Wolf Management in Montana working!

shoots-straight

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Looks like the population trend on our wolf population is headed downward still.

http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/headlines/nr_4210.html


Headlines

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Montana's verified wolf population declined by 73, 12 percent, last year while livestock depredations by wolves continued to decline, dropping about 46 percent from 2013.
The minimum number of wolves counted by FWP at the end of 2014 was 554 compared to a minimum of 627 wolves counted at the end of 2013 according to Montana Fish Wildlife & Park’s annual wolf conservation and management report released Monday. Montana's minimum wolf packs were counted at 134, compared to 152 last year, while breeding pairs increased to 33 from 28 counted last year. The minimum wolf count is the number of wolves actually verified by FWP wolf specialists. The actual number of wolves is estimated to be 27 percent to 37 percent higher than the minimum count. FWP's complete report is available online at fwp.mt.gov.

Overall, FWP Director Jeff Hagener said Montana's wolf population continues to be very healthy and far above federal recovery goals. "Among the best news is that confirmed wolf depredations on livestock again took a significant drop in 2014," said Hagener.

Confirmed livestock depredations due to wolves included 35 cattle, 6 sheep and one horse in 2014, down 46 percent from 2013 loses of 50 cattle, 24 sheep, three horses and one goat. Cattle losses in 2014 were the lowest recorded in the past eight years.

The decline in wolf depredations continues a general downward trend that began in 2009. "For FWP, and we hope for others, it reinforces the fact that we not only have more tools for managing wolf populations, but that we're applying them effectively," Hagener said. "One of our top priorities is to minimize livestock losses, and we think we're continuing to make a positive impact there."

The continuing decrease in livestock depredations over the past four years may be a result of several factors including targeted wolf depredation responses in cooperation with USDA Wildlife Services—and the effects of wolf harvest by hunters and trappers.

Two hundred and thirteen wolves were taken by hunters and trappers in the 2014 calendar portion of the 2014-15 hunting/trapping season compared to 231 taken in the 2013 calendar portion of the 2013-14 season. The total number of known wolf mortalities during 2014 was 308, down from 335 in 2013, with 301 of these mortalities being human-related, including 213 legal harvests, 57 control actions to further reduce livestock depredations (down from 75 in 2013), 11 vehicle strikes, 10 illegal killings, 6 killed under the newly-enacted Montana State Senate Bill 200, 2 capture related mortalities, 1 euthanized due to poor health and 1 legal tribal harvest. In addition, 1 wolf died of natural causes and 6 of unknown causes.

"Montana’s wolf management program seeks to manage wolves just like we do other wildlife—in balance with their habitat, with other wildlife species and with the people who live here," Hagener said.

For the purpose of reporting minimum counts to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana is divided into three areas that reflect the former gray wolf federal recovery zones. The three zones cover the entire state and include more than one FWP region. Following is a summary of the 2014 minimum counts verified for those areas:

  • In the "Northwest Montana" area counts showed a minimum of 338 wolves in 91 verified packs and 17 breeding pairs, compared to 412, 104, and 16, respectively, in 2013.
  • In the Montana portion of the "Central Idaho" area counts verified a minimum of 94 wolves in 20 packs, with six breeding pairs, compared to the 2013 counts of 123, 26, and seven respectively.
  • The Montana portion of the "Greater Yellowstone" counts include a minimum of 122 wolves in 23 packs, and 11 breeding pairs, compared to 132, 22, and five, respectively in 2013.

The recovery of the wolf in the northern Rockies remains one of the fastest endangered species comebacks on record. In the mid 1990s, to hasten the overall pace of wolf recovery in the Northern Rockies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 66 wolves into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho. FWP began monitoring the wolf population, and managing livestock conflicts in 2004. After several court challenges wolves were successfully delisted in 2011.

The delisting of wolves in 2011 allows Montana to manage wolves in a manner similar to how bears, mountain lions and other wildlife species are managed, which is guided by state management plans, administrative rules, and laws.
 

Nameless Range

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Is Northwest Montana thicker with wolves because it contains better habitat and food, or because they are so much more difficult to hunt in the thick and nasty, or both?

My purely anecdotal experience is in line with reduced wolf numbers. Three years ago, I ran across wolf sign multiple times in Southwest Montana, and saw them from my cabin multiple times during the summer. The last two years I have dedicated about 8 days total to exclusively hunting wolves and I have whiffed completely. No sign, no wolves - not even during the big game season.

Could be my hunting skills too.
 

Big Fin

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Is Northwest Montana thicker with wolves because it contains better habitat and food, or because they are so much more difficult to hunt in the thick and nasty, or both?

The real reason NW MT has so many more wolves is that Toby Bridges has not been driving his wife's minivan in the far NW reaches of the state. If SFW really wants to get a handle on wolves, they need to buy Toby his own minivan; one with a big cattle scoop on the front. A guy can only run over so many wolves with the wife's rig, Get him his own and I am sure the population will come down 10%+.

At a minimum, outfit all the ADC employees with minivans and a Cenex gas card.
 

Nameless Range

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The real reason NW MT has so many more wolves is that Toby Bridges has not been driving his wife's minivan in the far NW reaches of the state. If SFW really wants to get a handle on wolves, they need to buy Toby his own minivan; one with a big cattle scoop on the front. A guy can only run over so many wolves with the wife's rig, Get him his own and I am sure the population will come down 10%+.

At a minimum, outfit all the ADC employees with minivans and a Cenex gas card.

Makes Sense.

The Toby Bridges' SSS.

Steer. Snapshot. Subterfuge.

http://missoulian.com/news/local/fw...cle_f088322a-4b44-11e4-882e-131bf76052c5.html
 

Randy11

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NW Montana has way more Wolf habitat (look at the amount of forested and wild lands in NW Montana compared to the rest of the state), more evenly dispersed game populations, way less ranching (cows=dead wolves) and they are a lot harder to hunt there due to the vegetation and remote areas where game can live year around.
 

Big Fin

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NW Montana has way more Wolf habitat (look at the amount of forested and wild lands in NW Montana compared to the rest of the state), more evenly dispersed game populations, way less ranching (cows=dead wolves) and they are a lot harder to hunt there due to the vegetation and remote areas where game can live year around.

You guys need Bill Hoppe to move his sheep herd to your part of the state. I'll pay for the transportation.
 

RobertR

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Glen, Montana
Northwest Montana has two things that contribute to the wolf population. Less open areas and those ileagal imagrintrant Canadian Wolves crossing the border.
I guess this blew a hole in the study that the more wolves that are killed the more livestock the wolves kill. The other side of not seeing wolves is they finally have got educated and are not as bold to be caught in the open.
 

Chucknduck

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Now we have to stop the fwp Wolves and get rid of b tags and either sex hunts. Then we might have a few elk around.
 

Big Fin

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Now we have to stop the fwp Wolves and get rid of b tags and either sex hunts. Then we might have a few elk around.

Ain't going to happen so long as the elk population objectives in the Elk Management Plan are set as low as they are. We will always be technically "over objective" and as such, FWP will be required by law to have B tags and either sex hunts.

We can thank our politicians for that. FWP can't change it. Requires the legislature to change those laws.
 

Chucknduck

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Ain't going to happen so long as the elk population objectives in the Elk Management Plan are set as low as they are. We will always be technically "over objective" and as such, FWP will be required by law to have B tags and either sex hunts.

We can thank our politicians for that. FWP can't change it. Requires the legislature to change those laws.

I do realize that. We need to get that legislation changed.
 
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