29 September 2009
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Published on September 29th, 2009 @ 12:51:05 pm, using 713 words, 2547 views
“INTENSE, ‘awesome’, incredible, majestic, surreal” The standard description for every day of our past archery season-Although we spend a lot of time preparing clients for that moment when an 800 pound bull elk closes the distance, there really is no way to describe it unless you’ve been there. All of this past weeks hunters can now tell you just how that feels.
A mature Montana bull frantically follows the lead of the lead cow.
Our daily successes came from hours of observation and careful set ups. Sometimes, these were pleasureable debates that encompassed years of hunting experience. The true rewards came as elk passed within shooting range. Getting this close with a bow is a feat in itself when one considers the sheer “wildness” of our elk. We were all proud and thankful for these moments.
Although the weather was more suited for a Jamaican vacation, the elk didn’t seem to mind. Several afternoon set ups had us considering “shade” as a factor in the comforts of the set up. Once the sun went down over the Gallatins, temperatures would drop 15 degrees instantly, that’s when those special moments hit home.
Montana elk hunter Tom Rice comes to full draw on a bull elk on Dome Mountain
Last season left me preaching of how “quiet” our elk have become. I shared this often with hunters to make sure that they’d not be disappointed and knew what to expect. I firmly believed that for some reason, our elk in this area had just become this way in order to survive. On opening morning, this theory changed again as I listened and watched our mountain come alive. It sure was good to hear elk talk again, and man were they talking!
Archery hunters preparing for their hunt at Dome Mountain Lodge and cabins in September 2009.
Afer day one nearly every hunter had a good opportunity, which is all we can ask for on a bow hunt that normally offers around 10% success, and already we had gone well beyond that average. It didn’t take long to realize that everyone was living and breathing the hunt of a lifetime. Our careful management and hunting techniques had really begun to pay off.
Dome Mountain Guide Rick Kalish spending time with Dome Mountain elk hunter Ray Bush Jr. Making a plan on Dome Mountain.
We shared this week with four great return clients who’ve been hunting with us for years, as well as the Bush family who’ve were the lucky winners of the Progressive Raffle for the RMEF and have quickly become friends and hunting partners for life with us. I am sure everyone will be back. As a team of guides, we came together well, and in spite of elk being very unpredictable, there are few things I would change, but hindsight in elk hunting always teaches valuable lessons.
Each day, all day was filled with smiles and laughs, entertainment that cannot be found on a stage shines amongst smaller crowds, yet could be an act all on their own. My stomach still hurts from all the good times and stories.
Dome Mountain Guide Matt Freudenberg hanging out with Paul and Mike.
This archery season was another of learning and so many stories have piled up that I feel I will need to return here and share in greater detail, but for those of you who have been wondering, I will chalk this season up as being one of the most exciting in years. Already myself and the entire crew are making plans for next season. We will limit our hunters per week again to 6, therefore I urge you to give us a call and lock in some dates, already only a few spots remain, and I am sure after this season we will book up very quickly, hopefully not long after I’ve posted this blog.
If you are looking for an archery hunt of a lifetime, I feel we can and do provide that. You will have excellent opportunities, great food and great guides, not to mention a place to hunt that seems to always offer that something special that is often hard to find. Trust your guide, you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for reading
Jim “JB” Klyap
P.S. Hey Mick, save me some “mountain money” would ya?
20 September 2009
Written by admin
Published on September 20th, 2009 @ 02:10:19 pm, using 207 words, 1023 views
Montana Elk Hunting Report- “JB’s Journal"; September 20th, 2009
Next week’s weather has average highs in the 80’s, nightime lows in the 40’s. While that sounds more inviting for a fishing trip than it does elk hunting, the mountain says otherwise. Both “Rikki-Bobbi” and “Matt-Matt” have been putting in some long days and keeping a close watch on the action, and there’s been plenty of it. Matter of fact, enough that a lot of folks have been pulling over and enjoying the show as well. While I’m not one to talk about “trophy elk", there are some big, bad boys keeping everyone’s attention.
We learn a lot through observation. Plain and simple. Folks often stop by and ask us why there are so many elk right here on this small little piece of country next to thousands of acres of public lands. There’s many reasons, to be honest, we don’t do anything special, we don’t plant food plots or do anything other than “leave em alone". You won’t find ATV trails all over the mountain. These elk are truly as wild as they get. We are looking forward to a great week. Safe travels to you guys on your way.
See Ya on the Mountain
JB Klyap, Outfitter #7843
19 September 2009
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Published on September 19th, 2009 @ 12:04:44 am, using 622 words, 469 views
There’s definitely some excitement in the air, and although I know I should be talking about elk or wolves here, two topics that we’ve heard plenty on, I just can help but think about all wildlife and in this case, Bison.
Last winter a group of us, about 80 or so, spoke in support of allowing Bison to roam free again in Montana. I thought we had some pretty strong arguments, but, they’re still stuck just south of Dome Mountain in a pen, apparently no one wants these “Brucellosis Free” symbols of the west in spite of many private land owners (Dome Mountain) saying “let em roam".
Consider this for a bit. The Bison of Yellowstone National Park are kept at bay, often penned, trapped, shot at the Park line as they try to migrate north just like elk onto public lands. The reasoning behind this hazing effort is so that domestic cattle cannot contact “Brucellosis", which domestic cattle likely gave to the Bison in the first place. This is transmitted from a domestic cow licking the aborted fetus of a Bison (just doesn’t happen). Oh, and all you elk lovers out there, they carry the disease too and are likely next on the chopping block. Remember, the public lands are for the benefit of all people-ponder that. So, the next time you are out sneaking through an Aspen patch, hoping to hear a bull elk scream and you find nothing but “slow elk", don’t say I didn’t tell ya so.
If your one of those people who do realize that actions do speak louder than words and care about the west and our great expanses of wildlands, I ask you to drop an email to RLGrazing@mt.gov. and let them know you’d like to see wild buffalo, not domestic cattle grazing your mountains and public lands.
There is buffalo habitat right here
There is a perfect home for buffalo to roam right here in southwest Montana (Permanent home sought for bison languishing in quarantine; BDC, 9/11/09). The Gallatin Wildlife Association never supported the idea of quarantining the Greater Yellowstone wild bison because we contend there are plenty of habitat and public hunting related solutions right here in the Upper Madison, Gallatin and Yellowstone basins. However, since this research project proceeded anyway we have a perfect suggestion for where to finish the job, eventually letting “disease-free” bison roam as a valued, native, publicly owned and managed big game species in Montana.
The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks is considering renewing a cattle lease they have administered for the last 10 years on the Robb-Ledford Wildlife Management Area. This 28,097 acre WMA lies at the base of the Snowcrest Mountains south of Alder and abuts the 17,781 acre Blacktail WMA. There are also thousands of acres of surrounding USFS, BLM and State lands. Turner Enterprises owns the nearby 15,000 acre Snowcrest Ranch where they currently raise privately owned domestic bison, which also use some of the surrounding State and Federal public lands. Just between these ownerships we have a total of 60,878 acres of land that could be cooperatively managed for wild bison restoration and conservation. This doesn’t include the surrounding State and Federal public lands that would be an integral part of this solution.
Please contact the FWP and suggest they consider utilizing the Robb-Ledford WMA as the core habitat to provide a home for the bison that are currently languishing in the high fence quarantine facility near Gardiner. Comments will be accepted until Oct. 5 and you can email your suggestions to: RLGrazing@mt.gov. After all, if we can’t have wildlife on a Wildlife Management Area where can we have them?
Volunteer President, Gallatin Wildlife Association
745 Doane Rd.
Bozeman, MT 59718
17 September 2009
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Published on September 17th, 2009 @ 05:05:47 pm, using 444 words, 725 views
“Pancakes or Chili?” Those were my choices for dinner tonight, I chose the latter. There’s no denying elk season has arrived as we transition from this kitchen to the lodge where the meals will be quite a bit more appealing. I was able to get some scouting in over the last few days. The reports are so good I’ve decided to write this blog in “codes” interpretable only by those of you who’ve shared the mountain with us. I sincerely want to thank you for your calls and visits lately, means a lot to the team here that your staying in touch.
Here’s what I’ve learned first lately about “scouting". It’s actually a lesson I learned from others fishing back in PA as well as the Yellowstone tourists. If one truck is pulled off the road, another will pull in behind it. With that in mind, I’ve gone into undercover efforts and made my scouting around the ranch a lot like our hunting techniques. The results are positive on both ends.
I was able to glass several good bulls that were fairly active. I don’t know if I’d yet label them “herd bulls” due to the fact that elk in this neck of the woods have changed their habits from the hollywood versions we see on so many outdoor shows. I can tell you this about the elk I scouted, it’s going to be a long walk, a long wait and going to require some tenacity. If your still reading, then your probably one of our kinda elk hunters! I admit, I got just as excited as always do when I see big bulls chasing cows, all puffed up. I especially get excited because I know they won’t be easy. All of us welcome that challenge.
Unfortunately, I can’t give up the exact location, just the confirmation that they are within our hunting area. This area of course begins on the northern boundary of Yellowstone Park and goes beyond Six Mile Creek, nearly to Emigrant Peak, not to mention some potential new areas. Trust me when I tell you, no one will turn over every stone up there, besides there’s a few hairy critters that have already gotten to a few of the really big boulders. I even found a few pulled on to the road heading up to the Alpine. Made me wonder if those bears were in on some sort of conspiracy.
Needless to say, we’re excited. We will welcome 6 hunters this weekend and plan to hunt hard and enjoy this celebrated time. I will all of you a safe and adventurous hunting season. Remember-"Keep it wild"!
Jim “JB” Klyap, Outfitter #7843
13 September 2009
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Published on September 13th, 2009 @ 05:47:54 pm, using 1632 words, 8003 views
In This Edition:
Montana Elk Hunting-Pre Season Scouting Report
Wolves Off Endangered Species List-Management to States Through Hunting
What The Future Holds
MONTANA ELK HUNTING; PRE-SEASON SCOUTING REPORT
While working on our new website late last night I was enjoying the cool evening air and the silence which was broken with the “call of the wild” via the scream of a bull elk out there in the darkness. This reminded me of my focus. The mountains are calling and it’s that time of the year when the hunter seems to have gained new energy as we begin to file away cherished memories on a waning summer.
Probably the biggest news that’s happened in the last week is a Federal Judges decision to allow wolves to be hunted in both Montana and Idaho. Idaho had already began their hunt with over 12,000 licenses sold and several wolves harvested. Montana’s season will begin September 15th. A total of 330 wolves throughout the area (excluding Yellowstone Park) are available for potential harvest by hunters. This is about the same number that was taken last season by Federal agents due to livestock predation.
While I often try to avoid opinion in this blog it seems like the wolves have been one of those topics that has really gotten lost in the emotion and media manipulations. Over the years I can probably count on one hand during all the days I’ve been afield in which I’d have actually had even a remote opportunity to take a wolf. Even then, I probably would only do so out of personal responsibility do to my equal love for all wildlife. I don’t know how this whole season will pan out, and many of you I know already have your tags, but as Idaho shows, just seeing a wolf in the wild is a rare treat.
I recently received this letter below from Ron Moody, Montana FWP. Anyone who has followed this wolf debate closely will gain great insight through reading it-Enjoy:
OF WOLVES & MEN - NEW RELATIONSHIP COMING FOR PREDATORS & PEOPLE
Wolf, the hunter, once again will become the hunted in Montana and Idaho this fall.
Denial of a federal court injunction to stop wolf hunts in those states means that a fundamental change of relationship between people and the lupine predator can now get underway.
I urge Americans of all cultural tribes to allow this predatory drama / biologic adventure to play out to its logical conclusion in peace over the next three months. Then, let us discuss the reality of actual experience rather than continue with ongoing conjecture-based rhetorical clashes.
This change of relationship between wolves and men must result in healthy, sustainable wolf populations and a secure future for the wolf in the Northern Rockies. The American people will accept no other outcome.
No such positive outcome is possible, however, if the wolf’s current expansion into its historic natural ranges is not disciplined to limit the damage done to the legitimate interests of humans who now occupy most of that same original wolf habitat.
The word most commonly used to describe this discipline is ‘management.’
And management means that some wolves will be killed in the process of fitting the new/old species into the fragmented and biologically compromised wild spaces remaining in the Northern Rockies.
In a human dominated world, wildlife can no longer exist as widespread, free-roaming populations in their natural habitats unless a human constituency wills it so. And having it so means that humans and wild things must co-exist on a shared landscape in an existential embrace of interactive give-and-take.
With this imperative in mind, I voted to institute a wolf hunt as a Montana FWP Commissioner.
I opt for regulated hunting as the preferred method of managing a game animal population in virtually all cases because I’ve observed the alternatives and studied the history and results of hunting as a conservation tool. Hunting, when well regulated and ethically conducted, is not a liability to wildlife welfare. Indeed, biologically responsible hunting is an experience-proven path to a wolf future both permanent and wild that is also tolerable to lobo’s human neighbors.
A sharp cultural divide polarizes Americans over the morality of a human hunter taking the life of a wild game animal. Both hunters and non-hunters feed this polarization. I submit that the human squabbling itself, not actual lethal management, does the greater harm to wildlife by weakening the human constituency.
The wolf also is poorly served by the persistent urban legend that “somewhere out there” a vast, pristine wilderness still exists where wolves can roam free of human interference.
Yellowstone Park, the Selway-Bitterroot or the Bob Marshall Wilderness may look limitless to urban eyes. But they are only fragments of the living space needed by wolves, bears and mountain lions in order to play out a completely natural, human-free, relationship with elk, deer, moose, sheep, etc. Human intercession (management) is continuously required to keep these quasi-natural animal relationships from collapsing into a repeat of our 19th Century near-extinction.
Thus we ‘manage.’
And management should mean conservation, wise use of nature, as different from a perpetual ‘zoo-without-walls’ strategy of preservation some would codify within the Endangered Species Act.
ESA is a morally valid and effective tool for casting a safety net under a failing specie. It is a terrible tool, however, for maintaining recovered species in our aforementioned human-dominated world.
People are famously perverse in their relationships among themselves. I believe, however, that wild animals and wild places deserve better from all their human ‘friends’ who say they care about saving some wildness in the Earth.
Historically, North American hunters have achieved a conservation miracle in bringing back and sustaining large, wild populations of huntable prey species such as elk and deer. Their record on conserving predator species such as the wolf, on the other hand, is gray at its brightest point and mostly black. For this reason alone, hunters are still required to earn credibility in the eyes of non-hunters as good stewards of predator wildlife. Hunters should conduct the forthcoming wolf hunt with this standard in mind.
Among non-hunting wildlife advocates, on the other hand, a bit less ideology and a bit more open-mindedness is in order. They would better serve the true welfare of the wolf and all other wild, native species by learning the real reasons and history of why we still have so many wild animals in North America.
It’s quite a story.
And, knowing this story makes it’s much easier to envision a secure future for all wild things and wild places in America by following the conservation path pioneered by wildlife-loving recreational hunters.
Ron Moody is a member of the five-person Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission. He lives in Lewistown, MT.
As Conservationists my biggest concern isn’t so much if I get the chance to hunt a wolf, it’s how others celebrate something that is said to have no audience. This will be a time where those few “bad apples” who haven’t taken the time to dig deep into the facts and science of this case will unfortunately be in the spotlight. As hunters, we all have to work together and keep tabs on these idiots. They aren’t good for hunting, and they certainly aren’t good for the future of game management. Remember, “being ethical” is often how you behave even when you think no one is watching. This hunt will do little to slow down the growth of wolf packs, but it may help ungulates like Elk, Deer, Sheep and Antelope in our area regain some numbers once again. Even though our elk herd count was up slightly from last season, keep in mind wolves expand about 25% a season. This is a program which has already passed it’s quota 5 times original predictions. Personally, I am looking forward to moving on to other symbols of the wild like the Buffalo.
In just a few days the lodge and cabins will again be filled with guides and hunters, all who’ve become great friends. Again, we’ve limited our hunting not so much because we haven’t had the offers, but because we feel that the number we take allows everyone a fair and honest opportunity here in these great wide open spaces. We’ve been seeing elk both high and low. Our backcountry has been quiet, free of noise, so many adventures await out there. Our ponies have feasted on green grass all summer, while Len and I’ve have done our best to keep the fences tight. All of us should be well-prepared for the chase.
I am looking forward to spending time with everyone this season. we will be welcoming back quite a camp full of return clients, some who’ve not been back for a few years and some who have continued to come back season after season. The new guys, well you’re in for a treat, not only will the mountain treat you right, but it won’t take you long to realize while we’re such a tight group here at Dome Mountain Ranch.
We’re already nearly full for our first week in rifle next season and it’s looking like we will have a couple weeks available for archery. If you’ve been rolling around the idea of coming out for a hunt with us, don’t hestitate to give me a call. The change of the seasons should be putting a lot of you in the right frame of mind, and if a Montana Elk Hunt is something that has been haunting your dreams, dig in a little deeper, make it a reality. Give all of us out here a chance to addict you like we’ve done with so many others. It’s something you will never regret.
See You on the Mountain!
Jim “JB” Klyap, Outfitter #7843
09 September 2009
Written by admin
Published on September 9th, 2009 @ 10:24:59 pm, using 743 words, 1197 views
Judge: Montana, Idaho wolf hunts can go on
Posted: Aug 24, 2009 03:31 PM MDT
Updated: Sep 9, 2009 05:51 PM MDT
RAW INTERVIEW: Doug Honnold, Bozeman Earth Justice attorney
Still no ruling on MT, ID wolf hunts
MT, ID wolf hunt decision expected; Idaho starts hunt
Hunters line up to buy MT wolf hunt tags
Testimony over MT, ID wolf hunts ends in Missoula
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation backs state management of wolves
Wolf Hunt Injunction Order
Top Rated & Most Clicked Stories, Recent Comments
Northern MT hunters can take most wolves in hunt
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FWP Wolf Hunt Plan
U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy says wildlife groups are failing to show “irreparable harm” from Montana and Idaho wolf hunts, so he will not block hunters from killing the predators.
On Wednesday, Molloy announced his ruling to allow the gray wolf hunts to continue in the Northern Rockies, the first organized wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana in decades.
Molloy denied a request by environmentalists and animal welfare groups to stop the hunts. But, in a 14-page ruling, the judge also suggests those seeking to protect wolves might prevail when the actual lawsuit is heard this winter.
Click here to read the court ruling (pdf).
Defenders of Wildlife and other groups were hoping Molloy would block the hunts, which have already started in Idaho and are set to begin in Montana next week. They argue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is violating the Endangered Species Act by removing protection for wolves in the two states while still listing wolves in Wyoming.
Molloy rejected arguments that this case did not have to meet standards for a preliminary injunction set by a recent ruling in a suit that sought to block Navy sonar testing from killing whales. That meant the wildlife groups had to meet benchmarks on the merits of the case, whether the wolf hunts would cause “irreparable harm” and if blocking the hunt was in the public interest.
The wildlife groups did not prove that killing just over 300 wolves, or less than 20 percent of the total population in the Northern Rockies, would wipe out the packs scattered across both states, Molloy said. In fact, he said, there was “evidence to the contrary,” with the federal and state scientists saying the wolf population could withstand a single season hunt of up to 30 percent of the population.
However, the judge did offer some indications hunting opponents are showing a “likelihood of success” on the merits of the case, suggesting Fish and Wildlife’s delisting decision made a “practical determination that does not seem to be scientifically based.” He also suggested the wildlife groups
might prevail on the question of public interest since Congress has shown a priority to wolf recovery.
Those questions will not be addressed until next winter when attorneys are expected to be back in Missoula to argue the actual lawsuit.
Those on both sides of the debate weighed in on Wednesday’s ruling.
The lead attorney for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said this is just one small piece of what is developing into a much larger lawsuit involving Wyoming, the Endangered Species Act and what the states are allowed to do.
“We’ve always contended that the states can take a segment of the population and delist them and that’s what we’re prepared to argue,” Martha Williams said.
The issue is more complicated because Wyoming has not delisted wolves, Williams said, adding that she thinks the lawsuit may force Wyoming to change its policy.
Bozeman Earth Justice attorney Doug Honnold said the group is happy with that part of the judge’s decision, but disappointed he gave the OK to hunt gray wolves.
“We think that killing somewhere around 20 percent of the population from hunting alone, add that to wolf mortalities from other causes, whether it’s conflicts with livestock or getting run over by cars or all the ways wolves die in that wild, that that would have a serious impact on the population. It’s intentional killing of wolves that can be avoided just by not scheduling the hunts, and that’s why we think until you have a population that’s recovered. It’s totally inappropriate to have the hunting of an endangered species,” Honnold said
04 September 2009
Written by admin
Published on September 4th, 2009 @ 04:49:34 pm, using 823 words, 1177 views
I took a few minutes today to do a little digging on the Wolf hunts. First off, as for “success rates", try 2 out of 10,000. This is what most experienced hunters and recognized scientists also predicted. In addition, the very same biologists who spearheaded the wolf recovery project also agree that wolves are fully recovered.
Of course, there are varying opinions from “kill em all” to placing the wolf at an almost God-like level. I’m going to stick to science here along with my experience growing up in a rural hunting and fishing family and knowing that I do quite well living off the land. As an Outfitter, this has almost become my passion to teach others the pursuit of the hunt. While I do agree wolf steaks probably aren’t the attraction, I can cook you up and elk steak that will put any piece of beef to shame, problem is, most folks don’t have the same opportunities to hunt as I do or many of my friends who live in these rural areas. So, does that make it wrong or right? As hunters, conservationists and people we need to find the middle ground here, get past all the marketing, overpaid lawyers and just do what is right. Hunting is a part of heritage, an innate action for some of us. Most you will find are very humane, but also recognize that we are at the top of the food chain and are now left with controlling predators, which are no different than the last mouse you trapped, worm you stepped on, or Mosquito you swatted. We have to maintain the balance-Natural Balance cannot happen as long as we are a part of it.
Enjoy the attached article. I will be putting together some hunting related information in the next few days, so check back often. I do have my wolf tag, but that doesn’t make me a wolf killer, just makes me a responsible caretaker of all things wild.
Wolves Shot, Boycotts Called, Fur Flies
As the wolf hunt in Idaho continues, taxidermists are in business, critics are howling, animal lovers want a spuds boycott – and a judge’s ruling is in the wings.
(TID-BIT: If you’ve ever driven through Idaho, you will know that there isn’t just Potato fields)
Game officials and wolf hunt fans often say the same thing when it comes to the wolf hunt in Idaho and the upcoming one in Montana. Don’t worry, they say. Wolves are fast, nocturnal and darn hard to draw a bead on.
The question of just how tough they are to shoot even came up in federal court, where U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy on Monday heard a plea by environmental groups for an injunction to stop the wolf hunt seasons.
“Isn’t there evidence … that with fair-chase hunting, not many wolves will be killed?” Molloy asked.
Yes, that’s right, as Steven Strack, attorney for the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, explained during the hearing. “There are nine million acres of wilderness areas in Idaho,” Strack said. It’s hard to even spot a wolf without using a helicopter, traps, baits or motor vehicles like ATVs (which are not legally allowed in the hunts), he noted.
The news from Idaho this week seemed to, well, blow a hole in that theory.
On the very first day of the first wolf hunt ever in the Lower 48, two Idaho men shot and bagged wolves.
Robert Millage of Kamiah told longtime outdoor writer Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman that he was surrounded by a pack of wolves before dawn. He used a hand call that “sounded like a wounded coyote,” and when an 80-pound female came running, he shot her, Barker reports. (To see the story in full, click here.) “The whole area is lousy with them,” Millage told Barker.
Archery hunter Jay Mize of Emmet, Idaho saw a wolf spooking his horse at a lake near Stanley, Idaho. “He walked back into his tent, put his rifle together and shot the wolf,” Barker’s story continues.
Those and other tales are going viral this week as the sporting world—and beyond—waits to hear whether Judge Molloy will issue the injunction sought by the coalition of 13 environmental groups trying to halt the hunts (the coalition is ultimately seeking to put the gray wolf back on the endangered species list and restore its federal protections).
About 1,600 gray wolves live today in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, the northern Rocky Mountain region that was repopulated with canis lupus during a reintroduction effort launched in Yellowstone National Park in 1995. Douglas Honnold, the Earthjustice lawyer representing the coalition, says the wolf population needs to hit the 2,000-to-5,000 mark before the reintroduction is completely successful. The wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana could result in irreparable harm, killing more than 300 animals, advocates maintain.
And wolf hunt foes are vowing to fight—with a potato boycott, if necessary.
01 September 2009
Written by admin
Published on September 1st, 2009 @ 12:46:54 pm, using 923 words, 2498 views
As I write this short note, 10,000 wolf tags have already been sold in Idaho and many hunters are already in the woods. Montana’s wolf season is slated to begin September 15th. There is certainly excitement in the air again for conservationists, not so much for the opportunity to harvest a wolf, but more so for the right groups to be back in charge of a predator that has already tripled original numbers for recovery. Please stay tuned as things develop. Judge Malloy’s decision may take only a few days or weeks. Thanks to the RMEF for implementing science-based management. Below are some of the latest news articles.
As you consider your own thoughts on this, keep in mind that Hunters made wolf recovery possible and continue to take care of our wild areas and wildlife.
BOISE – While a federal judge ponders whether to issue an injunction stopping wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana, Idaho hunters are heading into the woods, ready to target wolves a half-hour before sunrise today.
Marv Hagedorn, an Idaho state representative who’s been hunting since he was a youngster in Potlatch, Idaho, plans to head out at 3 a.m. Hagedorn, R-Meridian, said he’s not counting on bagging an elusive wolf.
“We call it hunting and not finding for a reason,” he said. “It’s more of a celebration of gaining our right as a state to manage our wildlife again, all of our wildlife.”
Thirteen conservation groups that went to court Monday morning seeking the injunction were disappointed the judge didn’t rule from the bench. “It’s just all in limbo right now,” said Suzanne Asha Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife.
“It could come within a matter of days or within a matter of weeks,” Jenny Harbine, an attorney with Earthjustice, the environmental law firm representing the groups, said Monday, “and of course the Idaho wolf hunt will start tomorrow.”
Idaho Fish and Game officials spent a busy day fielding national media inquiries and hurriedly preparing signs to warn away hunters in case the judge halts the hunts after hunters are in the field.
More than 10,000 Idaho hunters already have bought tags for the state’s first-ever wolf hunt, and in two zones, the Lolo and the Sawtooth, the season opens today. Both those zones are remote enough that some hunters could be far out in the woods, with no radio or cell phone reception to learn of an injunction.
Game wardens are standing by to print out closure signs if needed and get them posted at access points, said Ed Mitchell, Idaho Fish and Game conservation information supervisor. The signs say, in bold letters, “Wolf hunt closed by federal court action.”
“They’re on hold now,” Mitchell said.
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula heard three hours of arguments on both sides on Monday, then took the matter under advisement, saying he’d rule “as quickly as I can.”
Doug Honnold of Earthjustice said wolves, considered endangered until May of this year, remain at risk because the states lack sufficient safeguards to protect them. “It’s the endangered species that need to be protected, not the states’ rights to kill wolves,” he said.
Michael Eitel, representing the Fish and Wildlife Service, said the agency would keep monitoring the wolves and step in to return the species to the endangered list if warranted. “The Northern Rocky Mountain wolves are doing very well,” Eitel said. “Yes there might be wolves that are killed, but that will not affect the population in Idaho and Montana.”
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said, “The plaintiffs gave an indication that they didn’t trust the state of Idaho to properly manage wolves.”
Stone noted that Idaho lawmakers passed a resolution in 2001 demanding that “wolf recovery efforts in Idaho be discontinued immediately, and wolves be removed by whatever means necessary.” The non-binding measure, HJM 5, passed the House 53-2 and the Senate 30-3.
“It’s clear that Idaho has a long history of being hostile to wolves,” she said.
Idaho plans to allow hunters to kill up to 220 wolves – about a quarter of the state’s wolf population – while Montana has set its statewide limit at 75 wolves. The season in the North Idaho Panhandle starts Oct. 1.
Molloy is the same judge who issued an injunction in 2008 blocking planned wolf hunts. Since then, wolves have been removed from the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana, but they continue to be listed in Wyoming, because that state’s wolf management plans haven’t met federal standards.
Idaho plans to allow hunters to kill up to 220 wolves – about a quarter of the state’s wolf population – while Montana has set its limit at 75 wolves. The season starts in the North Idaho Panhandle on Oct. 1.
One concern Molloy raised when he issued the 2008 injunction was the lack of evidence of genetic mixing between the wolf populations in the various states.
“I don’t think he was provided with enough information on that issue last year,” Mitchell said. “Since he talked about it, both states have gathered up a lot more information about it.”
Evidence of genetic mixing would show that, rather than isolated populations that could, in time, develop genetic problems that could lead to extinction, the wolf population in the region is a single, viable population, Mitchell said.
The gray wolf was declared endangered in Idaho in 1974; 35 wolves were reintroduced into central Idaho in 1995, and they’ve since multiplied. Idaho Fish and Game now estimates there are 1,020 wolves in Idaho.