About Exposing the Big Game

Jim Robertson

1827 Dead Wolves -Northern Rockies/Great Lakes 2013/early 2014

Originally posted on Howling For Justice:

gray wolf USFWS

My previous post dealt with the ongoing number of wolves killed in 2014. This post deals with total 2013/early 2014 wolf mortality in the Northern Rockies/Great Lakes.  It’s a huge number! A slaughter!  What’s behind this madness? It’s certainly not because wolves are harming humans or are a threat to the livestock industry.

From Wildearth Guardians:

Livestock Losses

Cattle

Myth: Wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bears, and others kill lots of cattle.

Truth: Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agriculture report.

The government’s own data show that the real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife – it’s illness and weather.  Yet, the predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native carnivores.

The livestock predation myth…

View original 572 more words

Onlookers dismayed by elk-herding hunters

Elk ambush

Elk ambush

A crowd of hunters participating in the Teton park hunt herded elk from a no-hunting area into a barrage of bullets on Wednesday, upsetting nonhunting passersby.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 4:30 am

Witnesses say hunters in Grand Teton National Park drove a herd of elk from a no-hunt zone and toward an awaiting firing line Wednesday.

The scene at the sage flats north of Kelly was a surprise to Michigan resident and Jackson Hole visitor Joanna Childers, who was on a wildlife safari during her first visit to Teton park.

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http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/onlookers-dismayed-by-elk-herding-hunters/article_a21e928d-926e-5fd9-b92c-9886d4d0fe3e.html?mode=story

 

“It looked like a bunch of hunters surrounded a pack of elk,” Childers said. “Hunters were staked out in the road and around the field.

“You see these animals and they’re in a pack and there a bunch of rifles pointed at them from every direction,” she said. “Overall, it was kind of sad and pretty unfair.”

Wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen — long an opponent of the park hunt — said hunter behavior Wednesday was as egregious as he’s seen.

By Mangelsen’s account, around 11 a.m. a person pushed a herd of about 100 elk out of an area off limits to hunters near Kelly. Once the herd was on the move, chaos ensued, he said.

“All the sudden somebody shot and they just opened fire on them,” Mangelsen said. “It’s really poor sportsmanship — it was illegal and it was just a display of totally barbaric hunting.”

The photographer estimated that 30 people were involved in the drive, that 25 shots were fired and that eight to 10 elk were killed.

Teton park officials did not corroborate many of the details described by Mangelsen and others, but said some hunters were ticketed Wednesday.

“There was quite a bit of action as far as hunters go and the movement of elk near Kelly,” park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said. “At least two citations have been issued.”

Two hunters shot and killed bull elk Tuesday in the park, where harvest is restricted to cows and calves. The elk were confiscated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Skaggs said.

One of those hunters was also cited for shooting at a running herd, she said.

Rules unique to the park hunt prohibit firing more than one shot at a group of running animals.

Seven park rangers were still in the field at the time Skaggs spoke with the Jackson Hole Daily, and she said it’s possible there were other violations.

It’s legal for hunters to drive elk out of areas where hunting is prohibited in the park, Skaggs said.

Mangelsen said some people were firing from the road, which is illegal. Photos he provided show hunters with rifles and shooting sticks setting up on the roadside.

Jeff Soulliere, another local photographer, said the display left him speechless.

“It absolutely was a mess,” Soulliere said. “This is a national park, and you’ve got tourists on the road right next to hunters with high-powered rifles.

“It really struck me as, ‘you got to be kidding me,’ ” he said. “No one was taking safety into consideration because they were herding and surrounding them and they could have shot each other.”

[Too bad they didn't.]

Washington group puts up anti-wolf billboards

http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/washington-group-puts-up-anti-wolf-billboards/article_f734776f-30eb-51f3-80a6-c24f024ff950.html

2014-11-21  Washington group puts up anti-wolf billboardsBy Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review The Billings Gazette

A newly organized anti-wolf group says it’s targeting Spokane with a billboard campaign to highlight members’ concerns about the increasing number of wolves in Washington State.

Four billboards featuring a snarling wolf are being put up, according to Washington Residents Against Wolves, a group that says in a media release that it’s promoting “sound management of the predator.”

“The aim of the billboard campaign is to encourage people to ask more questions about what having wolves in Washington really means,” said Luke Hedquist, WARAW member.

“People need to consider the challenges associated with wolves. Wolves can and will attack people, livestock will be killed and maimed, private property will be compromised and local economies will be impacted. We want to make sure people thoroughly understand the issue, so we started by trying to get people’s attention with the billboards.

“As the elk and other ungulates are impacted by wolves, we will see fewer animals for other predators like cougar and bear, a decline in the number of animals available to hunt and significant impacts to local economies as hunters go elsewhere.”

Abuse of Tigers in Chinese Zoos

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Report condemns widespread abuse of tigers in zoos By

Wang Qian (China
Daily) 2014-11-18

Tigers are being widely abused in many of the country’s zoos, according to a
report issued by an animal rights group.

The claim comes after pictures of an emaciated tiger in Tianjin Zoo
triggered public concern in August.

On Sunday, China Zoo Watch issued a report that highlighted abuse including
the tigers’ poor and crowded living conditions. About 35 volunteers from the
group visited zoos nationwide and highlighted the lack of animal welfare and
protection.

Some of the tigers were raised in cages so small that the animals could not
turn around, volunteer Long Yuanzhi said. Some of the big cats were kept in
concrete enclosures with no natural light, making them extremely anxious.

A wildlife park in Beijing’s Daxing district was found to be using electric
fences to contain tigers in October, and the animals were shaking in their
enclosure, the group reported.

Hu Chunmei, an animal rights activist with Nature University, an
environmental protection project, agreed that the living conditions of
tigers in Chinese zoos are deplorable.

Other than the poor living conditions, the tigers are also widely used in
animal shows although the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development
issued a circular in 2010 banning animal performances nationwide, she said.

Report condemns widespread abuse of tigers in zoos

China Zoo Watch reported that displays involving tigers are still being
staged in many zoos, where the beasts are made to jump through flaming hoops
and do other acrobatics.

These shows not only abuse the animals physically and psychologically, but
also mislead children and youngsters who may think the endangered animals
can be used for performances against their nature, Hu said.

Jumping through flaming hoops is the most traumatic trick for tigers because
they are by nature terrified of fire, Long said.

But Xu Linmu, former chief engineer from a zoo in Nanjing, Jiangsu province,
said raising a tiger costs more than 50,000 yuan ($8,150) a year, which is
too much for zoos across the country.

“Zookeepers have to make money, but selling tickets cannot cover the
maintenance and management of zoos,” Xu said.

In Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, capital city of South China’s
Guangdong province, a ticket for an animal circus costs about 280 yuan per
person, with white tiger shows one of the most popular acts.

Legislation on animal welfare is essential to stamp out increasing animal
abuse, said Zhou Ke, an environmental protection law professor at Renmin
University of China.

The country has laws to protect animals in the wild but lags behind when it
comes to protecting animals in captivity, activists and experts said.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-11/18/content_18934801.htm

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Urged to Stop the Trophy Hunting of Wolves

copyrighted wolf in water

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2014/11/mn-trophy-hunt-wolves-111714.html

Nov. 4 vote in nearby Michigan highlights overwhelming opposition to this needless killing

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is being urged to stop the trophy hunting of wolves, in the wake of the nation’s first statewide vote on wolf hunting in last week’s election.  In nearby Michigan on Nov. 4, voters overwhelmingly rejected two wolf hunting measures, Proposals 1 and 2, with the “no” side winning by a 10-point margin and a 28-point margin, respectively. On Proposal 2, the “no” side received more than 1.8 million votes, more than any candidate who won statewide office, and prevailed in 69 of Michigan’s 83 counties.

This was the first statewide vote on wolf hunting in any state since wolves were stripped of their federal protections under the Endangered Species Act, and since more than 2,200 wolves were killed across the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies regions over the last two years. The Humane Society of the United States is urging decision makers in Minnesota to pay attention to this vote in Michigan, and see how regular citizens feel about the trophy hunting and trapping of wolves.

The Michigan election results mirror public opinion polling showing that Minnesotans, by huge majorities, appreciate wolves and want them conserved. In 2012, before the first wolf trophy hunting season, the DNR conducted an online survey, and 79 percent of residents opposed wolf hunting and wolf trapping.

Howard Goldman, Minnesota senior state director of The HSUS, said: “Michigan and Minnesota are states with strong hunting and farming traditions, and the resounding votes in Michigan demonstrate that voters think trophy hunting and commercial trapping seasons for wolves are premature and unacceptable.  Nobody eats wolves, and there are already tools that exist to manage problem animals.” I’m confident that Minnesotans would have voted similarly if they had a chance to decide this issue directly.”

Minnesota is home to approximately 2,400 wolves and the DNR set this season’s hunting quota at 250 (30 more individuals than permitted in the last season). In 2013, a total of 602 wolves died, and the numbers of wolf packs have declined from 503 in 2008 to 470 in 2014 – a loss of 33 entire packs of wolves. Biologists warn that hunting this iconic species—even at low levels—harms not only the animals but also pack dynamics.   When fellow pack members are killed, wolf packs can disband, leading to starvation of the pack’s youngest members.

Wolves keep deer and other ungulate herds healthy and scientific studies show that because of wolf predation, both plant and animal communities become far more diverse. The Minnesota DNR’s own data show that wolves prey on miniscule numbers of livestock.

Goldman continued: “We want state lawmakers and the Minnesota DNR to take heed of the overwhelming votes in Michigan. Most voters want wolves and their packs protected from needless killing, and they recognize wolves bring economic and ecological benefits to the state.”

Minnesota permits cruel and unsporting trophy hunting methods to kill wolves, including trapping the animals with leghold traps and neck snares. The state also allows hunters to lure in wolves using electronic calls and bait.

 

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson

Gray Wolf ‘Killfest’ Sparks Controversy

copyrighted Hayden wolf walking

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/10481/20141119/gray-wolf-killfest-sparks-controversy.htm#ixzz3JdMpSFCT

By Jenna Iacurci

Along with coyotes, weasels, skunks, jackrabbits, raccoons and European starlings, the endangered gray wolf should be weary after the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) granted permits for up to 500 hunters – some even as young as 10 years old – to compete on 3 million acres of land for three days beginning in January 2015 in a bid to see who can kill the most prey.

The competition, officially called the “predator derby,” prompted two lawsuits by environmental groups including Defenders of Wildlife and Wildearth Guardians, asking federal judges to put an end to this killing spree before it even has a chance to start.

“They’re treated like grass that needs to be mowed down,” Suzanne Stone, Idaho spokeswoman for Defenders of Wildlife who has been studying wolves for more than 30 years, told The Guardian.

“This has gone so far above and beyond what most people consider ethical, even hunters,” she added.

Are Wolves More Harmful Than Helpful?

The dispute between western ranchers and wildlife advocates has been an ongoing one the last several years, with little hope in sight of a compromise.

“The whole issue became very polarized,” added Mike Keckler, a spokesman for the Idaho department of fish and game.

Ranchers, particularly those a part of Idaho’s 240,000-head sheep industry, believe that taking out gray wolves is in their right to protect their livestock, as well as prevent competition with humans.

“[They are] a bunch of urbanites who don’t have any clue, don’t have the knowledge and wisdom and experience that we do,” Steve Alder, executive director of Idaho for Wildlife, which organized the derby, said of those opposed to the killings. “They don’t understand our lives, they don’t understand where meat comes from.”

Just last month ranchers in Catron County, N.M. were outraged to find that wolves are setting a record as the main killers of cattle this year. Catron County, which borders eastern Arizona, was one of the first areas where Mexican gray wolves – a subspecies numbering at a mere 83 individuals – were released as part of a recovery effort.

And while that’s all well and good for the wolves, ranchers are a little less than pleased.

“The negative effects to livestock producers caused by Mexican Wolves are a wide spectrum not addressed and/or ignored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service,” wrote Jess Carey, lead author behind a report on the impact of wolves in the area.

Carey also pointed out that over the course of the study, five ranches lost a total of 651 head of cattle valued at more than $382,000.

In another instance, a pack of six wolves roaming in Canada’s Elk Island National Park were killed after cows were “ripped open from one end to the other,” the National Post reported.

Such measures are deemed necessary by livestock owners are others who are trying desperately to protect their animals.

“If something isn’t done in the off-season, there will be next to nobody willing to put cattle back in there next summer, including myself,” added hunter Dan Brown, president of the Blackfoot Grazing Association.

It is pressure from hunters such as Brown that makes the situation of the endangered gray wolves especially prickly. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in recent years has lifted protections for the animals in the western Great Lakes and the Northern Rockies, only to have them reinstated after backlash from wildlife advocates.

Why They Matter

Though they once nearly disappeared from the lower 48 states, today wolves including the gray wolf (Canis lupis) have returned to the Great Lakes, northern Rockies and Southwestern United States.

There are an estimated 7,000 to 11,200 gray wolves in Alaska, 3,700 in the Great Lakes region and 1,675 in the Northern Rockies, according to Defenders of Wildlife.

A wolf pack bedded down in Yellowstone National Park in March 2007.

(Photo : Reuters/Doug Smith/National Park Service) A wolf pack bedded down in Yellowstone National Park in March 2007.

But they weren’t always on an upsurge. These predators may have once spanned a whopping two-thirds of the United States, but by the mid 1930s their numbers dwindled due to hunting and trapping by humans. Not until just recently have they shown signs of recovery, with a lone gray wolf recently spotted at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the first of its kind seen at the park in decades, offering conservationists a glimmer of hope for this beautiful species.

The comeback can be credited in part to the reintroduction program created in 1995 by the federal government.

Gray wolves actually play a key role in maintaining ecosystems, and aren’t always such a nuisance as many ranchers think. They help keep deer and elk populations in check, which can benefit many other plant and animal species. The carcasses of their prey also help to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, like grizzly bears and scavengers.

For now, gray wolves can be found roaming in the states of Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, with the population in Wyoming recently restored to the endangered species list. In the remaining states, gray wolves are monitored, but federal protection is seen as non-essential, according to the FWS.

Not to Worry

But environmentalists may not even need to worry for the wolves’ wellbeing since Alder doesn’t even expect the derby to encounter wolves. C. lupis like to roam from the tundra to woodlands, forests, grasslands and deserts, so the fact that they travel across long distances may make these elusive animals difficult to catch.

What’s more, these animals aren’t even highest on hunters’ kill list.

“There are very limited numbers of people who go out looking specifically for wolves,” Keckler explained to The Guardian. “A lot of folks are concerned about the hunting of big predators like that, but we also have a very healthy mountain lion population in Idaho. We have a very healthy black bear population and they have been classified as big game just like wolves for many, many years.”

Regardless of this reassurance, environmental groups show no sign of letting up. The BLM has already received more than 56,000 comments after opening the derby plan to the public, only 10 of which were in support of the competition.

Read more: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/10481/20141119/gray-wolf-killfest-sparks-controversy.htm#ixzz3JdMItTPA

For wolves to be abundant enough to be hunted would be a victory(?)

The eventual goal in Washington is to remove wolves from the critically endangered list so they can become a game species. While it may seem hypocritical, for wolves to be abundant enough to be hunted would be a victory.

http://dailyuw.com/archive/2014/11/13/science/washington-wolves-after-80-year-absence-pack-back#.VG4nhWd0y1s

Washington wolves: After 80 year absence, the pack is back

November 13, 2014 at 12:01 AM | Jessica Knoth

A wolf howl is the call of the wild. But for decades, that howl was muted.

Gray wolves once covered North America, but ruthless hunting nearly drove them to extinction in the United States by the 1930s. However, strong conservation efforts brought them back from critical endangerment. UW researchers have been monitoring the state wolf population and are currently in the process of analyzing the ecological and economical impacts these animals have. While wolf packs have been shown to drastically improve ecosystems, like in Yellowstone National Park, their effect on Washington state remains to be seen.

“You can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Aaron Wirsing, head researcher of the project. “We want to see if these documented effects in parks also occur in managed landscapes.”

A managed landscape is an area that has a lot of human influence. Hunting, logging, ranching, and recreation alter the natural ecosystem. In Yellowstone, human activity is restricted, so the ecosystem can develop and change naturally. But Washington’s wolf population lives in a highly trafficked area.

“Human influence may be so pervasive that wolves don’t have an effect on the environment,” said Justin Dellinger, a researcher on the team.

In Yellowstone, the reintroduced wolves were a top predator. The return of the wolves slowly brought elk and deer populations under control, which in turn allowed vegetation to flourish. This brought smaller animals back into the area, as well as foxes, eagles, and even bears. Deer began avoiding the lowlands where wolves hunt, which allowed the plants by rivers to replenish themselves, strengthening the banks of the rivers and resulting in new wetland habitats.

Wirsing and his team have been monitoring the wolves’ movement in Washington state with GPS tracking collars, but have also been capturing deer to watch their behavior. By attaching a camera to a deer, they can watch the animal’s actions 24 hours a day. They back up the video footage with GPS data to see whether the deer are starting to avoid wolf hunting grounds, which sparked habitat regeneration in Yellowstone.

“It’s not to say that cougar, coyote, or bear don’t have an impact on the deer, it’s just now there’s potential for deer to have to account for another predator on the landscape,” Dellinger said.

The researchers have also been working with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation, who have begun to encounter wolves on their tribal lands.

“They are really interested in knowing how the wolves are changing the ecosystem on the reservation,” UW researcher Carolyn Shores said. “They especially want to know how wolves will impact game species because the tribes depend on deer and elk for sustenance.”

The members of the Colville tribes aren’t the only people impacted by the wolves.

“They conflict with people by eating their livestock, but they also can bring in tourism dollars, like they have in Yellowstone,” Wirsing said.

Controversy seems to be the standard when it comes to wolves. Humans tend to have an ingrained fear of wolves, but researchers say that fear is unfounded.

“They are actually very timid animals when it comes to encounters with people,” Shores said. “In fact, if they see you, they will run away as fast as they can.”

The eventual goal in Washington is to remove wolves from the critically endangered list so they can become a game species. While it may seem hypocritical, for wolves to be abundant enough to be hunted would be a victory.

“Ultimately, public outreach will be the key to shaping policy here in Washington,” Wirsing said. “We hope to get the word out there that it’s a good thing to have this wolf recolonization effect, and will do so by getting the public involved in the research.”

The researchers are not sure if wolves will have an impact on Washington’s ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t try to help them repopulate their old habitats.

“There are few animals more polarizing than the wolf,” Wirsing said. “But that’s what makes them so fascinating.”

Trophy Hunter = Serial Killer, Any Questions?

One of the would-be hunter-commenters here recently demanded I explain why I compare hunters to pedophiles and serial killers. Since, as a rule, I don’t approve comments from hunters or their apologists (and because I felt it was so bloody obvious), that question hasn’t been answered here since June 10, in a post entitled, Poachers and Pedophiles are Like Apples and Oranges.

But now that Corey Knowlton has added his voice to the choir of Fuddself-confessed twisted-psycho-hunter-perverts with the telling statement to the WFAA, “I’m a hunter; I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino,” it’s time to re-examine the connection in a little more detail. What kind of mind uses the word “experience” for the act of taking a life? Ted Bundy called his murders “possessing.” Like a trophy hunter, he felt entitled to claim another’s life for his own pleasure. In his case, the lives were young co-eds and 12 year old girls—in Knowlton’s case, endangered rhinos. Ted Bundy’s third person narrative of his predations could easily be mistaken (aside, perhaps, from the level of literacy) with Ted Nugent describing one of his trophy kills: “The fantasy that accompanies and generates the anticipation that precedes the crime is always more stimulating than the immediate aftermath of the crime itself. He should have recognized that what really fascinated him was the hunt, the adventure of searching out his victims. And, to a degree, possessing them physically as one would possess a potted plant, a painting, or a Porsche. Owning, as it were, this individual.”

Pertaining to the likes of Alaskan trophy hunter turned-serial killer, Robert Hansen, who preyed on exotic dancers and child6-4Hansens-trophy-goat prostitutes, in addition to Dall sheep, mountain goats and countless other species, conservationist Gareth Patterson wrote: “Certainly one could state that, like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans his killing with considerable care and deliberation. Like the serial killer, he decides well in advance the type of victim–that is, which species he intends to target. Also like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans with great care where and how the killing will take place–in what area, with what weapon. What the serial killer and trophy hunter also share is a compulsion to collect trophies or souvenirs of their killings. The serial killer retains certain body parts and/or other trophies for much the same reason as the big game hunter mounts the head and antlers taken from his prey…as trophies of the chase.”

And, as I put it the last time I addressed the pedophilic serial killer/trophy hunter connection: …the analogy between a trophy hunter and a serial killer has been well established—both are single-minded in their quest for the kill, placing their own perverse desires above the self-interests—indeed, the very lives—of their victims. Both perpetrators like to take souvenirs from their kills, and neither one cares what the rest of the world thinks of their actions.

Save a rhino, clip your fingernails

Originally posted on Dear Kitty. Some blog:

In this video, Marjo Hoedemaker (founder of the Marjo Hoedemaker Elephant Foundation) from the Netherlands speaks in Amersfoort zoo.

He says that in Vietnam and other countries, some people believe that rhino horn can cure cancer. This leads to poachers killing rhinos.

This quackery is nonsense. Rhino horn is the same stuff as human fingernails and toenails: keratin.

Marjo Hoedemaker proposes that people bring their clipped fingernails to Amersfoort zoo, starting on 1 December. A bin to collect the nails will then be next to the zoo’s rhino enclosure. As soon as Marjo will have five kilogram of keratin, he intends to bring it to the embassy of Vietnam in the Netherlands. The embassy may then send it to believers in Vietnam in the healing powers of rhino horn; thus saving rhino’s lives.

A pedicurist and other people have already said they will help.

View original 58 more words