22 Wolves in Wyoming

One pack with 22 wolves.  I guess seeing is believing.

One of my good friends has hunted with three generations of his family in this area.  His 14 year-old son took a 32 inch mule deer in 2009 in this very area.  As a hunter and a big game expert he estimates that 2009 will be the last year they harvest trophy class mule deer in the area.  22 wolves just do too much damage to the ungulate infrastructure to have any other result.  His 10 year-old has been dreaming of harvesting his own old muley.  He told his dad, “Dad, I don’t care if you have to work 24 hours a day…you have to fix this wolf problem.”

10 Things you probably did not know about wolves

1. Each wolf will eat 1.5 tons a year of wild game.

2. Wolves are vectors of diseases that further impact wild game and humans

3. Wolf Populations in US already exceed recovery targets many times over and extend beyond recommended boundaries

4. Wolves Prefer Bigger game, healthy animals, disproportionally females and young, and seem to enjoy surplus killing (not lemmings and the old and sick big game as was so nicely fictionalized by the movie Never Cry Wolf)

5. Wolves Kill Humans-period (even in current times in North America).  Even a healthy grown man will always be killed by a pack of wolves-unless he is well armed.

6.  Wolves in the US have already effectively wiped out entire subpopulations of ungulates.

7.  Wolves have done hundreds of millions of dollars of economic damage to ungulate populations.

8.  Wolves reduce biodiversity-Shiras Moose, Elk, Bears, Big horn sheep, Mountain Lions etc.- all delicate populations at risk from wolves. 

9. Wolves are anything but endangered.  In North America and Asia, wolves are overpopulated.  There are no threats to loss of the species-in fact studies show wolves are overpopulated in many areas.

9.  Constitutionally States have the right to regulate wildlife (and are required to pay basically the entire bill)  Activist judges and out-of-state special interest are using expensive litigation to stop wolf management by states.  Even after those same special interests assured states and local conservation groups that they would not oppose returning wolf managment to the states once population recovery objectives were met.

 

Big picture

Special interest groups are what Theodore Roosevelt referred to as “Nature Fakers.”  They don’t like our version of conservation which is firmly rooted in scientific abundance principles.  We are the original conservationists.  We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man hours to rebuild big game herds which were decimated by the 1980s.  The nature fakers haven’t provided their money or their time (unless you count some unproductive litigation). 

Most of us don’t mind wolves, we just want them regulated like every other species of big game.  Big game abundance is a more fragile thing than many people realize. Those who have invested their lives to fix big game in the west understand this.  We have sweated and invested to fix problems in the west.  We have reintroduced big game species including mountain goats, wild sheep, elk and bison to many areas where they had been lost.  We reduced tag allocations, reduced overgrazing and rehabilitated habitat.  Overpopulation of wolves is erasing much of the investment.  The natives are restless.  We are the original conservationists. 

The anti-huning groups have an imperialist mentality.  They want to dictate to the states decisions that are constitutionally state decisions.  While the nature fakers run a primarily anti–hunting agenda, the truth is that the states are really good at producing and protecting big game abundance.  The litigation is hurting big game numbers and true biodiversity.  In the process, they are making the sportsmen the enemy of wolf conservation.

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