Montana’s Wolf “Problem” Doesn’t Add Up

Montana’s resident human population recently topped a million, according to census takers. That may not seem like a lot in today’s grossly overcrowded world, where dozens of U.S. cities could boast three or four times that number (if wall to wall people were something to boast about). But compare 1,000,000 humans to the estimated 650 or so wolves in the state and it’s pretty clear which species’ population is out of control.

It’s not like I’m comparing apples and oranges here, either. Both species are predatory mammals (although human beings don’t have to predate, they just do it for fun), and carnivorous (unlike wolves, we can get by–a lot healthier, I might add–on a plant-based diet). Both wolves and humans would be considered large animals, roughly equal to each other in size and weight (well, actually, the average wolf weighs around 100 pounds, whereas the average Montanan weighs in at 3 or 4 times that nowadays).

Meanwhile, thanks to humans, there are two and a half million cows in the state. That’s two and half million cows, each of whom is slated to eventually be killed and eaten by humans. Wolf livestock predation amounts to only a tiny of that number; in 2011 for instance, 74 cows were killed by wolves. As Roger commented yesterday, 74 divided by 2,500,000 is .00029 percent, statistically zero. Range cattle are 147 times more likely to fall prey to intestinal parasites than to wolves. Yet those 74 cows amount to a wolf “problem,” according to the state of Montana and are cause to declare open season on wolves there.

So far this season, hunters and trappers have killed nearly 200 wolves. Montana wildlife officials say they are hoping to reduce the wolf population to around 450. That number does not even come close to representing a recovered state wolf population by any historical standards when you consider that in 1884, 5,450 wolves were killed in the Montana Territory, after a bounty was first initiated there. Before that, wolves probably outnumbered people.
How I long for the good old days.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

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16 thoughts on “Montana’s Wolf “Problem” Doesn’t Add Up

  1. Thank you for speaking this perfect truth, of course we are the problem .. Yet we blame the wolf for being a totally sustainable being , and we are the ones with the huge and obnoxious footprint . . It is all backwards and upside down .. ! I just keep thinking they are the best beings for the earth. .. Perhaps we could just open a huge wolf sanctuary and fence it in otherwise I’m afraid they will all be killed by our human expectrd needs of consuming all around us .Wolves. don’t seem to be included anymore in our world by these folks .. in fact they are considered totally dispensable by this group. Somehow they didn’t get the memo on the interconnected ecosystem. .., it is all so hard to believe we went this way instead of loving and respecting nature
    Thank you
    Rebecca

      • They got the memo–but it drove them into a frenzy of anti-government vibes, coupled with significant racism. Many of the NW Rocky states were populated by people who can’t get along with anyone, who have no empathy, who are alienated from society–similar to Alaska, hence they moved to these low populated areas where they thought they could vanish, do what they want, not care about anything but themselves. The Northern Rockies and Alaska are havens for these psychopaths because of the small population–but it’s not so small anymore. Now we are confronted with a whole bunch of people, who in any other state, would be in jail.

  2. Always thank you for speaking out for so many of us. Those in control of our wildlife are so out of control! Hopefully more people will evolve, and give hope.

  3. Hoping the new Sec’y of the Interior will clarify the “boundaries” for ranchers. These people have to start taking responsibility for their personal businesses and stop expecting bailouts from taxpayers. Every other business has losses and they’re expected to suck it up. Too, they cannot be permitted to run rampant with the cattle on public lands including national parks. It’s an ugly joke that must be squelched sooner rather than later. Enough is enough.

  4. please do not compare the wolf population with the human in montana…..compare the montana
    human population AND the breadth of that state with whole countries in europe ( exc ex GUS )..if you do this you will def see how disgusting, unhuman, unethically and STUPID the ROCKy-STATES- behaviour…..the behaviour of the authoryties!!!….is!!….
    thx for EXPOSING THE BIG GAME…..

  5. The only problem with wolves is the big game hunters can’t be sure where their trophy deer and elk are as wolves keep them moving so thus they can’t be sure where to take their out of state trophy hunters for the kill!!!! If the hunters don’t get their trophies than the professional guides don’t make their big money!!!!!! The ranchers want basically free graze for their cows but don’t want to pay to protect their livestock and maybe it’s time to keep the public and state land for the wilds not livestock!!!!!! ENOUGH SAID!!!!!

  6. But here’s the scary part -is that they have the politicians on their side, and not just in those States. The wolf killing/ slaughtering is supported by the majority of the Senate – and the governors pass them – so who has the money to put that many politicians in their pocket.. stop eating beef and vote these scum bag politicians out of office..

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