Elk vs. Wolves

Trap

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I am far form an expert on Western MT so HTers with better info correct me if I am wrong. Since wolf reintroduction elk populations have increased in many places. The problem is the the increase is for the most part all on private land down in the valleys and elk numbers have tanked on the public land. Wolves may not be the only reason for this migration however.
True Montana and Idaho
 

Trap

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Idaho Fish and Game data

1995 elk population : 112,333
2017 elk population : 116,800

1995 elk harvest : 22,400
2017 elk harvest : 22,751

1995 wolf reintroduction
2020 wolf population 1,500+

Deciding what information to provide others matters. Elk behavior has been affected, population in some units have been affected negatively, big picture looks good with some of the highest numbers of elk harvested in state history in recent years. 2020 elk population was estimated to be at 120,000 so the statewide elk population appears to be growing as well.

Do you just pack those charts around looking for wolf threads to dump them on 😂 I seen those same charts posted on hunting Washington site lol 😂 Remember we extended them a little and it showed greatest harvest rate in Idaho right before wolves were re introduced and then steadily declining populations AND harvest rates UNTIL we got a wolf season and then magically you see slowly increased population and harvest rates until today when Idaho is just getting back to where harvest was pre wolves. Those charts are dishonest. It’s exhausting so I refuse to re hash how your charts cherry pick data to show the results that you want. Last time we agreed to disagree and I will just start there. I’m Idaho guy on hunting Washington site it’s been at long time and you’re posting exact same charts? I don’t ever see your posts till it’s a wolf thread? How do the wolves know which cow elk are of a low reproductive capability? I think you said they prefer to eat those ones in prior post. Carry on hydro 👍
 

Hydrophilic

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That forum needs some fresh air, wow. When one of the most popular threads with 160k views is ‘Green Scam of the Endangered Species act’ I decided it was not a good fit.

Yes, I am more conservation focused. Thanks for saying hi.
 

wllm1313

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That forum needs some fresh air, wow. When one of the most popular threads with 160k views is ‘Green Scam of the Endangered Species act’ I decided it was not a good fit.

Yes, I am more conservation focused. Thanks for saying hi.
When people are fighting tooth and nail to keep wolves/grizzlies on the list while caribou just disappeared from the lower 48 completely I think there is at least grounds for criticism.

All three species are found in abundance in AK and Canada so we were talking about the lower US population segments.

There are certainly some that seek to use the ESA to stop hunting, meanwhile there are species that are losing ground to climate change and development and they don’t even make the list.
 

Hydrophilic

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When people are fighting tooth and nail to keep wolves/grizzlies on the list while caribou just disappeared from the lower 48 completely I think there is at least grounds for criticism.

All three species are found in abundance in AK and Canada so we were talking about the lower US population segments.

There are certainly some that seek to use the ESA to stop hunting, meanwhile there are species that are losing ground to climate change and development and they don’t even make the list.

No disagreements there. We had an environmental group in my state who helped formulate our wolf plan. It was agreed to delist them once a certain population was reached. When that day came they filed a lawsuit, if I remember correctly, when the state moved to delist part of the wolf population. It was silly. Move on and protect something else in need.

That being said, I’m a big fan of the ESA. The thread I mentioned is in outer space. Go check it out.
 

Trap

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I have never touched a moose. I did get to see a bunch of them in the 1990s in Wy down southfork, wood river and in the sunlight basin. I bet you can't find a moose there today. They didn't die from the brain worm, they were eaten by wolves. We don't need a million dollar study by a biased hipster to prove it either way. Wy moose areas 6,7,8,9,11,15,32,37 how many moose tags were issued in those units in 1992 and how many today?? Carotid Artery worm wiped the moose out in those units " come on man". No way you believe that. Foxes don't eat chickens either.
Of course there are many issues with the moose decline but in North North West Wyoming the units I mentioned you gotta agree that wolves have been the biggest factor in the decline.
Colorado might have more Moose now than Wyoming does. Hum I wonder why? Lets talk about this in 20 years. I hope I am wrong.
All of the panhandle of Idaho moose tags started going down dramatically post wolves. Moose are native Idahoans and I would guess we had probably the best shiras moose hunting in the lower 48. Not true anymore some units in or close to wilderness went to zero percent harvest for so long to you had a few opportunities to buy as a leftover tag-some of the area 10 and 12 tags had almost nobody putting in. Can you imagine buying a bull moose tag as a leftover in some historically great moose units? I know that correlation doesn’t equal causation but sure is funny how the moose started disappearing after wolves showed up. It’s climate change and those damn ticks but there is a pretty strong correlation between unmanaged wolves and declining moose. Idaho will be fine as we have strong wolf management in place but some places of Idaho will never be the same. Welcome to the club Colorado it won’t be fun. It is fun (but difficult) hunting and trapping wolves. That’s the upside I guess. Using hunters and trappers you will never endanger the wolves. Look up north Idaho wolf harvest last few years. Our local game warden
said we are lucky if we are keeping the population stable with the number taken annually. My wife’s family is all still living Northwest Montana they tell me
those northwest units of Montana have been wiped pretty clean of moose as well. The most amazing part of all this is they’re using the EXACT same talking points for Colorado they used to get wolves introduced to mt,wy, and id 25 years ago. It’s science damn it!! But we have a 25 year case study showing us that wolves can and do impact elk pretty negatively and they have devastated moose populations. Why is analyzing these numbers not scientific? I know the lolo zone quit logging and those elk we’re screwed already. It’s the same old same old. I get passionate about this because I feel like we have been lied too and with the benefit of time we can see what happened. The last time I bought a second elk tag in Idaho was 2017 and I got a 6 point on my resident tag and a 6 by 10 on my second tag bought at non resident price. I don’t say that to impress anyone it’s only to refute the inevitable comments that people can’t kill elk so they blame the wolves. Sorry for the rant but I feel there is a lot of dishonesty surrounding wolf reintroduction. It doesn’t necessarily impact me that much anymore and like mentioned I enjoy hunting and trapping wolves I just wish I was better at it 😂😂😂
 

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Trap

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Since I’m on a roll an extreme long arm of my north Idaho moose😂 Tag was drawn well after wolves so ya we still have some tags and still have pretty good harvest rates but I can tell you as fact the population where I got this is one third of what it was and they are not healthy like they once were. You can’t just selectively quote harvest rates of how wolves are not a problem you have to be out there on the ground every year. Then you will see what really happens
 

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bullbugle307

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When people are fighting tooth and nail to keep wolves/grizzlies on the list while caribou just disappeared from the lower 48 completely I think there is at least grounds for criticism.

All three species are found in abundance in AK and Canada so we were talking about the lower US population segments.

There are certainly some that seek to use the ESA to stop hunting, meanwhile there are species that are losing ground to climate change and development and they don’t even make the list.
Could you imagine if Bison were on the ESA?
 

Gatekeeper

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Moose aren't even native to a number of states that have them, like Wyoming and Colorado. Wolves are. I think that's important to remember.

And moose aren't doing well in a hell of a lot of places that don't have wolves or grizzley bears, other than the rare young male that's out on a walkabout. There's a lot of reasons for this, including eating themselves out of food in some areas, increased overlap with whitetail deer and exposure to their parasites, ticks, habitat loss, predation by humans, black bears and mountain lions, and yes, climate change. Do I feel bad for the moose and want more of them, sure? But let's try to look at the whole issue here.
I went down a rabbit hole on Moose not being native to Wyoming . Even looked on Petroglyphs, the earliest report I can find is Jackson Hole in 1850 . It has now become apparent to me I don't even know how long they would have to be there to be a Native species . If 170 years doesn't make them a native what does ?
 

88man

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All of the panhandle of Idaho moose tags started going down dramatically post wolves. Moose are native Idahoans and I would guess we had probably the best shiras moose hunting in the lower 48. Not true anymore some units in or close to wilderness went to zero percent harvest for so long to you had a few opportunities to buy as a leftover tag-some of the area 10 and 12 tags had almost nobody putting in. Can you imagine buying a bull moose tag as a leftover in some historically great moose units? I know that correlation doesn’t equal causation but sure is funny how the moose started disappearing after wolves showed up. It’s climate change and those damn ticks but there is a pretty strong correlation between unmanaged wolves and declining moose. Idaho will be fine as we have strong wolf management in place but some places of Idaho will never be the same. Welcome to the club Colorado it won’t be fun. It is fun (but difficult) hunting and trapping wolves. That’s the upside I guess. Using hunters and trappers you will never endanger the wolves. Look up north Idaho wolf harvest last few years. Our local game warden
said we are lucky if we are keeping the population stable with the number taken annually. My wife’s family is all still living Northwest Montana they tell me
those northwest units of Montana have been wiped pretty clean of moose as well. The most amazing part of all this is they’re using the EXACT same talking points for Colorado they used to get wolves introduced to mt,wy, and id 25 years ago. It’s science damn it!! But we have a 25 year case study showing us that wolves can and do impact elk pretty negatively and they have devastated moose populations. Why is analyzing these numbers not scientific? I know the lolo zone quit logging and those elk we’re screwed already. It’s the same old same old. I get passionate about this because I feel like we have been lied too and with the benefit of time we can see what happened. The last time I bought a second elk tag in Idaho was 2017 and I got a 6 point on my resident tag and a 6 by 10 on my second tag bought at non resident price. I don’t say that to impress anyone it’s only to refute the inevitable comments that people can’t kill elk so they blame the wolves. Sorry for the rant but I feel there is a lot of dishonesty surrounding wolf reintroduction. It doesn’t necessarily impact me that much anymore and like mentioned I enjoy hunting and trapping wolves I just wish I was better at it 😂😂😂
well said> the world and this forum would enjoy more of your wisdom.
 

wllm1313

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This is another example of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife's direction and emphasized by our California Governors. MAKE Money. If Colorado takes a neutral stand or positive stand on wolves the CP&W is paid a healthy sum from the FEDS. Colorado Can still sell unlimited elk licenses in most areas of the state. This is called double dipping, at the hunters expense against hunter success. The reason Colorado had such a high elk population along with Mule Deer is because of the past predictor control that is growing weaker with the CP&W controls to increasing predictor numbers, to add to their bank account. If you look at license hikes in price, and the money stealing Small Game license to hunt Deer, Elk and Antelope, is all about making a extra $100 off of every non-resident, and $35 for every resident. I have not used a small game license when hunting elk, and will never need to, except that CP&W has made it a financial requirement, not a hunting requirement.

Colorado Hunters pay 99.9% of the financing of the states wildlife poor management in Colorado. The wolves introduction by CP&W is another money maker. There is not a hunter that has his hunting money siphoned off into the wolf program that wans wolves in the state killing their elk 12 months out of the year, and then wants to hunt just what is left over. Case in point look at the upper Great lake states, Montana and Idaho. Their as in Colorado their job is to manage wildlife. Wolves are F'ing wildlife, but they don't manage them, they protect them and increase the numbers every year as much as possible for the FED money. Hunter will have lower elk and deer populations, but it doesn't matter to the CG&F they never guarantee that you will get a elk, but they still get their license money if they advertise the elk.

They have had similar poor programs for the bears in Aspen city in Colorado that they trapped 60 garbage only skilled bears. They dumped them by Meaker, Colorado, and the Cattle ranchers complained about the bears chasing their cattle durring mid-day around Meeker. To keep their "Mistake" from the public they hired 4 government trappers/hunters to shoot bears in the area any month. Theses were bears that could have been culled with hunters that have tried for years to get a bear license, but denied. Also Hunters money is paying the salary of the government trappers and the high cost of the labor and equipment that were required for the trapping, transportation and release of this poor judgement project by the CP&W attempt to hide all the details from the public.
They keep it quiet from aspen resident that the bears were no being released in the Wilderness, you can't drive trucks in Wilderness area. The high profile town of Aspen basically put their bears to sleep by the Government hunters, all funded by hunters like you and I for the mis-approbation of hunters money.

The same with the famous Mountain Lion project lead by the high dollars biologist to increase the Colorado Mountain Lion Project in the Colorado Flattops. They did not have the knowledge in their heads that lions will not stay in the flattops when the snow gets 3 feet deep and will migrate with their food supply. When ranchers stared reporting Lion kills on their ranches of their hard earned cattle crop, the CP&W offered a the ranchers a petty r4eimbursement rate or nothing for the cattle killed by their blunder, with a take it or leave it blunder. The Meaker and lower flattops area prize bulls killed by these lions received pennies on the dollar because their "Managed" lions kill their prize bull and other cattle. Basically the local ranchers funded the loss for the CP&W's blunder. Hunters had to pay for the Biologist and his damage to the elk herd and poor judgment again.

There is no way to fight the CP&W and make them accountable for their poor judgement that they just sweep under the rug. Their reviews are extremely low but shows they don't care what the hunters think about them anyway...they are government and have a monopoly in their business and controls. Something that is not tolerated in the public companies.

Oregon on the other hand has a Hunters Association that provides a Hunter Advocate in the State House that stops all the actions like that, since it it reflects the rights of the hunters and where the hunters money is going. It is well structured, gives hunters a voice, and stops the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife from being unchecked and ill responsible of their actions. Possibly that is the way to show our distrust for their decisions, and use of the hunters dollar.

Whatever you think, it is food for thought.

Keep in mind that the CP&W bank account is siphoned off and rolls off into the Governors account for non-hunting
¡Ay, caramba! 🤦‍♂️


I’m not going to go through everything, but right off the bat, CPW was not allowed to take a stance on an ongoing ballot initiative. It’s the law.

Colorado Revised Statutes Title 1. Elections § 1-45-117

 
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Trap

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Post 211, the blue on that chart of permit availability . Shows that there are more permits available there . It is one of the only areas where there are more permits for moose that also have wolves . Blue shows a rise in Moose permits . The other blue areas there are pretty much no wolves where there is a rise in permits like north east Montana and Colorado and southern Idaho
👍gotcha. I think it’s a little misleading some of those areas they added new tags for short seasons in October and November. Unit 5 is good example they added tags and 2 new short seasons and have since cut the tag numbers for all the seasons. The bubbles aren’t really good indications of wolf density either. The units with increasing tags were more on fringes of the wolf range and less dense. Still interesting and some good information thanks !
 

Trap

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In NW and Western MT the tribes have been as hard on moose as wolves.

Can they also hunt moose in Idaho?
Yes in certain areas. It hasn’t been a problem for Idaho moose as far as I know.
 

TheTone

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Yes in certain areas. It hasn’t been a problem for Idaho moose as far as I know.
There are parts of Idaho where I’m pretty confident tribal harvest far exceeds state harvest.
 
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tjones

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Yes in certain areas. It hasn’t been a problem for Idaho moose as far as I know.
I can’t see Idaho tribes not hitting moose any different than MT tribes.
They are real hard on HD 270 MD
 
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