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?