Niemeyer: Wolves didn’t kill cow near Eagle last week

It died of birthing problems

Last week there was a big story about how wolves had killed a cow in the foothills above Eagle, Idaho, which most of you probably know is just west of Boise. Well, Carter Niemeyer, – the Montana western supervisor for Wildlife Services from 1975-1990 and the Wildlife Services Montana wolf specialist for the following 10 years until he took a post in Idaho as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s wolf recovery coordinator – did his own investigation and says that wolves didn’t kill the cow.

Here are the comments that I received today from Carter about the findings of his own investigation:

The ranch foreman in charge of the cow herd near Eagle, who reported a dead cow to Wildlife Services, was gracious enough to let me, my wife, Jenny, and Suzanne Stone (Defenders of Wildlife) take a look at the cow carcass. The cow had been dead for nearly a week. The foreman found the cow laying immediately next to a county road with the rest of the herd during a routine check and feeding. A large oval feeding site on the neck resulted in a lot of blood flowing onto the ground which looked pretty dramatic in a picture he showed me. There was another feeding site on one hind leg, also oval-shaped, which exposed flesh and connective tissue. The teats of the cow had been chewed off of the udder. His comment to me was that the whole scene took him by surprise and was nothing he had seen before.

Eventually the dead cow was reported to Wildlife Services and a trapper was sent to conduct a necropsy on the cow. Wildlife Services concluded (according to a newspaper account) that the cow was killed by at least two wolves, one that attacked the front of the cow and the other that attacked the rear. This is basically the story I read in the paper. When I examined the cow, I was at a disadvantage in that I didn’t get to see the fresh carcass that Wildlife Services did, but I can tell you that the cow was not killed by wolves or any other predator.

The ranch foreman told me that a lot of neighbors and ranchers have been seeing wolves around the area. I don’t dispute that wolves could be just about anywhere nowadays. When asked if any wolf tracks were found around the cow, he said that the ground was frozen, which would be expected on these cold nights, but on the other hand, wolves could have easily left tracks in the fine sand on the county road just above the carcass. Coyote tracks were visible, even with all the tromping around by cattle. The conclusion by Wildlife Services that wolves killed the cow has cemented a mindset in the cattle owner, as well as neighbors and the US Fish and Wildlife Service: wolves are to blame, and to answer that mindset, a kill order was issued. An airplane is being used to hunt for the wolves since traps and other ground control tools would most likely end up catching coyotes and dogs, which frequent the area.

The reasons I don’t believe that wolves killed the cow are the result of basic investigation techniques on an intact carcass: There are no wounds on the cow that would have resulted in its death. The cow weighed an estimated 1,400 pounds – one of the largest beef cows I’ve ever examined. While the blood sounds graphic and the holes in the cow sound convincing, I saw no slash marks, bite wounds or any other evidence that the cow was brutally brought down by wolves. After 25 years of looking at depredation scenes, I can tell you that a 1,400 pound cow does not go down without a fight, and that wolves would have to do a tremendous amount of biting to the muscles to render her helpless. A point I need to make here is that in all my years of investigating wolf damage to livestock I have verified only two incidents where wolves have killed adult cows. I have never seen a situation where a bull, mule or horse have been killed. I’ve had more opportunity than most people to investigate wolf damage to livestock, so I am telling you, without equivocation, that it would be an extremely rare incident to see wolves kill large livestock. Wolves do not expend a lot of energy killing large prey unless they are hungry, regardless of the stories being told in the media and on blogs. When they do kill large prey, an individual wolf can consume 10-20 pounds of meat in a single feeding. Very little meat was eaten from the cow carcass except from visits by coyotes and an eagle.

My conclusion regarding what killed this cow is rather simple and undramatic. I noticed that the cow had a full term calf positioned near the birth canal and was very close to giving birth. There was no sign of a struggle, no earth torn up, nothing. A person could imagine that the wolves jumped her while she was laying down. Although possible, then the wolves would have had to gently eat a hole in her neck and on the edge of her hind leg. Wolves aren’t gentle when they kill livestock or any other prey. Wolf predation isn’t pretty. It involves a lot of mangled muscle tissue and severe trauma. The surrounding tissue near the oval feeding sites showed no evidence of trauma and injury. I think the cow was dead or near death and coyotes chewed on her either just before death or right after she died. I don’t think wolves had anything to do with it. No tracks, no injuries, no trauma = no wolf attack. Coyotes are in the area and we saw two of them coming down the ridge toward the carcass, a hundred yards away as we were leaving.

I am no longer employed by any agency, and my opinion doesn’t change the outcome of this event. The government has authorized some wolves to die and I don’t expect that my conclusions will change that outcome either. I just wanted to express my opinion and remind the public that livestock depredation incidents need to be investigated professionally, and with transparency and oversight, because I think wolves have been, and continue to be, taking a bad rap for problems they do not create.

“The mission of USDA APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) is to provide Federal leadership and expertise to resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist.”

Wildlife Services’ Idaho director Mark Collinge recently retired and now Todd Grimm is the acting director. Under his leadership it appears that Wildlife Services has made a faulty determination about this case and has used it as an excuse to use an airplane to fly over the Boise foothills in search of wolves to kill.  They also allowed this to become a very big story in the Idaho Statesman which garnered more attention than stories about what this year’s legislature is doing.  This should be disturbing to anyone who cares about wildlife and the animosity that Wildlife Services holds against wolves. There needs to be some hard questions asked of them.

Here is one of the stories which appeared in the Idaho Statesman:
Wolves kill cow in Foothills near Eagle
Federal wildlife officials have done two flyovers but can’t locate the predators.

BY KATY MOELLER – Idaho Statesman

Update 2/3/11: Wolf Expert: Eagle Cow Not Killed by Wolves – KIVITV.COM | Boise. News, Breaking News, Weather and Sports-.

Earlier fear mongering by Todd Grimm.
Residents React to Nearby Wolf Attack; Investigators Hunt – KIVITV.COM | Boise. News, Breaking News, Weather and Sports-.

I wonder how 2 wolves could “grab it by the front and by the rear and just separate” a 1400 lb cow without leaving any evidence of struggle.  The story shows the oval wounds and a small tuft of hair missing, something a magpie or coyote could do to a dead cow.

According to the Western Beef Resource Committee

Calving difficulty (dystocia) is the leading cause of death in calves. Oregon surveys indicated that 53 percent of all calf deaths occur within 24 hours of birth. Montana data indicate that 57 percent of all calf losses are associated with dystocia. The recent trend in the beef cattle industry has been to produce larger animals that have larger birth weights and a higher incidence of dystocia. Most studies agree calf birth weight is the major cause of difficult births, but pelvic area, sex of calf and heifer weight also contribute to the problem. A table in this publication shows the relative importance of calf birthweight, pelvic size and calf sex as causes of dystocia.

102 Responses to “Niemeyer: Wolves didn’t kill cow near Eagle last week”

  1. jon Says:

    Not surprised. I guess idaho is getting desperate and are trying to get wolves killed any way they can. It shows what desperate measures they will try. I also believe there have many other instances like this where wolves were purposely blamed when livestock animals died of other reasons.

  2. william huard Says:

    I have talked to Todd Grimm several times. It is very hard to get good help these days.

    • jon Says:

      What did he say when you talked to him Will?

      • william huard Says:

        I haven’t talked to him recently. I called him upon learning Idaho’s intention to gas pups in their dens last year. We have had a few contentious discussions about wildlife. I don’t think we could agree on the weather. The man is an idiot. He’s a Federal Sport Hunter who enjoys his work.

      • jon Says:

        He kills wildlife for a living Will. He’s a wildlife killing sadist. I don’t think it will happen anytime soon, but I hope in the future they do away with wildlife services. One can hope.

  3. william huard Says:

    Congress can’t decide to stop tax break subsidies for the big oil companies. I’m not very optimistic.

  4. william huard Says:

    The frustrating thing about this story with WS is how little scientific findings are considered before the rush to judgement to blame wolves. You would think they have SOME expertise on the subject of livestock killing and how a birthing complication would look different.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      If you read Niemeyer’s book, Wolfer, it becomes very clear that Wildlife Services feels cheated when a determination is made that a predator was NOT the cause of a dead whatever.

  5. william huard Says:

    Niemeyer is an important ally for wolves. The haters will dismiss any scientific data regardless. At least Niemeyer has credibility.

    • jon Says:

      They have the perfect little plan going. One of their livestock animals dies for other reasons and they blame the wolf. Who is going to question them? That’s why we need Carter and guys like him exposing the truth. Ws comes in and kills the innocent wolves in the area. Wildlife services and the ranchers are best buddies.

  6. william huard Says:

    If Niemeyer’s report came out today maybe it isn’t too late to stop WS before they scapegoat the wolves. I hope someone is putting pressure on Grimm to slow down……

    • jon Says:

      And it has come to the point when you can make up whatever phony reason you can just to kill predators like wolves. When their livestock dies for other reasons, that gives them the perfect solution and reason to go out there and kill wolves when they secretly know they weren’t the reason why livestock was killed.

  7. wolfsong Says:

    Is Carter sending his report to the media? Will they publish it? After reading Predatory Bureaucracy my conclusion is WS will kill any thing and everything “they” feel justified to kill.

  8. Ken Cole Says:

    I think he was on KIVI Channel 6 news in Boise tonight. There was a teaser on their website earlier today. I didn’t see the newscast though.

    http://www.kivitv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13958177&clienttype=mobile&config=H264

    • jon Says:

      Ken or Ralph, Todd Grimm is the current wildlife services director. Is there any difference between Todd and Mark Collinge? Was one a better director ws than the other?

      Ken, I don’t know how things are run down there in Idaho, but is it normal for a trapper to conduct an investigation into whether or not an animal was killed by a wolf?

      • jon Says:

        If it turns out Carter is right and I believe he is, than you have people working for ws who don’t know how to do their job or they just lie and use predators as the scapegoat for something they did not do.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        +jon asked,
        Ken or Ralph, Todd Grimm is the current wildlife services director. Is there any difference between Todd and Mark Collinge? Was one a better director ws than the other?
        – – – –
        I don’t know, jon.

      • Ken Cole Says:

        Jon, I have heard less than flattering things about Todd.

    • wolfsong Says:

      Thanks Ken! I checked their website and couldn’t find anything, maybe tomorrow they will have it up..

  9. wolfsong Says:

    This whole thing brings me to a question that has been bothering me for awhile.. The female wolf that was found dead in Colorado died from Compound 1080, which has been illegal in the state since 1969. FWS says that “somebody” must of had some stored. Ummmm, from 1969? Everyone who had access to her GPS tracking reports knew where she was so I’m wondering exactly WHO had access. Maybe it’s just me but I also found it odd that it took 2 years for them to release her cause of death..

  10. timz Says:

    I just saw the story on the news. Carter Niemeyer basically said all the evidence pointed to not only a non-wolf attack but not a predator attack of any kind. Grimm said Niemeyer
    could not make that determination because he saw the carcass after 6 days. (BTW Grimm looks like a hillbilly dufus.)

    • Salle Says:

      (BTW Grimm looks like a hillbilly dufus.)

      They have pre-requisites for holding that post…

      This clown wouldn’t know how to conduct a necropsy if Carter held his hand and showed him… but then even if he did, the agency probably secretly prohibits such examination because it exposes their agenda, which is to kill anything that isn’t in favor with ranchers and hunters and the politicians they have purchased.

      This just shows what Carter is made of, he has the personal character that I wish all public servants possessed.

      Thanks, Carter.

  11. Ann Sydow Says:

    A big Thank You to Carter Neimeyer for taking the time to investigate and then for speaking up! The cover ups and “managing” of wildlife for political reasons and to appease special interest groups has got to stop!

  12. Cody Coyote Says:

    Those presidposed to be anti-Wolf seem to have a predilection to apply a very perverse from of the 14th century axiom known as ” Occam’s Razor” , which says when there are multiple explanations for something observed, the simpler explanation is probably the correct one.

    We see that here. Simple minded folk blame wolves for everything.

    Having said that , when Wildlife Services does it, we need a new axiom… Occam’s Scapegoat.

    • SAP Says:

      Occam’s necropsy scalpel?

    • SAP Says:

      Reading Mr. Neimeyer’s account, though, I’d have to say they didn’t choose a very simple explanation:

      cow that coincidentally had calf stuck in birth canal, gently killed by wolves that somehow left no tracks, and also did very little feeding.

  13. Chuck Says:

    Thank you Carter for setting the record straight. Wished we had more like you

  14. nabeki Says:

    It makes me wonder how many wolves have been killed due to faulty investigations? Thank you Carter for taking the time to shed light on this.

    Wildlife Services has little to zero accountability. Their word is law. Nobody is coming behind them and questioning their conclusions. We need more “Carter follow ups” to set the record straight. Meanwhile wolves are going to die for this, how sad is that?

    • jon Says:

      Nabeki, glad to see you posting on here again. I’m, sure this isn’t the first time ws got it wrong about a livestock kill. I can only imagine how many wolves have died because ws thought they killed livestock when infact they didn’t. I believe they are getting desperate now and trying to find whatever reason they can to go out and kill wolves.

    • wolfsong Says:

      Right now with all of the bills in Congress ALL of the numbers are going to help determine their fate. The higher you can falsely inflate the numbers the better chance you stand of winning. And I bet nobody knows that better than Wildlife Services.

  15. Immer Treue Says:

    Many years ago, I entertained pursuing a possible career in ethology. One of the things I really wanted to avoid was giving anthropomorphic qualities to animals, but then I always wondered how far do their cognitive properties extend? I believe recent studies (sorry can’t quote the sources) have shown that animals are able to “think” much more than they were given credit for. After the last couple of dogs, it’s obvious they are thinking. Does it go beyond looking for affection, or the next bowl of food, that nice long walk, or playing with a friend whom they recognize by name.

    In my own way, I look at a big dog like a G. Shepherd as a perpetual 4-5 year old child. They have their wants, and for the most part they know what they can and can’t do. Wolves are a far cry from domestic dogs in terms of their behavior. A recent interesting PBS Nature(I think) program on dogs compared a wolf to a dog as the wolf having ADHD, as far as getting it to behave like a dog.

    Sort of a long winded introduction to a couple of hypothetical, but far fetched questions. Do the wolves that continually prey on livestock have an idea that preying on livestock isn’t a good idea, but more-or-less decide WTF until they get caught. and dealt with? Do the wolves that may or may not be eliminated because of this supposed depredation(this Eagle, Idaho cow) think, hey WTF, we followed all the rules, why are you after us?

    Just thinking.

    • jon Says:

      I don’t think anyone can say for sure, but hunger makes any animal desperate it. Hunting seasons are not going to stop wolves from praying on livestock. Livestock is just another food source to wolves and if they are really hungry, they will try to go after livestock. I don’t think anyone can blame wild animals for being wild animals. I sure as heck don’t.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        That may be true, but there is no lack of food sources in the Boise foothills. Elk and deer are all over the place. If it is concluded that the cow was indeed killed by a wolf, than it was probably due to the wolf being injured or sick. Or the cow being sick or injured.

      • jon Says:

        I believe this cow was a healthy 1400 pounder. A injured or sick wolf is NOT going to take down and kill a 1400 pound healthy cow. Wolves attacking livestock this big is rare according to Carter.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        “Wolves attacking livestock this big is rare according to Carter.”

        ***Pure speculation***
        That was my point. The wolf was sick/injures, thus (acting opportunistically) killed the cow. Easier to kill a cow than an elk. Or the cow was sick/injured (acting opportunistically) therefore was an easy meal.

        Also, it seems strange that the wolf was by itself. This leads me to believe that it was sick/injured. Just a guess.

      • jon Says:

        Todd Grimm said it was TWO wolves not one that apparently killed the cow. I really find it hard to believe that one injured wolf would be able to kill a 1400 pound cow according to you.

      • jon Says:

        Maybe, but this cow was 1400 pounds. We all know that wolves can kill elk, but wolves killing cows this big doesn’t happen often.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Fair enough. From what I read it was one. But I haven’t read about it since yesterday. I thought Carter said it wasn’t killed by wolf? I’m confused. Will have to get more info.

      • jon Says:

        Watch the link to the video I posted. Todd Grimm of ws said it was multiple wolves. Carter doesn’t think wolves killed the 1400 pound pregnant cow. It would be very difficult for one wolf to kill a cow that big imo.

    • Immer Treue Says:

      Jon and Wolf Moderate,

      You two guys are taking this way too seriously. I know the topic of this particular article could be deadly serious for a couple of wolves, but it did not intend to spark who, why or where about wolves, their natural prey, and livestock, but just one of those little mind fart moments, perhaps better addressed after a few drinks, of what those wolves could be thinking.

      • Savebears Says:

        Immer,

        You will find that Jon takes everything as gospel and will fight to the death to prove his copy and paste points..pare for the course with him..And Yes Jon, I know, your ignoring me..Jon pushes people to the point they get pissed at him, then he says he is going to ignore you, then he moves on to the next person he can argue with for a while…if you don’t think like Jon, then you are wrong, stupid, crazy or sadistic…

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Save Bears,

        Not to worry, I’d rather have jon comment on what I right any day, compared to some who have commented on me elsewhere.

        To bring in a quote, I think I’ve seen it elsewhere, but in McGuane’s latest novel,”Never wrestle with a pig. You both get covered with shit and the pig likes it.” jon isn’t afraid to wrestle with that pig, as we all are at times.

  16. wolf moderate Says:

    You are talking about wolves w/ ADHD! I think you’ve been hittin’ grand pappy’s cough syrup today already.

    I will revisit this part of the thread after a few tokes and then can continue on.

    • Immer Treue Says:

      wolf moderate,

      Hold on, I may join you. Seriously, the program was about dogs, and how they interact with people. Domestic dogs adapt very well given proper socialization, time, and that all important factor, love.
      And after a while, they stop doing all that crazy stuff that drives us nuts when they’re pups. Wolves won’t ever do that, no matter how much socializing and discipline you give them. It was funny watching the program, as your looking at these young wolves climbing all over “stuff” and not heeding any correction. It was hilarious. The narrator said it was as if they had ADHD compared to a domestic dog.

    • Immer Treue Says:

      w m
      here is a trailer for Dogs: Decoded, about 30 seconds long. Quickly at about the 10 sec mark you can briefly see a young wolf jumping up on a table, over a person sitting in a chair.

      It’s a great program, if you like dogs and would like a bit more insight into them.

  17. wolf moderate Says:

    Cool. Thanks for link. I have heard that wolf hybrids are always very timid and shy. It doesn’t matter how old they get. Just heresay though Jon. No need to prove wrong🙂

    • Ken Cole Says:

      Wolf hybrids are known to be unpredictable, especially in early generations, because you don’t know which part of the wolf or dog you are getting in a hybrid. There have been human deaths from wolf/dog hybrids.

  18. Doryfun Says:

    A quote from Niemeyers book, pg 224-225:
    “…and the more I put up with the narrow-minded ideas of Animal Damage Control, the more I realized that the wolf’s worst enemy wasn’t the rancher or any other individual here and there with a rifle, it was the ‘system,” and the politics that ruled the various governmental agencies.”

    Like Otter playing footsies under the table with Big Oil interests and pushing for the Tar Sands of Alberta, or his style of management when it comes to bighorn sheep and salmon, so too is Wildlife Service always a chess game of bio-politics and ugly maneuvering.

    When people of high character like Niemeyer , Duncan, Bass, and Klein are brave enough to put the whistle to their mouths, it would behoove more people to listen to their shrill warnings and pay attention. Then pay it forward. Help sound the bell weather and shed some light. Bad intentions born in the back board rooms are like venus fly traps trying to grow in the dark. Once in the light, we can pluck the culls and shine a light on the good ideas to give those seeds a better chance to grow

  19. Virginia Says:

    Did the Idaho G&F provide any physical proof that the cow was killed by wolves? Don’t they have to do that? Just asking.

  20. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Max,

    This is the only comment you get because I think max.truthbetold@gmail.com is not a real email address (which is required). If you prove it real, you can continue to comment. Ed. note. This is Max’s real address.

    However, I want to let you know that Niemeyer, until his last three years, worked for Wildlife Services. So he investigated hundreds of dead livestock. Read his book, Wolfer. He tells story after story of his work in this field.

  21. Cindy Says:

    Taking on Carter Niemeyer and the legitimacy of his wolf experience – give me a break Max.

    • jon Says:

      I was thinking the same thing Cindy. Carter has more experience dealing with wolves than every member of wildlife services in Idaho put together.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        The WS agent that I know has 22 years of “service” and a BS in Biology…

        Just FYI. Just because you do not like them does not mean that they are stupid or inexperienced. He actually corrected me when I said that the wolves around McCall were “canadian” gray wolves. He went into depth proving that the wolves in Idaho, that were reintroduced in 94′, were indeed the same wolves that once inhabited the region. This same individual had trapped and killed around 60 wolves too.

      • jon Says:

        Carter has 30 plus years and is known as the top wolf expert in the northern rockies. He would know if a wolf killed a cow or not. He has more credibility than any of the wildlife services people today in Idaho.

  22. Brian Ertz Says:

    Public records requests to the agencies involved in wolf management could […]

    Good luck with that. Getting a reply from Wildlife Services to a FOIA request takes lawyers …

    additionally – if Wildlife Services et al are checking the ‘confirmed wolf kill’ box without appropriate evidence, then those subsequent stats would be skewed wouldn’t they ?

  23. Jay Says:

    Livestock examined and erroneously misclassified as wolfkills by current WS employees does not give them more credibility than a former WS employee who also appears to have looked at numerous wolf/non-wolf kills.

    • Salle Says:

      From the text of Carter’s statement:

      most importantly:

      “The reasons I don’t believe that wolves killed the cow are the result of basic investigation techniques on an intact carcass: There are no wounds on the cow that would have resulted in its death.”

      And…

      “A person could imagine that the wolves jumped her while she was laying down. Although possible, then the wolves would have had to gently eat a hole in her neck and on the edge of her hind leg. Wolves aren’t gentle when they kill livestock or any other prey. Wolf predation isn’t pretty. It involves a lot of mangled muscle tissue and severe trauma. The surrounding tissue near the oval feeding sites showed no evidence of trauma and injury. I think the cow was dead or near death and coyotes chewed on her either just before death or right after she died. I don’t think wolves had anything to do with it. No tracks, no injuries, no trauma = no wolf attack. Coyotes are in the area and we saw two of them coming down the ridge toward the carcass, a hundred yards away as we were leaving.”

      So, the first blaring indicator of suspicious investigative techniques of WS is that the carcass was intact meaning that WS didn’t bother to do a necropsy, period. If they had, they would have found what Carter found, a fetus in the birth canal… doesn’t that stick out as a red flag to anyone else? And this isn’t the first old, dead carcass Carter has ever seen, he would know ~ even after that amount of time ~ whether an attack had taken place, especially given this evidence that he has shared.

      But then, you’d know that if you had actually read the article first.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Those who investigate dead livestock always tell the owner not to disturb the site, cover the animal, and call quickly. Some evidence disappears rapidly, but some can remain a long time.

        The calf being born would remain until scavengers had been at it quite a while. It was a major oversight of Wildlife Services not to note it when it is such a common cause of death. I mean it should be on their check list of thing to look for.

      • Salle Says:

        Given the information by the beef council or whatever they’re called, and the connection between WS and the AG industry, you’d think they’d have that memo…? Or are just ignoring it to benefit their fund-raising needs…?

        What I find telling is that if the carcass was intact when Carter got to it, then WS didn’t conduct an appropriate or nonexistent to say the least and that any posturing of WS at that point is moot regardless of the length of time that passed before Carter looked at it. It wasn’t ll that fresh when WS got there either and it seems that they took the owner’s word for it, as they do in so many cases, and didn’t bother with the messy necropsy that would have been pretty definitive had they troubled themselves to actually do their damned job. Just like the ranchers who can’t be bothered to tend to their precious livestock, they also have WS to give them carte blanche in these situations because, what’s good for the ranchers is good for WS, so if you just want the bragging rights of the ranching community you don’t have to actually do yer job if you have WS just come and fill out a form without looking at any evidence.

        I wonder if racketeering applies to this situation that seems to be an endless blank check to kill those hated predators at taxpayer expense, and still collect the subsidy/welfare checks… how nice for them while they destroy our health and well-being by acting like despots. Personal greed is everywhere, even in those wholesome ranching communities.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        We have probably all seen programs about forensic pathology on television.

        There we have seen the wrong people put in jail because there was not enough care taken before a cause of death was determined, and in some of these cases the reason was outside pressure to name a particular person because need to satisfy a prosecutor’s time demands, or their relation to the victim, their known antagonism to the victim, and, unfortunately, their race.

      • JB Says:

        Many people do not know that, in most municipalities the coroner is an elected position that does NOT require a medical degree–or even any type of medical training (usually, running for this office simply requires that you haven’t been convicted of a felony). Ponder that the next time you are watching CIS [insert city name].

      • JB Says:

        Sorry, that was meant to be a response to Ralph’s post, above:

        “We have probably all seen programs about forensic pathology on television.

        There we have seen the wrong people put in jail because there was not enough care taken before a cause of death was determined, and in some of these cases the reason was outside pressure to name a particular person because need to satisfy a prosecutor’s time demands, or their relation to the victim, their known antagonism to the victim, and, unfortunately, their race.”

      • Max Says:

        Salle’s suggestion that the carcass wasn’t even all that fresh when the WS agent examined it isn’t consistent with the information in the WS investigative report (available at the link on Rocky Barker’s 2/4/11 blog), which indicated the carcass was actually still warm when it was examined. And the report indicates portions of the carcass were skinned back and revealed purple bruising and the “grape jelly”-like appearance so typical of the damage caused by a wolf bite to a still-living creature. By the time Carter examined the carcass a week later, that evidence was likely long since consumed by scavengers. And as I indicated in an earlier comment (which Ralph apparently deleted shortly after I posted it) the large amount of blood which had flowed out onto the ground from the cow’s neck region would not be expected to flow like that and in that quantity from an already-dead critter. Carter could not likely make a reliable assessment looking at what evidence remained after a week of scavenging had already occurred on the carcass.

  24. Carter Niemeyer Says:

    Max

    I don’t follow the websites much but I looked tonight and you brought me out of my silence. I would safely say that I have observed more circumstances involving wolves and in contrast, not involving wolves, than most Wildlife Services trappers will see in their career unless they work as long as I have. Of course, most of the dead and injured livestock that I have examined throughout my 30 year career were not killed or injured by predators. Livestock die from a multitude of causes which cumulatively diminish predation deaths to a very minute statistical figure. The cow in question here, in my humble opinion, was injured in some unusual manner but not by predation. The wounds resemble slash marks if you look at them on the news. The cow looks sliced (I don’t have the crystal ball to guess how). I suggested an auto strike as a possibility, with no evidence to prove that. Being next to a county road opens up all kinds of speculation. But in summary, to Max, I will probably have forgotten more than most folks in this business will learn in their lifetime. And one more point: there are a lot of agency biologists and field personnel in many parts of the Northern Rockies that have NEVER seen wolf damage yet, except in photos and there isn’t any experience like on-the-job experience to know about wolves and the damage they do and do not cause. It is a speciality of which I know of only a handful of professionals who qualify.

    • jon Says:

      Carter, I wanna say it is a honor you posting on here. Hopefully, you will post more in the future.

  25. Carter Niemeyer Says:

    Wolf Moderate

    Don’t give people the wrong impression. Wildlife Services trappers all over the United States are some of my very best friends. Because I disagree with my colleagues should in no way imply I dislike them. On the contrary I have a very high regard for most of them. Comments like yours are why I do not get on these blogs because I watch the discussion degrade into he said, she said, they said, when nobody said anything. So I will sign off and let you folks do your thing. Thank you, Ralph, for the opportunity to comment.

    • wolf moderate Says:

      It was not directed towards you. If you will look I was responding to Jon’s post “I was thinking the same thing Cindy. Carter has more experience dealing with wolves than every member of wildlife services in Idaho put together.”

      Meant no disrespect towards you. I didn’t know you had even posted. If you need proof, you will notice you posted at 6:56 and I posted at 6:59…I’m a verrrry slow typer🙂 Please keep posting! I was simply telling Jon not to underestimate SOME of the WS agents. Had absolutely nothing to do with you.

      Good luck and thanks for writing the book!

      • jon Says:

        I agree with that. Thank you Carter for writing your amazing book.

      • PointsWest Says:

        jon…Carter is a hunter. He kills animals for pleasure. You say this is horribly wrong. You are constantly posting anti-hunting artcles that domonize hunters and hunting. Aren’t you being hypocritical? Did you know he was a hunter that killed defenseless animals?

  26. Bob Says:

    Don’t know who is right of the two examinations. Both could be right, wolves may not have killed the cow just incapacitated her feed and left. Our valley has had several incidents where cows were found hours later, still alive, wolves feed and left, most cases involved pregnant cows. Two wolves eat 40 to 80 pounds from a 1400 pound cow, less than 1% of her weight, also didn’t say if calf was eaten. Cow may have just hip locked if she was calving and been unable to move. Easy meal.

    • jon Says:

      Bob, do you believe that 2 wolves can take down and kill a 1400 pound cow?

      • Bob Says:

        jon
        My 50 pound dog can take down a cow when he’s mad, not permanent but long enough to let her know who’s boss. You don’t have to kill something to have a meal, just slow it down, then eat.

      • jon Says:

        I’m not going to say it’s impossible for 2 100 pound wolves to kill a cow, but have you heard about any other cases in your state where wolves killed a cow that big? I mean 1400 pounds is a big animal. I know livestock animals that easy prey for predators like wolves, but 1400 pounds is a huge animal.

      • jon Says:

        How big of a cow are you talking? My dog is 70 pounds and all muscle and I don’t see him taking down any big cow. Just ain’t happening. A baby cow definitely, but not a 1400 pound cow.

    • jon Says:

      One possibility is that the cow died from natural reasons and the wolves came about the dead cow and started to eat it. I think if the calf was eaten, they would have said that. Who knows. Hopefully, we will find out more in the upcoming days.

      • Salle Says:

        Try actually reading the article before re-interpreting. Here are some points that several of you have obviously missed… maybe you should try being sober when you comment.

        From the text of Carter’s statement:

        most importantly:

        “The reasons I don’t believe that wolves killed the cow are the result of basic investigation techniques on an intact carcass: There are no wounds on the cow that would have resulted in its death.”

        And…

        A person could imagine that the wolves jumped her while she was laying down. Although possible, then the wolves would have had to gently eat a hole in her neck and on the edge of her hind leg. Wolves aren’t gentle when they kill livestock or any other prey. Wolf predation isn’t pretty. It involves a lot of mangled muscle tissue and severe trauma. The surrounding tissue near the oval feeding sites showed no evidence of trauma and injury. I think the cow was dead or near death and coyotes chewed on her either just before death or right after she died. I don’t think wolves had anything to do with it. No tracks, no injuries, no trauma = no wolf attack. Coyotes are in the area and we saw two of them coming down the ridge toward the carcass, a hundred yards away as we were leaving.” So, first indicator of suspicious investigative techniques of WS is that the carcass was intact meaning that WS didn’t bother to do a necropsy, period. If they had, they would have found what Carter found, a fetus in the birth canal… doesn’t that stick out as a red flag to anyone else? And this isn’t the first old, dead carcass Carter has ever seen, he would know ~ even after that amount of time whether an attack had taken place, especially given this evidence that he has shared. But then, you’d know that if you had actually read the article first.

      • Bob Says:

        jon
        Thought I’d try to answer your question, back 6 or 7 years neighbor had a cow close to calving penned by the house. 2 am check every thing ok 6 am check the guy found cow dragging herself around by her front legs. Hind legs chewed up eaten and useless calf had been partly eaten. I believe 4 wolves were involved. Had to shot her. A friend of mine spent some time in yellowstone studying elk or bears don’t remember, but grizzlies would sit in the timber and wait for elk to calve in the meadow. As soon as the elk started the bear would run out and eat the calf I think most predator know it’s a time to pick up a easy meal. As for the dog, he’s mellow most the time and does his job with little bitting just don’t make him mad. I would guess he’s learned some trick to drop a cow, only happen twice. I would guess your dog also doesn’t like to play tag with badgers or kill and eat skunks. And yes it’s a good possibility the cow just died happens all to often also given there were other cattle there why pick on a large cow but I’ve given up trying to figure out how a wolf brain works.

      • Jay Says:

        “Try actually reading the article before re-interpreting. ”

        Try to not sound like a shrew in all of your comments…

      • Salle Says:

        And your definition of a shrew? Looking in the mirror, mr. authority on style and grace?

        If you read the comments that appear prior to mine, it is hard not to make such a comment when the other participants constantly speculate about ideas that are clearly addressed in the article that would have squelched the asking and speculation that prove that they either didn’t bother reading the article or are too stupid to comprehend what was said…

        Like this:”One possibility is that the cow died from natural reasons and the wolves came about the dead cow and started to eat it. I think if the calf was eaten, they would have said that. Who knows.[sic]

        and

        I will revisit this part of the thread after a few tokes and then can continue on.

        maybe because they need to sober up before commenting.

        You can lead a mind to knowledge but you can’t make it think.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        ““I will revisit this part of the thread after a few tokes and then can continue on.”

        maybe because they need to sober up before commenting.”

        Wow. You really have issues. It’s OK I understand that you still have issues pertaining to childhood. It’s quite obvious. I truly feel for you and hope that you get some help before you are locked up.

        I was in the Coast Guard, ya know, drug busts etc…I was making a joke, because liberals are “notorious” for there ingestion of controlled substances🙂. Being that I was in the middle of a rather strange conversation (Wolves have ADHD heh), I figured it would be best to at least pretend that I was on the same level of influenced thinking.

        Good day to you and please get help for your obvious issues w/ the male species. This is not an attack but a heartfelt plea!

      • jon Says:

        Although Salle was responding to my comments, I don’t mind her telling it how it is or speaking her mind on the issue at hand. I like the fact that she speaks her mind and doesn’t take sh8^ from anyone on here. That she definitely deserves credit and respect for.

      • jon Says:

        WM you said liberals are known for ingesting controlled substances. I don’t know anyone on here whether liberal or conservative that has ever admitted to smoking weed besides you. I believe you said you are 30. Smoking weed is something that a teenager does. Most adults grow out of that phase once they reach their mid 20s I would think. Maybe a bit earlier than that,

      • wolf moderate Says:

        That’s a new one on me Jon. Do you know how big medical weed is? It’s not “teenagers” smoking the stuff. Weed should be legal anywho. Whatever, the Right will not let that happen anytime soon unfortunately. I admit I’m crazy, ya know, always online reading stupid chit etc (hate winter)…Just wish others would come to the realization that they are too🙂

      • jon Says:

        Some do infact smoke it for medical reasons, but come on, we know most people smoke it for non-medical reasons. I think it’s better than drinking beer or smoking cancer sticks, but I wouldn’t smoke it personally no matter how harmless it may be.

      • jon Says:

        I will agree that it should be legal. I mean cigs and alcohol are legal and they are both worse than weed imo, so it only makes sense to make it legal imo.

      • Salle Says:

        WM likes to make broad generalizations and resorts to stereotyping when he gets caught doing so by others, therefore, the childish personal attacks. I would suggest actually trying to look yourself in the eye, using a mirror, and telling yourself in all honesty that you are what you try to make others think you are. The truth can be hard to look at and perhaps it will take someone like you a lifetime to make it to that point. Meanwhile, give it a try, ‘eh sport?

        My personal issues are none of your business and the ones you assign to me are pretty far-fetched and libelous.

        And I thought you were self-proclaiming to ignore me, what happened to that? I was getting to like that part. :~}

      • Save bears Says:

        In the last year, there have been close to 30,000 medical MJ cards issued in the state of Montana, and now the legislature is actually considering repealing the law, in a state that has only about 1 million in population, that is actually quite a few people lighting up…

      • wolf moderate Says:

        “I would suggest actually trying to look yourself in the eye, using a mirror, and telling yourself in all honesty that you are what you try to make others think you are. The truth can be hard to look at and perhaps it will take someone like you a lifetime to make it to that point. Meanwhile, give it a try, ‘eh sport?”

        I will work on this. It is enjoyable to stereotype ppl and find out whether these assumptions turn out to be true. Often times our first instincts are correct and I think I’m batting a thousand on this site. As for ignoring you? Well, this site gets very boring w/o a bit of back n’ forth. No one posts on this site for some reason until conflict arises. Watch and you will see. Please lay off Alex Jones, even though I can’t. I give it 11 months until the US goes bonkers. Quite frankly, I think it’s needed. Flush out some of the rifraf (sp).

      • wolf moderate Says:

        “No one posts on this site for some reason until conflict arises.”

        Ya, ya quality over quantity…I’ll beat u to it.

    • Kibby Says:

      Bob,

      What I find compelling about Mr. Niemeyer’s statement is the lack of internal damage, even around the bite sites. Having seen just a few wolf kills (elk and bison, some new and some many days old), it was striking how much internal bleeding and muscle damage occurred, even in areas without visible external wounds. As you well know, they are not dainty eaters…

      Also, for what it’s worth, during the two instances that I spoke with Carter Niemeyer he struck me as an honorable and rational man committed to furthering the cause of wolf reintroduction while ensuring that local ranchers were justly compensated and protected from serial livestock killers. Predictably, he was often reviled by both sides. But wolf recovery would never have been accomplished without someone willing to do the ‘dirty work’, and I look forward to reading his book.

  27. Immer Treue Says:

    For those who have not read this interview and would like a bit more of Carter.

    http://idahoptv.org/outdoors/shows/wolvesinidaho/niemeyer.cfm

    • jon Says:

      Thank you IT. I’ve read that interview many times.

    • jon Says:

      And what about these killing sprees like Bonnie and Clyde that wolves tend to go on?
      “I think it’s very selfish and self centered of someone to accuse a wolf of being inhumane in wounding its prey, because a human animal does the same thing in many respects. Hunters don’t always make clean shots, whether they’re shooting a bullet or an arrow. And so to point fingers and say one species is more cruel than the other, I think, is kind of misplaced judgment really.

      It’s my experience that wolves do utilize their kills. In my training, looking at dead livestock, people will say, why did they kill the calf and just leave it? It’s because the humans discovered the dead calf and we disturbed the calf, and we had to skin it out and determine that a predator killed it. But if you left that carcass lay, and let time progress, the wolves very commonly came back and ate the entire carcass the next night.”-Carter

      • Immer Treue Says:

        jon,

        Though this comment was supposed to be at the bottom of the article…
        I have always thought that so many of the supposed “sport kills” by wolves, where carcasses that were disturbed by people, and the wolves never returned because of it.

        When I first entered into the blogosphere, in all fairness, I don’t remember where it was, someone made a comment about wolves sport killing a number of elk in a small area in the mountains. The wolves had hardly eaten anything, thus evidence of killing for nothing. Now I was not there, but what sounded more plausible was the elk just starved, and were scavenged to a small degree as the snow melted… pure speculation on my part, but I would put that above wolves sport killing.

      • jon Says:

        Wolves do not know what “sport” killing is. It was a term given to them by those who clearly do not like wolves and will try to demonize them as much as they can. What I believe what is going on here is some elk or deer die from natural reasons and people come across the dead bodies and may see wolves near the dead bodies and assume those dead animals were killed by wolves and weren’t eaten. Another possibility is that wolves killed the animals and humans found the dead animals and scared the wolves off. Since they didn’t see the animals eaten, they automatically assume the animals were killed for sport by the wolves. A lot of misinformation and myths surrounding the wolf. We humans kill for sport, but bitch when the wolves “supposedly” do it. Bunch of hypocrites our species is. I believe if left alone, wolves will come back and feed. If not them, certainly scavengers and other animals looking for an easy meal.

  28. Save bears Says:

    In Montana, the medical examiner/coroner is the Sheriff and when he/she is not available, it is the under sheriff..

  29. Dan Says:

    Niemeyer does not really indicate what he thinks killed the cow. He implies a few things but does not come to a determination.
    Niemeyer does say he thinks coyotes might have chewed on it near death. Did someone crack a bone to look at marrow? Was the cow near death due to disease?
    Having no knowledge of this incident except what I read here, I have to say that something “chewed” on it before it died. As Niemeyer states, “A large oval feeding site on the neck resulted in a lot of blood flowing onto the ground” Animals do not bleed profusely after they are dead. They bleed profusely when their heart is pumping blood through them. I would think the determination here would be did the animal bleed out from the neck wound or did it die from something internal? Did the calf rupture something coming down the birth canal? I would think this would have been the key to the mystery. Was there massive blood flow from the vaginal area? Was the calf in essence a plug from blood flowing out of the vaginal area? I would have thought that the cow would have blood coming from that area that Niemeyer would have noticed.
    Just from the story it almost sounds like the cow was lying down due to birth and a predator (sounds like coyotes) severed an artery in the neck. Dead cow….chalk one up for the coyotes!


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