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Commission's new wolf hunting season praised as 'science-based'; criticized as 'unethical and immoral'

Hunters, trappers can take up to 5 animals in most areas in longer 2013-14 season
2013-07-10T15:12:00Z 2013-07-11T00:07:31Z Commission's new wolf hunting season praised as 'science-based'; criticized as 'unethical and immoral'By EVE BYRON Independent Record Helena Independent Record
July 10, 2013 3:12 pm  • 

Hunters and trappers will be able to use electronic calls and take up to five wolves in most areas of Montana during the 2013/2014 season, which will be the longest and most liberal season held so far in the Treasure State.

Yet Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Commission also pulled back on a couple of proposed changes to what it put forth earlier this year, including limiting hunters and trappers to one wolf per person taken just outside of Yellowstone National Park’s northern boundary, and allowing a total of only seven wolves to be harvested in that area.

In addition, the commission shortened the wolf rifle hunting season proposal by two weeks — initially, the season was slated to run this year from Sept. 15, 2013 to March 31, 2014 — based on public comments regarding pregnant or lactating females. The wolf hunting season will now end March 15, 2014; that’s still longer than last year’s Feb 28 season end.

Trapping is slated to take place Dec. 15, 2013, through Feb. 28, 2014, which is the same as last year.

The wolf archery season is Sept. 7-14.

Another change this year includes a higher pan tension on wolf traps in Regions 1-5 to minimize the take of lynx, wolverine and other non-target species.

The commission deleted the initial staff proposal to allow hunters to take wolves that were sniffing around bait set in traps, after the FWP department decided it was too complicated to explain in regulations, as well as being controversial.

This is the fourth wolf hunting season in Montana, and the second trapping season. Last year, 128 hunters and 97 trappers harvested wolves; they were limited to one for most of the season. Another 108 wolves were removed for livestock predation, accidents or other causes.

Proponents

Some members of the audience lauded the upcoming season as “science-based” and a good compromise.

“This is a pretty reasonable proposal,” said Nick Gevock with the Montana Wildlife Federation. “Like everything, not everybody is happy and that’s what constitutes a compromise. … I think the proposal is slightly aggressive, but again, we need to trust the biologists, the agency and the commission.”

Rod Bullis added that, to him, the proposal includes both fair chase and ethical hunting.

“I’ve noticed as an avid hunter … that the wolf debate has toned down, and I think that’s because hunters and trappers are stepping up on that and the depredation removal has been successful,” Bullis said.

Opponents

Yet others, like Marc Cooke with Wolves of the Rockies, decried the new regulations as “ethically, morally and biologically wrong,” especially when it comes to taking the wolves near Yellowstone and extending the season into the spring.

“The impacts of a poor decision made today will be felt,” he said.

Gail Richardson, a naturalist from Bozeman, added that it sounds like wolf management has turned into wolf slaughter.

“It makes me ashamed to be a Montanan,” Richardson said. “I’m appalled that Montana hasn’t created buffer zones around the Park. Those are not Montana wolves, but they are the American public’s wolves. They know no boundaries.”

Others cautioned that by lowering the wolf limit near Yellowstone, FWP could inadvertently put trappers in tough position.

“If a trapper does it right, he could end up with multiple wolves in one day,” said Paul Rossignol with Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. “You need to watch and make sure they’re OK.”

And some just wanted to prohibit trapping completely.

“I’m absolutely disgusted and appalled at the policies with which wildlife is being managed in this state, particularly by allowing the trapping of wolves in Montana,” said Anja Heister, the former executive director of Footloose Montana. “Trapping of fur-bearing animals is disgusting in itself.”

Nearly 25K comments

Ken McDonald, chief of the FWP Wildlife Bureau, said they received 24,576 comments on the wolf season proposals. The majority were what he called “canned comments,” which is the same sentiment with the same wording sent in by 2,000 different people.

“One thing we look at is that a comment is not a vote, but more about what are the issues and concerns brought up about the proposal,” McDonald said. “We look for common themes.”

Those included:

  • concerns that allowing one person to harvest up to five wolves near Yellowstone would hurt the park’s population;
  • concerns that harvesting wolves will have a negative economic value because tourists no longer will be able to view them;
  • people who opposed hunting, trapping or other types of harvest because of wolves’ value in the ecosystem;
  • the need for more management due to livestock losses and impacts to big game populations;
  • making sure the state retains management of wolves, and treats them like other wildlife;
  • that the harvest wasn’t liberal enough and
  • the general pros and cons of trapping.

“The comments relate back to the objectives,

and there’s no consensus one way or another,” McDonald said. “We are balancing a multitude of values and comments.”

After listening to close to two hours of comments — with each person limited to two minutes — Commissioner Dan Vermillion said he’s still amazed at how wolf management remains such a hot-button topic.

“Every single year you think it will be easier … but every single year you still have good people on either side disagreeing on wolf management,” Vermillion said. “With the initial proposal that came out in May, there was a lot of pushback, especially around Yellowstone National Park. We get accused of not listening to public comment, but in this case, I think we did.”

He added that they’ll revisit the wolf harvest at the commission’s Dec. 10 meeting and may tweak the regulations based on what’s taking place on the ground.

“I want to specifically put people on notice that at that meeting we may decide to summarily close some areas under Montana’s wildlife management plan if there are concerns for the wolf population in a district,” Vermillion said.

Reporter Eve Byron: 447-4076 or eve.byron@helenair.com. Follow Eve on Twitter @IR_EveByron.

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(33) Comments

  1. GreatWhite
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    GreatWhite - July 20, 2013 10:18 am
    My only point is that the first lie that caused them to be almost eradicated in the '70s caused the necessity of a bit of stretching in the '90s. I'll tell you the same thing I just replied to steeline above, biologist across the country are speaking out that the wolves are NOT recovered. They are in a mere fraction of their historical range, and there is plenty of room for them to migrate into other areas they used to live in. But it requires man to give them the room. There are not to many humans to allow them to repopulate...that is a lie spread to prevent them from being allowed to do so. But, your right about to many folks having more power and influence than I. Sadly, behind most of our worldly problems lay men with more power and influence, yet they lack the humanity and knowledge to apply those properly. Honestly, do you think I only care a little bit about our wildlife?

    But again, you always go back to 'what I want'! And I keep telling you, what I want is for man to stop treating our wildlife like commodities that we can control and 'manage' like we do. Look at the big picture of Earth and what man has done and continues to do. Land, sea and air. Like it or not...we ALL need to start doing something different. And you can sit back, and be like "want all you want, it can't/won't happen", and it will just continue. At some point, maybe we've passed it already, it will be to late to rectify what's been done.

    What I want, is mankind to become better for earth! Not make earth better for mankind.
  2. GreatWhite
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    GreatWhite - July 20, 2013 10:06 am
    Keep telling yourself that steeline. And you'll keep believing your own hype. Look at the 'management' of the coyote...it has been proving, scientifically, that the 'shoot on sight' defense against them pretty much causes a higher birth rate among them creating higher populations.

    Once again steeline, there is no excuse to have ever HAD to reintroduce them. Wrap your head around this; YOU do not know how many wolves the environment can support and YOU lack the proper knowledge to help 'establish a durable plan'. Biologists across the country are now coming out and saying that the wolves are NOT recovered yet. So I guess that means you know more than they do?
  3. 5thgen
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    5thgen - July 18, 2013 1:06 pm
    Greatwhite: I really don't have anything to disagree with you on your last post other then to state one lie or story doesn't reduce the impact on another and shouldn't be considered an excuse for accepting another. I too will repeat myself by stating that I just can't see how what you want is even possible in these modern times. Wolves were removed for a reason back in the olden days and were excesses made, you bet. However there are just too many of us humans now on the landscape to allow the wolf to repopulate the areas they once considered their homes. Too many folks who just don't see it your way and they have more power to influence then you do. Does that make it right (no) but it's a fact. Enjoy your weekend. .
  4. steeline
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    steeline - July 18, 2013 9:37 am
    Great White - you and your gang of "wolfers" are so confused and full of malarky that it is becoming difficult to separate the "wheat from the chaff" you all spew out at all wolf meetings. The wolf re-introduction was a scam to the public. We believed you. Now we are aware of what you didn't tell us about your "wolf plan" . Most realize that the wolf is here to stay and most people don't have a problem with it. However , you wolfers are making it hard for people to want to have any wolf on the landscape. Buy your misinformation and emotional trival you have advanced no meaningful or doable solutions. It supprises me that the wolfers wouldn't want an effective management plan in place. You people are going to have to, someday, realize that mananging wolves is not about a single wolf it is about a population of wolves. The wolf population is the subject of management not an individual wolf. Stop for a moment and consider the coyote. There are thousands of them and they can be shot on sight. The wolf will do just fine with proper management . So get off your nonsense about the wolf and roll your sleeves up and get on board with the majority and contribute to a meaningful management plan that will solve the emotional wolf issues and will establish a durable plan to have wolves on the landscape.
  5. GreatWhite
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    GreatWhite - July 17, 2013 8:47 am
    5thgen, I understand your perspective concerning 'what was said' versus 'what was delivered'...and I'm not unlike you in that I don't like being lied to and fed a load of garbage. But consider this, the only reason they had to be reintroduced in the first place was because a lot of people lied long ago about how much damage they were causing and how necessary it was to exterminate them from our landscape. Which, BTW, for the most part they accomplished. Aside from a small group primarily back east that managed to survive the slaughter. (This was the same mentality that our ancestors in Europe applied to them over there. And in many places, they still have not managed to recover.) And that actually led to the whole argument about 'what species did we actually get?'! There wasn't enough of the 'proper' subspecies as they were on the endangered species list and couldn't be split up. So, they went to a subspecies that was actually basically the same, just from a different geographic location...of which most of the defining subspecies of the Gray Wolf is based sinply on geographic location.

    I could say exactly what you say, that things are pretty much turning out as I expected as well. But that is because I know the attitudes and hatreds towards predators in this, and our neighboring, states. From a lot of hunters and ranchers.

    I keep hearing this anger at being lied to. What about all the other lies we've been fed? The Brucellosis lie. Causing the excessive 'management' of Bison AND Elk. When it has NEVER been proven to pass from either animal to cattle. Not to mention that it was FROM cattle in the first place. We have two species that will now be forever held 'hostage' to this lie.How about the lie that our Elk populations are declining. When the FWP's openly reports that the projected populations have been surpassed on pretty much all state regions.

    Considering the lies that are spread around by politicians, ranchers, hunters...well basically just man...I find that to be a petty excuse for continuuing this little war.

    Are our Egos really that fragile? Aren't we supposed to be the 'better species'? This is exactly what keeps proving that no matter how advanced man becomes, we will continue to show that we are not much more mature collectiveyl than children. But children wouldn't do this kind of thing...not until the adults around them teach them to do this kind of thing.

    Ponder this, those people that 'accepted' a specific number would have never accepted a higher number. And the men that almost exterminated them in the first place did NOT have the right to do so. Not morally. This is just repeating the same thing. We CAN do better than this.
  6. GreatWhite
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    GreatWhite - July 16, 2013 10:36 am
    If I was a bettin' man Vic Venom, I'd put my money on the notion that your opinion has nothing to do with reality. Science seems to not matter concerning your opinion at all. Neither does the FWP's own population count concerning ungulate herds. You focus on the wolves having lowered the population count in Yellowstone but ignore that it has been proven that there were far to many Elk in Yellowstone and that they were doing significant damage to the ecosystem there.

    You can't just focus on what you 'think' is the right thing. You own biased perspective against them, while I will respect, is not a valid reason to keep perpetuating lies and exagerations about them. They are doing what predators do.

    It really is nothing different than you do now is it? So, why do you feel you have the right to judge them or support these retaliations against them?

    So far as them killing humans, incidences are soooooooo rare, it's statistically not even worth worrying about. Bees account for approx 53 human deaths a year. If you want to take action against the top man killers, here is how they fall into play statistically. Interestingly, livestock (at least Bulls) are more dangerous to man than wolves...seems the wolves are protecting us!! Even the Centipede is more dangerous. Watch where you step!!

    Average Number of Deaths per Year in the U.S

    Bee/Wasp 53
    Dogs 31
    Spider 6.5
    Rattlesnake 5.5
    Mountain lion 1
    Shark 1
    Alligator 0.3
    Bear 0.5
    Scorpion 0.5
    Centipede 0.5
    Elephant 0.25
    Wolf 0.1
    Horse 20
    Bull 3
  7. 5thgen
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    5thgen - July 16, 2013 12:26 am
    Greatwhite: I know you want to do better for you side, but do you honestly believe that is really going to happen?. Things are pretty much turning out as I expected concerning the management of the wolves. I'm just sorry that the line that was fed to the folks when the wolf was being reintroduced was not followed from the beginning. I don't think we would be having these problems if they were. I attended some of the meetings and actually heard the wolf pushers make promises that they either didn't want to keep or groups wanting more wolves sued and stopped them from keeping their word. Remember the comments above around 300 wolves in total in Montana/Idaho and Wyoming. Way past that number and therefore the problems and increased distrust of the Federal Government being responsible for their management. Anyway enough said, we are just going to have to see how this plays out.
  8. GreatWhite
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    GreatWhite - July 15, 2013 3:41 pm
    Trapping should be outlawed! It has no vital role in modern civilization.
  9. GreatWhite
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    GreatWhite - July 15, 2013 3:40 pm
    Funny?!?! What Earl Slick says it true Jennyen.

    http://wyoming.sierraclub.org/ECOLOGICAL%20BENEFITS%20OF%20WOLVES.pdf
  10. GreatWhite
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    GreatWhite - July 15, 2013 3:37 pm
    Jennyen, odd how you worded that 'quit speaking...' bit, it seems the majority of residents DIDN'T want them delisted. In case you aren't familar with this really, they've already been delisted in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming...with federal delisting in the works for the rest of the states. With exception of the Mexican wolf, they will be seeking expanded recovery for that subspecies.


  11. GreatWhite
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    GreatWhite - July 15, 2013 3:24 pm
    No 5thgen, I'm pretty sure we can do better than what we have now.
  12. Vic Venom
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    Vic Venom - July 15, 2013 3:08 pm
    I am fully in favor of increasing the bag limits. The environmentalists re-introduced these killing machines, and they have lived up to their name. They have greatly reduced the number of elk in the Yellowstone eco-system, and have been involved in numerous livestock kills. If the environmentalists think the wolves are so great, then they should introduce them into their own backyards. A few wolves in New York City's Central Park, or on the mall in Washington D.C. would be anice start.

    These killing machines have limited their prey to wild life and livestock for now, but eventually they will kill a human or two. They already have in Alaska.
  13. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - July 15, 2013 1:11 pm
    Jennyen, you know all this how? Is your given profession a biologist? The couple thousand of wolves in comparison with elk in the 5-6 digit range is hardly what I would call, overpopulated. The only species that is really overpopulated is us and we tend to upset natures natural balance because of it.

    Truthfully only biologists and only after years of study really know the scoop. What EarlSlick has stated here is scientific fact based on decades of study. One only needs to go back a few decades when the wolf was almost eradicated around here and read what was going on in Yellowstone (for example). The elk/deer population grew so large that all sorts of plant life and other wild life was all but gone. Hundreds and in some cases thousands of elk/deer died of starvation. The FWP of the day themselves went out killing hundreds if not thousands of elk because of this, called upon hunters throughout the U.S. to do the same because it got out of control.

    There has to be a balance.
  14. Vic Venom
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    Vic Venom - July 15, 2013 10:59 am
    The best wolf, is one that has a layer of dirt over it. These killing machines should have never been re-introduced, by the environmentalists who do not have to live with the circumstnaces of having these killers in their neighborhood.

    So far the wolves are only killing live stock and wildlife, but how long will it be until they kill a human? It will happen if these populaitons are not curbed.
  15. GreatWhite
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    GreatWhite - July 15, 2013 9:37 am
    We (the wolf supporters that is...) understand that hunters and ranchers aren't all going to accept the wolves in the landscape easily. After all, they are the same primary groups that almost exterminated them in the first place. Collectively. They 'ganged up' on other species, like the Thylacine, native to Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea in the early 1900's...having killed the last documented live one in the early '30s. But...on the flip side, there ARE many hunters and ranchers that DO support the reintroduction of the wolves back into our landscape. And they also don't support this...war...that is being waged against them.

    One of the main arguments against them is that they are decimating ungulate species. That is not true. The FWP's list all species as over projected numbers in all states where wolves were reintroduced. With exception of Moose and Mule Deer. Research these two species, their numbers were declining before the wolves were here. It is unknown why their numbers are not stablilizing, but it is known that it is not due to wolves.

    The second main argument is that they kill a high percentage of livestock. That is not true. They are accountable for approx 0.23% of livestock kills in the states where they share the landscape with livestock. Domestic dogs kill approx 3% of livestock. So...not a reasonable tool to use against them.

    Then there is the 'they attack people' argument. Well, really how frequent is that?

    "Pet attacks

    Pet dogs account for 31 deaths per year in the U.S. The Pit Bull is not a recognized breed of dog. There are many mutts that resemble the pit bull that kill people, so classification is difficult. The Pit bull variety is by far the largest killer of humans, followed by Rottweiler’s and Husky’s. Dozens of different breeds can kill people. Basset Hounds, Beagle’s, Dauschund’s, Labradors, and even Golden retrievers have killed humans.

    Wolf deaths usually occur when people bring them home as pets. Three small children have been killed by pet wolves in the past 30 years. In the wild, there has not been a fatal wolf attack in the U.S. since 1888. (Two deaths have occurred in Canada in the past 10 years)"

    From: http://historylist.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/human-deaths-in-the-us-caused-by-animals/

    Then the big 'they are not the same wolves' argument. Well...hate to burst the bubble on that argument...but it's really a stale basis at best to hate them. Some will not accept this, I already know...but I have seen this info before, so let it go.

    http://howlcolorado.org/2010/04/22/detangling-the-subspecies-controversy/

    The point is, the FWP's service has done Montana a huge disservice by it's overall preference of some species over others, and backing the hunters and ranchers again is NOT moving forward as a state. That is being stuck in the mud and reliving the past all over again. Sadly, we now know the states that have the same wildlife slaying mentalities of the days of yore!!
  16. steeline
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    steeline - July 15, 2013 9:03 am
    Hey "slick "hunting excess elk will reduce the numbers of animals so there will be a recovery of streamside vegetation to benefit the beavers fish and the songbirds and all at the same time generate revenue for the economy of Montana. Wolves don't pay for themselves, to date they are a losing proposition when it comes to the economy. They have cost the economy more than they have generated in revenue. There are not enough people in the USA that will drive thouseands of miles to watch a wolf kill a calf elk or fawn deer. And for those that do they are a bit sick in the head.
  17. steeline
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    steeline - July 15, 2013 8:57 am
    I think it is shamefule how the wolf got re-introcuced to Montana and the Northwest. I think it is shameful that some people don't have a clue about wolves. I find it offensive to see comments form those with "bambi mentalities", anti gun advocates, anti hunting advocates, anti logging advocates, anti oil and coal, anti people, (wilderness advocates) and mostly anti everything. It seem these folks are unhappy campers. Nothing satisfies there self serving self. I listened to one pro wolf tell another person she would eat an elk steak but she don't want to kill one herself. Makes me wonder.
  18. 4fishing
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    4fishing - July 15, 2013 6:56 am
    I have been to Yellowstone many times and I NEVER see wolves!!! Not only have I never seen a wolf... I don't see elk or moose any more either...... I haven't been back now in 2 years and don't plan to go back soon. Do that many people who go to Yellowstone really see the wolves, what are the numbers of visitors reporting seeing wolves per day?
  19. 5thgen
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    5thgen - July 14, 2013 7:27 am
    What I find interesting is all this talk about science was not looked at for the returning of the wolves and now the management of their numbers. My question is what logic, science, common sense and history wasn't looked at when they reintroduced these wolves from Canada. Any fool with any common sense should have understood that as the wolves expand their numbers they were going to move out of the Park and Wilderness areas. Now the problems, did they really think the ranchers, hunters, etc. were just going to give up their way of life and be happy? Also it seems the pro wolf folks keep using the word extermination, the wolves are back, however they are not going to be allowed to increase their numbers back to the olden days, it just isn't possible in this modern society. Be happy with what you got, it's really more then you should have expected.
  20. FlamingLiberal1
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    FlamingLiberal1 - July 12, 2013 1:38 pm
    I really find the "Shoot. Shovel. Shut up." comments to be disturbing. Promoting lawlessness is not the answer. Apex predators have an important place in the ecosystem and in the health of prey populations. To hunt them to the point of extinction (which this "plan" essentially does) is reminiscent of 19th-century practices which nearly caused the extinction of the wolf and the American Bison. While I am sympathetic to the desires of the rancher, the pet owner, and the hunter (being a pet owner and a hunter myself), I simply cannot get behind the extermination of a species.
  21. lrolf
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    lrolf - July 12, 2013 7:29 am
    The Montana FWS should be ashamed but they have lost the ability to feel shame and so many other human emotions. This is not a wolf management--this is a manifesto for an all out wolf extermination! There is no science, no reason and no logic for this proposal. If the Commissioner hasn't managed to learn that wolves are beneficial to the environment yet, then it is time for him to retire and let someone who has a actually has a modern science education take over the MT FWS! These policies are straight out of the 19th Century! How old is that guy?

    It is horrific enough that he wants to cull the Montana wolf population down to nothing but he also wants to kill as many Yellowstone wolves as he possibly can too. His stakeholders (ranchers and trappers) have spoken and he can't listen to anyone else but them including the voice of reason. Karma loves wolves, wild horses and all other wild creatures and it won't forget what the Montana FWS, ranchers, wolf hunters and trappers have done.
  22. Jennyen
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    Jennyen - July 11, 2013 10:34 pm
    Songbirds? that's funny--- horse hockey, Earl. Wolves have sterilized the landscape. They do not benefit anything. the are overpopulated, killing each other, & dying of mange in the YNP. THAT"S the science for ya.
    They push the native predators, like lions, bears & coyotes, out of their prey base & closer to populated areas.
  23. Jennyen
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    Jennyen - July 11, 2013 10:28 pm
    I agree with the first part--- the days of free roaming buffalo & wolves...long gone.
    Trapping is the ONLY way to control the overpopulated wolves!
  24. Jennyen
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    Jennyen - July 11, 2013 10:26 pm
    These non-native are overpopulated & need to be delisted & put on predatory status...YESTERDAY.
    Things will change when a handful of old fat men like the two (in the photo) from fringe groups like Wolves of the Rockies: the MINORITY--- quit speaking for the MAJORITY of residents that want these wolves delisted. Enough is enough.
  25. 5thgen
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    5thgen - July 11, 2013 7:10 pm
    Loren: I'm afraid you are wrong in your attempt to state that the wolves are responsible for tourists going to West Yellowstone and the other towns. Sure some do, but not millions. These town have existed for years long before the wolf was reintroduced to the Park. Before the wolf was reintroduced you could see lots more wildlife while driving though the park, now the elk herds are down, moose numbers are down, etc. So your statement about he towns dieing is just not the truth. While it maybe be nice to see a wild wolf in Yellowstone, very few of the tourists come to Yellowstone for just that reason, there is a lot more to see in Yellowstone Park then just the wildlife. Now don't get me wrong I think wolves belong in the National Parks if they are managed, the problem is they don't understand the border of the Park and move out into the lands surrounding the Park and that's when they get into trouble.. Nice try however.
  26. Sandi
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    Sandi - July 11, 2013 3:59 pm
    I don't seem to understand Montana. They enjoy the economic benefits from visitors to Yellowstone, yet they hate wolves. I fully understand if there is a problematic wolf, but to just out right kill as many as they have and increasing the amount allowed to kill. What's next, all predators. Ranchers need to keep their livestock on their own property and fence it in. Montana can't have it both ways!!!!
  27. bigskyfan
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    bigskyfan - July 11, 2013 2:48 pm
    There were already close to three million tourists annually before the wolf numbers exploded.
    http://www.yellowstone.co/stats.htm
    As a matter of fact, we go there far less often now than we have in the past because of the drastic drop in elk and moose numbers.
    I'd imagine, we're not the only ones.
  28. Loren
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    Loren - July 11, 2013 1:15 pm
    No science from this century was used. The position taken by Montana F&G is untenable. Three million tourists annually support the portal towns of West Yellowstone, Gardiner, and Cooke City/Silver Gate and these tourists are there for the wildlife. Take away the wolves and these cities will die. Killing the predators for sport is immoral and unethical - enough said.
  29. hpesoj
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    hpesoj - July 11, 2013 12:05 pm
    I'm curious to know how many of the individuals who spoke against killing the wolves make their living from raising livestock or have had a pet injured or killed by a wolf. Is there any data on that?

    There now are stories of wolves becoming agressive with people (near Avon if I remember correctly).

    My family has been farming/ranching land in Montana for five generations. My personal feeling is that wolves should be treated like other vermin like gophers. There should be no limits on them and they should be decimated until they are not a threat to any livestock in the state. Shoot. Shovel. Shut up. Thats the motto of many ranchers when it comes to wolves. And, it works for me.
  30. EarlSlick
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    EarlSlick - July 11, 2013 9:56 am
    As a biologist, I find this kind of "science" irresponsible and reprehensible. There is a growing body of scientific literature demonstrating that keystone predators play critical roles in maintaining a diversity of other wildlife species and as such the composition and function of ecosystems. Research in Yellowstone National Park, for example, found that reintroduction of wolves caused changes in elk numbers and behavior which then facilitated recovery of streamside vegetation, benefitting beavers, fish and songbirds. In this and other ways, wolves shape North American landscapes.
  31. steeline
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    steeline - July 11, 2013 8:45 am
    It is unbelieveable that those who put the wolves in Yellowstone now are pushing to have them unmanaged all over the northwest. It makes no sense. They shoved the wolf down the publics throat in the first place. They lied about the wolf numbers. Now, if there is a management plan in place where hunters have to pay to buy a license, gas for vehicles. motel, resturants, sporting goods and other expenses it stands to reason that the management costs of the wolf would pay for itself and benefit the majority of Montanans with jobs. Not like the wolf proponents who virtually do not contribute a dime to management and as a result cost the PEOPLE who have to live with the over population of wolves greif and money. These wolf people seem to be pretty much self appointed, self serviing and for sure are not part of any reasonable solution to the wolf infestattion in Montana. In my eyes they are fools for not getting on board and get real about wolf management so that the wolf will be a critter in the mountains and plains of Montana in numbers that are sustainable for a long time and where all people can live with them.
  32. Matthew Koehler
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    Matthew Koehler - July 11, 2013 8:20 am
    Montana’s wolf population is estimated at 625. Yesterday, MT Fish & Wildlife Commissioners increased the wolf hunting/trapping bag limit to 5 per person. They increased rifle season to 6 months, including across tens of millions of acres of public lands. They increased wolf-trapping season to 2 1/2 months. Electronic calls are allowed. There is no statewide quota for total kills. As a MT public land elk/deer hunter, I find the Commissioners actions shameful, disgusting and against the ethics of hunting I have learned. No way this is ‘science-based’ management, or the ‘North American Wildlife Conservation Model’ in action. Thanks.
  33. MrPink
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    MrPink - July 11, 2013 7:42 am
    The days of Daniel Boone are long gone. Trapping should be outlawed.

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We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps:

    1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

    2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

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