Apr 5, 2013
The Senate voted to divert money from a Department of Fish and Game hunter-access program to wolf control, an effort backed by the state’s livestock industry.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Senate voted 26-8 to divert money from a Department of Fish and Game hunter-access program to wolf control, an effort backed by the state’s livestock industry.
Wednesday’s vote came over objections from Idaho’s wildlife agency, whose Fish and Game Commission opposed the measure.
Supporters of shifting funding from the Sportsmen’s Access Yes! program to Idaho’s animal damage control account argued the cash would reduce predators, helping ranchers as well as big-game hunters angry that wolves eat too many elk.
Foes included Pocatello Sen. Roy Lacey, who said he was among residents eager to see wolves eradicated.
Lacey suggested they might attack him while he rides his bike near Island Park.
Even so, Lacey said this bill amounted to raiding Fish and Game money.
The measure has passed the House.
Mar 23, 2013
RMEF Maintains Call for Proper Management
MISSOULA, MT—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintained its call for the science-based management of wolves as Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) released its 2012 estimate of the state’s wolf population. FWP reports there are a minimum of 625 wolves in Montana, which amounts to a four percent drop since the last count in December 2011 and equates to a wolf population remaining well above the state’s management objective.
“This is a step in the right direction, but it’s a small step,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “What we need to remember is that even though hunters and trappers together had more success this season than in the past, overall wolf numbers remain well above objective. We also need to recognize that this latest calculation is a minimum estimate.”
While the new count is the first decrease since 2004, Montana’s minimum wolf pack and breeding pairs estimates actually increased slightly from 2011. The 2012 calculation does not include the 95 wolves taken by hunters and trappers between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28 of this year. Overall, hunters and trappers harvested 225 wolves during the 2012-2013 season compared to hunters alone who took 128 a year ago. With more than 650 wolves reported by FWP at the end of 2011, population data indicated a harvest of nearly 400 wolves would be required to reduce the minimum population below 500.
“The best news is that hunters and trappers, the core of Montana’s wildlife conservation program, are helping us manage Montana’s most recently recovered native species,” said Jeff Hagener, director of FWP.
Hagener also stressed that even with this season’s hunting and trapping success –and 104 depredating wolves removed from the population as a result of more than 70 control actions—Montana’s wolf population remains robust.
“There is a ‘sky is falling’ mindset by some who believe wolf management equates to extermination. Nothing is further from the truth. Proper management is mandatory to ensure the future of all wildlife,” added Allen. “We applaud Montana and other states for their ability to manage wolves, just as they do other wildlife, with all the tools in the management tool box.”
“We need to achieve a reduction” Hagener said. “Montana has made room for wolves, we are long past the period of recovering wolves, and we are committed to managing for a recovered population. We also need to remember it is FWP’s responsibility to manage with an eye to how all of our special wild resources affect each other and address issues such as public tolerance, including that of landowners. That is what we continually hear the public asking us to do. FWP is working to manage wolf numbers and will continue to use reasonable tools to maximize harvest opportunities.”
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that protected or enhanced habitat on more than 6.2 million acres—an area larger than Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at www.rmef.org.
Feb 4, 2013
PNP comment: First, the “lone” wolf is NOT alone in California and he has been in Modoc, Lassen and Siskiyou County a lot during the past year. And under State statstics there are lots of coyotes in need of management (killed). Greenie or Coyote Rights groups use myths and lies to sway public opinion. Guess what? Livestock and wildlife have rights too then! — Editor Liz Bowen
Officials say north state’s OR7 is far away
By Tracie Cone Associated Press
Posted February 1, 2013 at 11:52 p.m.
FRESNO — A once-obscure coyote-hunting contest in northernmost California has become anything but, as environmental groups lobby the state to call it off to protect a lone, roaming wolf.
The hunt is sponsored by a hunt club and outfitter supply store in Adin in Modoc County, with the team that kills the most coyotes between Feb. 8 and 10 winning a silver belt buckle.
Organizers say they’re trying to rid the Big Valley cattle ranching community of coyotes, a predator that can harm livestock. The state’s lone gray wolf is about 100 miles from the hunt, wildlife officials say.
Opponents argue that widespread slaughter of coyotes disrupts the balance of nature and leads to an increase in the number of ground squirrels and other vermin.
Jan 15, 2013
Bow Hunting World
Dec. 20, 2012
Marauding elk had been trampling gardens, grazing on lawns and causing car crashes on the twisting country road that winds its way through Stoney Fork.
STONEY FORK, Ky. (AP) — Marauding elk had been trampling gardens, grazing on lawns and causing car crashes on the twisting country road that winds its way through Stoney Fork.
Folks here got fed up and, with the approval of wildlife officials, started shooting the cow-sized animals that have multiplied by the thousands throughout Kentucky’s mountain region over the past 15 years.
Now, wildlife officials will consider a cease fire.
It’s a move that residents oppose, for fear that the elk will move back into their neighborhoods.
“We had a problem, and the fix is working,” said Judge-Executive Albey Brock, the top elected official in Bell County. “I hope they wouldn’t suspend something that’s working, because, on my end, it’s a public safety issue.”
Brock said no elk have been struck by vehicles in recent months, which he sees as proof that allowing local residents to shoot them has made the community safer.
“When you’re doing something that’s working, why would you change that?” Brock asked.
Elk had disappeared from Kentucky around the time of the Civil War, mainly because of overhunting. Wildlife managers began reintroducing them in 1997 from several western states in what was heralded as an important ecology and tourism program. A group of about 1,500 elk released into the mountains has now grown to more than 10,000.
The elk are thriving on the man-made meadows left behind where mining companies have scraped off mountaintops in search of coal. In Stoney Fork, however, the elk had been coming off the mountains in the winter to munch on manicured lawns, leaving deep hoof prints in yards, rubbing their antlers on ornamental shrubs, and making unwelcomed deposits on sidewalks.
It’s the danger they pose to motorists that has residents fearful. Records from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources show that more than 100 elk have been killed in collisions with vehicles since 2005.
Pickup trucks have been flipped upside down in collisions. In one instance, a bull elk crashed through a windshield and ended up in the front seat of a Geo Metro. The driver, Melissa Jones, escaped with only cuts and bruises. She now is one of the people calling for the animals’ removal from the community.
Nearly three years ago, angry residents demanded that wildlife officials do something to alleviate the problem. The Kentucky Wildlife Commission approved a pilot project under which property owners could shoot the elk during a special mid-winter season when snow pushes them into residential areas in search of food.
They’ve killed 23 of the animals so far. That number could climb between Jan. 26 and Feb. 8 when residents will again be allowed to load their guns and take aim for what could be the final time. The pilot project is set to expire on the closing day of the season. Wildlife commissioners will then review the results and determine whether to allow local residents to continue shooting.
Those residents met with Kentucky Wildlife Director Karen Waldrop and others in early December to urge continuation of the project. Commissioners said they’ll await the findings before making a decision.
In addition to local residents shooting elk, conservation officers have been trapping the animals on mountains around Stoney Fork and taking them elsewhere.
So far, they hauled about 130 of the animals away. Waldrop said some were taken about 100 miles to the mountains around Fish Trap Lake in Pike County and released. Others, she said, were transported to Missouri and Virginia, which are starting their own elk herds.
In what seemed unlikely trades of elk for fish, Kentucky gave the animals to Missouri in exchange for crappie and to Virginia in exchange for trout.
In Stoney Fork, the war on elk has been with restrictions. Residents have been required to get permits to shoot only one elk each year, a female.
The idea was that allowing residents to shoot some elk in their neighborhoods would cause others to flee back to the mountaintops where biologists and conservation officers had their traps set.
“I’d say what they’ve done has already saved somebody’s life,” said David Gambrel, one of the more than 100 people who have crashed vehicles into the animals along a 10-mile stretch of Kentucky 221 in Bell County. “It has improved a lot. But there’s still too many of them. We don’t have enough room for them all.”
Alberta Lambert, a 58-year-old retired coal miner, is among residents who don’t want state wildlife officials to stop allowing them to shoot elk. In fact, Lambert wants more elk shot, particularly the big bull elk that make driving especially dangerous.
“You can go around a curve and they’ll be standing right in the middle of the road,” she said. “The problem isn’t solved. It’s far from solved.”
Waldrop told Stoney Fork residents that even troublesome bull elk can be targeted under certain circumstances.
“If you have an elk in the act of causing damage on your property, you have the right shoot that elk,” she said. “But it has to be in the act of causing damage.”
Stoney Fork resident Craig Brock, who has shot two of the elk, said bulls do tend to be more of a problem than the cows because they’re larger and do more damage in traffic crashes, and, with their massive antlers, can whittle shrubs into twigs in moments.
Craig Brock said residents will be unhappy if wildlife officials order the shooting to stop, particularly those who have crashed cars into the animals.
“It’s probably helping even more than they know,” he said. “Even though we’ve not shot all that many, we have pushed them back and kept them away from the highways.”