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bitmasher's picture
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Wolves in the Idaho Panhandle
Serious Hunter wrote:
We found a domestic sheep kill on the Lick Creek Summit Road on 9/23 which we reported to seemingly disinterested IFG in McCall. It appeared one wolf held the sheep by haunch while other removed lower jaw and jugular, then they left it (very dead, but otherwise untouched).

I'm curious as to why you believe this is definitely wolves as opposed to cougar or bears. You mentioned wolf tracks in the area, any other evidence that would be proof of wolves in this kill area?

Keep in mind that tracks in and of themselves are not definite proof. If a cougar went hog wild in the flock then left it, I'd be suprised if wolves didn't come check out the scene after the fact.

I'm not saying it is or isn't wolves. Just asking for more info.

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Wolves in the Idaho Panhandle

Serious Hunter, the entire Cook wolf pack was killed for the havoc they were wreaking on the sheep.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040723/IDOUT/...

However, you have to note that the percentage of sheep killed was still small compared to the total numbers that inhabited this particular area. Sheep ranchers always have predator kills, its not just wolves; bear & mountain lion are just as bad. Or how about coyote?

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Wolves in the Idaho Panhandle

Was it a wolf kill? ... Probably, but I'm no expert. We were about 10 miles from McCall, if that says anything. Back country chartered air traffic out of McCall this hunting season is half of what it was last. Is it because of wolves? There seems to be a surge of the other predators along with, or in spite of, the wolves. Cougar and bear all over. And there have always been a zillion coyotes. I watch deer chase coyotes on occaison. They'll all run out of food in time. It'll work out. I'm just yelping for those being bit where it's happening. Come to Idaho to hunt cougar and bear ... and soon ... wolves. Despite my quote about IFG, I am generally impressed with what they are doing. Keep up the good work. They have been quite helpful and professional in my other endeavors' encounters. It's people with desks farther away, away from the pain, that worry me.

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Wolves in the Idaho Panhandle

Once again the wolves have always been here and in the areas you speak of only the numbers have changed.
I grew up in the IF&G my father was a salmon & steel head Biologist from the 50 -late 70s.
There are many reasons for the decline of elk in that Salmon River, big creek areas and while wolves probably have some to do with it, the problem is a much bigger picture. Many areas in this state have had declining big game populations way before the reintroduction of the wolves .

sheep are also is a big issue as to grazing on public lands, when I was small and living down in Hells Canyon the grazed sheep all over that area. Each fall the ranchers would come to the hatchery on their way out and drop off a receipt for what was then called the coyote problem. A couple days later three other F&G officers would show up and along with my father would fly the canyon counting lost sheep. Usually the # was half at best to what the rancher wanted paid for. Never mind that the total cost of big horn rehabilitation in the canyons should be base on one thing , domestic sheep grazing

I have Seen this same cry in the little salmon area while living at Rapid River only this time it was bears and sheep, then again in Stanley but there it was cats and sheep.
When it comes to ranchers its always something and I don’t blaim them it’s a hard way to make a go of it . However never mind their grazing costs are the lowest of any form of feed plan “cents on the hoof I know my family now grazes on public land as well”

If bird as stupid as grouse can survive thousands of years with much higher wolf populations the we will ever see again, I think elk and ranchers can do the same.
I will also agree that wolves need managed and that’s the key however if that’s the case so dose public grazing as that’s cost us way more through the years then wolves killing sheep ever will
The problem is a much bigger picture and the reintroduction of the wolves is just part of it. IMO the wolves in resonable numbers have just as much right to public land is grazers , maybe more so

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Wolves in the Idaho Panhandle

Wouldn't it be great if federally supplied wolves knew the difference between public and private land or the difference between state wildlife and private livestock?

All in all, I support the wolf reintroduction, as long as the farmer and rancher with confirmed wolf, bear, coyote, mountain lion kill on their private land is subsidized for the loss in livestock. As an extra bonus, Colorado, needs to re-introduce fur gripping traps, and baiting as a liable method of wildlife management.

Then extend the right to the ranchers to bait, trap, and kill all wolves, collar and all, found on private grazing land, “No questions asked”...

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Wolves in the Idaho Panhandle

Exactly ... we ran into wolves in Prince Cr (SF Salmon) over twenty years ago. Back then there were wolves, and they were a mystery, and they were natural. It's my understanding the intro wolves are from Canada. Do Colorado and Utah have wolves? Let's take these new ones and drop them off in Utah and Colorado, where they're also un-natural, and let the games begin.

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Elk Summit Road ... for Captchee

Captchee ... yeah, the SF to Elk Summit road was down for five or so years, but is back up (well, until the snow flies and lies deep). My dad has been on it a couple times this year. Sounds like it took a lot of dollars to open it up.

Next time you're at Big Creek, go to the airfield. At the south end is an out-house. (Can't miss it at the southeast corner - it's almost in the way.) Go in, sit down, and on your left is a poster promoting prevention of forest fires. When you're done (reading the poster), look to your right. There's a poster on the opposite wall showing the benefits of forest fires. I sat there just long enough to be confused. After reading the second poster I was left with the thought - if fires are so good - why don't more people start them? (Fires have sure produced some fantastic elk and sheep territory in central Idaho.) Ah, but the door is on the left, so I see the prevention poster last as I go out; I will refrain. The forests have become far too complicated ...

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Wolves in the Idaho Panhandle
Serious Hunter wrote:
Do Colorado and Utah have wolves?

Yes and Yes. Wolves and wolf sign have been documented in both states, both migrations from reintroduced western packs. Sure there are not as many as WY, ID, MT, MN, or WI; but to say there are none is most likely inaccurate.

I support wolves in colorado, particularly rmnp, as long as locals eventually get to manage the populations like any other game species and ranchers get paid a good premium for the damage wolves inflict.

I believe the arguments that wolves are decimating game species are patently false. The only case I would believe it would be mule deer which may be in the bottom of a predator pit from the combined predation of wolves, bears, cougar, and coyote, with a strong elk herd to puff up the predator numbers. I'm not aware of any research that has shown such.

The worst thing that happened to lower 48 game in recent memory was called manifest destiny. The piddly impact that reintroduced wolves have on game species is nothing compared to the tsunami of smart chimps (260 million and climbing). Honestly this is like a kid gobbling up a jar of cookies, then complaining when another kid comes along and tries to eat a few of the discarded crumbs.

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Wolves in the Idaho Panhandle

On the ground the burden of proof that a wolf was the culprit is pretty high. Probably easier to just let the rancher shoot on sight. Would avoid my taxpayer dollars going to ranchers. Situation is still too complicated. Let the ranchers protect thier stuff on their own property - and let the wolves figure out how not to get shot. The wolves may not be alone in decimating big game pops ... but they sure came on the scene at a bad time.

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Wolves in the Idaho Panhandle

I have no problem with ranchers shooting wolves that are an immediate danger to their livestock. Fortunately that is current federal law, nobody ever said you've got to stand by and watch a pack of wolves maul your sheep. Although, the shooter has the burden of proof that the wolf was in fact a menace.

Some folks also say they don't want wolves because they "cost" something. Pay the rancher for losses, pay the fed for management, pay somebody for them to exist. However it is pretty easy to show that insurance premiums are inflated by the huge number of deer/elk/vehicle collisions every year. We all pay the costs in our insurance premiums to have deer/elk around, yet nobody sane is advocating that we wipe out deer/elk simply because they cost us all money for them to exist.

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