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kgw

The Wolf at Trout Creek

Your tax dollars at their worst. . .
---------------------------------------------

An August Afternoon in Yellowstone:
The Wolf at Trout Creek

By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

The bison are in rut at Alum Creek.

Two or three hundred of the shaggy beasts are crowded in the little valley. The bulls have left their normal bachelor groups and joined the big herds of cows and calves to parry each other for  preferred mates. They are antsy, kicking up dust devils that swirl around them like brown mist.

I walk slowly up the creek to a group of five dark bison, three females and two males. One of the bulls looks ancient. His eyes are crusty, one of his black horns broken. He is large, but unsteady on his legs, which look too thin to support his bulk. He sucks breaths deeply and raggedly. His lower lip is extended and quivering as he approaches one of the young cows. He shakes his head, his tongue flicks repeatedly at the air, as if tasting the estrus.

As the old patriarch struggles to mount the cinnamon-colored female, a young bull rushes over, butts him in the side, nearly knocking him down. The young bull kicks at the ground, snorts aggressively. The old bull stands his ground for a moment, drool stringing from his mouth. Then finally he turns away from what will almost certainly be his last summer. He staggers downstream towards me, his head hung low, flies gathering at his eyes.

I am less than a mile from Yellowstone’s main road through the Hayden Valley, an artery thickly clogged with vans, mobile homes and the leather-and-chrome swarms of weekend motorcycle ganglets. There is no one else here in the pathway of the great herds. Even the metallic drone of the machines has faded so that I can hear the heavy breath of the bison in their annual ceremony of sexual potency.

Even bison, the very icon of the park, aren’t safe here in their last sanctuary. The shaggy bovines are victims of rancher panic and a gutless government. Like cattle and elk, bison can carry an infectious bacterium that leads to a disease called brucellosis which can, rarely, cause cows to abort fetuses. There’s no evidence that Yellowstone bison have transmitted the disease to Montana cattle, grazing cheaply on public lands near the park. But as a preventive strike, all bison that wander outside the boundaries of the park in search of forage during the deep snows of winter are confined in bison concentration camps, tested  and either killed on site or shipped to slaughter-houses.

Not to worry. Ted Turner is coming to the rescue.  I read in the morning paper that Turner is offering to liberate the bison quarantined at Corwin Springs, ship them to his 113,000 acre Flying D Ranch south of Bozeman, fatten them on his vast rangeland grasses and serve them up for $18 a plate at his restaurants.


Suddenly, the old bull turns my direction, angry and frustrated. He snorts, paws at hard dirt and feigns a charge.

I retreat and stumble south across the slope of stubborn sagebrush, over a rounded ridge and down into the Trout Creek valley, leaving the bison to settle their mating preferences in peace.

I’m leaking a little blood. The day before I took a nasty plunge down the mossy face of an andesite cliff at a beautiful waterfall in the Absaroka Mountains, ripping the nail off my big toe.

Each time my foot snags a rock an electric jolt stabs up my left leg. I stop at a at the crest of the ridge, find a spot clear of bison pies, and sit down. I ease off my boot and bloody sock, untwist the cap from a metal flask of icy water and pour it over my swollen toe, already turning an ugly black.

Even in late summer, the valley of Trout Creek is lush and green with tall grasses in striking contrast to the sere landscape of the ridges and the broad plain of the Hayden Valley. The creek itself is an object lesson in meander, circling itself like a loosely coiled rope on its reluctant path to the Yellowstone River. Once acclaimed for its cutthroat trout, the creek has been invaded by brookies, rainbows and brown trout—though these genetic intrusions are viewed with indifference by the great blue heron that is posing statuesquely in the reeds, waiting to strike.

Fifty years ago, Trout Creek was an entirely different kind of place. This valley was a dump, literally, and as such it was then thick with grizzly bears. The bears would assemble in the early evening, after the dump trucks had unloaded the day’s refuse from the migration of tourists to Fishing Bridge and Canyon and Tower Junction. Dozens of grizzlies would paw through the mounds of debris, becoming conditioned to the accidental kindness of an untrustworthy species.

The bears became concentrated at the dump sites and dependent on the food. This all came to a tragic end in 1968 when the Park Service decided to abruptly close the Trout Creek dump, despite warnings from bear biologists, Frank and John Craighead. Denied the easy pickings at the trash head that generations of bears had become habituated to, the Craigheads predicted that the grizzlies would begin wandering into campgrounds and developed sites in search of food. Such entanglements, the Craigheads warned, would prove fatal, mostly to the bears.

And so it came to pass. The dump-closure policy inaugurated a heinous decade of bear slaughter by the very agency charged with protecting the bruins. From 1968 to 1973, 190 grizzly bears in Yellowstone were killed by the Park Service, roughly a third of the known population. That’s the official tally. The real number may have been twice that amount, since the Park Service destroyed most of the bear incident reports from that era. Many bears died from tranquilizer overdoses and dozens of others were air-dropped outside the park boundaries only to be killed by state game officials.

The situation for the great bear has scarcely improved over the last forty years. There are more insidious ways to kill, mostly driven by the government’s continued lack of tolerance for the bear’s expansive nature. New park developments have fragmented its range, while cars, trashy campers, gun-totting tourists and back-country poachers rack up a grim toll. And now the climate itself is conspiring against the grizzly by inexorably burning out one of the bear’s main sources of seasonal protein, the whitebark pine.

Yellowstone is a closed system, a giant island. Genetic diversity is a real concern for Yellowstone’s isolated population of bears. So is the possibility of new diseases in a changing climate. The death rate of Yellowstone grizzlies has been climbing the last two years. The future is bleak. So, naturally, as one of its parting shots, the Bush administration delisted the Yellowstone population from the Endangered Species Act, stripping the bear of its last legal leverage against the forces of extinction. To date, the Obama administration has shown not the slightest inclination to reverse this travesty.

During the very week I was hobbling around Yellowstone one of Montana’s most famous grizzlies was found by a rancher, shot and killed on the Rocky Mountain Front near the small town of Augusta. He was a giant, non-confrontational bear who weighed more than 800 pounds and stood more than seven-and-a-half feet tall. He was beloved by grizzly watchers, who called him Maximus.  His anonymous killer left his corpse to rot in a field of alfalfa in the August sun. The government exhibited only its routine apathy at this illegal and senseless slaying. Let us pray that the great bear’s DNA is widely disseminated across the Northern Rockies and that his killer meets with an even more painful and pitiless end.

I catch a flash of white circling above me. Osprey? Swainson’s hawk? I dig into my pack and extract my binoculars and am quickly distracted by a weird motion on the ridgeline across the valley. I glass the slope. Four legs are pawing frantically at the sky. It is a wolf, rolling vigorously on its back, coating its pelt in dirt, urine or shit. Something foul to us and irresistible to wild canids.

The wolf rolls over and shakes. Dust flies from his fur. He tilts his head, then rubs his neck and shoulders onto the ground. He shakes again, sits and scans the valley.

His coat is largely gray, but his chest is black streaked by a thin necklace of white fur. He presents the classic lean profile of the timber wolf. Perhaps he is a Yellowstone native. He was certainly born in the park. His neck is shackled by the tell-tale telemetry collar, a reminder that the wolves of Yellowstone are under constant surveillance by the federal wolf cops. He is a kind of cyber-wolf, on permanent parole, deprived of an essential element of wildness. The feds are charting nearly every step he takes. One false move, and he could, in the antiseptic language of the bureaucracy, be “removed,” as in erased, as in terminated.

This wolf is two, maybe three years old. His coat is thick, dark and shiny. There is no sign of the corrosive mange that is ravaging many of the Yellowstone packs, a disease, like distemper and the lethal parvo virus, vectoring into the park from domestic dogs.



It has been nearly fifteen years since thirty-one gray wolves were reintroduced into the park, under the Clinton administration’s camera-ready program. With great fanfare, Bruce Babbitt hand-delivered the Canadian timber wolves to their holding pens inside the high caldera. Of course, it was an open secret -- vigorously denied by the Interior Department -- that wolves had already returned to Yellowstone on their own—if, that is, they’d ever really vanished from the park despite the government’s ruthless eradication campaign that persisted for nearly a century.

These new wolves came with a fatal bureaucratic catch.  Under Babbitt’s elastic interpretation of the Endangered Species Act, the wolves of Yellowstone were magically decreed to be a “non-essential, experimental population.”  This sinister phrase means that the Yellowstone wolves were not to enjoy the full protections afforded to endangered species and could be harassed, drugged, transported or killed at the whim of federal wildlife bureaucrats. Deviously, this sanguinary rule was applied to all wolves in Yellowstone, even the natives.

The Yellowstone packs, both reintroduced and native, are doing well, but not well enough considering the lethal threats arrayed against them, even inside the supposedly sacrosanct perimeter of the park.

This young wolf might well be a member of the Canyon pack, a gregarious gang of four wolves frequently sighted at Mammoth Hot Springs on Yellowstone’s northern fringe, where they dine liberally on the elk that hang around the Inn, cabins and Park Headquarters. This close-up view of predation-in-action agitated the tourists and when the tourists are upset, the Park Service responds with a vengeance. The federal wolf cops were dispatched to deal with the happy marauders. When the wolves began stalking the elk, Park Service biologists lobbed cracker grenade shells at them and shot at the wolves with rubber bullets.  Finally, the small pack left Mammoth for less hostile terrain, showing up this summer in the Hayden Valley, throbbing with elk and bison.

But the non-lethal warfare waged on the Canyon pack wolves came with a bloody price. The wolves lost their litter of pups, a troubling trend in Yellowstone these days. Pup mortality in Yellowstone is on the rise. Last year, on the northern range of the Park only eight pups survived. Several packs, including the Canyon and Leopold packs, produced no pups. Over the last two years, the wolf population inside the Park has dropped by 30 per cent. Even so, the Bush administration decided to strip the wolf of its meager protections under the Endangered Species Act in Montana and Idaho, opening the door for wolf hunting seasons in both states. Then Judge Donald Molloy, a no-nonsense Vietnam Vet, placed an injunction on the hunts and overturned the Bush administration delisting order.

Revoltingly, this spring, the Obama administration redrafted the Bush wolf-killing plan and again stripped the wolf of its protections under the Endangered Species Act. So now both Montana and Idaho are set to killing hundreds of wolves in state authorized hunts—unless Judge Molloy once again intervenes to halt the killing. Both states have brazenly threatened to defy the court if Judge Molloy rules in favor of the wolf. The putatively progressive governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer, has been especially bellicose on the matter, vowing: "If some old judge says we can't hunt wolves, we'll take it back to another judge."

In Idaho, the state plans to allow 220 wolves to be killed in its annual hunt and more than 6,000 wolf gunners have bought tags for the opportunity to participate in the slaughter. Up near Fairflied, Idaho rancher vigilantes are taking matters into their own hands. Last week, six wolves from the Solider Mountain pack in the wilds of central Idaho were killed, probably from eating a carcass laced with poison. Don’t expect justice for these wolves. Rex Rammell, a Republican candidate for governor of Idaho, has placed wolf eradication at the top of his agenda. He has also made repeated quips about getting a hunting tag for Obama. After catching some heat for this boast, Rammell sent out a clarifying Tweet: "Anyone who understands the law, knows I was just joking, because Idaho has no jurisdiction to issue hunting tags in Washington, D.C." Welcome to Idaho, where Sarah Palin got educated.

Across the valley, the wolf is standing rigid, his ears pricked by the bickering of a group of ravens below him on the far bank of Trout Creek. He moves slowly down the slope, stepping gingerly through the sagebrush. He stops at one of the looping meanders, wades into the water and swims downstream. He slides into the tall grass and then playfully leaps out, startling the ravens, who have been busy gleaning a bison carcass. Earlier in the morning a mother grizzly and two cubs had feasted here, I later learned from a Park biologist. Perhaps the Canyon wolves had made the kill, only to be driven away by a persuasive bear. Perhaps it was an old bull, killed during the rut.

The wolf raises his leg and pisses on the grass near the kill site.  He sniffs the ground and paces around the remains. Then he rolls again, twisting his body violently in mud near the bison hide and bones. The ravens return, pestering and chiding the wolf. He dismisses their antics and grabs a bone in his mouth.

I lurch down the hillside for a better view, bang my aching foot on a shard of basalt and squeal, “Fuck!”

The wolf’s ears stiffen again. He stares at me, bares his teeth, growls and sprints up and over the ridge, his mouth still clamped tightly on the prized bone, and down into the Alum valley, where he disappears into the dancing dust of mating bison.

Jeffrey St. Clair is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon. His newest book, Born Under a Bad Sky, is just out from AK Press / CounterPunch books. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.
Kit Fox

I'm happy they delisted the Grizzly bears, and the Wolves.

Can Wolf Hunting Help Conserve the Species?
kgw

Are Hunters Stupid?
The Unintended Consequences of Wolf Hunting

By GEORGE WUERTHNER

In my younger days I worked for the BLM in Boise, Idaho. A new range conservationists, named Daryl, came to the district. On Friday after work, we invited Daryl to a party so he could meet some of the local folks. I was talking to a couple of women when Daryl ambled up to us with a beer in his hand and big smile on his face. I introduced him and he started talking to the ladies

I think on the whole he was making a good impression. Dressed in his cowboy boots and jeans, Daryl made a striking figure. After making some small talk for a while, Daryl made his move. He asked them if they wanted to go gopher shooting on Saturday. “Gopher shooting” they asked incredulously? “Yeah, he said, “gopher hunting—you know blowing away gophers.” They looked stunned and remained silent. So Daryl tried to recover and said, “The fun part is seeing the red mist rise in the air when you hit one. It’s an incredible rush,” he said with obvious enthusiasm.

Those women just looked at each other like they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. He might as well ask them if they wanted to go the park and molest children. The women fled. Daryl was left baffled and standing alone. He just couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to go blow away gophers, especially when he offered to bring a spare rifle so they could join in the fun.

Poor Daryl had grown up on a farm in North Dakota, and more recently had worked in Burns Oregon. In his world, shooting gophers was considered a legitimate recreational pastime. But what passes for fun in rural America seems like senseless killing to most urban dwellers.

Sometimes I think most hunters in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are as clueless as Daryl. They can’t seem to comprehend how killing wolves baffles, if not outright infuriates, a lot of people. Wolf killing gives fodder to those who want to stop all hunting. Sometimes when I see these rural rubes, with their often ample bellies hanging over their equally ample belt buckles, strutting around celebrating the initiation of a wolf hunting season and talking about how it’s an "adrenaline rush" to shoot one, I have to wonder if they are brain dead or just incredibly naïve and ignorant about the rest of mainstream society’s values? They apparently cannot imagine how much some forms of hunting, including the shooting of an icon like the wolf, turns off the rest of society to hunting.

Most people don’t hunt, so the perception of hunting and hunters is key to how society will tolerate and support hunting as a legitimate activity. Yet most hunters seem to take the knee jerk attitude that anyone who objects to any form of hunting or kind of hunting, no matter how barbaric, is either a member of PETA, or just doesn’t “understand” Nature. The truth is that many of those objecting to wolf hunting are neither ignorant of ecology nor members of PETA or any other animal rights organization. Americans are willing to accept some forms of hunting, typically if the animal is used for food and/or if there is a legitimate safety issue—say animals carry rabies. But they don’t support outright slaughter of animals for no reason other than someone thinks killing is fun or a challenge. I and many of my friends hunt—but we all eat the animals we kill, and we don’t kill animals unnecessarily or with malice against them.

Furthermore, many Americans, including myself, consider spotting a wolf in the wild as a cherished event. Despite the claims by some hunters that there are “too many” wolves in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, the chance of seeing one of these animals in the wild is extremely rare. There are less than 2000 wolves spread over three of the largest western states. Imagine if there were only 2000 deer spread over all three states—would hunters think there were “too many?”

Plus, for many Americans, wolves are symbolic of a largely lost heritage of the wild, unfettered nature. And for some, such as myself, wolf restoration represents the best of American values—acknowledging the great ecological wrong we imposed upon the land when we extirpated wolves, and an attempt to heal the ecological wounds we created. So the idea that any state would implement a policy to restrict or reduce wolves is something to strongly oppose.

As the ecologist Aldo Leopold noted years ago, wolves also play an important biological role as a top down predator that has many ecological ramifications across the landscape. Unfortunately most hunters have not yet developed the ability to “think like a mountain” as Leopold admonished.

We do know that wolves select different animals in the herd from hunters. Wolves, while opportunistic, still tend to kill the young, old, and injured. They can keep herd animals free from disease and can sometimes have significant influence upon other animals and plants. For example, it’s theorized that hey alter habitat use by ungulates, for instance, moving elk out of riparian areas. Even when wolves severely reduce prey numbers, they are performing an important ecological function by providing plant communities respite from heavy browsing pressure.

Hunters by contrast, tend to kill the productive age healthy animals, and have less ecological influence upon prey species and habitat use than native predators.

Of course, some hunters rationalize killing wolves because they suggest the animals “need” to be managed. I hear that all the time, as if somehow the natural world had gone to hell in a hand-basket before Euro Americans arrived just in the nick of time to rescue Nature from imminent collapse. Of course, the “need” to manage wolves is both a self-created and self-justifying excuse to kill animals that most hunters wish would just go away or at least believe should be kept at much lower numbers.

All this talk about the so called “need” to manage wolves is disingenuous at best. Any good ecologist will tell you that wolves and other predators do not need to be “managed” since they are more or less self-regulating by prey availability and social interactions. The only reason one has to “manage” wolves is because state wildlife agencies want to sell more hunting licenses. (There may be rare instances where lethal action is necessary where an animal may have become habituated to people and poses a safety concern, but that is entirely different than “sport hunting”.)

I doubt most agencies care about predator social interactions. They treat wolves and other predators like cogs in a wheel—interchangeable parts. Shoot some wolves. Not to worry, more will be born. But the interactions between wolves, prey, and humans are not so simple. Animals have real social lives that influence many aspects of their behavior.

Indiscriminate hunting, by disrupting these social relationships, can exacerbate the conflicts between wolves and humans. Killing a large percentage of wolves in any area creates many of the so called “problems” that hunting is supposed to reduce. Indiscriminate hunting and reduction of wolves (as opposed to the surgical elimination of a particular animal or group) skews the local population towards younger animals which are less skilled hunters, thus more likely to attack easy prey like livestock.

Also with more young animals breeding, that produce more pups, you actually increase the total biomass requirements of packs so that even if they don’t prey on livestock, wolves are likely to need more prey—i.e. those elk, deer, and moose that hunters covet. Nothing will do more to create animosity and conflict towards predators than hunting. But you won’t hear this from any state wildlife agency since it’s not in their interest to worry about social interactions of animals.

Yet if you read hunting magazines and/or listen to hunters discussing the future of their favorite activity, you find a common theme is that predators are destroying game herds, and the “antis” are out to take away their guns. The “antis” are, of course, anyone else who doesn’t hunt. Most hunters spend more time complaining about the “antis” than doing anything meaningful to protect the habitat that is central to all hunting.

The real threat to hunting doesn’t come from PETA or any other animal rights group, but from the habitat loss resulting from oil drilling, logging, livestock grazing, ATVs, sprawl, and all the rest of the development and degradation of natural landscapes that continues unabated daily. Some hunters and some pro hunting organizations like the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, among others recognize this, and certainly most agency biologists are well aware of this threat, but the average hunter seems less interested in protesting against oil wells, expanding ATV use, and/or sprawl than complaining about the antis.

If hunters want to help realize their worst fears—that is fuel opposition to hunting by society--they could find no better way to do this than continue blowing away wolves. But if Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho want to signal to the world that they have entered the 21^st Century and no longer hold archaic and outdated ideas about predators, they can begin to value wolves as essential for ecological diversity, as well as their role in the American imagination as symbols of what we are doing right to heal the ecological wounds we created. The way to do this is to stop the hunting of all predators starting with wolves.

George Wuerthner is a wildlife biologist and a former Montana hunting guide. His latest book is Plundering Appalachia.
Kit Fox

[quote="kgw"]Are Hunters Stupid?
The Unintended Consequences of Wolf Hunting


Sometimes I think most hunters in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are as clueless as Daryl. They can’t seem to comprehend how killing wolves baffles, if not outright infuriates, a lot of people. Wolf killing gives fodder to those who want to stop all hunting. Sometimes when I see these rural rubes, with their often ample bellies hanging over their equally ample belt buckles, strutting around celebrating the initiation of a wolf hunting season and talking about how it’s an "adrenaline rush" to shoot one, I have to wonder if they are brain dead or just incredibly naïve and ignorant about the rest of mainstream society’s values?

Most of society actually supports hunting. And they don't share the BS stereotype used by antis to describe hunters.  Likewise most Americans don't share the same false religion of animism and pagan worship of "mother earth."  These fruitcakes would loved to be "one with the wolves," just like peyote smoking Native Americans thought they were.

Here is my permission slip to hunt.  

Jeremiah 16:16
"But now I will send for many fishermen," declares the LORD, "and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.

wtf is going on here?


sure hunting could actually be helpful - in the instances that the animal is overpopulated. but um, not when it's endangered.

but the best is this:
Quote:
same false religion of animism and pagan worship of "mother earth."


followed by this

Quote:
Jeremiah 16:16
"But now I will send for many fishermen," declares the LORD, "and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rock


you bash one religion's beliefs (probably against hunting), then go on to cite text from your own as to why you can hunt.

you do realize that those pagans could just swap words and reverse the logic?

can we take everything from the book literally? what about the Koran? I bet it also has opinions on hunting.
Kit Fox

Zé wrote:
wtf is going on here?


sure hunting could actually be helpful - in the instances that the animal is overpopulated. but um, not when it's endangered.


How do you know that the population of wolves is endangered?  Do you believe the garbage stats that the anti-hunters use to claim wolves are still endangered?

Quote:
but the best is this:
Quote:
same false religion of animism and pagan worship of "mother earth."


followed by this

Quote:
Jeremiah 16:16
"But now I will send for many fishermen," declares the LORD, "and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rock


you bash one religion's beliefs (probably against hunting), then go on to cite text from your own as to why you can hunt.

you do realize that those pagans could just swap words and reverse the logic?

can we take everything from the book literally? what about the Koran? I bet it also has opinions on hunting.


Those that protect animals like they are equal to man, treat them like religious idols. This is no different than the religion of "urban athiests" which to them, is global warming. This is nothing but a scam to destroy capitalism.

As for the Qu'ran

Islam has enjoined upon Muslims the correct relationship with animals. They are asked to treat animals well, and they are not allowed to kill animals except for food. The latter permission has to be carried out in accordance with the shari'ah (Islamic law-code). Only in limited cases some animals are allowed to be killed when they endanger the life of the human.  The only animals I hunt are those that I eat, or those that are varmints such as ground squirrels and gophers.  I also kill mice that enter my house.

Many people have been killed by wolves. They aren't fluffy pets like some believe. The thing that many of you don't realize is that regulated hunting has been proven to improve the numbers of game animals. Name one animal that has been rendered endangered under current, modern hunting regulations. Hunters invest 100 times more for the care of wildlife than those who dislike hunting.


A great example happens in Africa all the time. Poor Africans resort to poaching in order to feed their families. The problem is that poached animals  aren't worth much, so the poor people resort to killing more rare animals to make "ends meat."  When the locals are taught that the animals are worth far more for the purpose of hunting, and the locals are paid tenfold their normal wages, the animals are protected as being valuable. Being regulated, less animals are actually killed, but the value is worth more, so in the long run, the populations actually increase.
kgw

Kit Fox wrote:


How do you know that the population of wolves is endangered?  Do you believe the garbage stats that the anti-hunters use to claim wolves are still endangered?


Sources for your unsupported declaration of "garbage stats," KF?


Quote:
Those that protect animals like they are equal to man, treat them like religious idols.


Man is a religious idol? Rather Man is like all things, indivisible.  

Quote:
This is nothing but a scam to destroy capitalism.




Laughing From what I have been reading in the news, capitalism doesn't need any help!
Kit Fox

Man is not a religious idol, I was referring to those people who revere the wolf like it is a God, or a spirit.

Since you want to compare stats, I posted a question and you didn't give me an example of any animals that were made extinct by current, legal hunting methods.  Most animals that are hunted actually increase in numbers.



Capitalism has been damaged by all the liberal policies. You can see my previous post on what caused the destruction of our current financial system here: http://sangabrielmnts.myfreeforum.org/sutra17905.php#17905

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph...gdp_percap-economy-gdp-per-capita

it's funny when I look at the top countries of that list, I don't think of unabashed laissez faire economies with no regulation...

Kit Fox wrote:

Those that protect animals like they are equal to man, treat them like religious idols. This is no different than the religion of "urban athiests" which to them, is global warming. This is nothing but a scam to destroy capitalism.


wait, why would people want to 'destroy' their own economy?
Mike P

Taco, will you please put this discussion in "Off Topic." It's seriously polluting the "Flora and Fauna" section.
Taco

I don't even know what's going on, and I'm a hunter.

Super confuse, topic is move!
kgw

KF, first off, the original post was not anti-hunting, it was anti-idiot.

As for wolves, they were practically exterminated by 1974. Currently, according to the FWS, there are about 5700 Gray Wolves in the lower 48. http://www.fws.gov/Midwest/wolf/aboutwolves/popandrange.htm  That is a hugely reduced population.The methods used to practically exterminate them were "current, legal methods" at the time. De-listing such a reduced population in order to subject them to "current, legal methods," is inadvisable.

Here is the USFWS site, with lots of useful info:

http://www.fws.gov/Midwest/wolf/index.htm

Thread is over for me. . .

Kit Fox wrote:

Since you want to compare stats, I posted a question and you didn't give me an example of any animals that were made extinct by current, legal hunting methods.  Most animals that are hunted actually increase in numbers.
Kit Fox

kgw wrote:
KF, first off, the original post was not anti-hunting, it was anti-idiot.

As for wolves, they were practically exterminated by 1974. Currently, according to the FWS, there are about 5700 Gray Wolves in the lower 48. http://www.fws.gov/Midwest/wolf/aboutwolves/popandrange.htm  That is a hugely reduced population.The methods used to practically exterminate them were "current, legal methods" at the time. De-listing such a reduced population in order to subject them to "current, legal methods," is inadvisable.

Here is the USFWS site, with lots of useful info:

http://www.fws.gov/Midwest/wolf/index.htm

Thread is over for me. . .

Kit Fox wrote:

Since you want to compare stats, I posted a question and you didn't give me an example of any animals that were made extinct by current, legal hunting methods.  Most animals that are hunted actually increase in numbers.



I'm not trying to reignite a firestorm, but policies of the 70s are not current policies. Didn't they still allow mass poisoning of all predators back then?  I do not agree with the mass extermination of any mammal, but I do support regulated hunting.
Hikin_Jim

kgw wrote:
...what passes for fun in rural America seems like senseless killing to most urban dwellers.

I have to wonder if they [hunters] are brain dead or just incredibly naïve and ignorant about the rest of mainstream society’s values?

Most people don’t hunt, so the perception of hunting and hunters is key to how society will tolerate and support hunting as a legitimate activity.
I don't know if wolves should or should not be hunted.  I don't live in a rural western state.  The thing that gets me is why does one set of people (urban dwellers) feel like they can dictate to another set of people (rural dwellers).  If rural dwellers offered hints on reducing traffic congestion, they'd be laughed at, but somehow urban dwellers think their comments on hunting are reasonable.  Generally, I think such things should be regulated by those who live in the area.  It isn't right for outsiders to impose their values on some distant, rural area, an area that they know nothing about and have no clue what life is like there.

Note that I said "generally" and I say that mostly in the sense of values and general mores.  In setting aside national parks and preserves and enforcing the Endangered Species Act with respect to a particular species is not only appropriate but necessary.

I wouldn't want a rural dweller to dictate land use in Los Angeles any more than a rural dweller would want me to set hunting regulations in his area.

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For many GPS tracks, Google Earth KMZ files and Google Maps for the San Gabriel Mountains and beyond, please visit my website: www.gpsmountaineering.com