Posted by: laterun

Wolves - 05/14/12 06:01 PM

Interesting study on Wolves in Yellowstone.

Posted by: RowVsWade

Re: Wolves - 05/14/12 07:29 PM

That study is not only biased but full of BS and contradictions.
Posted by: Achewter

Re: Wolves - 05/16/12 12:25 PM

Well I guess the wolves have made the winters nicer.
Posted by: Salmo g.

Re: Wolves - 05/16/12 03:03 PM


I'm very interested in the NYP wolf subject. Would you mind pointing out the BS and contradictions so that I can better understand it?

Posted by: RowVsWade

Re: Wolves - 05/16/12 10:52 PM

Well for one thing Elk browse on young Aspens and if the young Aspen isn't browsed it soon grows too tall to be of any use to Elk. This has been shown to have had a substantial affect on Elk that are pushed out of Aspen stands as a result of Wolf predation.

Also the idea that "wolf killed" Elk provides more protein for bears emerging from hibernation than winter killed Elk means wolves don't eat what they kill or that winter kill Elk is somehow less nutritious.

This statement (below) sounds like a lot of hyperbole. Scavengers have no preference about the death of an animal only that their is enough to eat. I have a hard time believing there is more available meat on a Wolf killed carcass than there is on a frozen whole carcass.

"He added that scavengers that once relied on winter-killed elk for food now depend on wolf-killed elk. That benefits ravens, eagles, magpies, coyotes and bears (grizzly and black), especially as the bears emerge hungry from hibernation"

Outside of the story trying to justify that which is quickly spiralling out of control and thereby contradicting many other facts and ignoring the reality of the situation this study appears to me to be a self-serving, biased representation while ignoring the glaring problem. I'm in no way a wolf hater but checks and balances need to be implemented.

There are plenty of studies that contradict what this one attempts to do. You're welcome to look into the matter further if you really want to educate yourself.
Posted by: stlhdr1

Re: Wolves - 05/16/12 11:25 PM

Word on the street is Wolves for WA, lord have mercy...

Posted by: RowVsWade

Re: Wolves - 05/16/12 11:28 PM

They're already here. Cle Elum and the Teanaway has a pack as well as the Lake Chelan/Twisp/Winthrop area.
Posted by: Carcassman

Re: Wolves - 05/17/12 12:31 AM

Without the wolves, aspen was simply not reproducing in YNP. With wolves, there is aspen reprod. On my last visit you could see a whole lot of aspen saplings that weren;t there on previous visits.

Without wolves the elk browsed the wilow off the riverbanks. Many of the streambanks, at least where I fish, now have willow growing and will provide shade, more bank stability, and more bugs.

The grizzlies follow and appropriate wolf kills. The ravens follow the wolf packs and are at the kill site within minutes. Wolf kills are available all year, not just during spring melt from winter-kill.

It was fairly easy to see that elk behavior changed, and rather quickly. They are not out in the open all day, and not in big herds.

A side benefit appears that the wolves have disrupted the coyotes, which may be one reason why we saw more pronghorns last time.
Posted by: Salmo g.

Re: Wolves - 05/17/12 07:31 PM


I do read a bit on wolves since reintroduction to YNP and Idaho. Read a bunch on a website run by some total wolf haters with numerous photos of pregnant cow elk carcasses. At least they don't claim to be objective, but they think about wolves the way Custer thought about Indians.

I was talking with a wildlife biologist from Wisconsin a couple days ago. Wisconsin is next door to Minnesota which has had many wolves since day one. Seems the Wisconsin wolf population is growing and now numbers around 800, and people (presumably hunters) are screaming about wolf predation on deer. Funny thing is, he said, that there are 10,000 to 20,000 coyotes in Wisconsin that kill way more deer than wolves, and have been since forever. Yet not a word is raised about this predation.

It looks like predator-prey relationships are more complex than most people thought. I was in YNP in June a few years ago and saw a cow elk that had been killed by a wolf pack. Wolves fed on it for 3 days. Coyotes fed on it when the wolves weren't. Then a grizzly sow and cub. Then a black bear. And ravens were around whenever they could scavenge. I hiked down to the carcass after about 5 or 6 days and was amazed to find only one leg bone and a bit of hide left at the kill sight. Nothing goes to waste.

It does seem like wolves strike a nerve among humans that is more emotional than rational that other predators don't. That would make a good social science study.

Posted by: RowVsWade

Re: Wolves - 05/18/12 02:08 PM

Salmo--- I'm one of the guys that likes hunting almost as much as life itself but I also like Wolves and the idea of a balanced ecosystem. It seems that the problem with wolves is such an emotional one, on both sides. The wolf haters want them extirpated (again) and the wolf huggers don't want any measures to keep them in check. There is a balance somewhere in between. I read a couple of studies a year or so ago that countered what the OP study said but I don't remember where I saw it.

When looking back at old pics of YNP and comparing them to today one can see the affects of modern wildland firefighting policies and "sierra club" mentality. YNP is overburdened with older trees and almost sterile forests in places. There is no question about the importance of Aspen and Willow in a healthy forest but letting trees "do what they do" includes allowing them to burn without human interferrence. Forests need to regenerate (as you well know) but it seems everyone has an agenda that interfers with nature.

In any case I have a great respect for predators as long as there are responsible methods employed to keep the balance right. I'll be doing a fly out Bear hunt into the Kenais this late August and along with my bear tag I'll have a Wolf tag. I actually would prefer harvesting a Wolf over a Bear but just being in the wild places were they roam always thrills me.

Since I don't eat Aspen trees but love Elk steaks I'd prefer maintaning the balance in favor of Elk, but as you can see I'm biased.
Posted by: Salmo g.

Re: Wolves - 05/18/12 04:40 PM

Balance - it's becoming a hard concept to sell. I agree that because we have irretrievably altered ecosystems that we've also inherited the responsibility to manage them. I think I'm comfortable landing in support of the WDFW wolf management plan for WA, if for no other reason that both the anti-wolf and bunny hugger factions hate it. Compared to the wild areas of MT, ID, and BC, WA just doesn't have enough wild range to support a large number of wolf packs, let alone "letting nature take it's course." I favor managing wolf abundance, just as we do deer, elk, and other critters.

I don't have any interest in hunting for wolves or any animal I wouldn't eat. Maybe my farm boy background. Good luck in AK.

Posted by: RowVsWade

Re: Wolves - 05/18/12 06:03 PM

Agreed...and thanks.