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Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by hobbydog, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. callinfowl

    callinfowl Kalifornia Forum

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    Not true at all, wofes are absolutely hell on elk population.
    Do a little research and you will find your post to be 100% wrong. Or just as a few elk outfitters and ranchers out west.
    Kill every wolf that you come across and you still won't put a dent in their numbers.
    Screw those devil dogs.
    s.s.s is the best way to deal with them.
     
  2. TheDuckSlayer

    TheDuckSlayer Elite Refuge Member

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    Is it true that wolves kill for fun? Or eat the livers and hearts and let the rest rot?
    @callinfowl

    Honestly I’m conflicted on the issue. Part of me knows that predator populations rise and fall with prey populations and that a balance will be found. Wolves can’t kill literally every elk.

    Then the other part of me knows that without wolves, there will be an over abundance of elk. An abundance of elk that are not as good at avoiding predators and make easy targets for hunters. The greedy hunter in me likes this situation. Why share the elk with another predator? Our forefathers extirpated wolves for a reason.

    If I actually lived in elk/wolf country, I’m quite sure I’d whole-heartedly feel like the latter.
     
  3. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    I do live in elk country.
    When the wolves first got to the Bitterroot, elk populations dropped. (poor elk management was as much the reason as the wolves) Then they allowed hunting, and then trapping of wolves. Trapping was the key. Not going to keep them in check just hunting them.
    Our elk populations have rebounded, and wolves are not an issue anymore. We still have them, and they do take elk, but the population of elk can easily handle it.

    The narrow vision most have with wolf introductions is the initial effects on the population. OF COURSE the wolves are going to take a disproportionate number of elk in the beginning. Elk have not seen wolves, and not learned how to avoid them. They adapt quickly, within 2 or 3 years, and then co-exist fairly well.
     
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  4. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    I think it depends on the elk country, and the elk populations being discussed.

    In wide geographic expanses with sufficient habitat, no doubt a balance will occur... Eventually. (Unless of course domestic livestock enters the equation, and due to such, higher populations of wolves are able to survive based on an artificial food supply that should not be present).

    But in somewhere like California, with isolated and concentrated elk herds with limited habitat and limited elk numbers, I do think that even a small wolf population could be potentially devastating to elk herds.

    I too am conflicted, but it seems to me, that the more we attempt to introduce, or reintroduce species, that the harm generally outweighs the positive. Artic foxes introduced into the Aleutian Islands did not work out, exotic species being introduced into Florida is not working out, and placing a larger more aggressive species of wolf (than originally present) in Yellowstone remains questionable.
     
  5. TheDuckSlayer

    TheDuckSlayer Elite Refuge Member

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    I would assume that elk become harder to hunt once they become accustomed to wolves?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  6. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Well, yes and no. Easier if you will put in the work. Harder if you never lose sight of your truck while 'hunting'.

    Elk were a plains animal, at times, before man began buying tracks of land. The Missoula (MT) valley used to be filled with elk before it became filled with houses. Food was easier to find for the elk, thus they didn't have to work as hard to stay healthy. Man pushed them into the mountains. Now they are found in the deep dark areas of the timber.

    Man killed off the wolves. Elk flourished, unchecked (mostly) except for a few weeks in the Fall. Then they out grew their habitat, and actually became nuisance animals to ranchers. Some ranchers allowed free access, others charged for it. Some kept it closed off for themselves and friends. There is some huge land grabbing going on in the Lewistown area, with some high dollar guys spending millions of dollars to lock up land just for elk hunting. Some of it is only accessible via helicopters, which is fine, because they have them.

    Some here won't face facts, but the elk were over browsing the Yellowstone, and actually damaging the habitat. When the wolves were introduced, elk numbers DID plummet. The elk were lazy, weak (which animal runs faster, a cow that eats in fields all their lives, or elk/deer that hump it over mountains and ravines to survive) and eating themselves into starvation. Elk were being fed hay to help them survive the winters. Elk herds in the Park bring tourists, which brings money.

    So, the wolves were brought in, and had free reign to hunt. Easy pickings, and with no fear of man, they roamed far and wide. I heard wolves howling when I first moved here, and saw them in my back yard (twice). No hunting was allowed. Then they opened a limited hunting season, and the howling stopped. Suddenly, man was a threat. Hunting did not control the breeding population, and still they flourished, just further away from prying eyes. Finally, they allowed trapping, and that put the cork back in the bottle. Numbers stabilized, both wolves and elk. Elk numbers now are at, or above desired population levels. Where they are above, it is because of private landowners not allowing access. Elk survey methods have improved, allowing better season limits to be set. Mistakes that were made in permit and cow seasons have been learned. (The story I could tell about 'The Great Sula Elk Slaughter')

    I see elk all year long, except during the hunting season. Almost daily. After the season ends, I can see 100-300 elk grazing and resting on the hills of our lower valley. Care must be taken in the early morning when driving, as elk will take over the road.

    If one does their research, you will find bears are more detrimental to elk numbers than wolves. Their impact on calves is huge. Always has been. Nobody talks about that. Lions take their share also. Silence. Blame the wolves.

    I was against the introduction because hunting was off limits. With no fear of man, yes, wolves were a problem. With hunting AND trapping, wolves are no longer an issue. Some areas are difficult to access by all but the hardiest of hunters/trappers, and wolf levels are slightly above target limits in those areas. (The Lolo NF is one example of that.) Once they allowed proper control measures, the issue became moot.

    Now, having said all that, Oregon and Cali have a problem, because unlike MT, WY, and ID, their voters are not going to allow the necessary measures to control the wolves. That is bad news for them.
     
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  7. buck_master_2001

    buck_master_2001 Elite Refuge Member

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    Look no further than the relationship between wolves and moose on Isle Royale. It’s a large island in northern Lake Superior where they studied the relationship between the two. The moose won. The wolves all but died off. The moose are now over populated and they are actually having to plant more wolves on the island. It’s been a huge debate here.
     
  8. hobbydog

    hobbydog Elite Refuge Member

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    I know deer become much harder to hunt.
     

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