Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Winter of Our Discontent: To Wolf or Not to Wolf, That is the Question

 

Wolves. Everyone has an opinion.

In my home state of Wyoming, wolves have been a controversy since my great-grandfather was a trapper there. Yellowstone Park was created in 1872. My great-grandpa earned his money by trapping beaver, mink, and wolves, and selling the pelts. He spent his winters in the area around Yellowstone. Then, in the 1880s, Mormon families officially settled in one of the valleys south of the Park, so he married and settled there, too. My dad told me that his grandpa tried farming, but ended up selling his land, moving the family to town, and went back out in the mountains to resume his trapper life.

When the farmers and ranchers established settlements in the area around Yellowstone, wolves became a problem for them. After all, what would be easier prey: elk with those big antlers, or chubby cattle, with no horns? So, the government put a bounty on wolves, and by the late 1920s, the wolf packs were gone. Individual animals were sighted for the next four decades, but the big packs were no longer a threat. But, it isn’t always possible to predict what else will be affected when one thing changes.

Once the wolf packs no longer threatened the elk herds there was a big increase in the elk population in Yellowstone and the surrounding wilderness areas. This resulted in a near-complete depletion of the willows and aspens that grew along the streams in the valleys, which also left the beaver population without dam building materials. The beaver population diminished, leaving the streams free to rush downstream with no ponds to adjust the flow. Fewer willows and aspens also contributed to the erosion and damaged the riparian/aquatic ecosystems.

So, pressure to reintroduce the wolves began to mount. Ultimately, the pro-wolf arguments won out, so in the 1990s, these animals were back in Yellowstone. There are now many wolf sightings, but also, there has been a noticeable reduction in the elk population. The elk moved away from the streams, back in the thick timber, as one way of avoiding the wolves. And they broke up into smaller groups as a way to lessen the attraction of the predators. However, as the wolves increase in number, the elk population is definitely decreasing.

In those areas where wolves were reintroduced, the elk count has dropped by a range of 30-80% (in Idaho and Wyoming). The wolf population is now dramatically over the percentage that was intended when the restoration was begun. Some areas allow wolf hunting. Idaho actually put out a limited hunting season with a bounty for wolves. Farmers and ranchers make their case against the higher wolf population. The preservation people push back against those who want to control the wolves’ growth.

If you really want to get an argument going, just pick a side, and start talking! There are heated opinions everywhere. I don’t live there anymore, so I don’t have a stake in the game. I’ve seen some photos on Facebook that give me pause.

This is an aerial shot of a wolf pack chasing down some elk–which is nature doing its thing, I know.

This is a Montana family’s quarter horse that wolves killed in its pasture on their ranch.

These are fifteen cow elk killed apparently for fun by a wolf pack in Wyoming.

They weren’t eaten, they were just killed in a big meadow. (Yes, humans lined them up for the photo.)

So, questions? Opinions? What do you think about the wolf/elk/rancher controversy? It is inevitable that when humans get involved, that nature is going to be affected. But, what solutions would you propose? Here are some websites of those with varying opinions that you could read. It won’t clear things up, I promise!

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  1. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Cow Girl:

    These are fifteen cow elk killed apparently for fun by a wolf pack in Wyoming.

    They weren’t eaten, they were just killed in a big meadow. (Yes, humans lined them up for the photo.)

    I’m rather surprised at that, I wouldn’t that wolves would kill something and not eat it, unless the elk population is just that high.

    There were similar problems in Wisconsin when they reintroduced wolves there, either in the late 90s or early 2000s if I remember right. Originally there was a fine for shooting them but a coworker of one of my parents owned hogs and was planning on shooting to kill if they got too close. I haven’t heard what the current situation is, though I think the wolves are still there.

    • #1
    • January 25, 2020, at 11:29 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    I know all the arguments pro and con and I’m certainly not an expert having lived in coastal suburbs my entire life. But wolves belong in the American West- they are part of the landscape – and also to keep the coyotes in check. We have to find a way to live with them. And part of that, I suspect, is letting them know that our protected species are out of bounds and they will be killed if they transgress. It seems that the extreme solutions leave everyone unhappy, including the elk.

    • #2
    • January 25, 2020, at 11:35 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Not good eating, although I do know some Chinese recipes…

    • #3
    • January 25, 2020, at 11:49 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Not good eating, although I do know some Chinese recipes…

    I clicked “like” but really I mean “Bleeeeeaaaaahhhh…” and other gagging sounds.

    • #4
    • January 25, 2020, at 12:09 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. Hoyacon Member

    Is this the Western equivalent of bird people v. cat people?

    Seriously, attempting to achieve some kind of balance by allowing a degree of wolf hunting with bounties seems a good place to start. Unlimited wolves seems untenable.

    • #5
    • January 25, 2020, at 12:10 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  6. PHCheese Member

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I know all the arguments pro and con and I’m certainly not an expert having lived in coastal suburbs my entire life. But wolves belong in the American West- they are part of the landscape – and also to keep the coyotes in check. We have to find a way to live with them. And part of that, I suspect, is letting them know that our protected species are out of bounds and they will be killed if they transgress. It seems that the extreme solutions leave everyone unhappy, including the elk.

    We have red wolves here in the low country of South Carolina.

    • #6
    • January 25, 2020, at 12:21 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    We have red wolves here in the low country of South Carolina.

    How do they differ from the grey wolves or timber wolves in the West? And what is their prey?

    • #7
    • January 25, 2020, at 12:24 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Hang On Member
    Hang On Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What would Red Riding Hood say?

    Elk hunting and wolf hunting with licenses seems like a good idea to help keep a balance. And it is the balance that should be the goal.

    • #8
    • January 25, 2020, at 12:27 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I come down on the anti-wolf side. Wolves are dangerous predators. They are even dangerous to people.

    The solution to the increase in the elk population is pretty obvious. Let people hunt the elk. I’m not a hunter myself, but I have plenty of friends who like to hunt.

    Like most hunting, elk hunting would need to be regulated, or people would likely drive the elk into extinction. Most states have perfectly good systems for dealing with this, by monitoring the population, setting a target population, and issuing the appropriate number of permits. The state can generally even make a bit of money from the program, as hunters are willing to pay to hunt.

    • #9
    • January 25, 2020, at 12:34 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  10. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I know all the arguments pro and con and I’m certainly not an expert having lived in coastal suburbs my entire life. But wolves belong in the American West- they are part of the landscape – and also to keep the coyotes in check. We have to find a way to live with them. And part of that, I suspect, is letting them know that our protected species are out of bounds and they will be killed if they transgress. It seems that the extreme solutions leave everyone unhappy, including the elk.

    We have red wolves here in the low country of South Carolina.

    True. We have them in the Southwest. I heard one howl one night when camping-is there any sound quite like it? I should have said: Wolves belong in America.

    • #10
    • January 25, 2020, at 12:34 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. PHCheese Member

    Cow Girl (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    We have red wolves here in the low country of South Carolina.

    How do they differ from the grey wolves or timber wolves in the West? And what is their prey?

    They are of course reddish but they are smaller as well. There aren’t many left, maybe only a couple of dozen. Some experts think they are a hybrid and not true wolves. I think I had one cross the road in front of my car but it could have been a coyote. The Francis Marion National Forest has a program that have 14 in captivity about 10 miles from where we live. They have reintroduced them in the swamps of the forest. I have no idea what the eat. I think there are some up in North Carolina as well.

    • #11
    • January 25, 2020, at 1:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is going to be a huge issue in Colorado this year, as we have a reintroduction initiative on the ballot. I’m against it. Wolves were a part of the American West. It’s a problem we solved and now we think we’re going to achieve some “balance” by reintroducing the problem? With the enviro wacko leftists knowing no limits and denying unintended consequences? We think we’ll be allowed to put bounties on wolves? Unlikely.

    I’m for people, not nature. Nature wants to kill us and eat us and our pets. Wolves can have their way with prey in the Big Empty of Northern Canada. We don’t need them here. How about solving the pine bark beetle problem?

    • #12
    • January 25, 2020, at 2:03 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  13. Housebroken Thatcher

    Spent several weeks in Yellowstone I guess it was 15 years ago. Elk were everywhere, beaver – not so much. We counted ourselves lucky to espy a very small pack of wolves across a meadow, entering the treeline.

    I agree with others here about allowing controlled hunting – for elk and for wolf. The take and the seasons may also vary depending upon the locale. People are here too, humanity is my prime interest. Round here coyotes can be a problem but when they get to be too obnoxious folks have a solution. Kind of like hearing them crying out late at night – just in winter they get a bit closer so I don’t let the dogs out alone for extended periods.

    Most folk don’t want to see wolf go extinct, just want controls. Now moles and skunks, on the other hand…

     

    • #13
    • January 25, 2020, at 2:06 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    The solution to the increase in the elk population is pretty obvious. Let people hunt the elk. I’m not a hunter myself, but I have plenty of friends who like to hunt.

    I am not a hunter, either. But my dad loved elk hunting. I ate plenty of elk as a farm girl. There is a big interest in elk hunting there in Wyoming/Montana/Idaho. My husband’s family had a business for several decades for guiding out-of-state hunters. They’d go up in the wilderness area and camp for a week with the hunters, and they always got their elk. I also ate elk meat at our school cafeteria when I was little because most of those hunters really only wanted the antlers or the head mount with antlers. So, the guides would dress the elk and bring the meat back to town, and some of it was donated to our school. Since so many of us ate deer and elk at home, we didn’t even notice. (Yes, this was a really long time ago…)

    Mind you, elk hunting is not for the faint of heart. Elk season starts October 15th, (a school holiday, BTW, in my district.) Snow fall started in early October. So, up there at the altitude where the elk live, it is cold, snowy (the better to track them with) and the hours of sunlight are pretty short already in October. It didn’t sound like any fun at all to me! So, I stayed home and did the milking, and a couple of my sisters would go with Daddy and get our elk. Bring me your dead animal: I will turn it into food…just don’t make me kill it.

    • #14
    • January 25, 2020, at 2:19 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. Arahant Member

    Wolves also keep the coyote populations down.

    • #15
    • January 25, 2020, at 2:24 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  16. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    I’m all in favor of having nature be as natural as possible, and letting humans defend our persons and property, as is also natural. So, let there be wolves. And let people shoot them at need. I don’t think their should be bounties, just an open season. Wolves are pretty smart. They should fear us.

    • #16
    • January 25, 2020, at 5:04 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Is this the Western equivalent of bird people v. cat people?

    Seriously, attempting to achieve some kind of balance by allowing a degree of wolf hunting with bounties seems a good place to start. Unlimited wolves seems untenable.

    I think this is close to where I would set the balance. 

    Maybe make it legal for anyone to kill a wolf while standing on farm property (but no baiting). Perhaps agree that for every farm animal killed there will be x number of wolf hunting tags issued the following season. 

    In short, enlist the aid of the wolves in deciding how many of them there should be. 

    • #17
    • January 25, 2020, at 5:15 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. philo Member

    Wolves are fine as long as they go through the proper, legal processes to get here (mostly from Canada) and, for the love of God, make sure no Wolf families are separated at the border.

    • #18
    • January 25, 2020, at 5:20 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  19. Henry Castaigne Member

    According to a fellow in a rural bar in Idaho. The wolves are everywhere and they need to be shot. 

    • #19
    • January 26, 2020, at 4:01 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. Arahant Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    According to a fellow in a rural bar in Idaho. The wolves are everywhere and they need to be shot.

    • #20
    • January 26, 2020, at 4:22 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Front Seat Cat Member

    I saw the most fascinating story on PBS about a series of studies on “keystone species”. Scientists did research on what happens in nature when a keystone species is removed. The snowball effect was just as you described. They did one on the Serengeti and one on starfish of all things. I also remember seeing a separate story on the purpose of the beaver. Entire areas in I think Colorado just dried up, but then the beaver was re-introduced and the landscape came back to life. This is providence – don’t mess with Mother Nature!

    https://scientificinquirer.com/2019/10/04/conversations-with-james-estes-keystone-species-interactions-and-the-serengeti-rules/

    https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/how-starfish-changed-modern-ecology-whyt6v/19928/

    It sounds like you have such an interesting family history. Any photos of your grandfather in those days? 

    • #21
    • January 26, 2020, at 6:11 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  22. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    We don’t have wolves that I know of in the Pacific Northwest, but we have coyotes in abundance. A local pack runs through my pasture periodically yipping and yapping. As an outdoorsman, I have always enjoyed seeing wild predators. I have had a number of encounters with cougars while hiking and have seen several black bears and even one Grizzly cub. A few months back I ran into a black bear of substantial size on a paved bicycle trail that runs through the valley below my home. I have never felt threatened by any of these animals. I am a concealed carry holder, so I am always armed, though I never considered drawing my weapon. The sight of a 150 pound cat at about 25 yards is an awesome experience that one never forgets. 

    As to wolves, I am lover of all canines. Wolves can be and often are romanticized. They are beautiful creatures. In many ways their packs resemble tribal humans, right down to the killing of other animals for the fun of it. The destruction of the wolf packs throughout the west is, to me, unacceptable. Finding a balance between economic interests and the natural order seems essential. Cattlemen and sheep herders don’t need their animals killed by wolves, but wolves are a natural part of the environment and should be allowed to roam freely performing their part in maintaining the balance of nature that man has done so much to upset.

    As one who grew up in New York City and never saw any truly wild animals other than squirrels around my home, I really do enjoy being somewhere where I am sharing the land with its natural inhabitants. It is a constant reminder of our actual place in God’s world. 

    • #22
    • January 26, 2020, at 6:17 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. philo Member

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment): …but wolves are a natural part of the environment and should be allowed to roam freely performing their part in maintaining the balance of nature that man has done so much to upset.

    Other than my statement above, I take no position on this topic but love the conversation…so, just for the sake of argument, the above may be true but the devil is in the details. Question: Are Canadian Wolves a natural part of the Yellowstone environment?

    • #23
    • January 26, 2020, at 6:36 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. philo Member

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment): We don’t have wolves that I know of in the Pacific Northwest, but we have coyotes in abundance. A local pack runs through my pasture periodically yipping and yapping. …

    I also cannot resist passing on semi-relevant notes from my library, especially ones that involve two of my favorite topics (Canines and U.S. Grant) and that also my provide useful lessons concerning other current events. This one form The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant:

    …On the evening of the first day out from Goliad we heard the most unearthly howling of wolves, directly in our front. The prairie grass was tall and we could not see the beasts, but the sound indicated that they were near. To my ear it appeared that there must have been enough of them to devour our party, horses and all, at a single meal. The part of Ohio that I hailed from was not thickly settled, but wolves had been driven out long before I left. Benjamin was from Indiana, still less populated, where the wolf yet roamed over the prairies. He understood the nature of the animal and the capacity of a few to make believe there was an unlimited number of them. He kept on towards the noise, unmoved. … [Benjamin asked]: “Grant, how many wolves do you think there are in that pack?” Knowing where he was from, and suspecting that he thought I would overestimate the number, I determined to show my acquaintance with the animal by putting the estimate below what possibly could be correct, and answered: “Oh, about twenty,” very indifferently. He smiled and rode on. In a minute we were close upon them, and before they saw us. There were just two of them. Seated upon their haunches, with their mouths close together, they had made all the noise we had been hearing for the past ten minutes. I have often thought of this incident since when I have heard the noise of a few disappointed politicians who had deserted their associates. There are always more of them before they are counted. – Pages 49-50

     

    • #24
    • January 26, 2020, at 7:05 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    We don’t have wolves that I know of in the Pacific Northwest, but we have coyotes in abundance. A local pack runs through my pasture periodically yipping and yapping. As an outdoorsman, I have always enjoyed seeing wild predators. I have had a number of encounters with cougars while hiking and have seen several black bears and even one Grizzly cub. A few months back I ran into a black bear of substantial size on a paved bicycle trail that runs through the valley below my home. I have never felt threatened by any of these animals. I am a concealed carry holder, so I am always armed, though I never considered drawing my weapon. The sight of a 150 pound cat at about 25 yards is an awesome experience that one never forgets.

    As to wolves, I am lover of all canines. Wolves can be and often are romanticized. They are beautiful creatures. In many ways their packs resemble tribal humans, right down to the killing of other animals for the fun of it. The destruction of the wolf packs throughout the west is, to me, unacceptable. Finding a balance between economic interests and the natural order seems essential. Cattlemen and sheep herders don’t need their animals killed by wolves, but wolves are a natural part of the environment and should be allowed to roam freely performing their part in maintaining the balance of nature that man has done so much to upset.

    As one who grew up in New York City and never saw any truly wild animals other than squirrels around my home, I really do enjoy being somewhere where I am sharing the land with its natural inhabitants. It is a constant reminder of our actual place in God’s world.

    This is sentimentalism. The wolf was a part of nature here. It hasn’t been for a about a century. Should alligators roam freely on golf courses in Florida? Maybe you want to invite the Great Whites to cruise your swimming beaches on Cape Cod? 

    This is another non-problem people are looking to government to “solve.” It will not end well for anyone, including some of the wolves.

    And, btw, I have three dogs and have dipped a toe into the dog show world in the past. I love canines of all sorts, including wolves, too. . . in their free-to-roam environment where people are scarce.

    • #25
    • January 26, 2020, at 7:08 AM PST
    • 1 like
  26. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Cow Girl:

    These are fifteen cow elk killed apparently for fun by a wolf pack in Wyoming.

    They weren’t eaten, they were just killed in a big meadow. (Yes, humans lined them up for the photo.)

    I’m rather surprised at that, I wouldn’t that wolves would kill something and not eat it, unless the elk population is just that high.

    There were similar problems in Wisconsin when they reintroduced wolves there, either in the late 90s or early 2000s if I remember right. Originally there was a fine for shooting them but a coworker of one of my parents owned hogs and was planning on shooting to kill if they got too close. I haven’t heard what the current situation is, though I think the wolves are still there.

    The WI wolf population is thriving! The original projections of the wolf population were to have been around 800. Current populations estimates are between 2,000 and 3,000. The diminishing deer hunting numbers are being blamed on the wolves. With actual numbers of hunters also decreasing, I’m thinking the wolves actually help. As long as there is a fair and easy way for farmers and ranchers to recoup any losses due to wolves – I lean towards the ‘I’m OK with it’ camp.

    NOTE/UPDATE: I should have checked my numbers DNR, I was incorrect. Estimated 2018 populations is between 700 – 900 wolves. That earlier inflated figure was from a dept. of tourism link for. I apologize.

    • #26
    • January 26, 2020, at 8:01 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Arahant Member

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    A few months back I ran into a black bear of substantial size on a paved bicycle trail that runs through the valley below my home.

    Where did the bear get the bicycle?

    • #27
    • January 26, 2020, at 10:14 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  28. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    WI Con (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Cow Girl:

    These are fifteen cow elk killed apparently for fun by a wolf pack in Wyoming.

    They weren’t eaten, they were just killed in a big meadow. (Yes, humans lined them up for the photo.)

    I’m rather surprised at that, I wouldn’t that wolves would kill something and not eat it, unless the elk population is just that high.

    There were similar problems in Wisconsin when they reintroduced wolves there, either in the late 90s or early 2000s if I remember right. Originally there was a fine for shooting them but a coworker of one of my parents owned hogs and was planning on shooting to kill if they got too close. I haven’t heard what the current situation is, though I think the wolves are still there.

    The WI wolf population is thriving! The original projections of the wolf population were to have been around 800. Current populations estimates are between 2,000 and 3,000. The diminishing deer hunting numbers are being blamed on the wolves. With actual numbers of hunters also decreasing, I’m thinking the wolves actually help. As long as there is a fair and easy way for farmers and ranchers to recoup any losses due to wolves – I lean towards the ‘I’m OK with it’ camp.

    How do you compensate someone for the loss of a beloved pet? Like the quarter horse pictured?

    We have people lose small dogs and cats to bobcats regularly (east central Colorado Springs, away from the foothills). Coyotes have been known to attack medium-to-large sized dogs (usually a dispute over females in heat). Mountain lions tend to only be a concern in the foothills and mountains) I’m not advocating for the extermination of bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions, but I don’t believe we need to add another predator to the mix. It’s a non-problem looking for a busybody solution. With all the Californian refugees who’ve moved here in recent years, I fully expect the initiative to pass, good and hard.

     

    • #28
    • January 26, 2020, at 10:51 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    WI Con (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Cow Girl:

    These are fifteen cow elk killed apparently for fun by a wolf pack in Wyoming.

    They weren’t eaten, they were just killed in a big meadow. (Yes, humans lined them up for the photo.)

    I’m rather surprised at that, I wouldn’t that wolves would kill something and not eat it, unless the elk population is just that high.

    There were similar problems in Wisconsin when they reintroduced wolves there, either in the late 90s or early 2000s if I remember right. Originally there was a fine for shooting them but a coworker of one of my parents owned hogs and was planning on shooting to kill if they got too close. I haven’t heard what the current situation is, though I think the wolves are still there.

    The WI wolf population is thriving! The original projections of the wolf population were to have been around 800. Current populations estimates are between 2,000 and 3,000. The diminishing deer hunting numbers are being blamed on the wolves. With actual numbers of hunters also decreasing, I’m thinking the wolves actually help. As long as there is a fair and easy way for farmers and ranchers to recoup any losses due to wolves – I lean towards the ‘I’m OK with it’ camp.

    How do you compensate someone for the loss of a beloved pet? Like the quarter horse pictured?

    We have people lose small dogs and cats to bobcats regularly (east central Colorado Springs, away from the foothills). Coyotes have been known to attack medium-to-large sized dogs (usually a dispute over females in heat). Mountain lions tend to only be a concern in the foothills and mountains) I’m not advocating for the extermination of bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions, but I don’t believe we need to add another predator to the mix. It’s a non-problem looking for a busybody solution. With all the Californian refugees who’ve moved here in recent years, I fully expect the initiative to pass, good and hard.

    I do understand there are problems associated with having too many Californians living in Colorado but I have concerns about the legitimacy of any policy that involves importing an apex predator to eat them.

    • #29
    • January 26, 2020, at 11:06 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  30. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    WI Con (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Cow Girl:

    These are fifteen cow elk killed apparently for fun by a wolf pack in Wyoming.

    They weren’t eaten, they were just killed in a big meadow. (Yes, humans lined them up for the photo.)

    I’m rather surprised at that, I wouldn’t that wolves would kill something and not eat it, unless the elk population is just that high.

    There were similar problems in Wisconsin when they reintroduced wolves there, either in the late 90s or early 2000s if I remember right. Originally there was a fine for shooting them but a coworker of one of my parents owned hogs and was planning on shooting to kill if they got too close. I haven’t heard what the current situation is, though I think the wolves are still there.

    The WI wolf population is thriving! The original projections of the wolf population were to have been around 800. Current populations estimates are between 2,000 and 3,000. The diminishing deer hunting numbers are being blamed on the wolves. With actual numbers of hunters also decreasing, I’m thinking the wolves actually help. As long as there is a fair and easy way for farmers and ranchers to recoup any losses due to wolves – I lean towards the ‘I’m OK with it’ camp.

    How do you compensate someone for the loss of a beloved pet? Like the quarter horse pictured?

    We have people lose small dogs and cats to bobcats regularly (east central Colorado Springs, away from the foothills). Coyotes have been known to attack medium-to-large sized dogs (usually a dispute over females in heat). Mountain lions tend to only be a concern in the foothills and mountains) I’m not advocating for the extermination of bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions, but I don’t believe we need to add another predator to the mix. It’s a non-problem looking for a busybody solution. With all the Californian refugees who’ve moved here in recent years, I fully expect the initiative to pass, good and hard.

    I do understand there are problems associated with having too many Californians living in Colorado but I have concerns about the legitimacy of any policy that involves importing an apex predator to eat them.

    Hahaha…. I hadn’t considered. . . I may have to rethink my objection. 

    • #30
    • January 26, 2020, at 11:25 AM PST
    • 5 likes