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Wolf hunt opponents urge boycott of state

2011-10-15T00:00:00Z 2011-10-15T00:34:28Z Wolf hunt opponents urge boycott of stateBy MARGA LINCOLN Independent Record Helena Independent Record
October 15, 2011 12:00 am  • 

About 30 protesters gathered in drizzling rain on the Capitol lawn Friday, calling on Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer to end wolf hunting in Montana and advocating for an economic boycott of tourism here and in Idaho and Wyoming.

The Howl Across America, organized by the international animal advocacy organization Friends of Animals, drew protesters from Montana, the East Coast and the Pacific Northwest.

“Our message is simple, governor,” said Edita Birnkrant, New York director of Friends of Animals, “you have perpetrated a fraud along with Sen. Jon Tester and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks by throwing the fate of wolves to the hunters and cattle ranchers of Montana in an act of shocking corruption. We’re demanding that gray wolves be put back on the Endangered Species List where they belong.”

The Congressional budget rider by Tester delisting wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act should not have happened, she said.

“We’re showing up … to confront Gov. Schweitzer on the state’s hellish wolf slaughter which has meant that more than 50 wolves have died in Montana and Idaho,” said Dustin Rhodes, a Friends of Animals official from Washington, D.C.

Schweitzer did not appear at the rally and declined, through a spokeswoman, to comment.

In 2009, 97 cattle were lost to wolves out of 2.6 million in Montana, Rhodes said, which is just a tiny fraction of the state’s cattle.

Rhodes accused Tester of “throwing wolves under the political bus,” saying his actions had undermined the purpose and integrity of the Endangered Species Act.

Livestock Loss Board Administrator George Edwards, in a phone interview, said that although the animal group’s statistics on livestock killed by wolves sounded reasonably accurate, it doesn’t represent a true picture of the situation ranchers are facing in some areas.

“If you take it down to regions where there are wolves on the landscape, it changes drastically,” he said. “It’s really hard to get a true number. Certain ranchers are hit over and over again.

“In 2009, we paid for 370 animals, an equivalent of one per day,” Edwards said, referring to all types of domestic livestock that were confirmed wolf kills. The count so far this year is 76. 

According to FWP statistics, the total confirmed wolf kills last year, including sheep and cattle, was 151.

Ron Aasheim, chief of communications and education for Montana FWP, defended the wolf hunt now in progress. The agency, he noted, set a kill quota of 220 wolves, basing its number on Montana’s Wolf Management Plan that was scientifically peer-reviewed and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2004. 

Montana currently has at least of 586 wolves, said Aasheim. The agency predicts a minimum of 425 wolves will be left after the hunting quota is met later this fall.

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

(22) Comments

  1. Jennifer Willard
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    Jennifer Willard - October 20, 2011 3:01 pm

    References:
    United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
    Wyoming Farm Burearu v. Babbitt
    United States
    199 F.3d 1224 (10th Cir. 2000)

    Ecology & Management of Large Mammals in North America.
    2000, Prentice hall Inc. p. 337

    Wolves. Behavior, Ecology & Conservation.
    David Mech & Luigi Boitini
    2003, Universiy of Chicago Press. p. 245

    These are very nice references,Die Fahne; however,there is not any reference to Montana in any of them. What is important for all of us in Montana to remember is that the majority of the "Experts" on this topic have not lived in anywhere near the backcountry of Montana. My husband gets yearly letters from conservation groups stating that the highest concentration of Montana's Grizzly bears are on one of his parcels of acreage in Montana. The message was compelling until we read the small print and found that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were part of the advisory board. How many mangled live stock animals have you ever put in a pile to count with only half of their guts eaten and the rest left to rot? Stating that one strain of wolf is like another is akin to saying "Brittany Spaniels are extinct so we will now use English Mastiffs as bird dogs"... could it be done? Yes. Should it be done? Probably not. We have lived in Wolf territory and have many friends all over the state who ranch and deal with wolves all year long and the one common denominator with all of them is that they have NEVER been asked by these Wolf Management Specialists,Environmentalists,Advocates or Protesters if their group could conduct a study/pitch a research tent/ask a few questions, etc.. Why do all these Experts have no mud on their shoes or briar scratches or accounts of their own experiences watching and studying these animals on ranches and in the wilderness?
  2. JUSTDAFACTS
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    JUSTDAFACTS - October 18, 2011 8:05 pm
    CJaxx said: "Good point, so they spared 6000 elk, but made that up in Deer...which would probably be like 12000 deer. either way you slice it, the animals eat. And for what they are they consume a lot more then what people would think."


    Well, if you read the ACTUAL studies you will see they eat a lot less than YOU claim. Yes, they do eat...SO DO YOU.

    Your average Grey wolf eats an average of 2 to 5 pounds of meet per day unless they are gestating and then it is about 7 pounds per day. They will, when able, gorge on up to 22 pounds at one time but may go a week or more without eating again.

    For 600 wolves, that works out to about one fifth of what you claim. Now of course Montana hunters took a little over 273,000 big game animals in 2008.

    SEE: http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/harvestReports.html

    I am not really pro or anti wolf. I have room for some wolves and that requires management. However, I find the BS of the "wolves are sweet little puppies which only kill sick animals" AND the other side's "each wolf kills 200,000 elk and 500,000 dear a month" a bit silly. I cannot decide if they are just liars or just that dumb but i hope the little voices they have telling them to spout such drivel don't start telling them to do bad things. lol
  3. Jack-Ruby
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    Jack-Ruby - October 18, 2011 1:00 pm
    JUSTDAFACTS said: "just asking...which does this make you? :) And who you calling a redneck. I resemble that remark. LOL !!"

    You can call me a Redneck granola hillbilly treehugger.
  4. CJaxx
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    CJaxx - October 18, 2011 8:20 am
    JUSTDAFACTS said: "Hmmm....Are these SUPER WOLVES? As the average wolf kills 16 elk per year and your numbers indicate 26.6 kills per year they must be. yes, yes, I saw your " if they only ate elk" comment but making up fake scenarios and using fake numbers only make for fake points. Heck, if they ate just environmentalist... (easy now...it's a joke)"

    Good point, so they spared 6000 elk, but made that up in Deer...which would probably be like 12000 deer. either way you slice it, the animals eat. And for what they are they consume a lot more then what people would think.
  5. JUSTDAFACTS
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    JUSTDAFACTS - October 17, 2011 8:51 pm
    Jack-Ruby said: "This made me laugh. So predictable: 1) The out of state granola types threaten to boycott MT if we dont stop hunting wolves and 2) the instate redneck types think that sounds like a great deal. I think the hunt is a great idea. "


    just asking...which does this make you? :) And who you calling a redneck. I resemble that remark. LOL !!
  6. JUSTDAFACTS
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    JUSTDAFACTS - October 17, 2011 8:49 pm
    CJaxx said: "By the way if you calculate the numbers of how much the wolves eat a year is over 5 MILLION pounds of wild game in MONTANA ONLY! And if they only ate elk that is nearly 16,000 elk a year. For just 600 wolves, interesting numbers. Keep that in mind next time you have a problem cutting down a few wolves in the state."


    Hmmm....Are these SUPER WOLVES? As the average wolf kills 16 elk per year and your numbers indicate 26.6 kills per year they must be. yes, yes, I saw your " if they only ate elk" comment but making up fake scenarios and using fake numbers only make for fake points. Heck, if they ate just environmentalist... (easy now...it's a joke)
  7. JUSTDAFACTS
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    JUSTDAFACTS - October 17, 2011 8:33 pm
    LCHelena said: "This group is pathetic and is skewing the numbers.Here is a number that cant be skewed: 1994: Northern Yellowstone elk herd numbered over 17,000.

    Yup...and ELK were massively overpopulated and starving to death in Gardner. In 2010 (NPS News release March 17, 2010) the herd was counted at 6070 animals. This is a steady population number since 2006. Question...is using the National Park service numbers considered "skewing"?

    The wolf population needs managed...but they are part of managing the elk population in sustainable numbers for their sake and that of the environment they live in as well. Back in 94 when the elk population was so large even many pro-elk organizations asked the numbers be reduced for the good of the herd. The problem is when you say the word "WOLF" both sides of the argument take a mental trip to LALA-LAND and all known facts get somehow lost in space.

  8. Jack-Ruby
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    Jack-Ruby - October 17, 2011 11:11 am
    This made me laugh. So predictable: 1) The out of state granola types threaten to boycott MT if we dont stop hunting wolves and 2) the instate redneck types think that sounds like a great deal.

    I think the hunt is a great idea.
  9. Reality22
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    Reality22 - October 16, 2011 10:10 pm
    These people need to be held accountable for the damage done by wolves....

    In Wisconsin, when wolves were at the 350 goal is cost $34,000 dollars in confirmed depredation now last year with wolves at 725 it cost $203,000 in confirmed depredation costs. That does not include the cost of depredation management to clean up after these vermin or non-confirmed depredation, or the cost of legal wrangling to appease people like these protesters, or the loss of game herds. Experts out west say only one in six depredations are confirmed.

    No matter which way you cut it, it is costing the taxpayers & local people over a million dollars per year. Now add in what it cost states like Montana, Idaho Wyoming Minnesota and Michigan???

    I say hold them accountable and change the ESA so they cannot abuse its power for an animal like the wolf!
  10. CJaxx
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    CJaxx - October 16, 2011 1:05 am
    By the way if you calculate the numbers of how much the wolves eat a year is over 5 MILLION pounds of wild game in MONTANA ONLY! And if they only ate elk that is nearly 16,000 elk a year. For just 600 wolves, interesting numbers. Keep that in mind next time you have a problem cutting down a few wolves in the state.
  11. CJaxx
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    CJaxx - October 16, 2011 12:46 am
    Die Fahne said: ""These wolves that they introduced into the area here aren't even the same type of wolf that was here before! These ones are larger and much nastier than the previous." STUPID, STUPID, STUPID anti-wolf propaganda and BS made up by ignorant uneducated people who hate wolves. There is NO scientific evidence whatsoever that these wolves are "nastier than the previous". The claim that occidentalis is more aggressive ("nastier", in uneducated people's terms)is subjective and doesn't seem to have any supporting evidence. From the evidence of the size of the wolves in Idaho (The average weight of the 188 wolves killed in the 2009 Idaho wolf hunt was less than 100lbs.), it seems clear that wolves (regardless of subspecies) are similar to many other animals in that their size is predominantly determined by environment and availability of prey. The whole statement about the wolves being different is moronic. It is based on 18th century taxonomy because that is all the "scientific evidence" wolf-haters can come up with. Recent studies conclude there is very little differentiation between the many subspecies of gray wolf previously recognized. Modern scientific evidence states that most of the historically recognized subspecies of Canis lupus (including irremotus) do not warrant recognition under modern taxonomic classification methods; There is no genetic differences in these wolves and previous ones. This has been proven by molecular genetics. The UCLA Conservation Genetics Resource Center provides expertise, resources and a repository for generation and analysis of molecular genetic data for use in wildlife conservation efforts. As far as some wolves being larger than others, sometimes it is as simple as how well they have been fed - nothing to do with their genetics or being a different subspecies.

    Good to know I hit a soft point! Thanks for being ignorant and think you know all about me. I am not ANTI wolf, in fact I believe they should be around, with the exception that there needs to be a balance, and they are extremely overbalanced due to high numbers. People aren't here to hunt them to eradicate the species. I can see you probably aren't from Montana and have no idea of the impact of the OTHER animals that these wolves have caused. The wolves introduced are considered of the largest subspecies of the gray wolves.They make a significant impact just by the amount they feed "The Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf preys primarily on the Rocky Mountain Elk, the Rocky Mountain mule deer, and the North American Beaver, though it is an opportunistic animal and will prey upon other species if the chance arises. But, for the most part, small prey animals do not make up a large part of its diet

    When an individual or a pack is able to take down numerous amounts of prey, the amount a Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf eats daily will generally make up about 10-21% of its body mass, though there have been recorded instances of an individual eating up to 37% of its body mass"

    Now when you consider that amount of food they need to survive you need to wonder where the HUGE number of wolves are getting this food. The population of wolves is nearly 3 to 4 times the amount higher then what they originally wanted to have. The population of wolves in MT has gone up from 100 wolves in 2000 to over 600 wolves now. There is a need for balance, without this balance, not only will all other animal populations be decimated beyond repair but the wolf population then will have little to nothing to feed on. Then what will they do to survive? Are the precious wolves that aren't even in your state, but will ruin our state, so important as to be above the value of the other wild animals? Like I said, I am not Anti-wolf! I am Pro balance and wildlife. Until you walk out into my wilderness and spend 25 years out there and notice the differences the wolves have made due to high numbers, I don't want to see you post another degrading comment, or any comment that makes you think that you KNOW what exactly is going on in this state.

    References:

    Me and all my years in the outdoors in MONTANA,also FWP for the population growth chart.
  12. Die Fahne
    Report Abuse
    Die Fahne - October 15, 2011 7:19 pm
    "These wolves that they introduced into the area here aren't even the same type of wolf that was here before! These ones are larger and much nastier than the previous."

    STUPID, STUPID, STUPID anti-wolf propaganda and BS made up by ignorant uneducated people who hate wolves. There is NO scientific evidence whatsoever that these wolves are "nastier than the previous". The claim that occidentalis is more aggressive ("nastier", in uneducated people's terms)is subjective and doesn't seem to have any supporting evidence.
    From the evidence of the size of the wolves in Idaho (The average weight of the 188 wolves killed in the 2009 Idaho wolf hunt was less than 100lbs.), it seems clear that wolves (regardless of subspecies) are similar to many other animals in that their size is predominantly determined by environment and availability of prey.
    The whole statement about the wolves being different is moronic. It is based on 18th century taxonomy because that is all the "scientific evidence" wolf-haters can come up with. Recent studies conclude there is very little differentiation between the many subspecies of gray wolf previously recognized. Modern scientific evidence states that most of the historically recognized subspecies of Canis lupus (including irremotus) do not warrant recognition under modern taxonomic classification methods;
    There is no genetic differences in these wolves and previous ones. This has been proven by molecular genetics. The UCLA Conservation Genetics Resource Center provides expertise, resources and a repository for generation and analysis of molecular genetic data for use in wildlife conservation efforts.
    As far as some wolves being larger than others, sometimes it is as simple as how well they have been fed - nothing to do with their genetics or being a different subspecies.


    References:

    United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
    Wyoming Farm Burearu v. Babbitt
    United States
    199 F.3d 1224 (10th Cir. 2000)

    Ecology & Management of Large Mammals in North America.
    2000, Prentice hall Inc. p. 337

    Wolves. Behavior, Ecology & Conservation.
    David Mech & Luigi Boitini
    2003, Universiy of Chicago Press. p. 245

  13. techman
    Report Abuse
    techman - October 15, 2011 7:08 pm
    Agreed that we don't need out of stater's influencing decisions when it comes to this. Sorry if I'm a bigot, but we live here, and our local voices are more viable here than a voice from New York or California that may have only been influenced by propaganda. We don't try to tell them how to run their state.
  14. montanagal09
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    montanagal09 - October 15, 2011 6:52 pm
    I more week and guess what yup we can start rifle season on the SOB's. If they like the wolves take them and keep them in your back yard. You pay the ranchers for the loss of animals and you pay the state for the loss of wild game the suckers have eatin, I am gonna make sure to have my rifle ready.
  15. LCHelena
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    LCHelena - October 15, 2011 6:50 pm
    This group is pathetic and is skewing the numbers.

    Here is a number that cant be skewed: 1994: Northern Yellowstone elk herd numbered over 17,000. 2011 numbers just a little over 4,000.

    Wolves are spread thick over the western 3rd of the state. There are lots of cattle in the eastern portion of mt.

    These 30 people are not needed in this state. Go back to New York or DC and dont come back.
  16. CJaxx
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    CJaxx - October 15, 2011 10:50 am
    The wolves need to be brought back down in numbers before they ruin everything! These wolves that they introduced into the area here aren't even the same type of wolf that was here before! These ones are larger and much nastier than the previous. Has anyone ever considered the impact that the wolves have on other animals that aren't cattle? As a hunter I have seen the decimation of the deer and elk populations where I hunt, and IT IS because of wolves, and I have seen them there with my own eyes! The number of wolves is far beyond what they originally were looking for and now its time to put those number back down before we lose everything. As for these out of state people, stay the F out of my state! Go home and try to fix you own problems before you come here and try to "fix" Montana.
  17. steeline
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    steeline - October 15, 2011 10:34 am
    I hope the boycot works and some of the local cooks leave with them. We have to get America Right.
  18. 2buck2
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    2buck2 - October 15, 2011 9:41 am
    I am pro-wolf and I can tell you there are those among us who do feel that management will be necessary. But quite honestly the goal of this hunt and the bill to delist them is to get rid of them. Attitudes like yours JDF are a minority, and if there were more people who had that balanced viewpoint then maybe the environmentalists wouldn't feel so nervous about these things. And since we are part of a union and we enjoy all the perks of being one then I see no reason the "outsiders" can't have their say as well as us. It doesn't work to say freedom for some to speak their minds but others better shut it.
  19. twowolves
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    twowolves - October 15, 2011 9:36 am
    You know its funny how ranchers only mention how many cows are perceived to be killed by wolves.... with no actual nu,bers of the amount of cows killed a year... Montana cattle producers lost 23,000 head of cattle, weighing 500 lbs or more, and 57,000 calves, weighing less than 500 lbs, to all causes during 2010, so the article stating only 97 were killed by wolves..... really pales in comparison......so not even 100,000 can be attributed to wolves..... or so they blaim it on them..... How many cattle deaths actually had a witness.... someone watching a wolf kill a cow???? or are they merely reporting a wolf kill because perhaps the death had wolf tracks around it.... wolves are also scavengers....
  20. techman
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    techman - October 15, 2011 9:33 am
    What Longinus said.
  21. JUSTDAFACTS
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    JUSTDAFACTS - October 15, 2011 8:08 am
    Ok, I have some mixed feeling. I don't mind that we re-introduced wolves and I have seen a great deal of proof that they do not kill anywhere near the amount so many claim. They are not evil. We do however, need to manage their population and this is the goal of our our wolf hunts.

    Now, as for the threat to boycott Montana...OMG YES! Stay home! Avoid MONTANA AT ALL COST! Don't move here, don't visit! Don't tell us how to handle our wildlife, don't tell us we can't use our forests and public lands, don't tell us when and were we can mine. Stop suing us for logging and not logging at the same time.

    Oh...and Loginus, Wall Street is currently filled with dirty-nasty sheep demanding the evil farmers feed them for free and thank them for eating it. Just like sheep, if not motivated by the herder, they will simply sit in one spot and destroy their environment while somehow feeling smug they are not wolves.
  22. Longinus
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    Longinus - October 15, 2011 2:40 am
    Don't you just get sick of out of staters telling us what we should or should not do in Montana. I don't recall anyone from Montana ever going to New York and telling them how to run there state. May-be we should send them a couple hundred wolves to live in Central Park. I would say Wall Street, but there's too many wolves there already.

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