It’s Official: Wolf Killed in Utah Was Animal From Rare Arizona Sighting

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/mistakenly-killed-wolf-animal-rare-arizona-sighting-28890684

A gray wolf that was shot by a hunter in Utah was the same one spotted in the Grand Canyon area last year, federal wildlife officials said Wednesday.

The 3-year-old female wolf — named “Echo” in a nationwide student contest — captured the attention of wildlife advocates across the county because it was the first wolf seen in the Grand Canyon in 70 years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did DNA tests to confirm the wolf killed in late December by a Utah hunter who said he thought he was shooting a coyote was the same one that was seen roaming the Grand Canyon’s North Rim and nearby forest in October and November, said agency spokesman Steve Segin.

Geneticists at the University of Idaho compared DNA taken from the northern gray wolf killed in southwestern Utah with scat samples taken from the wolf seen near the Grand Canyon last fall.

The hunter who killed the wolf called Utah state officials in December and said he mistook the wolf for a coyote, said Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman Mark Hadley. The man, whose name was not released, said he didn’t realize his mistake until he came up on the dead animal. In Utah, anybody can hunt coyotes.

The state handed over its initial findings of what happened to U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Hadley said. That investigation is ongoing and could take weeks or months to complete, Segin said. It’s not clear yet what penalties the hunter could face for killing the animal.

Wolves are protected in Utah under the Endangered Species Act.

Wildlife advocacy groups have called the wolf’s death heartbreaking and say they want the hunter prosecuted. They said the animal could have helped wolves naturally recover in remote regions of Utah and neighboring states.

“Wolves and coyotes are distinguishable if one pauses for a second before pulling a trigger,” said Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity. “There are consequences for pulling the trigger when you don’t know what you’re aiming at. It’s important to have justice for this animal.”

Wolves and coyotes often have similar coloring, but wolves are usually twice as large as coyotes, said Kim Hersey, mammal conservation coordinator with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Wolves also have longer legs, bigger feet and rounder ears and snouts, she said.

But, Hersey says how well a person could distinguish between the two would depend on the lighting, the distance and how much experience a hunter has comparing the two animals.

The wolf had worn a radio collar since January 2014.

Wolves can travel thousands of miles for food and mates. Gray wolves had been spotted as far south as Colorado until the Arizona wolf was confirmed. Gray wolves last were seen in the Grand Canyon area in the 1940s.

In recent years, the Fish and Wildlife Service lifted protections for the wolves in the Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes. But a federal judge recently reinstated the protections after wildlife advocates in Wyoming sued.

The Center for Biological Diversity has documented 11 cases since 1981 where hunters told wildlife officials they had shot a wolf thinking it was a coyote.

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Sportsmen, Environmentalists Clash Over Predator Hunting

http://kjzz.org/content/98282/sportsmen-environmentalists-clash-over-predator-hunting

By  Stina Sieg

February 05, 2015

This week, a convention of predator hunters is gathering in Tucson. The group, called Predator Masters, hunts such animals as coyotes and raccoon and has drawn national criticism for what critics say amount to killing contests. The group disputes that term and says it isn’t planning an organized hunt during the convention. Still, controversy surrounding the sport remains.

It’s hard to tell the difference between an actual coyote’s howl and the plaintive yell longtime hunter Rich Higgins can make with one of his many breath-powered calling devices.

“I truly believe that humans are hard-wired, genetically, as hunter gatherers,” he said, after showing off a few of the cries. “So we’re just being true to our nature.”

Higgins is the president of Arizona Predator Callers, one of the many organizations in the state that legally hunts predators like coyotes on public land. He said it isn’t so much about killing, as it about everything else involved with the sport he loves.

“Everything from building your own calls and your own howlers, learning the behavior of that animal, so you can exploit its vulnerabilities,” he said. “All of this is fascinating to us.”

And that’s the real point, he added, of what some people call “killing contests.” That’s when a group like his tries to kill as many coyotes as they can in a certain period of time. The reality is that most hunters don’t even bag a coyote, Higgins said. It’s more about hanging out with people who also enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

“It’s an incredible experience,” he said. “And becomes addicting.”

That doesn’t exactly comfort predator hunting opponents, who say it’s a waste to kill animals without using them for food or fur. Sandy Bahr is the president of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. Her organization is not against all hunting, she said, but with some predator hunters, “there is this attitude, which is pretty disrespectful of the animals, that ‘we’ll just go out and kill as many as possible.’”

Even if you take away the emotional side of this, Bahr said there could be real consequences from this kind of hunting. If the coyote population dips, there could be a large spike, followed by a crash, of prey species that coyotes usually keep in check. On the other hand, coyotes could actually increase in number.

The more they feel threatened, “the more they’ll have larger litters,” she said. “They’ll breed earlier, they actually respond by doing more to build the population.”

But the Arizona Game and Fish Department sees it differently, including Jim Paxon, special assistant to the director.

“Under no circumstances and in geographic area, have hunters made a dent in the coyote population,” he said.

He said there are an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 coyotes in the state. Game and Fish attempted to regulate hunting contests about 15 years ago, without success. But Paxon said the department doesn’t take an official stance now. Instead, it enforces current rules. Those allow people with valid hunting licenses to kill as many coyotes as they want.

“So, it’s recognized that coyote hunting is a legitimate activity for hunters and sportsmen,” Paxon said.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, even for a seasoned predator hunter like Rich Higgins.

“I always have a tinge of regret. Always, always, always,” Higgins said. “And sometimes, when it becomes a little bit strong, I will pick up my camera only.”

In his heart, Higgins said, he is a hunter. And that’s regardless of whether he’s hunting coyotes with a lens — or a rifle.

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A Response to Pro-Wolf Article by Chris Albert

by Rosemary Lowe
Veterinarian, Chris Albert, has written a thoughtful article. While people “can” live with wild non-humans like wolves, etc., thus far, our species’ history does not support the likelihood of our ever changing our Humanist perceptions about wild animals, because this species is, for the most part, afraid of Nature, and wild animals; and perhaps even jealous of them, and their “wildness.” We like to “domesticate” things, and we already have turned much of the Earth into a Domesticated Feed Lot.
Yes, some of us love, admire & try to protect  wild animals.  But, would most even consider what “living with” or “near them” would mean to our convenient- for- humans lifestyle? For instance, most humans will not tolerate, anywhere, a so-called “nuisance wild animal” for long, and we see evidence of that everywhere, with ranching, trapping & hunting.

—Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

—Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

We live outside Santa Fe, on a former over-grazed ranch.The rancher trapped/poisoned coyotes, bobcat, prairie dogs, etc. Now, houses of about an acre and a half are here, and the wildlife here probably do better than before. Many of us in this community of about 5,000  are pleased  having the wildlife around: I have seen coyote in the day time, and there are some bobcat, quail, and an occasional pronghorn around. However, our AHA newsletter often has to remind residents that our covenants reflect an “appreciation”  of wildlife here, because invariably, there are those here who poison coyote, blaming them for every lost cat and dog, and they do not want wild animals near their kids.
People like to think that wildlife are “out there, somewhere,” but in reality, they would not tolerate any perceived inconvenience (or alleged harm) they might cause.
Human society was designed for humans, not nature, so nature must be pushed back, and that means wildlife & wild places.
Most of us on this blog think this is wrong. But, our human activities here and around the word prove that humans will not “co-exist” with wild animals, because we never really did. It was always an adversarial relationship, and it is not getting better, especially now with human population exploding: going on 7+ billion, to 8, 9 or more billion. What will be left for wildlife? Where will they live? Most wild animal populations are in severe decline around the world.
 Will caring humans (not the majority, I’m afraid) make the hard sacrifices necessary to make more room for surviving wildlife, especially in a world now affected by increasing climate change? Is our species capable of shedding our environmentally-destructive Humanist Ideologies in order to save what is left of Nature?
Rosemary Lowe
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EARTH for Animals

Environmentalists Against Ranching, Trapping and Hunting

Field identification of wolves vs coyotes often difficult; Utah’s coyote bounty criticized

coyote.jpg

wolf.jpg

By Bill Monroe, Special to The Oregonian The Oregonian
on January 06, 2015

The recent killing of a wolf by a coyote bounty hunter in Utah again raises the question of field identification.

Oregon, with several established wolf packs but without a statewide bounty on coyotes, nevertheless faces the same identification issues.

The Utah case hasn’t been settled, but Brett Prettyman, outdoor writer for the Salt Lake Tribune filed this story Monday and shared it through the region’s Outdoor News Group.

By Brett Prettyman

Most of the time, wolf researcher Dan MacNulty can tell the difference between the apex predators and coyotes.

In his work at Yellowstone National Park, MacNulty routinely has to correct bystanders confused by the wild canines.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people point and tell me to look at the wolf,” said MacNulty, an assistant professor of wildlife ecology at Utah State University. “I hate to rain on their parade and tell them it is a coyote.”

Telling the two animals apart — one protected by federal law, the other considered a varmint ripe for culling — can be difficult to the untrained eye, MacNulty says.

A coyote hunter who killed a 3-year-old female gray wolf Dec. 28 outside Beaver has said he couldn’t tell the difference.

More: http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/bill_monroe/index.ssf/2015/01/post_146.html

Save the Wolves, Ban Coyote Hunting!

One is protected by the ESA, the other can be shot on sight–anywhere, anytime!
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THIS NEEDS TO STOP: Echo, the beloved lone wolf who had traveled 500 miles from Wyoming to the Grand Canyon, has been shot and killed by a hunter who mistook her for a coyote. Echo’s sad ending shows why it’s critical that we keep fighting for stronger protections for wolves, grizzly bears, and other endangered wildlife [to say nothing of coyotes, who are shot on sight and hung from fences across the West].

Echo was a symbol of hope as conservationists celebrated the possible return of gray wolves to the Southwest after being wiped out for a century. Echo was probably looking for food or a mate when she was shot…

The Poll is now tied-Please Vote!

Someone from the other side (the anti-animal, anti-nature side) must be encouraging their friends to vote for hunting predators. This morning the poll was tied at 47 to 47.
Please go here and vote for a ban on predator hunting: http://www.capecodtimes.com/news  (half way down the page, on the right hand column)
A group of wildlife conservationists asked Cape Cod National Seashore officials to ban hunting for meat-eating predators such as coyotes and foxes on the 44,000-acre park.
Do you support the ban or the hunters?
  • Total Votes: 3118
  • Ban hunting for coyotes, foxes and other predators
    47%
  • Let hunting for predators continue
    47%
  • No opinion
    6%
    photo by Jim Robertson

    photo by Jim Robertson

Vote in Poll for Coyotes and Foxes

“A group of wildlife conservationists asked Cape Cod National Seashore officials to ban hunting for meat-eating predators such as coyotes and foxes on the 44,000-acre park. Do you support the ban or the hunters?”
Vote in Poll on lower right column here:

Can’t decide whether to cast your vote on the side of the wildlife or the hunters? Here’s an example of a typical coyote hunter’s hateful mentality, sent today as a comment to this blog (and promptly deleted).

It is posted here verbatim sic (“thus was it written”)  for full authenticity:

 “we will shoot them even if there isn’t a contest they kill are livestock witch is are livelihood. we also sell the pelts there is nothing wrong with this. this also helps with other animals such as Deere and elk.”

Jim Robertson-wolf-copyright

Hall of Fame Runner Shot by Hunter

http://www.capecod.com/sports/barnstable-hall-fame-runner-shot-hunter/

Barnstable Hall of Fame Runner Shot by Hunter

HYANNIS – One of Barnstable High School’s Athletic Hall of Famers will have more than just a tale of his Red Raider glory days to tell his grandchildren one day.

Dr. Jonathan G. “Jon” Way of Osterville, a 1993 Barnstable High graduate and former three-sport all-star and two-sport captain and one of the Red Raiders’ all-time greatest long-distance runners, survived two blasts from a hunter’s shotgun Monday afternoon near Mary Dunn Pond. The hunter, Sean Houle, 47, of Marstons Mills, allegedly mistook Way for a deer and was subsequently arrested and arraigned on multiple charges yesterday in Barnstable District Court.

Dr. Jonathan G. Way of Osterville, seen here with one of his study subjects - the eastern coyote. Photo courtesy Adirondack Wildlife

Ironically, it’s usually Dr. Way who is busy helping injured animals or pursuing his extensive, career-long research on eastern coyotes.

Dr. Way, a research scientist at Clark University in Worcester who has authored two books and has degrees from UMass-Amherst, the University of Connecticut and Boston College, was a Division 1 Collegiate cross country runner for the Minutemen while an undergraduate at UMass. His brother Jeff and sister Nicole Way also starred for the Red Raiders and ran cross country and track at UMass. He is currently seeking a publisher for his third book on his eastern coyote research.

“I’m happy to be alive, indeed,” Dr. Way said. “It was great to get a good night sleep after the past 30-hour ordeal.”

Dr. Way was enshrined in the Barnstable High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. He set the Barnstable High cross country record at Hathaway’s Pond in 1992 (15:39) and set the course record at Falmouth High School the same year (15:43). He was a three-time Old Colony League all-star in cross country, four-time Cape Cod Times All-Cape & Islands First Team runner, twice was named a Boston Herald All-Scholastic and in his senior year was also named a Boston Globe All-Scholastic. His high school cross country records – set 20 years ago – still stand.

He was a two-time All-Conference runner at UMass in the Atlantic 10 Conference (1995 and 1996) and named twice to the Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team.

Dr. Way is currently at Clark working on a long-term study he developed on eastern coyotes (or coywolves as he calls them) that inhabit eastern Massachusetts. His two books, Suburban Howls – an account of his research findings and experiences studying eastern coyotes in Massachusetts –  and My Yellowstone Experience, runs an organization called Eastern Coyote Research that helps supports his long-term ecological and behavioral study of coywolves in Massachusetts. He also works part time with the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center examining the effects of mortality on coyote population demographics, and frequently travels to the Yellowstone area to watch wolves and bears and other wildlife.

Just three weeks ago, Dr. Way was a guest speaker at Wild Care Cape Cod’s 2nd Annual Birds, Beds and Breakfast Weekend benefit in Provincetown. Each year, the benefit helps raise funds and awareness for the care of wildlife in distress. Wild Care of Cape Cod is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation located in Eastham.

Dr. Way said that he reached out to state legislators earlier this year because there are state agencies who have been blocking him in his attempts to continue his research on eastern coyotes.

Perhaps now they might listen.

Sean Walsh is the sports editor for Cape Cod Broadcasting Media. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com or you can follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

Kids Killing Coyotes

From Anti-Hunting in America:
This is another sadistic page that promotes the killing of wildlife, and then setting up the dead animals for ridiculous pictures as they stand over smirking with guns in their hands.

They use the term “raising them right” a lot as another reason to try and justify their obsession with killing and letting their kids do it. They genuinely believe that if kids are not out hunting then they will be somewhere else causing trouble. So basically if you are not giving your kids guns and letting them kill helpless animals, you are raising them wrong.

Photo Credit – Facebook.com https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rack-Em-Up/810718095613660?sk=timeline See More

Photo: This is another sadistic page that promotes the killing of wildlife, and then setting up the dead animals for ridiculous pictures as they stand over smirking with guns in their hands.</p>
<p>They use the term "raising them right" a lot as another reason to try and justify their obsession with killing and letting their kids do it. They genuinely believe that if kids are not out hunting then they will be somewhere else causing trouble. So basically if you are not giving your kids guns and letting them kill helpless animals, you are raising them wrong.</p>
<p>Photo Credit - Facebook.com <a href=https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rack-Em-Up/810718095613660?sk=timeline" width="503" height="336" />

Idaho wolf/coyote killing derby wants double the area for hunt

Sep 29, 2014
Salmon – Salmon, Idaho may be a small town by anyone’s standards, with a little over 3,000 people, but they have big ideas. Located in the middle of the state along the banks of the Salmon River, it is famous for fishing, rafting, and now, wolf hunting.

Last year, Salmon, Idaho held their first annual Predator Derby on December 28-29. The news of the derby was condemned by people all over the world. Threatening letters and emails poured in, many with threats of bodily harm. But one Salmon resident, Billijo Beck defended the hunt, saying it was just the way they lived. “If you look up the definition of murder, it’s defined in human terms. Not in animal terms,” said Beck.

After winning a court challenge allowing them to hold their hunt last year, the group is holding their 2nd Annual Predator Derby on Jan. 2-3. 2015. There is one difference though. They want to expand the killing zone to almost double the size it was last year. They have petitioned the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for approval.

Today the BLM said they would issue an environmental analysis on Thursday, and then take public comment for 15 days before issuing an answer. The contested area involves around 1,500 square miles. Environmental groups are saying they will protest the permit.

The group behind the killing derby, Idaho for Wildlife, is the same group that hosted the derby last year. At that derby, a number of activists and a journalist, Christopher Ketcham infiltrated the hunt. Ketcham wrote a scathing story, “How to kill a wolf,” for Vice. In the story, Ketcham describes a “good old boy” local who bought his group a round of drinks at a local bar. Cal Black then told the “supposed hunters” to “Gut-shoot every goddamn last one of them wolves.”

For those of you who wonder why a gut-shot is recommended, it’s the best way to kill a wolf, but the death is prolonged. Sick, yes. But that’s what these guys like to do. The only thing killed last year, besides a lot of hot air and liquor, was 21 coyotes, but no wolves. No one claimed the $1,000 prize.

Idaho for Wildlife is a supposedly patriotic organization, wrapped in the flag10171053_10152319527762440_4831074600876870909_n and espousing American ideals. Dedicated to the preservation of Idaho’s wildlife.The group also states they will “fight against all legal and legislative attempts by animal-rights and anti-gun organizations who are attempting to take away our rights and freedoms under the Constitution of the United States of America.” Interestingly, the group says they believe that wildlife management should be governed by science.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/op-ed-idaho-wolf-coyote-killing-derby-wants-double-the-area-for-hunt/article/405980#ixzz3F1CGPs87