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(Science Daily)   North American predator loss affects ecosystems, leaves Aliens totally unchecked   ( sciencedaily.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, North American, aliens, carbon sequestration, herbivores, northern hemisphere, woolly mammoths, apex predator, lynx  
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3198 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Apr 2012 at 10:46 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



118 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2012-04-10 09:13:40 AM  
FTFA:
It also concludes that human hunting, due to its limited duration and impact, is not effective in preventing hyper-abundant densities of large herbivores. This is partly "because hunting by humans is often not functionally equivalent to predation by large, wide-ranging carnivores such as wolves," the researchers wrote in their report.

That's because it's that way BY DESIGN. Sport hunting regulations are designed to increase the availability of game species, and they serve very well for that purpose.

Of the three main types of hunting, sport, subsistence, and market hunting, only sport hunting generally results in an increase in population of the animals targeted. Subsistence hunting (hunting for food, or to protect food crops/livestock), and market hunting (hunting to sell the animal parts for a profit) both have resulted in significant reductions in animals targeted, and in some cases outright extinction, but sport hunting, especially regulated sport hunting, has to the best of my knowledge never resulted in an outcome like that, generally it's the oppposite.

The other thing to consider is that people don't like the idea of large predators skulking around where their kids and pets might play. Example: A few years ago we had a coyote problem in my area. They were entirely too comfortable with human presence, and getting too close for comfort. Especially considering that the distaffbopper and I, and most of our neighbors, had young children (littlebopper was 5 or 6 at the time, small enough for a desperate coyote to try attacking). I shot one of them, and another one of the coyotes died presumably from natural causes (that one had a lame front paw), and I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig. Since then I can hear them calling occasionally in the woods behind the house, but they stay away from the houses, which is as it should be.
 
2012-04-10 09:15:37 AM  
Another reason why sport hunting can't be effective is because a lot of landowners, both public and private, won't allow it on their property. That allows large concentrations of animals to grow, outstripping the ability of the land to provide food.
 
2012-04-10 09:31:50 AM  

dittybopper: FTFA:
It also concludes that human hunting, due to its limited duration and impact, is not effective in preventing hyper-abundant densities of large herbivores. This is partly "because hunting by humans is often not functionally equivalent to predation by large, wide-ranging carnivores such as wolves," the researchers wrote in their report.

That's because it's that way BY DESIGN. Sport hunting regulations are designed to increase the availability of game species, and they serve very well for that purpose.

Of the three main types of hunting, sport, subsistence, and market hunting, only sport hunting generally results in an increase in population of the animals targeted. Subsistence hunting (hunting for food, or to protect food crops/livestock), and market hunting (hunting to sell the animal parts for a profit) both have resulted in significant reductions in animals targeted, and in some cases outright extinction, but sport hunting, especially regulated sport hunting, has to the best of my knowledge never resulted in an outcome like that, generally it's the oppposite.

The other thing to consider is that people don't like the idea of large predators skulking around where their kids and pets might play.


THIS.

Well-regulated market hunting would be a tremendous idea in those parts of the country overrun by deer. There's expensive restaurants around me serving New Zealand venison when on any given day there's a couple hundred tasty, tasty deer within a few miles of their front door.
 
2012-04-10 09:56:50 AM  

Gulper Eel: THIS.

Well-regulated market hunting would be a tremendous idea in those parts of the country overrun by deer. There's expensive restaurants around me serving New Zealand venison when on any given day there's a couple hundred tasty, tasty deer within a few miles of their front door.


Yeah, but you'll probably still run into the problem of large chunks of huntable land being off-limits.
 
2012-04-10 10:08:27 AM  

dittybopper: Gulper Eel: THIS.

Well-regulated market hunting would be a tremendous idea in those parts of the country overrun by deer. There's expensive restaurants around me serving New Zealand venison when on any given day there's a couple hundred tasty, tasty deer within a few miles of their front door.

Yeah, but you'll probably still run into the problem of large chunks of huntable land being off-limits.


I think many of the people with the huntable land could be persuaded with a percentage of whatever the hunter is making.
 
2012-04-10 10:09:03 AM  
i52.tinypic.com

What time is it? After 5:00? Damn. Time to go rape me some fine biatches.
 
2012-04-10 10:11:42 AM  

dittybopper: I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig


I agree with your points. Came to ridicule your sentence structure and archery skillz.
 
2012-04-10 10:16:24 AM  

Gulper Eel: dittybopper: Gulper Eel: THIS.

Well-regulated market hunting would be a tremendous idea in those parts of the country overrun by deer. There's expensive restaurants around me serving New Zealand venison when on any given day there's a couple hundred tasty, tasty deer within a few miles of their front door.

Yeah, but you'll probably still run into the problem of large chunks of huntable land being off-limits.

I think many of the people with the huntable land could be persuaded with a percentage of whatever the hunter is making.


Much, if not most, huntable land that is off limits is so because the owners are opposed to hunting in general. I can't imagine that the amount of money they would make from allowing commercial hunting would be significant enough to change that attitude.
 
2012-04-10 10:22:01 AM  

MrBallou: dittybopper: I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig

I agree with your points. Came to ridicule your sentence structure and archery skillz.


Ridicule my sentence structure all you want, but unless you use archery tackle like this:

img189.imageshack.us

you've got no room to ridicule my archery skillz.

/Dad made the bow
//I made the arrows, and the quiver, and I made the handle and arrow-rest for the bow.
 
2012-04-10 10:30:30 AM  

dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig

I agree with your points. Came to ridicule your sentence structure and archery skillz.

Ridicule my sentence structure all you want, but unless you use archery tackle like this:

[img189.imageshack.us image 640x201]

you've got no room to ridicule my archery skillz.

/Dad made the bow
//I made the arrows, and the quiver, and I made the handle and arrow-rest for the bow.


Apologies. I have shot in the general direction of things without result many times, so I was actually sympathizing. That rig is awesome. Cool your dad made it.
 
2012-04-10 10:31:14 AM  

dittybopper: Much, if not most, huntable land that is off limits is so because the owners are opposed to hunting in general.


I get that, living in a place where a lot of city folk buy second homes and start off being weirded out by the usual rural smells...but after the third time they have to pull hunks of Bambi out of the grille of their Range Rover, or the third time they have to go in for Lyme treatments, or the first time a herd of deer eats $10,000 worth of their fancy garden, they get just as sick of deer as the locals.

The way one part-time neighbor of mine put it, they wouldn't mind letting hunters use their property long as it was somebody from the area and not...quoting now...some goombah from Bensonhurst.
 
2012-04-10 10:36:51 AM  

Gulper Eel: dittybopper: Much, if not most, huntable land that is off limits is so because the owners are opposed to hunting in general.

I get that, living in a place where a lot of city folk buy second homes and start off being weirded out by the usual rural smells...but after the third time they have to pull hunks of Bambi out of the grille of their Range Rover, or the third time they have to go in for Lyme treatments, or the first time a herd of deer eats $10,000 worth of their fancy garden, they get just as sick of deer as the locals.

The way one part-time neighbor of mine put it, they wouldn't mind letting hunters use their property long as it was somebody from the area and not...quoting now...some goombah from Bensonhurst.


I live on the edge of a large forested suburban park. The rich folks with MacMansions nearby have so much trouble like you describe that the authorities stage nighttime "control" hunts, using helicopters with thermal imaging and ninja-like teams of deer assassins.
 
2012-04-10 10:49:22 AM  

dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig

I agree with your points. Came to ridicule your sentence structure and archery skillz.

Ridicule my sentence structure all you want, but unless you use archery tackle like this:

[img189.imageshack.us image 640x201]

you've got no room to ridicule my archery skillz.

/Dad made the bow
//I made the arrows, and the quiver, and I made the handle and arrow-rest for the bow.


So you practice felching? *ducks*
 
2012-04-10 10:55:15 AM  
That's my dream job right there: Releasing large, hungry wolves into the wild and knowing that I'm actually making the world a better place. Where else could a person do such a thing?
 
2012-04-10 10:55:16 AM  

MrBallou: dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig

I agree with your points. Came to ridicule your sentence structure and archery skillz.

Ridicule my sentence structure all you want, but unless you use archery tackle like this:

[img189.imageshack.us image 640x201]

you've got no room to ridicule my archery skillz.

/Dad made the bow
//I made the arrows, and the quiver, and I made the handle and arrow-rest for the bow.

Apologies. I have shot in the general direction of things without result many times, so I was actually sympathizing. That rig is awesome. Cool your dad made it.


I was *TOO* good with my wheelie bow. The terror of lawn decorations everywhere:

img138.imageshack.us

That deer never stood a chance.
 
2012-04-10 10:56:30 AM  

Your Zionist Leader: So you practice felching? *ducks*


How do you felch a duck?
 
2012-04-10 10:56:50 AM  

dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig

I agree with your points. Came to ridicule your sentence structure and archery skillz.

Ridicule my sentence structure all you want, but unless you use archery tackle like this:

[img189.imageshack.us image 640x201]

you've got no room to ridicule my archery skillz.

/Dad made the bow
//I made the arrows, and the quiver, and I made the handle and arrow-rest for the bow.

Apologies. I have shot in the general direction of things without result many times, so I was actually sympathizing. That rig is awesome. Cool your dad made it.

I was *TOO* good with my wheelie bow. The terror of lawn decorations everywhere:

[img138.imageshack.us image 640x480]

That deer never stood a chance.


He was asking for it.
 
2012-04-10 10:58:59 AM  

dittybopper: Your Zionist Leader: So you practice felching? *ducks*

How do you felch a duck?


I think the real question is, how can he stop felching ducks?
 
2012-04-10 11:07:00 AM  
Anyone who moves into areas where natural predation occurs, builds, has a family and then begins to kill off those animals for the safety of their household is a coont. You didn't want critters skulking by where you live, your kids play, your little rat-fark dogs bark and shiat all over, don't farking move there.
 
2012-04-10 11:07:26 AM  

MrBallou: dittybopper: Your Zionist Leader: So you practice felching? *ducks*

How do you felch a duck?

I think the real question is, how can he stop felching ducks?


That's simple: Just send him the bill.
 
2012-04-10 11:10:48 AM  
I once had some hippie-type tell me that the main reason ranchers have a problem with wolves is that they use federal land to free graze their herds. Does anyone know if this is accurate? And, if not, is it ridiculous to expect ranchers and farmers to use genetically engineered working/killing machines (dogs) to protect their investments?
 
2012-04-10 11:11:37 AM  

dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig

I agree with your points. Came to ridicule your sentence structure and archery skillz.

Ridicule my sentence structure all you want, but unless you use archery tackle like this:

[img189.imageshack.us image 640x201]

you've got no room to ridicule my archery skillz.

/Dad made the bow
//I made the arrows, and the quiver, and I made the handle and arrow-rest for the bow.


That set up is all awesome n' stuff, but when you are going after a predator threatening you kid, you're dealing in serious business. Not the time to be going for style points.

/Envious - Really wish I could shoot an English longbow
//Still think you should have used a shotgun. Bows are for deer.
 
2012-04-10 11:13:54 AM  

dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: Your Zionist Leader: So you practice felching? *ducks*

How do you felch a duck?

I think the real question is, how can he stop felching ducks?

That's simple: Just send him the bill.


You quack me up.
 
2012-04-10 11:16:46 AM  

TopoGigo: I once had some hippie-type tell me that the main reason ranchers have a problem with wolves is that they use federal land to free graze their herds. Does anyone know if this is accurate? And, if not, is it ridiculous to expect ranchers and farmers to use genetically engineered working/killing machines (dogs) to protect their investments?


I'd think the wolves killing of livestock is the biggest gripe of farmers. Second biggest gripe would be that wolves can't be contained on federal land and can roam onto private property. Of course ranchers graze federal land. It's the reason land for sale abutting federal/national parkland sells so well. You are almost guaranteed to have no neighbors for a long, long time. And as long as one doesn't destory the land, fell it's lumber, shoot it's protected animals, it's yours to romp around on as much as anyone.
 
2012-04-10 11:19:15 AM  

leviosaurus:

That set up is all awesome n' stuff, but when you are going after a predator threatening you kid, you're dealing in serious business. Not the time to be going for style points.

/Envious - Really wish I could shoot an English longbow
//Still think you should have used a shotgun. Bows are for deer.


If you are really serious, just put out some snare traps, check them a few times a day and leave the dead carcass there (as long as it is far enough way to not smell) as a warning to the others.

I just got back from Rocky Mountain National Park. The elk herd there is now enourmous. So unchecked, they now are fencing off aspen groves to save the trees from the teaming elk. From what my cousin was telling me, they are finally talking about to start serious efforts to cull the herd. But they want to pay special marksmens to come in and do it. I think they should setup moderately to high priced, guided hunts and use the earned money to support the park. I imagine they would have a pretty good waiting list to hunt that area.
 
2012-04-10 11:23:07 AM  

leviosaurus: That set up is all awesome n' stuff, but when you are going after a predator threatening you kid, you're dealing in serious business. Not the time to be going for style points.

/Envious - Really wish I could shoot an English longbow
//Still think you should have used a shotgun. Bows are for deer.


Well, it was more to discourage, and I was hunting in an area where guns aren't necessarily a good idea, and I had already gotten rid of the wheelie bow.

Oddly enough, while other measures to discourage them pretty much failed miserably, actively hunting them *DID* work: I killed one, missed another, and went out a number of times where I didn't see anything, but it seems to have actively discouraged them. Haven't had a problem with them coming into backyards in 3 years or so. They stay back in the woods now, which is fine.

/Neighborhood is at least 50 years old.
 
2012-04-10 11:25:16 AM  

rudemix: TopoGigo: I once had some hippie-type tell me that the main reason ranchers have a problem with wolves is that they use federal land to free graze their herds. Does anyone know if this is accurate? And, if not, is it ridiculous to expect ranchers and farmers to use genetically engineered working/killing machines (dogs) to protect their investments?

I'd think the wolves killing of livestock is the biggest gripe of farmers. Second biggest gripe would be that wolves can't be contained on federal land and can roam onto private property. Of course ranchers graze federal land. It's the reason land for sale abutting federal/national parkland sells so well. You are almost guaranteed to have no neighbors for a long, long time. And as long as one doesn't destory the land, fell it's lumber, shoot it's protected animals, it's yours to romp around on as much as anyone.


Yeah I still remember on the news the big stink caused when they released wolves into Yellowstone. A lot of the local ranchers were up in arms about what would happen to their herds. I think in the end after all the court fights was basically the park service would pay for any livestock killed by wolves and if you caught a wolf on your property you could kill it. I may be wrong though it was a while ago.
 
2012-04-10 11:35:04 AM  

rudemix: Anyone who moves into areas where natural predation occurs, builds, has a family and then begins to kill off those animals for the safety of their household is a coont. You didn't want critters skulking by where you live, your kids play, your little rat-fark dogs bark and shiat all over, don't farking move there.


Actually, where the wolves are conderned in the intermountain west, the wolves were transplanted in 1995. Most of us were already here when the wolves were brought in.
 
2012-04-10 11:39:37 AM  

TopoGigo: once had some hippie-type tell me that the main reason ranchers have a problem with wolves is that they use federal land to free graze their herds. Does anyone know if this is accurate? And, if not, is it ridiculous to expect ranchers and farmers to use genetically engineered working/killing machines (dogs) to protect their investments?


Wolves will kill cattle on private land or federal land. It really does not matter where they are. Wolves tend to ignore human boudaries. However, wolve predation on livestock is a major concern for ranchers. They can have a big impact, not only killing but by stressing the rest of the herd and haveing pregnant cows abort their calves. Most state and federal agencies were pretty proactive about revmoving problem wolves, but that was not always sucessful.

And guard dogs really dont help much as they end up just as dead as the livestock they are protecting. They work well for the coyotes and single wolves. For a pack of wolves, however, they don't stand much of a chance.
 
2012-04-10 11:45:43 AM  

rudemix: I'd think the wolves killing of livestock is the biggest gripe of farmers.


That is true. Another big issue we are having with wolves is the decimation of several elk populations. It has become bad enough in some hunting areas that all elk tags have been pulled and no hunting is allowed. This is a big issue for hunters as it reduces their ability to hunt and it also hits the state in the pocketbook. Idaho has estimated that it loses about 25 to 30 million each year due to the impact of big game herds by wolves. Of course, just recently, wolves themselves have become a big game animial that has a hunting season. The selling of these tags have helped to offset some of this loss or revenue.
 
2012-04-10 11:46:27 AM  
It just seems to me that if you don't have a fence line on your property, possibly with a pack of dogs (rottweilers were bred for herding as well as guarding cattle, Irish wolfhounds were bred to kill wolves, etc.) then you can't really complain too much about predation. Asking the government to protect your interests over others' on federal land doesn't seem quite fair, especially since a good portion of those people are "don't take no handouts" free-market types. That's just my uninformed opinion, though, as I'm no kind of ranching expert.
 
2012-04-10 11:49:34 AM  
If there are no more Predators, who will play them in chess?

laughingsquid.com
 
2012-04-10 11:51:41 AM  

groppet: Yeah I still remember on the news the big stink caused when they released wolves into Yellowstone. A lot of the local ranchers were up in arms about what would happen to their herds. I think in the end after all the court fights was basically the park service would pay for any livestock killed by wolves and if you caught a wolf on your property you could kill it. I may be wrong though it was a while ago.


The money that was used to reimburst ranchers for livstock was set up by the Defenders of Wildlife and was only good if the kill could be confirmed by a necropsy performed by a FWS agent. This was also only good for as long as the wolves were listed by the ESA. However, it was a pretty sucessful program, overall.

Over the last couple of years, wolves have bounced on and then off the ESA list due to multiple delistings and subsequent court challenges by Environmental Groups. Finally, wolves were delisted by a Congressional Rider last year and this one seems to be sticking (the CBD just lost thier court case to the 9th Circuit here a few weeks ago).
 
2012-04-10 11:57:37 AM  

TopoGigo: It just seems to me that if you don't have a fence line on your property, possibly with a pack of dogs (rottweilers were bred for herding as well as guarding cattle, Irish wolfhounds were bred to kill wolves, etc.) then you can't really complain too much about predation.


Most ranchers property is already fenced, however, wolves don't pay too much attentionn to NO TRESSPASSING signs. And a pack of rottys are not going to be able to patrol a couple of thousand of acres. They may protect a pasture or two, but not the entire ranch. Guard dogs have limited success anyway. In fact some wolves are actually attracted by other dogs.

Asking the government to protect your interests over others' on federal land doesn't seem quite fair,

In the big picture, the wolf issue is more about overall management and how to balance livestock usage, big game herds, eco tourism, and many different intersts. It is a tightrope where those on the extreme sides are very passionate and very kooky.
 
2012-04-10 12:01:06 PM  

HeadLever: Another big issue we are having with wolves is the decimation of several elk populations. It has become bad enough in some hunting areas that all elk tags have been pulled and no hunting is allowed. This is a big issue for hunters as it reduces their ability to hunt


Wolves have coexisted with Elk for centuries, so sorry, you can't blame them.

Sickens me how people have fridges full of food and still go out to kill animals for fun. I'm aware of the propaganda saying humans have to kill things because nature is stupid and needs our help, but when you consider how large and balanced animal populations were before we started screwing with things, it's revealed as BS.
 
2012-04-10 12:10:21 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: Wolves have coexisted with Elk for centuries, so sorry, you can't blame them.


True, but it is a different world today. Today big game herds (and the ability to hunt them) are important to the state's fiscal well being, plus this money goes to fund much of the states wildlife and conservation efforts.

You are correct. Wolves are only doing what wolves do. However, there are very few that believe that we should not be managing them. There is no way you can manage the big game populations without also managing the apex predator.

Sickens me how people have fridges full of food and still go out to kill animals for fun.

I have a entire freezer filled with elk and deer hamburfer, steak, sausage, etc. I love to hunt because it is fun. It also fills the freezer. Win-win in my book.

I'm aware of the propaganda saying humans have to kill things because nature is stupid and needs our help,

Nature is not stuipid, it is, however a dynamic system. Humans hate things with boom and bust cycles and in order to level this cycle out, managment is used. Nature no longer a vacuum in most places. This means that there is huge interaction between the human world and nature. Pretending that we can be hands-off and isolate ourseves from each other is not only wrong, but dangerous.
 
2012-04-10 12:10:29 PM  

rudemix: TopoGigo: I once had some hippie-type tell me that the main reason ranchers have a problem with wolves is that they use federal land to free graze their herds. Does anyone know if this is accurate? And, if not, is it ridiculous to expect ranchers and farmers to use genetically engineered working/killing machines (dogs) to protect their investments?
I'd think the wolves killing of livestock is the biggest gripe of farmers. Second biggest gripe would be that wolves can't be contained on federal land and can roam onto private property. Of course ranchers graze federal land. It's the reason land for sale abutting federal/national parkland sells so well. You are almost guaranteed to have no neighbors for a long, long time. And as long as one doesn't destory the land, fell it's lumber, shoot it's protected animals, it's yours to romp around on as much as anyone.


They use federal land because the habitat out here (that would be the west) isn't good enough to support cows unless the rancher has a whole lot of land. So they have federal land leases. And they have A LOT of them, plus they've had them for so long that they tend to think of the land as theirs. This worked out fine when nobody lived out here, but now it's starting to cause problems, because everybody else likes to use those federal lands too, and maybe the feds would like to do some things with the land too--like re-introduce wolves onto it.

The problem with the federal lands is that EVERYONE thinks that it is "theirs" and they should be free to do whatever they want with it. It's gotten much worse since ATVs were invented. But have you noticed--people are farking pigs and tend to destroy anything they have unlimited access to. And then they scream and yell about how the government is interfering with their rights because they shut down a road or restrict certain activities in some places.

America, fark yeah!--if it's not mine to destroy any way I want to, it must be the government's fault.
 
2012-04-10 12:15:37 PM  

cryinoutloud: And they have A LOT of them, plus they've had them for so long that they tend to think of the land as theirs.


Not really. But it is good of you to put words in thier mouth. Makes them seem more evil that way and allows you to push you agenda a little further.

The problem with the federal lands is that EVERYONE thinks that it is "theirs" and they should be free to do whatever they want with it.

Not really. These lands are managed for multiple use and they do well with that. Yes, there is conflict as there always will be when you try to merge muliple uses like recreation and logging/mining, etc. However, no one I know thinks the land they play or work on is 'theirs'. It is called public land for a reason.
 
2012-04-10 12:19:01 PM  

dittybopper: FTFA:
It also concludes that human hunting, due to its limited duration and impact, is not effective in preventing hyper-abundant densities of large herbivores. This is partly "because hunting by humans is often not functionally equivalent to predation by large, wide-ranging carnivores such as wolves," the researchers wrote in their report.

That's because it's that way BY DESIGN. Sport hunting regulations are designed to increase the availability of game species, and they serve very well for that purpose.

Of the three main types of hunting, sport, subsistence, and market hunting, only sport hunting generally results in an increase in population of the animals targeted. Subsistence hunting (hunting for food, or to protect food crops/livestock), and market hunting (hunting to sell the animal parts for a profit) both have resulted in significant reductions in animals targeted, and in some cases outright extinction, but sport hunting, especially regulated sport hunting, has to the best of my knowledge never resulted in an outcome like that, generally it's the oppposite.

The other thing to consider is that people don't like the idea of large predators skulking around where their kids and pets might play. Example: A few years ago we had a coyote problem in my area. They were entirely too comfortable with human presence, and getting too close for comfort. Especially considering that the distaffbopper and I, and most of our neighbors, had young children (littlebopper was 5 or 6 at the time, small enough for a desperate coyote to try attacking). I shot one of them, and another one of the coyotes died presumably from natural causes (that one had a lame front paw), and I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig. Since then I can hear them calling occasionally in the woods behind the house, but they stay away from the houses, which is as it should be.


Even "table" hunters don't really make a dent int he population. Most people I know that shoot deer to supplement thier diet can maybe make use of one , maybe two good-sized deer a year, and that's to feed their whole family. If you're using the organ meats for sausage and otherwise "using the whole deer" a 150 deer will give you about 75lbs of useable meat. figure most people eat4-6 oz of meat with their main meal and a family of four is only going through about 1-1/2lb a day even if it is their sole protein source. At that rate, you'd max out at 4-6 deer a year or about 1 1/2 per person. Given how they breed that simply isn't enough to keep the populations stable much less decreasing.
 
2012-04-10 12:21:25 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: HeadLever: Another big issue we are having with wolves is the decimation of several elk populations. It has become bad enough in some hunting areas that all elk tags have been pulled and no hunting is allowed. This is a big issue for hunters as it reduces their ability to hunt

Wolves have coexisted with Elk for centuries, so sorry, you can't blame them.

Sickens me how people have fridges full of food and still go out to kill animals for fun. I'm aware of the propaganda saying humans have to kill things because nature is stupid and needs our help, but when you consider how large and balanced animal populations were before we started screwing with things, it's revealed as BS.


If you want to *PROTECT* a species, get sport hunters interested in killing them. They will then lobby the government for protective laws and habitat preservation, and they will also spend millions of dollars to preserve habitat for those animals.

You may not *LIKE* it, but the fact of the matter is the best way to ensure that there is a plethora of charismatic megafauna is to get Bubba McRedneck interested in mounting it's head on his living room wall.

Conversely, supporting subsistence hunting does the opposite: Animals hunted strictly for food don't generally get the protections inherent in sport hunting, because Starvy McTenmouthstofeed doesn't give a rats ass if the left-handed Jackalope is endangered, he just wants to feed his kids.

Here is a little bit of interesting history to support the idea: In Appalachia during the early to mid 1800's, local gun makers went from making guns in calibers suitable for bear, deer, elk, etc., roughly .44 to .54 caliber, down to making guns of smaller caliber, .40 caliber or less, generally in the .32 to .36 caliber range. Why? Because all the big game was hunted out. All they had left to shoot were rabbits, squirrels, possums, raccoons, birds, and other small game. Some of that was probably due to market hunting, but in the backwoods, it was almost certainly mainly due to subsistence hunting.
 
2012-04-10 12:24:02 PM  

dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: Your Zionist Leader: So you practice felching? *ducks*

How do you felch a duck?

I think the real question is, how can he stop felching ducks?

That's simple: Just send him the bill.


Eider know about that
 
2012-04-10 12:25:09 PM  

Magorn: Even "table" hunters don't really make a dent int he population. Most people I know that shoot deer to supplement thier diet can maybe make use of one , maybe two good-sized deer a year, and that's to feed their whole family. If you're using the organ meats for sausage and otherwise "using the whole deer" a 150 deer will give you about 75lbs of useable meat. figure most people eat4-6 oz of meat with their main meal and a family of four is only going through about 1-1/2lb a day even if it is their sole protein source. At that rate, you'd max out at 4-6 deer a year or about 1 1/2 per person. Given how they breed that simply isn't enough to keep the populations stable much less decreasing.


"Table" hunters *CAN'T* make a dent simply because the regulations are stacked against them. They are designed for sport hunting to stabilize and increase the population of deer. They *COULD* have more of an effect, if they weren't fettered by quite so many regulations.
 
2012-04-10 12:33:18 PM  

TopoGigo: I once had some hippie-type tell me that the main reason ranchers have a problem with wolves is that they use federal land to free graze their herds. Does anyone know if this is accurate? And, if not, is it ridiculous to expect ranchers and farmers to use genetically engineered working/killing machines (dogs) to protect their investments?


Ranchers often graze thier livestock on federal land and do so at below-market rates. Most of the Wolf-hating comes from sheep farmers whose livestock is more vulnerable to wolf predation and who, since there haven't BEEN any wolves fro a long time haven't had to use traditional wolf protection methods such as stationing a shepherd in the fields (why do you think David was so good with that sling?) or keeping on of the many breeds of dogs whose name ends in "shepherd" (which as you say have been breed for a couple millena to be perfectly bio-engineered livestock protectors) or even keeping Llamas or Ostriches in with the sheep flock (Ostrich can decapitate a lion with one kick).

They resent having to do so now because even the care an up keep of a few dogs is a significant enough expense that it affect thier bottom lines. So to them the equation is fewer wolves=more profit, and to hell with what they may do to the greater ecology
 
2012-04-10 12:36:17 PM  

dittybopper: "Table" hunters *CAN'T* make a dent simply because the regulations are stacked against them. They are designed for sport hunting to stabilize and increase the population of deer. They *COULD* have more of an effect, if they weren't fettered by quite so many regulations.


True in systems that are managed properly. The biggest issues we have here (before the wolves anyway) was harsh winters that would create a layer of ice over the forage and starvation would kill large numbers. In these winters, many of these sportsmen would then end up buying several tons of hay in order to feed the animals to keep them from starving.
 
2012-04-10 12:36:46 PM  

dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: MrBallou: dittybopper: I missed another that I had called in with by kissing my hand with an arrow due to an intervening twig

I agree with your points. Came to ridicule your sentence structure and archery skillz.

Ridicule my sentence structure all you want, but unless you use archery tackle like this:

[img189.imageshack.us image 640x201]

you've got no room to ridicule my archery skillz.

/Dad made the bow
//I made the arrows, and the quiver, and I made the handle and arrow-rest for the bow.

Apologies. I have shot in the general direction of things without result many times, so I was actually sympathizing. That rig is awesome. Cool your dad made it.

I was *TOO* good with my wheelie bow. The terror of lawn decorations everywhere:

[img138.imageshack.us image 640x480]

That deer never stood a chance.


I'm fairly certain such gruesome imagery of dead animal is against the FArQ.

//Sucks at hunting, but I'm getting better.
 
2012-04-10 12:39:23 PM  
Stopped reading at loss of bears causes global warming.
 
2012-04-10 12:42:07 PM  

meat0918: I'm fairly certain such gruesome imagery of dead animal is against the FArQ.

//Sucks at hunting, but I'm getting better.


That's OK. I've got a couple of alts lined up in case of bannination. One of them is semi-open, and the other is a 'sleeper' that is there but never used and not associated with me in any way just in case I actually really, *REALLY* need it.
 
2012-04-10 12:43:32 PM  

dittybopper: meat0918: I'm fairly certain such gruesome imagery of dead animal is against the FArQ.

//Sucks at hunting, but I'm getting better.

That's OK. I've got a couple of alts lined up in case of bannination. One of them is semi-open, and the other is a 'sleeper' that is there but never used and not associated with me in any way just in case I actually really, *REALLY* need it.


Hey, that's a really good idea. I should look into doing something like that. You know, just in case.
 
2012-04-10 12:52:05 PM  
I have a two-year supply of alts, beans, and ammo in my suicide, er, survival bunker.
 
2012-04-10 12:53:04 PM  

dittybopper: You may not *LIKE* it, but the fact of the matter is the best way to ensure that there is a plethora of charismatic megafauna is to get Bubba McRedneck interested in mounting it's head on his living room wall.


There is no plethora of large animals anywhere humans exist. Just a small percentage of what there was before we showed up. So, so much for that theory.
 
2012-04-10 12:59:46 PM  

Magorn: Ranchers often graze thier livestock on federal land and do so at below-market rates.


? not sure what you are insinuating here. What is the baseline rate - that of a pasture? If so, of course federal land grazing is below that rate since it is not irrigated and sowed with grass. There is no comparison on the amount of forage. Plus, there is additional regulations placed on grazing on public land that pasture land does not have.

Most of the Wolf-hating comes from sheep farmers whose livestock is more vulnerable to wolf predation and who, since there haven't BEEN any wolves fro a long time haven't had to use traditional wolf protection methods such as stationing a shepherd in the fields (why do you think David was so good with that sling?) or keeping on of the many breeds of dogs whose name ends in "shepherd" (which as you say have been breed for a couple millena to be perfectly bio-engineered livestock protectors) or even keeping Llamas or Ostriches in with the sheep flock (Ostrich can decapitate a lion with one kick).

You are correct that wolves definatlty do hit the bottom line, especially for the Sheep Ranchers. In one night, a pack of wolves killed over 100 sheep in one rampage. That being said, your mitigation measures really are not practicle as guard dogs and llamas are not all that effective. It has been documented where wolves have killed both here in the west. Having a shepherd is not really all that economic feasible either. What many have been finding out is that the hunting seasons implemented by Idaho is having the biggest impact on ranchers as this pressure is keeping the wolves up in the high country and away from the ranches in the river bottoms.

You can say many things about wolves, but saying they are dumb ain't one of them. They learn fast.
 
2012-04-10 01:00:01 PM  

Gulper Eel: I think many of the people with the huntable land could be persuaded with a percentage of whatever the hunter is making.


Shiat. I'll let a bow & arrow hunter pick off all the deer he or she wants from my back deck. My neighbors and I would be more than happy to accommodate anyone for a small share of the take.

/I live in the city, so firearm discharge is not allowed; nothing on the books about bow & arrows, though.
 
2012-04-10 01:07:16 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: There is no plethora of large animals anywhere humans exist. Just a small percentage of what there was before we showed up.


Elk in both Yellowstone and RMNP are way above historical levels in those areas (and the sourrounding areas). Those are pretty large.

Deer are also doing pretty well in most of the counrty as they have adapted quite well in most places, some areas are even quite populous.
 
2012-04-10 01:09:09 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: dittybopper: You may not *LIKE* it, but the fact of the matter is the best way to ensure that there is a plethora of charismatic megafauna is to get Bubba McRedneck interested in mounting it's head on his living room wall.

There is no plethora of large animals anywhere humans exist. Just a small percentage of what there was before we showed up. So, so much for that theory.


Yes, because before 1500, no humans existed in North America.

Actually, the Whitetail deer population is probably roughly the same as it was in pre-Columbian times.
 
2012-04-10 01:10:14 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: There is no plethora of large animals anywhere humans exist. Just a small percentage of what there was before we showed up. So, so much for that theory.


Africans aren't people?
 
2012-04-10 01:13:20 PM  

HeadLever: Magorn: Ranchers often graze thier livestock on federal land and do so at below-market rates.

? not sure what you are insinuating here. What is the baseline rate - that of a pasture? If so, of course federal land grazing is below that rate since it is not irrigated and sowed with grass. There is no comparison on the amount of forage. Plus, there is additional regulations placed on grazing on public land that pasture land does not have.

Most of the Wolf-hating comes from sheep farmers whose livestock is more vulnerable to wolf predation and who, since there haven't BEEN any wolves fro a long time haven't had to use traditional wolf protection methods such as stationing a shepherd in the fields (why do you think David was so good with that sling?) or keeping on of the many breeds of dogs whose name ends in "shepherd" (which as you say have been breed for a couple millena to be perfectly bio-engineered livestock protectors) or even keeping Llamas or Ostriches in with the sheep flock (Ostrich can decapitate a lion with one kick).

You are correct that wolves definatlty do hit the bottom line, especially for the Sheep Ranchers. In one night, a pack of wolves killed over 100 sheep in one rampage. That being said, your mitigation measures really are not practicle as guard dogs and llamas are not all that effective. It has been documented where wolves have killed both here in the west. Having a shepherd is not really all that economic feasible either. What many have been finding out is that the hunting seasons implemented by Idaho is having the biggest impact on ranchers as this pressure is keeping the wolves up in the high country and away from the ranches in the river bottoms.

You can say many things about wolves, but saying they are dumb ain't one of them. They learn fast.


Yes, short of humans wolves are probably the most sucessful and adaptable predator on the planet. That's why we tamed them and put them to work. Now not to doubt your data but I've never heard of wolves going on "rampage kills" (weasels and wolverines, yes, but not wolves) it's counter-survival for them to kill more than they can eat-it leave less for next time; and as you say, wolves ain't dumb.

Also, as predators wolves tend to be "cowards" which is to say in a non-anthropomorphic way, that they avoid confrontation when possible prefering an easy kill to a dangerous one when given a choice. That's why shepherd dogs tend to spook them. Domesticated dogs are far more vocal and territorial than thier wolf cousins, and so if there is another choice, wolves will tend not to engage a domestic dog. Add a few guard dogs to a guy sleeping in the field with a shotgun full of rocksalt and you can teach wolves to stay the fark away from anything that barks at them rather quickly.

and really how much does a farmhand cost these days? $10/hr? Give a migrant farm worker the choice between spending all day picking lettuce or tomatoes or sleeping in a field with one eye open-i know which one I'd Pick
 
2012-04-10 01:17:47 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: There is no plethora of large animals anywhere humans exist. Just a small percentage of what there was before we showed up. So, so much for that theory.


In an additional point to that is that we oftentimes don't want that many animals since thier habitat is not the same as it was 10,000BC. Specific goals are set by a State's managment plan that attempst to balance many different interest - hunters, sightseers, ranchers, city and other land managers, etc. Again, thinking that you can seperate the human world from the natural world is not only wrong, but dangerous.
 
2012-04-10 01:23:08 PM  

rudemix: Anyone who moves into areas where natural predation occurs, builds, has a family and then begins to kill off those animals for the safety of their household is a coont. You didn't want critters skulking by where you live, your kids play, your little rat-fark dogs bark and shiat all over, don't farking move there.


(The irony is that wherever this person lives is guaranteed to have been land once well used by predators and human habitation has disrupted the animals' lives, or ended them, depending on whether he lives in an urban or a rural area.)
 
2012-04-10 01:23:42 PM  

HeadLever: That is true. Another big issue we are having with wolves is the decimation of several elk populations. It has become bad enough in some hunting areas that all elk tags have been pulled and no hunting is allowed. This is a big issue for hunters as it reduces their ability to hunt and it also hits the state in the pocketbook. Idaho has estimated that it loses about 25 to 30 million each year due to the impact of big game herds by wolves. Of course, just recently, wolves themselves have become a big game animial that has a hunting season. The selling of these tags have helped to offset some of this loss or revenue.


That isn't a 'decimation' of the population. It's just less elk for you to hunt but is actually bringing it back to normalized levels. Did you read the article?
 
2012-04-10 01:25:36 PM  

dittybopper: J. Frank Parnell: dittybopper: You may not *LIKE* it, but the fact of the matter is the best way to ensure that there is a plethora of charismatic megafauna is to get Bubba McRedneck interested in mounting it's head on his living room wall.

There is no plethora of large animals anywhere humans exist. Just a small percentage of what there was before we showed up. So, so much for that theory.

Yes, because before 1500, no humans existed in North America.

Actually, the Whitetail deer population is probably roughly the same as it was in pre-Columbian times.


I wonder how I can go about subsistence farming... I mean, there's mad deer overpopulation here, seems like some good eating going to waste.
 
2012-04-10 01:32:41 PM  

Magorn: Now not to doubt your data but I've never heard of wolves going on "rampage kills" (weasels and wolverines, yes, but not wolves) it's counter-survival for them to kill more than they can eat-it leave less for next time; and as you say, wolves ain't dumb.


It happens (new window). Especially when they get into sheep. Sheep are looking for an excuse to die anyway, but this is a big problem for the ranchers (and the wolves).

Also, as predators wolves tend to be "cowards" which is to say in a non-anthropomorphic way, that they avoid confrontation when possible prefering an easy kill to a dangerous one when given a choice. That's why shepherd dogs tend to spook them.

That may be the case when they are fat and happy, but once they get hungry, it is a different story (new window)

and really how much does a farmhand cost these days? $10/hr?

$10 for 24-7-365 is $1700 a week ($87,000/year). A sheep costs about $250-$300. In essence your shepherd would have to save about 350 sheep a year just to get back to even.
Not.Gonna.Happen
 
2012-04-10 01:33:51 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Stopped reading at loss of bears causes global warming.


Why? COnnecting the dots just too hard for you? Complex systems too difficult to understand?
 
2012-04-10 01:37:09 PM  

HeadLever: It happens (new window). Especially when they get into sheep. Sheep are looking for an excuse to die anyway, but this is a big problem for the ranchers (and the wolves).


It's not as big a problem as you're painting it to be. First of all, that 'rampage' happened three years ago now, and nothing of that magnitude has hit the news since. Second of all, that rancher obstinately refused to do anything to protect their sheep even thought they knew that there were wolves in the area. No fence, no dogs, nothing. Lastly, the problem wolves were killed and the rancher paid $350 per sheep. What I find simply fascinating is that the wolves would waste so much energy on killing so many sheep and not consume a one of them. Convenient that they are getting paid handsomely for it, too.
 
2012-04-10 01:37:51 PM  

gulogulo: That isn't a 'decimation' of the population.


Several populations as defined by the state for management purposes are indeed being decimated. Just do a little googling on the Lolo zone in Idaho (something to get you started (new window)). As a statewide whole, elk populations are doing OK, however, in some places there are big problems.

Hopefully with the state now having management responsibilities, we can get these populations healthy again.
 
2012-04-10 01:51:31 PM  

HeadLever: Several populations as defined by the state for management purposes are indeed being decimated. Just do a little googling on the Lolo zone in Idaho (something to get you started (new window)). As a statewide whole, elk populations are doing OK, however, in some places there are big problems.

Hopefully with the state now having management responsibilities, we can get these populations healthy again.


Browse could be insufficient for the mother's energy requirement in which case the calf is more likely to not survive, and be unable to flee wolves. There's a host of reasons that might be influencing those numbers. That site is already blatantly 'anti-wolf' and misrepresents the figures published by Idaho's fish and game. 52% calf survival may not be all that off the mark in a normal ecosystem, and what you see is a greater balancing.

In any case, cars vehicle collisions kill more elk and deer a year than wolves.

As a wildlife biologist, I agree that management is necessary, but the wolf populations are no where near what they once were. There are other ways for states to raise revenues, and hunters can still hunt. But the impact of allowing the herbivore herds to get to the levels they have just to allow for better hunting is entirely irresponsible for the sake of the landscape as a hole.
 
2012-04-10 01:52:33 PM  

gulogulo: It's not as big a problem as you're painting it to be.


It is a big problem when most ranchers already have a hard time making any money. This is not a lucurative profession and any livestock loss makes it all that more difficult to continue to keep the buisness going.

True, and that rampage is an extraordinary case. Wolves will typically kill only 1 or maybe 2 beef in any given night. With sheep, that is more about 3 to 10 per depredation.

Second of all, that rancher obstinately refused to do anything to protect their sheep even thought they knew that there were wolves in the area. No fence, no dogs, nothing.

Again, wolves don't obey NO TRESSPASSING signs, while dogs and shepards are not really effective. To say that they did nothing is wrong (this rancher lost guard dogs to wolves before this incident).
 
2012-04-10 01:58:32 PM  
whole*
 
2012-04-10 02:02:19 PM  

HeadLever: gulogulo: It's not as big a problem as you're painting it to be.

It is a big problem when most ranchers already have a hard time making any money. This is not a lucurative profession and any livestock loss makes it all that more difficult to continue to keep the buisness going.

True, and that rampage is an extraordinary case. Wolves will typically kill only 1 or maybe 2 beef in any given night. With sheep, that is more about 3 to 10 per depredation.

Second of all, that rancher obstinately refused to do anything to protect their sheep even thought they knew that there were wolves in the area. No fence, no dogs, nothing.

Again, wolves don't obey NO TRESSPASSING signs, while dogs and shepards are not really effective. To say that they did nothing is wrong (this rancher lost guard dogs to wolves before this incident).


Fences are effective if built properly. There are ways to protect your livestock, particularly when sheep don't need the massive amount of land as cattle do.I don't understand why you are seeming to indicate otherwise. Besides, mountain lions predate on sheep far more frequently than wolves. One sensational incident does not make the problem as widespread as you indicate it is..and the article I read said they refused to do any of the necessary precautions to protect their ranch. If they lost guard dogs earlier that was not mentioned.
 
2012-04-10 02:04:09 PM  
Oh, and another take on the Lolo elk decline that indicates that it's not necessarily "wolves" causing the decline in the populations: Link (new window)
 
2012-04-10 02:04:54 PM  

gulogulo: There's a host of reasons that might be influencing those numbers


True and that is why the IDFG did a study (new window,pdf) on the nature of the population drop. The main reason - wolves.

In any case, cars vehicle collisions kill more elk and deer a year than wolves

While that may be the case nation wide (or even state wide), that is not the major impact for many of these declining populations.

but the wolf populations are no where near what they once were.

True and we don't want them there, either. It is generally within everyon's best interest to have a small and stable population of wolves that are managed with all interest in mind.

But the impact of allowing the herbivore herds to get to the levels they have just to allow for better hunting is entirely irresponsible for the sake of the landscape as a hole.

I'll agree. Everyone is giving up something in this battle. Ranchers need to accept the impact to livestock. Hunters need to accept the impacts jto big game. Environmentallist are going to need to accept the managment.
 
2012-04-10 02:09:05 PM  

HeadLever: True and that is why the IDFG did a study (new window,pdf) on the nature of the population drop. The main reason - wolves.


Yes, and the link I just posted pointed out serious flaws in that research as well as flaws in their conclusions.

HeadLever: True and we don't want them there, either. It is generally within everyon's best interest to have a small and stable population of wolves that are managed with all interest in mind.


They will actually never be to those levels. But it's hard to imagine that extremely low levels of natural predators are somehow now a major problem for their natural prey.
 
2012-04-10 02:10:41 PM  

gulogulo: As a wildlife biologist, I agree that management is necessary, but the wolf populations are no where near what they once were. There are other ways for states to raise revenues, and hunters can still hunt. But the impact of allowing the herbivore herds to get to the levels they have just to allow for better hunting is entirely irresponsible for the sake of the landscape as a hole.


The problem is that the regulatory structures and organizations are built with an eye towards managing species. That's easy to do when you control the number of permits and bag limits. That's harder to do when you have to actually account for the actions of an unregulated third party (ie., wolves and the like).
 
2012-04-10 02:15:57 PM  
The Southwest US still have pockets of plague Link (new window)
The Southwest US also loves killing rattlesnakes
Rattlesnakes keep the population of rodents down that carry the plague
Drjekel can't wait for 2025
 
2012-04-10 02:18:37 PM  

gulogulo: Fences are effective if built properly.


Fences that are built to keep wolves out are waaaay out of the budget for these ranchers. Plus you will have those NIMBYs that will be biatching about the ugly fences and how they ruin the vista.

There are ways to protect your livestock,

And there are ways to go to the moon as well. These ranchers have to balance mitigations with the risk of depredaion. On this topic, government trappers use to collar quite a number of wolves. Since they could find out the location, ranchers begain installing Radio Activated Guard (RAG) boxes along thier property. It worked for a week or two until they become used to the sounds. Alas, once the environmenatlist found out that they were also using the collars to track and eliminate problem wolves, their collaring funds dried up. On a humorous sidenote, Mr Turner even went as far as trying 'electroshock therapy' to condition them, but that only ended up giving the wolves meal that twinging metallic flavor. Hungry wolves were found to have a quite high tolerance to eletrocution.

Besides, mountain lions predate on sheep far more frequently than wolves.

Overall, maybe. However, not in the areas where the problem populations are.
 
2012-04-10 02:18:57 PM  

dittybopper: The problem is that the regulatory structures and organizations are built with an eye towards managing species. That's easy to do when you control the number of permits and bag limits. That's harder to do when you have to actually account for the actions of an unregulated third party (ie., wolves and the like).


It isn't really. There are a host of formulas out there to take into the account the dynamics of predator populations in relationship to a K-selected species population growth curve. It also takes educating a severely obstinate public who wants what they want when they want it, and fail to see the dynamics of the system. For instance, more wolves would decrease a much larger (when compared to replacement of wolf to coyote) coyote population.
 
2012-04-10 02:22:29 PM  

HeadLever: Fences that are built to keep wolves out are waaaay out of the budget for these ranchers. Plus you will have those NIMBYs that will be biatching about the ugly fences and how they ruin the vista.


If you are ranching on public land "range improvements" are often provided by the BLM or the NRCS. If you are ranching on private lands, you should be taking into account the costs of what your ranch needs. It hardly seems right to go around disrupting an ecosystem because you can't afford to do what is necessary, does it? Sheep ranching is not a aparticularly lucrative business at all anymore. Should we be subsidizing this now for them?
 
2012-04-10 02:28:42 PM  

gulogulo: Yes, and the link I just posted pointed out serious flaws in that research as well as flaws in their conclusions.


No it did not. It just discusses the study. It found that statewide, elk populaitons are doing OK (as I have stated). However, it does show problems in the Lolo Zone.

But it's hard to imagine that extremely low levels of natural predators are somehow now a major problem for their natural prey.

Per your link:
Biologists found that wolves killed significant numbers of collared elk in only one area, the Lolo zone along U.S. Highway 12 in north Idaho. Over the three years, the report claims wolves killed 20 percent of the Lolo sample, or about six elk. Three-quarters of the collared elk survived, less than Fish and Game's survival goal of 88 percent.

And it is not just the big game. Wolves have a big impact on both big game and livestock. As I mentioned, all interest need to have a say in the management of wolves. Idaho has a management plan and it has been approved by the federal government (the Obama Administration, no less). The wacky environmentallist and the wacky rednecks did not like it, but it is something that most of us can live with.
 
2012-04-10 02:31:29 PM  

HeadLever: Overall, maybe. However, not in the areas where the problem populations are.


Can you tell me where those are, because according to NASS, of the 37% of mortality in sheep that are incurred by predation, the majority of this comes from coyote (60%) and secondly domestic dogs. The percentage taken by wolves is so small a percentage of that 37% it is lumped in with ravens and "other predators."
 
2012-04-10 02:33:10 PM  

HeadLever: significant numbers of collared elk in only one area, the Lolo zone along U.S. Highway 12 in north Idaho. Over the three years, the report claims wolves killed 20 percent of the Lolo sample, or about six elk. Three-quarters of the collared elk survived, less than Fish and Game's survival goal of 88 percent.


Keep reading. The number of elk actually collared was pretty low and not adequately reported. Is that really a significant finding then?
 
2012-04-10 02:33:51 PM  

HeadLever: No it did not. It just discusses the study. It found that statewide, elk populaitons are doing OK (as I have stated). However, it does show problems in the Lolo Zone.


And pointed out errors in the study itself.
 
2012-04-10 02:35:55 PM  

gulogulo: If you are ranching on public land "range improvements"


Those improvements are only for public land and any fence that is built there will have to allow passage of wolves. 99% of the time, ranchers are on the hook for all fences on thier property.

It hardly seems right to go around disrupting an ecosystem because you can't afford to do what is necessary, does it?

In 99% of the cases, the improvements were alreay in place before the wolves were reintroduced. They did not 'disrupt' the ecosystem. Especially since much of this ranch land is used benifically by other big game (deer, elk, coyotes, fox, bobcats, moose, turkeys, etc). Fencing the land for wolves will cut off access for many of these animals as well. And when big game can't graze on the rancher's land, there are other problems that will soon arise.
 
2012-04-10 02:39:05 PM  

HeadLever: Those improvements are only for public land and any fence that is built there will have to allow passage of wolves. 99% of the time, ranchers are on the hook for all fences on thier property.


Where are you getting your numbers from? You are making a lot of statements without a lot of data to back it up. Sheep do not need the same space that wolves have and are generally not ranched on public lands. Or do you have some n umbers for hte percentage that are up there? Or how many cattle are taken a year?
 
2012-04-10 02:42:03 PM  

gulogulo: Can you tell me where those are,


Per the article above, a certain pasture in Dillion, Montana.

The percentage taken by wolves is so small a percentage of that 37% it is lumped in with ravens and "other predators."

That is true when you take teh states as a whole. However, wolves do not habitate the entire state the ways that coyotes do. And for sheep, coyotes have a much easier killing. For beef, coyotes usually don't mess with anything bigger than a day old calf.
 
2012-04-10 02:44:21 PM  

gulogulo: HeadLever: No it did not. It just discusses the study. It found that statewide, elk populaitons are doing OK (as I have stated). However, it does show problems in the Lolo Zone.

And pointed out errors in the study itself.


Where? Cite the part of the article. I could have missed it, but it liked just a discussion of the study to me.
 
2012-04-10 02:51:35 PM  

gulogulo: Where are you getting your numbers from?


Growing up on a ranch, I know that the federal or state governments don't pay for farmer's or ranchers fences on private land unless in very extreme circumstances.

Sheep do not need the same space that wolves have and are generally not ranched on public lands.

Here in the intermountain west, sheep grazing on public land is a very big deal. Look up the Basques here in idaho and this will give you a taste of how important that is here. (new window, tiny taste).

Ranching here in Idaho is pretty much dependant upon public lands since so much of the state is public land. Where I grew up, public land was 97.5% of the total county.
 
2012-04-10 02:56:02 PM  

gulogulo: dittybopper: The problem is that the regulatory structures and organizations are built with an eye towards managing species. That's easy to do when you control the number of permits and bag limits. That's harder to do when you have to actually account for the actions of an unregulated third party (ie., wolves and the like).

It isn't really. There are a host of formulas out there to take into the account the dynamics of predator populations in relationship to a K-selected species population growth curve. It also takes educating a severely obstinate public who wants what they want when they want it, and fail to see the dynamics of the system. For instance, more wolves would decrease a much larger (when compared to replacement of wolf to coyote) coyote population.


I know, but you are talking past what I was saying. You can't *REGULATE* what they do, you can only *ACCOUNT* for it. People like to control stuff.
 
2012-04-10 03:00:24 PM  
Relevant Article (new window)
 
2012-04-10 03:09:26 PM  

dryknife: Relevant Article (new window)


Revenant Article (new window)
 
2012-04-10 03:11:38 PM  

gulogulo: Or do you have some n umbers for hte percentage that are up there? Or how many cattle are taken a year?


In the area I grew up, cattle was the livestock of choice. As mentioned earlier, coyotes really don't mess around with cattle once they get a week or so old. In addiiton, coyotes are classified as predators and can be shot on sight any time of the year. As such they are pretty wary and overall are not a big problem for ranchers where I am from.

However, wolves are another story. They will kill, not only the calves, but cows and even bulls. They will also take down llamas, horses and anything else you are raising. Where I grew up, it was normal for each rancher to lose between 2 and 10 cattle per year during the winter and spring and then another 3 to 15 when they turned out on public land in the spring and summer. However, The problems don't stop there. when wolves get into a herd of cattle, the stress can cause pregnant cattle to abort their calves and duing shipping season, stress can reduce weight. This all hits the bottom line of the ranchers. For the most part, the ranchers do what they can and accept the impact with some grumbling, disgusted snorts and a rant or two at the bar.
 
2012-04-10 03:19:51 PM  

HeadLever: Per the article above, a certain pasture in Dillion, Montana.


A sample of 1 does not a pattern make.

HeadLever: That is true when you take teh states as a whole. However, wolves do not habitate the entire state the ways that coyotes do. And for sheep, coyotes have a much easier killing. For beef, coyotes usually don't mess with anything bigger than a day old calf.


So that supports the fact that wolves are not as a big a predator of sheep as you're making them out to be.

HeadLever: Growing up on a ranch, I know that the federal or state governments don't pay for farmer's or ranchers fences on private land unless in very extreme circumstances.


If the cost of paying out per sheep loss is greater than building a fence, if the problem is as big as you are indicating, then that may qualify as an 'extreme' circumstance.

dittybopper: I know, but you are talking past what I was saying. You can't *REGULATE* what they do, you can only *ACCOUNT* for it. People like to control stuff.


Right, by reducing the number of tags allowed. People also need a little education before they go around trying to control things.

HeadLever: Where? Cite the part of the article. I could have missed it, but it liked just a discussion of the study to me.


"White said biologists tried to collar approximately 30 female elk in each area, but didn't provide exact numbers."

"Over the three years, the report claims wolves killed 20 percent of the Lolo sample, or about six elk." (Scientifically, this is a very small sample size and impossible to claim statistical significance from it).

"White said deteriorating habitat in the Lolo zone has contributed to declining elk numbers since at least 1988, before wolves entered the picture. The population dropped by 40 percent during the severe winter of 1996-97 alone." Other factors contributing to declining elk numbers.

"Conversely, the report showed that hunters were the biggest cause of elk kills in two other areas with declining populations: the Pioneer zone east of Ketchum, and Island Park near Rexburg. In the Island Park zone, hunters killed 17 percent of collared elk while wolves killed none."


On a side note, I was somewhat ok with the delisting of the wolves as a federally endangered species. I do take issue with you attributing a want for careful examination of an issue and not merely managing for hunters as being a wacky environmentalist. I'm a scientist, a hunter, and conservationist.
 
2012-04-10 03:23:10 PM  
Man I failed hard at formatting that post. Sorry about that.
 
2012-04-10 03:40:39 PM  

HeadLever: gulogulo: Where are you getting your numbers from?

Growing up on a ranch, I know that the federal or state governments don't pay for farmer's or ranchers fences on private land unless in very extreme circumstances.

Sheep do not need the same space that wolves have and are generally not ranched on public lands.

Here in the intermountain west, sheep grazing on public land is a very big deal. Look up the Basques here in idaho and this will give you a taste of how important that is here. (new window, tiny taste).

Ranching here in Idaho is pretty much dependant upon public lands since so much of the state is public land. Where I grew up, public land was 97.5% of the total county.


did the Basques (and I am astonished to find there is a population of them anywhere but Spain) perchance bring any of their cute little shepherd doggies with them?
1.bp.blogspot.com

they are the reason the wolves went extinct in that area of the world
 
2012-04-10 03:41:44 PM  

gulogulo: A sample of 1 does not a pattern make.


True as I alreay mentioned it was an extraordinary case. It is, however, an area that has been very hard hit with wolf predations.

So that supports the fact that wolves are not as a big a predator of sheep as you're making them out to be.

As I have stated several times, overall no. In certain areas they are a big part of the predation problem.

If the cost of paying out per sheep loss is greater than building a fence, if the problem is as big as you are indicating, then that may qualify as an 'extreme' circumstance.

Government doesn't pay for items that will simply save the rancher money. The goverment only pays for items that make sense for the public good. Things like fencing off riparian wetlands or streams to reduce stream bank erosion, etc.

White said biologists tried to collar approximately 30 female elk in each area, but didn't provide exact numbers."

"Over the three years, the report claims wolves killed 20 percent of the Lolo sample, or about six elk." (Scientifically, this is a very small sample size and impossible to claim statistical significance from it).

"White said deteriorating habitat in the Lolo zone has contributed to declining elk numbers since at least 1988, before wolves entered the picture. The population dropped by 40 percent during the severe winter of 1996-97 alone." Other factors contributing to declining elk numbers.

"Conversely, the report showed that hunters were the biggest cause of elk kills in two other areas with declining populations: the Pioneer zone east of Ketchum, and Island Park near Rexburg. In the Island Park zone, hunters killed 17 percent of collared elk while wolves killed none."


A small sample size is not an error, but just a limiting factor to the study. The rest of them don't seem to conflict with the study at all.


I do take issue with you attributing a want for careful examination of an issue and not merely managing for hunters as being a wacky environmentalist.

I am not saying that we only need to manage for hunters. In fact, I have stated that hunters are going to have to get used to reduced game populations. Hunters are a big part of wildlife management as the licenses, tags and taxes on sporting goods makes up the vast majority of state fund used for wildlife and conservation. Overall, I said that we neeed to manage with respect to many different interests, hunters, ranchers and ecotourism all included. Don't misrepresent my point.

I don't feel that you are a wacky environmenallist as you seem to be pretty honest (especially for Fark). You just seem to be a little unfamiliar with the wolf issue here in the intermountain west. I have tried not to be too snarky and was just hoping to fill in some of the gaps of how wolf management impact us out here. The folks like the Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biologic Diversity are the kooks in this regard. Now if you belong to one of these groups, then we may never see eye to eye.
:)
 
2012-04-10 03:48:38 PM  

HeadLever: gulogulo: Or do you have some n umbers for hte percentage that are up there? Or how many cattle are taken a year?

In the area I grew up, cattle was the livestock of choice. As mentioned earlier, coyotes really don't mess around with cattle once they get a week or so old. In addiiton, coyotes are classified as predators and can be shot on sight any time of the year. As such they are pretty wary and overall are not a big problem for ranchers where I am from.

However, wolves are another story. They will kill, not only the calves, but cows and even bulls. They will also take down llamas, horses and anything else you are raising. Where I grew up, it was normal for each rancher to lose between 2 and 10 cattle per year during the winter and spring and then another 3 to 15 when they turned out on public land in the spring and summer. However, The problems don't stop there. when wolves get into a herd of cattle, the stress can cause pregnant cattle to abort their calves and duing shipping season, stress can reduce weight. This all hits the bottom line of the ranchers. For the most part, the ranchers do what they can and accept the impact with some grumbling, disgusted snorts and a rant or two at the bar.


Coyotes are tough little buggers for being so small. When I lived in the middle of Chicago (about a block from Al Capone's bar the Green Mill) there was a thriving population of the little buggers (a pack of at least a dozen) living in the graveyard behind my apartment. Since the nighborhood had 6 Chinese restaurants on one blck, it really worried me that I never saw a single rat in the neighborhood until I noticed the coyotes, and the six pair of perrigrine falcons nesting in a nearby building.
 
2012-04-10 03:51:25 PM  

HeadLever: Government doesn't pay for items that will simply save the rancher money. The goverment only pays for items that make sense for the public good. Things like fencing off riparian wetlands or streams to reduce stream bank erosion, etc.


Given I work with the BLM concerning their "range improvements" I know that's not true. Maybe it was when you were growing up but that's not true now.

HeadLever: A small sample size is not an error, but just a limiting factor to the study. The rest of them don't seem to conflict with the study at all.


It's a major limiting factor, and scientifically would not be adequate for drawing the conclusions it did.

That said, I grudgingly agree that even though only 3% of beef production consumed in the United States comes from public lands, that careful management of wolf populations might still be warranted. People do need to make a living. I think I'm still a little irked by an splashy headlining article in "Hunters Magazine" with the tagline "450 deer taking by wolves in each state every year and now they're coming for yours!" It's fear mongering and frankly, meant to inspire the kind of attitude that caused the complete decimation of the species and other major predators in the past. What followed was an explosion in our herbivore populations, and an incredible decimation of our forests. Browsing herbivores do significant damage, as it is, and I just cringe to see it. Moreover, in New Mexico, wolf populations have not even been allowed to really re-establish due to pre-emptive strikes by cattle ranchers. I understand their fears, but there are preventative measures that can be taken prior to having to eliminate the wolves. Instead, the coyote populations have soared, fox population and other meso carnivores have plummeted, and we are seeing explosions in their prey species that the coyotes generally do not go for and a decimation of other prey species that never had that kind of coyote pressure before. I hate to make a slippery slope argument, but it sure seems sometimes that we have some drastic short term memory.
 
2012-04-10 03:55:10 PM  

Magorn: did the Basques (and I am astonished to find there is a population of them anywhere but Spain) perchance bring any of their cute little shepherd doggies with them?


Don't you know it. The Great Pyraneese is a very popular breed over here, just because of these folks (new window)

/Jaialdi is quite the little event here
//probably appropriate that 'jail' is part of the name
///Handy little guide published for the last one (new window)
//sucks we have to wait until 2015 for the next one
/slashies
 
2012-04-10 03:59:24 PM  
Also..donkeys.
 
2012-04-10 04:11:55 PM  

gulogulo: I hate to make a slippery slope argument,


Slippery slopes, while a logical fallacy, do in fact exist:

Mechanisms of the Slippery Slope.

Don't hesitate to use them if there is a valid concern that A might lead to B.
 
2012-04-10 04:15:52 PM  

gulogulo: Given I work with the BLM concerning their "range improvements" I know that's not true.


BLM range improvements will be centered on public land, though. I am talking about private land only.

/worked for the Forest Service for a year or two

It's a major limiting factor, and scientifically would not be adequate for drawing the conclusions it did.

With that I can problably agree. However, in their defense, it is not easy to capture and collar elk, nor is it all that safe as they are typically stressed in the winter anyhow.

I think I'm still a little irked by an splashy headlining article in "Hunters Magazine" with the tagline "450 deer taking by wolves in each state every year and now they're coming for yours!" It's fear mongering and frankly, meant to inspire the kind of attitude that caused the complete decimation of the species and other major predators in the past.

Yeah, I am typically on the side of the redneck most of the time, but I hear the same crap all the time. Makes me want to beat my head against the wall sometime. In many cases these folks are their own worst enemy. Just when thing kind of settles down you get some dumbass trapper do this shiat (new window) and it starts all over again.

What followed was an explosion in our herbivore populations, and an incredible decimation of our forests. Browsing herbivores do significant damage, as it is, and I just cringe to see it.

Yep, I'll agree that many elk populatoins (Lolo included) were much too big to be sustainable. In this way, the wolf population was needed as hunters/game managers were not filling that role adequatly. As such, hunters got spoiled when all they had to do was run up and down the road with thier gun out the windown waiting for an elk to cross the sidehill. It ain't that way anymore and folks like to biatch about it. That being said there is a line that we want to stay above. Right now that is being crossed. In the 3 areas that I hunt, two units are completly shut down and the third one is limited enought that it is very difficult to draw a hunt. That part is disconcerting, however, with the newly instituted wolf hunts, many more elk are making it through the winter. If things can stablilze now, that would be a great relief to many, me included.
 
2012-04-10 04:21:28 PM  

Magorn: Coyotes are tough little buggers for being so small.


Yeah, folks want to make a big deal about wolves being persecuted. The coyote would be poster child for the persecuted animal and they thrive in spite of it. Wolves would too. There is a reason we had to resort to poision to get rid of them the first time around.
 
2012-04-10 04:29:20 PM  

HeadLever: Yeah, I am typically on the side of the redneck most of the time, but I hear the same crap all the time. Makes me want to beat my head against the wall sometime. In many cases these folks are their own worst enemy. Just when thing kind of settles down you get some dumbass trapper do this shiat (new window) and it starts all over again.


Yeah, and I'm a certified trapper too, so I know it can be done responsibly and ethically, so that kind of stuff just grates me.

Oh, and this is the issue I was talking about: Link (new window)
 
2012-04-10 04:31:03 PM  
Ugh. I can't get the Link to work. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hunting-April-May-2012-450-Deer-a-Day-Hollywoo d-Fights-Back-/160777527572 that's where you can see a picture of the cover art and the tagline. I checked out some hunter forums and they really buy that drivel hook line and sinker for being a argument for not having brought the wolves back.
 
2012-04-10 04:46:21 PM  

gulogulo: so that kind of stuff just grates me.


I'll agree 100%. First rule of hunting/trapping is don't do anyting that will end up hurting you chance at hunting/trapping ever again.

For a good documentary and if you want to waste an hour, this was pretty well done. (new window) Especially when you consider a 20 year old kid put it together.

Most of it is pretty accurate from what I can tell, however, it tells the story from the Montana side, so I cannot personally say for sure.

/my family knows one of the ranchers, however.
 
2012-04-10 04:49:14 PM  
I should clarify, most of the background and history stuff is pretty good. The conclusions..... Take what you will. I don't agree with it all.
 
2012-04-10 06:40:12 PM  

dittybopper: Another reason why sport hunting can't be effective is because a lot of landowners, both public and private, won't allow it on their property. That allows large concentrations of animals to grow, outstripping the ability of the land to provide food.


unfortuanetly, too many people are dangerous and irresponsible. My family owns a lot of good land in western new york, but we post it religiously because we just don't trust other people to hunt responsibly. Even with the posting, people still pretend they don't see it and sneak on the property (and act like real jerks when we catch them.) We hunt it ourselves and we don't want to deal with some idiot from the burbs who thinks dear hunting is done in a ghilli suit and who shoots at flashes of movement.

last year i went out for a day on public land with a friend and the people out there doing incredibly stupid stuff was enough to send me running back to private. you just can't let people you don't know personally go wandering around.

and that's not even getting into the legal aspects of it- if someone shoots another hunter on your land, you could be responsible. who wants that risk hanging over there head?
 
2012-04-10 07:19:41 PM  
What a predator loss might look like:

www.flightglobal.com
 
2012-04-10 07:44:47 PM  

dittybopper: [i52.tinypic.com image 512x324]

What time is it? After 5:00? Damn. Time to go rape me some fine biatches.


I really, REALLY liked that movie.
 
2012-04-11 07:35:11 AM  

tlchwi02: and that's not even getting into the legal aspects of it- if someone shoots another hunter on your land, you could be responsible. who wants that risk hanging over there head?


This is absolutely false. From the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website:

Liability
Whether or not the land is posted, New York State General Obligations Law protects landowners from liability for non-paying recreationists engaged in hunting, trapping and fishing on their property. Because of this protection, recreational liability lawsuits against rural landowners are uncommon. This protection does not apply in cases of willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against dangers.


If someone gets shot on your land while hunting, so long as you weren't *CHARGING* them for the privilege of hunting there, you have no liability.
 
2012-04-11 07:38:49 AM  

StoneColdAtheist: dittybopper: [i52.tinypic.com image 512x324]

What time is it? After 5:00? Damn. Time to go rape me some fine biatches.

I really, REALLY liked that movie.


Yeah. I like all the Predator films, even Predator 2 and the AvP films, but Predators is right up there with the original.
 
2012-04-11 11:14:41 AM  

HeadLever: rudemix: I'd think the wolves killing of livestock is the biggest gripe of farmers.

That is true. Another big issue we are having with wolves is the decimation of several elk populations. It has become bad enough in some hunting areas that all elk tags have been pulled and no hunting is allowed. This is a big issue for hunters as it reduces their ability to hunt and it also hits the state in the pocketbook. Idaho has estimated that it loses about 25 to 30 million each year due to the impact of big game herds by wolves. Of course, just recently, wolves themselves have become a big game animial that has a hunting season. The selling of these tags have helped to offset some of this loss or revenue.


Sadly, the loss of game in those areas is not all due to increased predators

Part of the problem reducing N.A. herds of deer and elk is Chronic Wasting Disease
(quick ref) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_ wasting_disease
 
2012-04-11 11:20:08 AM  

dittybopper: If someone gets shot on your land while hunting, so long as you weren't *CHARGING* them for the privilege of hunting there, you have no liability


"Because of this protection, recreational liability lawsuits against rural landowners are uncommon. This protection does not apply in cases of willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against dangers."

the problem is, there's loopholes and caveats to any tort protection. We let people hunt out there with us, who we know, and trust. but letting random people on the property? not going to happen. once you let people on, your ability to manage your own property goes out the window.
 
2012-04-11 11:43:44 AM  

dittybopper: StoneColdAtheist: dittybopper: What time is it? After 5:00? Damn. Time to go rape me some fine biatches.

I really, REALLY liked that movie.

Yeah. I like all the Predator films, even Predator 2 and the AvP films, but Predators is right up there with the original.


I haven't seen any of the AvP films, but I really enjoyed Predator, and even P2 once I got over the shock of realizing the Ah-nold wasn't going to be in it (I spent the first third of the movie wondering when he'd make an appearance). And I agree that Predators is right up there with...maybe even better, than the original. It certainly met or exceeded my expectations. The ending left off perfectly for a sequel where the two survivors can intercept and team up with the next batch of human victims to fight off the Predators. Then wrap up the franchise with a final film in which they defeat the Predators and are able to return to Earth...maybe by teaming with the minority tribe Predators.

Anyway, I really hope Rodriguez makes at least one more film based on the Brody/Braga character set.
 
2012-04-11 11:57:40 AM  

nanim: Sadly, the loss of game in those areas is not all due to increased predators


You are correct that it is 'not all'. It is, however, a very big part of it.

Regarding CWD, it has not hit Idaho (yet). If you look a the map below, most of the concentrated areas of CWD is outside of current wolf population ranges.

www.outdoorlife.com
 
2012-04-11 02:24:34 PM  
Idaho does have CWD spreading into the area.

article from 2008, Moose with CWD, it was found 10 miles from Idaho border:
http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005123724
 
2012-04-11 02:35:27 PM  

StoneColdAtheist: Anyway, I really hope Rodriguez makes at least one more film based on the Brody/Braga character set.


Yeah, they were pretty badass. It was left open for a sequel, so let's hope.

I'm actually hoping that at some point, since we know the Predators have been coming to Earth for hundreds of years, that they grab some colonial-frontier badasses. Think Cowboys and Aliens, but earlier in history.
 
2012-04-11 02:50:44 PM  

HeadLever: nanim: Sadly, the loss of game in those areas is not all due to increased predators

You are correct that it is 'not all'. It is, however, a very big part of it.

Regarding CWD, it has not hit Idaho (yet). If you look a the map below, most of the concentrated areas of CWD is outside of current wolf population ranges.

[www.outdoorlife.com image 640x480]


Actually, a bigger part than the predators is landscape and vegetation changes. Browse quality reduction as grasslands and other conifer forests are converted to pinyon-juniper savannahs has been indicated as a drop in Elk fitness, which may make them more likely to be at risk of predation. I don't think this was brought up (and if it was, I apologize), but it also has been suggested that now that Elk have wolves now once more as predators they are behaving more secretively (not lingering in open meadows ), as they once did in their pasts. Not in areas were populations were actually measured to have decreased (measured by other metrics other than harvest totals), but the perception of there being less elk to a hunter might not be an accurate one. They're just harder to find.
 
2012-04-11 03:14:00 PM  

nanim: Idaho does have CWD spreading into the area.


Yeah, seems to be knocking on the door. But so far, we have dodged that bullet. Though it is probably just a matter of time.

gulogulo: Actually, a bigger part than the predators is landscape and vegetation changes. Browse quality reduction as grasslands and other conifer forests are converted to pinyon-juniper savannahs has been indicated as a drop in Elk fitness, which may make them more likely to be at risk of predation. I don't think this was brought up (and if it was, I apologize), but it also has been suggested that now that Elk have wolves now once more as predators they are behaving more secretively (not lingering in open meadows ), as they once did in their pasts. Not in areas were populations were actually measured to have decreased (measured by other metrics other than harvest totals), but the perception of there being less elk to a hunter might not be an accurate one. They're just harder to find.


I agree that the vegitation changes can be an impact, however, here in Idaho the wintering range for many elk are basically near or in ranchers' fields. Also, elk populations outside of the current wolf ranges are doing very well in comparison. In any case, winter is when wolves really impact the herds especially when the snow becomes crusted enough for wolves to walk on top of, but elk posthole through. They are basically sitting ducks at that time.

Elk have definatly changed thier behavior patterns with the wolves (much less vocal during the rut, spend much more time in the thicker forest during the summer/fall, etc). This is likely part of the impact on hunter's sucesss rates, which has obviously plummeted in these areas. However, the counts take place during the winter when the elk are in the wintering grounds, which is typically much more open and eaiser to count.

In another point toward your argument, these counts also don't accout for the elk that simply pack up and leave for other areas. While this type of migration is not typical, they do find that some elk will simply pack up and leave an area for good.

/Call them the 'Alec Baldwin Elk' that really do make good on thier threats.
 
2012-04-12 12:23:26 AM  

dittybopper: StoneColdAtheist: Anyway, I really hope Rodriguez makes at least one more film based on the Brody/Braga character set.

Yeah, they were pretty badass. It was left open for a sequel, so let's hope.

I'm actually hoping that at some point, since we know the Predators have been coming to Earth for hundreds of years, that they grab some colonial-frontier badasses. Think Cowboys and Aliens, but earlier in history.


It's already in the franchise. At the end of (IIRC) P2, a Predator pulls an old flintlock pistol from his belt and gives it to Danny Glover as a token of his respect. Plus, in the book Predator: Forever Midnight, one of the sub-plots deals with a surviving remnant of humans abducted in 1804 who survive subsequent Predator hunt cycles and end up teaming up with modern humans on another planet against the Predators.

Now that the franchise has gone off-world, the story line is completely open-ended.
 
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