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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

LEARNING FROM IDAHO---That is what the Montana Fish & Wildlife Agency is saying about their proposed 2012 Wolf trapping plans to be decided on by July...............In the case of Carnivore management, 'LEARINGING FROM IDAHO" is like saying we are going to "LEARN FROM ADOLPH HITLER" on how to wipe out a species.......Every single Rocky Mountain State is using flawed artihmetic as a basis for deciding how many Wolves can be "sustainably" shot, killed and murdered..................Listen to the absurdities uttered by a spokesman for Montana FWP: "Given the ability of wolf populations to compensate for harvest and given that total abundance exceeds the minimum year-end count potentially to a large extent, it is likely that the Montana wolf population could absorb substantial, additional harvest....."it is clear that a more aggressive wolf hunting season will not hurt wolf populations or genetic diversity".......Folks, sustained and consistant killing of wolves by humans does not allow for wolves to "compensate" by having larger litters............Wolves are not coyotes who in fact do compensate when we humans go beserk in persecuting them.........Unfortunately, all of the most recent scientific literature cites the fact that the social disruption that takes place in wolf packs when sustained human persecution takes place does in fact cause an "additive" mortality in wolf populations, not a compensatory mortality

Big changes proposed for Montana wolf hunts: allowing trapping, eliminating quotas and more


State wildlife managers are proposing to substantially liberalize the 2012-13 wolf hunting season in another attempt to decrease the packs’ numbers in Montana.

Trapping wolves, allowing the taking of up to three wolves, using electronic calls, lengthening the wolf season and eliminating quotas are part of the proposals that will be introduced at Thursday’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission meeting. FWP officials say they hope the changes will eventually lower the number of wolves in Montana from the minimum known population of 653 to 425.

Ron Aasheim, FWP spokesman, said the department realizes that the proposals are controversial and will be hotly debated before the commission makes a final decision at its July 12 meeting in Helena. That’s why the agency is working on setting up five meetings throughout the state to take public comment. They’ll begin accepting comment on the proposal at Thursday’s meeting, which begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Montana Wild Center at 2668 Broadwater in Helena; the comment period ends at 5 p.m. June 18.

consistant hunter and trapper pressure on the social units of wolves can seriously put wolf populations into a freefall--remember, we all but extirminated them in this Country previoiusly.

“This is one of those issues where there are lots of different opinions,” Aasheim said. “We’ll hear what the commission thinks, then what the public thinks, and go from there.”

This will be the third wolf hunting season in Montana, and would be the first time trapping will be allowed. In documents supporting the changes, FWP notes that it believes the proposed framework will increase opportunities for hunters and trappers while furthering FWP’s understanding of how best to manage the species. The department adds that despite extending the season closure to Feb. 15 last year, it still didn’t meet the quota of 220 wolves; only 166 were harvested.

FWP notes that its models show that taking up to 377 wolves wouldn’t drop the population below the short-term goal of 425.“… it is clear that a more aggressive wolf hunting season will not hurt wolf populations or genetic diversity,” FWP stated in its documents. “ … FWP has carefully considered the need to implement wolf harvest and management in light of uncertainty. There are many sources of uncertainty, including the fact that wolves do not have a long history (only two years) of being hunted in Montana and wolves have no recent history of being trapped on a broad scale.

“Further, Montana does not yet have long management history with harvest to draw upon to predict participation, hunter success, trapper success, wounding loss, spatial distribution of harvest, wolf vulnerability to harvest and wolf management as a piece of a larger whole.”

Wolves are extremely social creatures and love to play

Legislative approval
Some of the proposals, like using electronic calls and raising the bag limit to three wolves, need legislative approval. FWP officials have said they’ll put together proposals prior to the 2013 session, so they can possibly get changes passed and implemented as soon as possible.
Increasing the bag limit of wolves hunters and trappers can take is only expected to moderately increase harvest levels, FWP notes. During the 2011-12 wolf season in Idaho, only 20 percent of successful wolf hunters and trappers harvested more than one wolf and only 8 percent harvested more than two wolves.

Having a general season instead of using quotas in individual wolf management units is expected to make it easier for people to take a wolf, Aasheim said. He added that people who harvest wolves are required to report the kill within 24 hours, so if it appears that too many are being taken out of a wolf management unit that particular area can be closed to hunting or trapping.
“A general season — especially for a wide-ranging species that routinely crosses public and private land ownership — typically results in most harvest occurring where the targeted species are most abundant,” FWP wrote in the supporting document. “Conversely, a general season does not preclude harvest efforts in specific areas where local reductions are advocated.”

Harvest quotas will be in place in wolf management units near Glacier and Yellowstone national parks to address concerns over potentially high harvests near their boundaries.

No baits, scents, dogs
Baits, scents and dogs still won’t be allowed when hunting wolves.
The proposed wolf season dates would remain similar to the 2011-12 framework, but with a later closing date. The wolf archery season would extend from Sept. 1 through the close of the elk archery season. In most wolf management units, the general wolf season would run from Oct. 15 through Feb. 28.

When you kill off pack members consistantly, the social bonds of the pack erode and mortality is additive, not compensatory

However, in three units, the general wolf season would open earlier, on Sept. 15, to coincide with the early opening of the backcountry elk season.
The proposed trapping season would run from Dec. 15 through Feb. 28 to minimize the chance of accidentally trapping bears. Only leg hold traps would be allowed — no conibears or snares — and trappers must visually check traps every 48 hours. Any trapped wolf that’s not going to be released must also be shot immediately.

If a wolf trapper incidentally catches a wolf beyond the legal limit and the animal is uninjured, the trapper must contact FWP within 12 hours to potentially have the wolf fitted with a radio collar and released to assist FWP in management efforts.

Learning from Idaho
The state agency makes it clear that it’s basing some of the proposed trapping regulations on Idaho’s experience during the 2011-12 season. FWP notes that as of the end of April, Idaho wolf hunters harvested 254 wolves while trappers harvested 124.

“Thus, the addition of trapping increased the total Idaho harvest by about 50 percent,” FWP stated in documents. “… In addition, the level of harvest in Idaho provides some insight into the potential impact of elevated harvest levels. Despite a harvest of 378 thus far during the 2011-12 season, the minimum wolf population in Idaho increased from 705 during 2010 to 745 in 2011.

“Some of the increases could apparently be attributed to increased monitoring effort and certainly, differences exist between the Montana and Idaho wolf populations. However, given the ability of wolf populations to compensate for harvest and given that total abundance exceeds the minimum year-end count potentially to a large extent, it is likely that the Montana wolf population could absorb substantial, additional harvest.”

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