stands Up For Wolves

Earth Island Journal Stands Up For Wolves

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Photo: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Video: Courtesy DragonneHeart·  (YouTube) Wolves – The Mummers Dance

Tags: the beauty of wolves, sorrow for the murdered wolves, wolf wars, Earth Island Journal, never give up the fight


More Dedicated Wolf Warriors At DC Rally!

Dedicated Wolf Warriors 1Thank you Warriors for traveling to support our wolves!! Lets hope there will be many more rallies like this one so our voices are heard around America!


Photo: Courtesy CWWC (Colorado Wolf And Wildlife Center)

Posted in: Activism, Wolf Warriors

Tags: The National Rally To Protect America’s Wolves, gray wolf, Wolf Wars, stand up for wolves

Let The Wolves Run Free by Ratty and the Watchers…..

arctic-wolf-wallpaper brothersoftdotcomJuly 9, 2013


Photo: arctic-wolf-wallpaper-brothersoftdotcom

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf wars, wolf persecution, save the American wolf, Ratty and the Watchers

Working Hard For Wolves….

NatureColdWarriors_3wolvesCold Warriors

June 6, 2013

Dear Readers,

I’m busy working on a wolf project I promised would be finished months ago.  Myself and other wolf advocates are committed to this project that we believe is important in the battle to save our beloved wolves.

I’ll be on hiatus until we finish because I need to devote all my time to the launch, but please know I’ll be back soon ready to ask for your support.

I’ll continue to post on Wolf Warriors and keep you updated on Wolf Wars.

Thank you Warriors for your support and understanding.

For the wolves, For the wild ones,


Nature Cold Warriors_pack traveling through snow

Photos: Courtesy Jeff Turner River Road Films

Published in: on June 6, 2013 at 3:45 am  Comments (21)  
Tags: ,

Checking In…

ODFW yearling wolf killed by Wildlife Sevices

I’m still here, I have a few personal issues to deal with but I’ll be back.  Please hold down the fort while I’m gone. Feel free to read through the archives, it will give you a very clear picture of what wolves have been through since the first delisting in 2009.

Get your thinking caps on, we’re going to need all the brainpower we can muster to defeat this evil.

We will not allow our wolves, America’s wolves, to be used as target practice for the pleasure of a few sickos at the expense of the many.

Howl if you agree!!

For the wolves, For the wild ones,


Published in: on May 19, 2013 at 10:34 pm  Comments (17)  
Tags: , ,

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