Study uses 1994 data-
The Associated Press
The report relies heavily on a 1994 environmental impact statement related to the introduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, and then extrapolates those numbers.
*Update: Read the Report
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Additional commentary by Ralph Maughan.
This is the most simplistic analysis. Idaho Fish and Game assumes that every elk killed by a wolf is 1/5 fewer elk for hunters (they assume a 20% hunter success rate).
1. Wolf predation can be both additive or compensatory. Idaho Fish and Game is assuming it is all additive. This is known to be false. Compensatory predation is when is wolf kills an animal that would have died regardless before spring calving.
2. It is also well known that in many areas wolves almost stop hunting on their own during human hunting season. The gut piles are much more attractive to them. Moreover, wolves take down the wounded animals. Most of these would die without predation.
3. With outfitters telling how wolves have killed all the elk, beginning in about 1998 when there were not very many wolves in Idaho, with Idaho Fish and Game now joining the poormouthing chorus, is it any wonder elk tag sales are down? The numbers in a state could actually be up, but if the outfitters and the state wildlife agency says, “the hunting in our state has gone to hell,” what do they expect?