Idaho Bow Hunter Has Close Call with Wolf Pack [very doubtful as described]

Channel 2 news in Boise, which seems to be staking out as a leader in reporting doubtful wolf stories, now has a news story about an Idaho bow hunter who claims wolves followed him and surrounded his tent for “14 to 15 hours” in a central Idaho location.

Idaho Bow Hunter Has Close Call with Wolf Pack. KCBI. Boise. They have a video on-line of the news. The tone of the reporter is one of sensationalization.

I learned of this about a week ago. It seemed odd, but perhaps some details would flesh out an interesting story because hunters have run into a lot of wolves in central Idaho.

I posted to the bowhunters board to get some details, but Richard Besendorfer, the hunter in question, refused. I thought he could certainly provide a lot more information than. . . “I spent the next 14 to 15 hours in my small mountaineering tent unable to draw my bow as I was circled by the wolves the entire night. There were 7 wolves as close as 3 feet at times and all I could do is wait them out, banging on the wall of the tent in a feabile [sic] attempt to keep them at bay.”

His fellow webboarders didn’t like seeing him questioned and repeatedly testified that he was a truthful and fine fellow and he ought not to be questioned.

I think he probably had a wolf encounter, but could not really provide credible details about what may have been an exaggeration.

I suggested that such aggressive wolf behavior, if it happened, was intolerable, and that he was not just allowed, but had a duty to shoot one of the wolves with his bow and arrow. He said that they were too close.

From the news story, especially listening to it, my judgment is that Idaho’s large carnivore manger, Steve Nadeau, didn’t buy the story. Instead Nadeau gave a general run down on Idaho wolves and hunters seeing them.

The story also predicted wolves would soon show up in the Boise foothills, which is a pretty good prediction because it already happened and some time ago. That’s the nice thing about covering this issue for eleven years now, I can remember wolf news from back when the reporter was a pre-teen.

I think folks should carry pepper spray, as they do for other dangerous wildife. It will give them peace of mind.

Car hits deer carcass, two die

This is just another story on the animal that is the true threat to human life–deer, not wolves.

Brief story in the Denver Post. 

Posted in Deer. 2 Comments »

Plan allows 720 sleds a day in Yellowstone

It’s probably hard for most folks to keep up on the struggle over snowmobiles in Yellowstone Park. The article today indicates that the current temporary plan has now mostly become the draft plan for the future. Public comments will be taken beginning in March 2007.

Snowmobiling in the Park would continue with a maximum 720 machines a day allowed. The snowmobiles will be held to standards meant to ensure they are both quieter and less polluting than before the controversy arose. This requires 4-stroke, rather than the typical 2-stroke snowmobile engire. Furthermore, all riders have to go with a commercial guide.

The biggest difference between the temporary and the draft plan is the closure of the East Entrance of the Park to snowmobiles. The East Entrance gets small use and the expenditure for avalanche control are very high, amounting to a huge subsidy per snowmobile user for that Entrance.

Story in Billings Gazette by Mike Stark.

Probably the most important recent development, however, is not the plan, but on the ground. Actual snowmobile use has dropped far below this cap. Last winter only about 250 snowmobiles a day entered the Park. A number of news articles have written of the profound drop in Yellowstone snowmobile use. The reasons seem to be 1. lack of snow 2. many snowmobiles users don’t like the restraints on speed and noise 3. many snowmobilers don’t like the requirement of a guide 4. with a decline in snowmobile use, snowcoach use has been able to become rooted. More and more visitors choose a snowcoach to enter wintertime Yellowstone.