Wolf hunt information and effects that need to be collected

Side-effects of policies are often the most interesting-

So the hunt is underway in part of Idaho. All of Idaho will be added in a month. Meanwhile Montana will begin a hunt. Most people will focus on whether somebody got a wolf, where, how?  There will be pleasure and outrage. Some basic statistics will be kept.

One of the most important and interesting things about new policies is what side-effects are there, including unanticipated ones?

So I am listing some possible side effects. Some are so obvious the various groups and governments are probably keeping track. Some entities might also not want them tracked. Some are not feasible to collect.

  • What happens to a disrupted wolf pack? Do they usually regroup or do they disperse? Will disrupted packs and orphaned wolves take more or less livestock per wolf, or in total, than before the hunt?
  • What percentage of wolves limp off wounded? And then, will wounded wolves resort to killing livestock?  Will wounded wolves be a danger to people?  Healthy wolves haven’t been.
  • How many coyotes will be shot? How many dogs?
  • Will the hunt serve to disperse wolves to new areas, including populated ones?
  • How fast will the wolves learn that they are now prey to humans?  If so or when, how will their behavior change?
  • Will disrupted packs kill fewer elk and deer or more?  We know that smaller packs and lone wolves lose more of their carcass to scavengers and so they might possibly hunt more often.
  • Will the hunt increase strife between wolves — more wolves killing each other?
  • Will it have effects on the genetic structure of the population of wolves in Idaho and Montana?
  • In the course of a year, or two and more if wolf hunts continue, what is observed degree of association between the percentage of wolves killed in an area and the deer and elk population? Actually this is a main effect — a stated intention of the hunt. So we expect Idaho Fish and Game to keep very good records if their rationale for the hunt is for real.
  • How much money is made (or lost) by the Departments on the hunts? This needs to also apply to the reestablishment of radio collars.
  • How many killed or wounded wolves were there in addition to those tagged?

Kill order placed on Ore. wolves killing livestock

This would be the first “control” of wolves in Oregon.

There are only two breeding packs in Oregon, one of them has been implicated in 5 incidents of livestock predation, two wolves are slated to be killed.

Kill order placed on Ore. wolves killing livestock
Associated Press

Kamiah hunter shoots wolf; may have been first of the season

Photos show what may be first wolf shot in Idaho’s wolf hunt

I am guessing this is not the only wolf shot today.

Kamiah hunter shoots wolf; may have been first of the season
Idaho Statesman

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation views the upcoming elk hunt

Elk outlook is great reading, especially when compared to views that wolves have killed most of the elk in Idaho, WY, and MT-

Elk hunters and all wildlife enthusiasts will find this fascinating reading for all the states and provinces.

2009 Elk Hunting Forecast.By Jack Ballard. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

For the 3 western states with significant wolves, pay close attention, and compare with the data from RMEF’s 2008 forecast.

2008 Elk Hunt Forecast. By Justin Karnopp. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Estimated elk population for the 3 wolf states-


2008 95,000
2009 105,000

– – –

2008 150,000
2009 150,000

– – –

2008 115,000
2009 107,000

So elk population up in WY, stable in Montana, and down a bit in Idaho. This doesn’t mean wolves don’t have local population reduction effects, but in Montana and Wyoming they are offset by some other factors. It doesn’t mean that Idaho’s overall drop is the sole product of wolves.

Of course, when you compare other states with no wolves, there are similar stability or change figures.   C0lorado has by far the most elk, 280,000, but also shows a drop of 12,000 from 2008 to 2009. I think Nevada shows the largest percentage  gain of any state with a significantly large elk population.

Wolf Photos

We get quite a few requests for photos. Although we have some, the Wolf Recovery Foundation does not sell photographs of wolves, but the web sites below do. I have linked to photographers who have been generous enough to donate photos of wolves to us. Although these web sites may not have “wolf” in their name, they have images of wolves.

I can sell my photos too. Email me at rmaughan2@cableone.net


Bert Katzung Yellowstone National Park.

Daniel Stebbins Photography

Dave Stiles – Writer, Photographer, Dreamer

Mark Miller Photographer of Wild Places. Mark lives in Gardner, MT

Raptor’s Roost Wildlife Photography. R.J. Weselmann

Wise Nature Photos: Fine Art and Stock Photography by Cathy Wise.

Wonders of Nature. Tammy Shelton-Hall and Angie Savage

Yellowstone Experiences. Tim Springer

From me (Ralph Maughan). I’m not a serious seller of photographs, but I have thousands and thousands of high quality photos of Idaho, Western Montana, Utah, Western Wyoming some parts of Nevada, British Columbia, and Oregon. Most of the photos on our web page copyrighted by me are probably for sale. For the advancement of conservation news and education, I might donate a photo. If you are interested, contact me. rmaughan2@cableone.net

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