Report: Wolf Population Increase Not Hurting Deer Numbers

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/washington/articles/2017-12-08/report-wolf-population-increase-not-hurting-deer-numbers

A new report by Washington state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife has concluded that the growing population of wolves is not hurting populations of deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep.

Dec. 8, 2017, at 3:01 p.m.

The Associated Press

FILE – This March 13, 2014 file photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a female wolf from the Minam pack outside La Grande, Ore., after it was fitted with a tracking collar. The growing population of wolves in eastern Washington state does not appear to be hurting the populations of deer, elk and other ungulates according to a report issued this week by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP, File) The Associated Press

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The growing population of wolves in eastern Washington state does not appear to be hurting the populations of deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep, according to a report issued this week by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The agency in 2015-2017 studied the populations of those animals, known as ungulates, that are hunted by wolves and found that none “in this assessment appear to show clear signs of being limited by predation,” the report concluded.

Gray wolves were hunted to extinction in Washington in the early 20th century. But the animals started migrating into the state in the early 2000s from Idaho and Canada. The first wolf pack was documented by the department in 2008.

At the end of 2016, the state estimated there were a minimum of 115 wolves, 20 packs and 10 successful breeding pairs in the state. All of the documented wolf packs are east of the Cascade Range.

There have been numerous conflicts between wolves and livestock in recent years, and the state has killed 18 problem wolves since 2012, drawing sharp criticism from environmental groups.

Wolves are listed as endangered by the state in the eastern third of Washington and have federal endangered species protection in the western two-thirds of the state.

The study used population estimates obtained from aerial surveys, plus the number of ungulates harvested by hunters, the agency said. State officials have also launched a more comprehensive, multi-year study of the impact of wolves on ungulates.

The agency defined an at-risk ungulate population as one that falls 25 percent below its population objective for two consecutive years, or one in which the harvest decreases by 25 percent below the 10-year average harvest rate for two consecutive years.

The report showed that initial fears that wolves would wipe out wild ungulates were unfounded, said Amaroq Weiss, who works on wolf recovery issues for the Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson, Arizona-based nonprofit group that focuses on protecting endangered species.

“Any hue and cry over negative predation impacts on elk herds in Washington with the return of wolves to the state is without merit,” she said. “The majority of mortality to elk in the state is human-caused.”

Sarah Ryan, executive vice president of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, said ranchers support healthy populations of wild animals for wolves to hunt, she said.

“We need a robust population of ungulates so wolves will have something to snack on beyond cattle,” Ryan said, adding that she has not seen the study.

Washington state’s ungulate populations also include mountain goats and pronghorn, but they don’t usually live where the state’s wolves hunt.

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Backed Into a Corner

cornered-deer.jpg

 

Commentary by Jim Robertson

 

Despite humans’ best efforts to destroy her, it seems Nature is not going down without a fight. And regardless of what humans may believe about themselves and their place at the pinnacle, Nature is ultimately much bigger, heavier and vastly more significant in the so-called ‘scheme of things.’

 

Harassed by their bird-dog, a sow grizzly bears charges pheasant hunters (who, of course, shoot and kill her–leaving three cubs motherless); a ‘serial-killer’ elephant tramples 15 Indians (out of over a billion); and just yesterday a new article tells us a about a ‘hunter gored to death by a cornered deer.’

 

Could it all be part of a long-suffering and normally highly (even saintly) tolerant Mother Nature finally fighting back against her one fatal blunder–the fleshy, hairless, upright, arrogant apes armed with their weapons of mass extinction?

 

Homo sapiens may have won countless battles and the arms race hands-down, but Nature will ultimately win the day and eventually, the war, wiping the slate clean for another burst of evolutionary creativity that won’t include the conceited carnivorous primates or their puffed-up fantasies of self-importance.

 

 

Deer gores French hunter in deadly attack

http://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/11/07/17/deer-gores-french-hunter-in-deadly-attack

LILLE, France – A 62-year-old man died while taking part in a hunt in the Paris area Monday after being charged by a deer that fatally gored him, police said.

The incident occurred around 10 am (0900 GMT) in the Compiegne national park, about 85 kilometers (53 miles) northeast of Paris.

The man was acting as a beater when he was struck. He “was charged and pierced by a deer which stabbed him with his antlers,” a police spokesman said.

The hunter, who was not carrying a rifle, died of internal bleeding before emergency services could arrive. Police said this type of death was “uncommon”.

Parents chime in on decision eliminating state’s minimum hunting age

WISCONSIN The State Assembly passes a bill eliminating Wisconsin’s minimum hunting age.

“I think we’re losing sight of why the original law was put into place, it was put into place to protect children,” said Joe Slattery, a concerned parent.

Slattery opposes the measure. Right now the minimum age to buy a gun-hunt license is 12 years old, but children as young as 10 can be part of a mentored hunt.

This bill removes the minimum age from the mentored hunt program and eliminates the requirement of only one weapon between hunter and mentor.

Jordan Schuld is an avid hunter with five kids. He believes parents know their children’s capabilities.

“Each parent knows their own child and knows when they’re ready to go out in the woods, if they’re able to hold the gun weight wise and if they’re responsible enough to handle it,” Schuld said.

Schuld doesn’t agree with the entire proposal, he still favors a mentor hunt having only one gun.

“I just don’t think that there should be two weapons between the parent and the child, I think a mentor hunt is a mentor hunt, and if you have two weapons it’s not a mentor hunt anymore, two people are hunting,” said Schuld.

According to the Michigan DNR, studies show if children do not have an interest in an activity before the age of 10, it is unlikely that they will continue that activity later in life.

“As a parent, I would like my child to have the same interests as mine, but if they don’t– they’re their own individual,” said Slattery.

Slattery says this legislation would lead to more hunting accidents, like the one that took the life of his son.

“You can get them involved at six, by taking them hunting with you, that’s perfectly legal right now, you just don’t have to put a gun in their hands, my son was killed at the hands of another 13-year-old,” said Slattery.

“If one my kids seem ready and they’re under 10, I’ll absolutely take them hunting, if not, I’ll wait,” said Schuld.

The State Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week, if passed there it would head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Maryland Natural Resources Police Announces Charges Connected Deer Poaching

http://morningsidemaryland.com/maryland-natural-resources-police-announces-charges-connected-deer-poaching/

The Maryland Natural Resources Police arrested five Garrett County men for deer poaching activities, which stemmed back as far as 2016.

Public tips and social media posts prompted an investigation into a string of illegal hunting incidents. Homes in Garrett County were served search warrants in July, before charges were filed against the five suspects.

Twenty-nine-year-old Dakota Lee Hinebaugh, of Oakland, was fined for 24 hunting violations. He faces up to $39,500 in fines and loss of hunting privileges for up to five years, police said. He allegedly hunted without a license and during a closed season, as well as possessed a deer during a closed season. Hinebaugh is accused of hunting deer at night without written permission, with a spotlight and hiding a deer or removing the head before check-in, according to police.

Deer HuntingTwenty-one-year-old Michael DeWitt, of Swanton, was fined for a total of 30 violations. He faces maximum fines up to $45,500 and loss of his hunting privileges for up to five years, police said. DeWitt allegedly hunted during and possessed a deer in a closed season. He is also accused of firing his gun from a vehicle, hunting deer with a spotlight, hunting without written permission, failing to return a turkey kill, obstructing a police investigation and hiding a deer or removing a deer’s head before check-in.

Forty-two-year-old Michael Allen DeWitt, of Oakland, was charged with littering and hindering or obstructing a police investigation. He faces a 30-day jail sentence and a maximum fine of $1,500.

Forty-one-year-old Donald Lee Hinebaugh, of Oakland, was fined for aiding and abetting hunting without a licensed and failing to report two deer kills, police said. He faces a maximum five of $1,500.

Fifty-eight-year-old Phillip Lyle DeWitt, of Mount Lake Park, was fined for “failing to report a kill and failing to record the kill on his Big Game Harvest Record,” police said. He faces a maximum fine of $3,000.

Additionally, the Maryland State Police charged 19-year-old James Wesley Lewis, of Accident and 18-year-old Lukas Issac Holler, of Oakland, for possession of a shotgun or rifle and illegal ammunition after conviction of a disqualifying crime. Both men face a maximum three-year prison sentence and maximum $1,000 fine. They also face an additional one-year prison sentence and maximum fine of $1,000 for the ammunition charge.

Poaching suspects left lengthy digital trail for investigators to follow

William Haynes and Erik Martin
William Haynes, left, and Erik Martin pose for a selfie in Haynes’ pickup truck. The image was sent from Martin to his girlfriend on November 19, 2016, according to case reports. In the back of the vehicle, multiple deer can be seen. According to case reports, the deer were illegally killed in Oregon and transported across state lines to Washington.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife case report

For individuals who apparently got a thrill by stalking and illegally killing wild animals, William J. Haynes and Erik Christian Martin did a poor job of covering their own tracks.

The suspected poachers unwittingly provided law enforcement officers with a huge cache of evidence, allowing Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators to build a massive case against them and five other members of an alleged poaching group.

Based on case reports reviewed by The Daily News, there’s little sign the men ever thought about getting caught.

Instead, the 23-year-old Longview residents are suspects in an investigation into the killing of more than 50 animals including deer, elk, bears and bobcats in two different states. Along the way, they left a digital trail of shocking evidence for Fish and Wildlife investigators to follow.

The painstaking task required two Fish and Wildlife officers and a sergeant, who spent a majority of the past winter and early spring diligently retracing the suspects’ bloody steps.

Investigators were also assisted by more than 30 officers from multiple agencies, including the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’ve used a lot of our manpower in this region in Western Washington to accomplish this case,” Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Brad Rhoden said in an interview.

Rhoden said he doesn’t want intense interest in the case to lead to a negative perception of honest hunters.

“I don’t want anybody to view the majority of our hunters in Washington as these types of individuals,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a sportsman out there who would say this is OK.”

Haynes is facing 61 separate charges in Skamania County District Court, including 26 charges of first-degree illegal hunting of big game. All of the charges are related to the use of dogs while hunting, which is illegal in Washington without a special permit that’s only granted in specific instances. Haynes was previously convicted of second-degree unlawful hunting of big game in Cowlitz County on Oct. 3, 2013. As a result, all of Haynes’ big game charges could be considered Class C felonies, which are punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Martin, who does not have any previous violations, is facing 28 separate charges for gross misdemeanors.

In addition to Haynes and Martin, three other suspects have been named in the investigation.

They are Joseph Allen Dills, 30, of Longview; Eddy Alvin Dills, 57, of Longview; and Bryan Christopher Tretiak, 31, of Morton. All of the suspects are awaiting preliminary appearance hearings in Skamania County later this month. Two female suspects were named in the case reports but no charges have been filed against them yet.

Dills, who has bear claws and dog paws tattooed on his left arm, pleaded guilty in Wahkiakum County District Court in 2008 to second-degree unlawful hunting of big game and second-degree criminal trespassing. He’s now facing 64 separate charges, including four first-degree unlawful big game hunting charges for the illegal use of dogs.

Had Haynes and Martin known that the contents of their phones would result in so many charges, it’s possible they may have opted not to document such a staggering number of alleged illegal hunting activities.

A mountain of evidence

Based on case reports, it’s not clear if Haynes or Martin thought twice before agreeing to allow two Oregon State police officers to look through their devices on December 3, 2016.

According to reports, the troopers had stopped the men after recognizing Haynes’ Toyota pickup as the same vehicle that appeared in several images captured by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife game cameras. The motion-activated cameras were set up in response to past illegal big game hunting activity in the Mount Hood National Forest during the months of November and December.

Upon questioning, Haynes and Martin confessed to illegally killing two buck deer and a silver gray squirrel, according to reports. The two men admitted to taking only the heads of the two deer and the entire squirrel back to a house in Longview, leaving the rest of the animals to rot.

At this point, Senior Trooper Craig Gunderson requested that Washington Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Brad Rhoden assist with recovering the illegally transported deer heads.

When Rhoden arrived, Gunderson informed him that Haynes and Martin had consented to having their cell phones searched. According to reports, it was at this point that the true scale of the ensuing investigation began to emerge.

An initial look through the devices revealed numerous photos of antlered deer skulls, dead bull elk, and — perhaps most disturbing — bear hunting with the use of dogs.

Gunderson seized the phones as evidence and obtained a search warrant to have a forensic analysis performed on the devices.

On Dec. 16, 2016, Rhoden met with Gunderson and several other officers to transfer evidence from the analysis.

The contents of Haynes’ phone provided hundreds of photos and videos documenting a pattern of brutal killings on more than 20 separate occasions.

In some cases, bears were still alive as Dills’ dogs gnawed on their flesh, Rhoden said.

Martin’s phone also held numerous photos and videos of the unlawful harvest of big game.

In addition to incriminating photos, videos and text messages, the evidence included crucial metadata which allowed investigators to pinpoint exactly where the illegal killings occurred using GPS coordinates.

Investigators could not have retraced the suspects’ steps if Haynes had not granted his phone’s camera permission to access its GPS location data.

“What was most difficult about this case is that we had to pore through so many records,” Rhoden said.

“ON THE ROAD”

Poem from Rosemary Lowe:
I HAVE BEEN LYING HERE FOR HOURS, SINCE THE COLD NIGHT’S DEATH WIND HURTLED MY LIVING BODY INTO THE COLD GRIP OF DEATH…
SO SOON  MY  YOUNG LIFE,  TORN FROM ME, TERRIFIED BY THE CRUSH OF METAL UPON MY FLESH–OH, THE BLOOD AND THE PAIN….
THE ROAD– HUMANS CALL IT– WITH THEIR POWERFUL KILLING MACHINES, SO FAST, SO FINAL—GOING WHERE?
MILLIONS OF MY KIND–FOUR LEGGEDS–WITH PLACES TO GO, FAMILIES TO BE WITH, NEVER TO MAKE IT TO OUR DESTINATION…
NEVER TO SNUGGLE AGAIN, AGAINST FAMILIAR FUR, THE WARMTH AND LOVE OF ONE’S OWN KIND…
TOO FAST, TOO BIG–HARD METAL AGAINST A SOFT LIVING BODY–THAT BREAKS AND BLEEDS..DO YOU HEAR MY CRIES?
DO YOU SEE MY SHATTERED, BLOOD-SOAKED BODY ON THE ROAD?— DO YOU EVER SEE?
I AM NOT JUST A BODY, A THING.
I WAS SOMEONE’S MATE, SOMEONE’S CHILD, I WAS SOMEONE.
I WAS AN ANIMAL, JUST LIKE YOU.
——Rosemary Lowe

Too Many Deer on the Road? Let Cougars Return, Study Says

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/science/too-many-deer-on-the-road-let-cougars-return-study-says.html?mabReward=A1&action=click&pgtype=Homepage%C2%AEion=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=1&referer=

Cougars can kill hundreds of deer over the course of their lives, leading some scientists to argue that restoring them to 19 states with large populations of deer could prevent automobile-deer collisions.
KONRAD WOTHE / MINDEN PICTURES
JULY 18, 2016
Trilobites
By JAMES GORMAN
What large mammal regularly kills humans in the Eastern United States?

And what other large mammal might significantly reduce those deaths?

The answer to the first question is the white-tailed deer. Deer do not set out to murder people, as far as anyone knows, but they do jump out in front of vehicles so often that they cause more than a million collisions a year, resulting in more than 200 deaths.

The answer to the second question, according to a new scientific study, is the cougar.
Show Full Article:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/science/too-many-deer-on-the-road-let-cougars-return-study-says.html?mabReward=A1&action=click&pgtype=Homepage%C2%AEion=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=1&referer=

Today’s hunting accidents

da vinci

Man seriously injured after shooting self in hunting accident

Daily Republic  – ‎3 hours ago‎
Larry Maxwell and his son, Cody, of Mitchell, were goose hunting southwest of Miner County in Beaver Township around 3:30 p.m.
The Southland Times

man killed in Central Otago hunting accident

The Southland Times  – ‎Mar 3, 2016‎
A 61-year-old man killed in a hunting accident near Cromwell will be remembered as a hardworking family man, who loved to have a good laugh.

Southside man continues to recover from hunting accident

Gadsden Times  – ‎Feb 27, 2016‎
It took about an hour for help to arrive and be driven by four-wheelers to where the accident occurred. It was a long time for Grogan and his worried friends.
Otago Daily Times

At a loss over hunter’s death

Otago Daily Times  – ‎Mar 4, 2016‎

One Shot During Confrontation With Hunters

 http://www.northescambia.com/2015/07/one-shot-during-confrontation-with-hunter

  • July 20, 2015

    One person was shot after getting into an argument with hunters northeast of Munson Saturday night.

    According to witness accounts, there were several individuals deer hunting the area of Green Road and Yearling Lane. A confrontation began between the group of hunters and and another individual, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office said.

    At one point during the confrontation, a gun was pointed at the group of hunters when a shot was heard. The individual who was pointing the gun at the group was shot with a high powered rifle during the incident, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office said. The victim was airlifted to an area hospital.

    The victim remained in the hospital late Sunday recovering from a gunshot wound; their exact condition was not available.

    Detectives with the Santa Rosa County Sheriffs are actively working this investigation. The individual who shot the victim was identified and is being questioned about the incident.

    More information has not been released.