Wolves have pretty much removed the moose out of the Selway units and unit 21 and 21a here in the the Salmon area!
Yes, no doubt about the ticks. We experience some of the same problem, especially in our Panhandle moose populations. The ticks seem more pervasive there. And those population declines are primarily not related to wolves.Over the same time period, here in Maine we have experienced a major decline in moose population, we have no wolves. It is ticks, believe it or not that are causing them to die. Seriously doubt the entire issue there is solely the wolves
The post by 'thi9elsp" is crucial to this discussion. We all want game managed by a data driven DNR vs an emotionally driven public. In this instance the wolf looks guilty, just like the Dentist that shot Cecil. However when the truth finally prevailed, the Dentist wasn't guilty of any wrongdoing. As reasonable people should, we need to look at all the facts, factors, concerns, data etc. that is available before passing judgement or rendering a verdict. Deep down, we all know that predators in balance are necessary in any sustainable ecosystem.
As a Hunter Education Instructor I'm reminded of a picture in the Student Handbook showing a tank of water that represents a balanced ecosystem. The spout filling the tank represents the animal's reproductive capability and the leaks represent the loss / removal of animals via predators, disease, accidents, hunting etc. By a wide margin the biggest balancing factor is starvation. Predation on the other hand plays a vary limited role.
This is kind of hilarious! Lol. How did any of these animals survive the pre-human, animal husbandry era. You are acting like these animals are only on this earth for us to exploit. All these species co existed long before we got out hands into it, and none became seriously overpopulated or faced extinction until we did get involved. There has always been an ebb and flow to animal populations when not meddled with by human kind. Nature always finds a way to maintain balance until we enter the picture. So there are fewer animals to hunt, which means fewer permits and less money to government organizations. Big deal, we all need to stop acting like these animals are here just for us to hunt. It gets tossed around a lot that we hunters were the first conservationists, but then we loudly promote wiping out a species (again) just so we can kill more ourselves. It's all a bit silly.You’ve been drinking the liberal kool aid! The facts are that wolves are destroying moose and caribou at an alarming rate. There is nothing left in Yellowstone but bison, bears, and wolves. I was there a few years ago and it is so sad. My childhood memories of Yellowstone and all the game were dashed. You see my friend exotic Artic Wolves were imported by the US government and placed into an ecosystem they never belonged in and the results are dramatic. This IS NOT NATURE!
The one caribou herd in eastern Canada that is nearly gone is a great example. The enviro nuts are scratching their heads and mumbling some crap about global warming but fail to ever look at predators especially wolves as the real issue.
I am a rancher and hunter and I deal with predators daily. When biologists sit around and only talk habitat and ignore predation I get a little fired up!
While I will admit that I haven't read the entirety of every response on this thread, I don't believe anyone on here has said that hunters are the problem, I know I didn't. We hunters CAN BE a useful tool to animal populations, however there are more than a few of us out there who, left unchecked by laws and wardens, would be more harmful than the wolves. I'm just pointing out the argument that wolves should never have been put there is makes no sense, since the only reason they had to be REINTRODUCED was because of us to begin with. Yes at some point it will be beneficial to us humans to hunt them to control population, but they will not wipe out any species. I'm just sick of hearing the religious fanatical "the Lord put them there for us to rule over" attitude.I guess I will live in denial. I’m sure wolf take the weak and sick out of the herd.....but they take anything they can too. We have seen the deer in Wisconsin plummet in numbers....believe me a meal is meal. And when you don’t control their numbers the population grows to met the prey they are eating and only then declines possibly because there is not food on the table.
I have heard the anti hunters in the city all the time....”so you a trophy hunter”. It makes my blood boil very quickly. The next words out of their mouth is “I bet you don’t even eat it!” Yes, hunters do focus on big horned animals. But we are usually not the #1 problem for plummeting populations. It’s a lot of other factors: development for business or homes, crops, no timber or brush management, drought, bad winters or predators out of control. Whenever some mentions hunters are the problem... my first reply is really? Have you looked at the whole picture first?
I have not seen the moose data, but I HAVE seen the Yellowstone wolf data.
After the reintroduction into YNP, the packs were followed continuously to document every kill made. They ate post-reproductive cow elk, and thus had no effect on elk recruitment.
Furthermore, after the wolves left each kill a team necropsied what was left. In every case, without exception, each elk had something wrong with it that had left it weak, malnourished, or sick such that its days were numbered.
I would add the young also , they target what ever they can get and often its the old, sick, weak and young or what ever else gives them a good chance at a meal.They don't only kill the old and sick, they primarily target them, but will take what they can get. Either way they are a natural part of that ecosystem and were so long before we wiped them out. Also food for thought