Are Hunters Good Wildlife Stewards When It Comes To Wolves? Not According To This Study

A new study likely to be controversial in some quarters suggests that hunters are not especially good wildlife stewards when the wildlife in question are wolves.

While hunters long have been seen as conservation advocates for a wide range of species, when it comes to wolves the study by two University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers would seem to indicate that the only good wolf is a dead wolf in the hunter's mind.

“Hunters were some of the least tolerant of wolves among our respondents, and the closer you got to wolf range the less tolerant they were,” said Adrian Treves, a professor in the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

Professor Treves and a colleague, Kerry Martin, took up a research project beginning in 2001 to survey hunters and non-hunters on attitudes toward wolves. Over the course of six years they interviewed 2,320 residents of Wisconsin, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming and were able to draw a picture of perceptions when it came to wolves. (Their findings appear in the August issue of the peer-reviewed journal Society and Natural Resources.)

That portrait is timely now as gray wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List in some Western states earlier this year, and are poised for delisting in parts of Wyoming, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and other Midwest areas.

Questions the two professors asked the respondents touched a number of issues, ranging from acceptance of management policy and tolerance of the carnivores to willingness to kill a wolf illegally, adherence to hunt regulations, and expected financial support of conservation.

One issue the two noted in trying to explain the perceived intolerance of hunters was that hunters often view wolves as competition for deer and other game. And they added that opening a wolf hunt may not immediately shift that perception to viewing wolves as another game species to be conserved.

Another conclusion Professors Treves and Martin reached was that "the evidence simply isn’t there to indicate that hunting wolves would affect depredations of domestic animals."

"No depredation data were reported following a hunt in Idaho and Montana conducted during a window of time in 2009 when the animals were not federally protected. And though wolves have been hunted legally in Alaska for decades, the scarcity of domestic animals and difference in landscape make it nearly impossible to draw conclusions that would apply to the lower 48," said a press release that accompanied news of their study.

Another finding, which Professor Treves found surprising, was the "level of support expressed for a regulated wolf hunt among non-hunters and those living outside wolf range. In Wisconsin, for example, he said, “You find a surprising amount of support for a public regulated harvest of wolves even in places like Madison, Fond du Lac, or Sister Bay.”

But these endorsements tend to be conditional, he cautioned, and the conditions vary. For example, many people support the idea of a “sustainable” hunt – though “sustainable” was undefined in this context – or hunting as a way to reduce attacks on livestock and other conflicts between wolves and humans.

“To me that says that people see hunting as a tool for enabling coexistence,” Professor Treves said.

A "risk map" Professor Treves and others published in June shows that wolf attacks on livestock in Wisconsin are highly localized and attributable to a relatively small number of packs. The majority of packs do not cause problems despite living in close proximity to humans, which raises significant questions about the efficacy of a general hunt to alleviate perceived problems.

“The assumption that hunting and reducing the number of animals will reduce livestock losses would be proven false if hunters are targeting the wrong animals, such as animals in wilderness areas,” he said, adding that it will be important to understand hunter motivations. “Wolves in wilderness areas don’t kill livestock, it’s the wolves on the edge in agricultural areas. Do hunters want to hunt in farmland? I’m not sure.”

The uncertainty of how hunting would affect wolf populations could also become a legal issue, says UW-Madison law professor Stephanie Tai, citing a precedent of legal challenges of federal delisting decisions.

“People have challenged delistings for a number of reasons, and some of those have been successful,” she said. “Often, successful lawsuits bring up factors the (U.S.) Fish and Wildlife Service may not have considered, which could include the effect of allowing hunting.”

The challenge, according to Professor Treves, is to balance human needs with the need to conserve wolves as an essential component of ecosystems.

In a viewpoint piece published in the August issue of the journal BioScience, Professor Treves and Jeremy Bruskotter, an environment and natural resources professor at Ohio State University, presented some possible scenarios for the future of wolf management in the United States. Those scenarios include reclassifying the wolves as threatened, which would permit lethal control under certain circumstances, or enacting specific federal protections outside the Endangered Species Act, such as those currently in place for bald eagles, wild horses, and migratory birds.

The two advocate geographically tailored approaches that will permit local-level control within a federal framework to strike a balance between wolves and humans. Sound long-term management can include a public regulated hunt, they say, but it will unquestionably require compromise.

“A public regulated harvest is a collaboration between hunters and the state, which requires give and take. I think the next few years in Wisconsin will reveal how well that collaboration works,” said Professor Treves.


Hunters are not good wildlife stewards.. period. They tend to hunt the strongest of the species resulting in bad genepools. They destroy any competition like wolves cougar bear etc resulting in overpopulation of bad gened grazers which they favor because of easier hunting.
Hunters have single handedly contributed to the extermination of many species. This they will vehemently denounce but it is true.
As urbanisation of the countryside crept over the hills the vanguard was always hunters that destyroyed any animal that were detrimental for the rancher and the townfolk. ie the bison, bear cougar wolf bald eagle lynx etc etc. The list is endless.
The fact that they now try to save some of the species that they still hunt, and that is all they do as they do not care for 'insignificant' animals and plantlife that is destroyed in the process, does not make them wildlife stewards.
They mostly see the trophy animals that they hunt as 'wildlife'. Ie elk, deer, moose and the like. The money they aleways brag about that they put into conservation is a pittance of what is needed to repair the damage they do every year to the Eco environment.
The problem is that every one with a rifle and a 4x4 truck can call himself a hunter, buy a hunting license for a dime and a half and go shoot animals.
Anyone who thinks that hunters(human) can take the place of the natural predator to balance eco systems is dreaming. It is widely known that the wildlife is now run from the governors office and not from the office of wildlife exponents. Politicians now decide what is endangered and what not and sadly, those animals that do not contribute to a good voting count are left out in the cold.

Thank you Vincent. Your comment is right on the button and a great addition to this article when it comes to the facts and studies about why hunters are not good stewards for our wildlife. Hunters can deny it all they want but the evidence becomes clearer more and more.

As wolves have expanded range and increased in number their impacts on prey species have been greater, reducing hunting opportunities. Why? Because a wolf will eat between 16-25 deer or elk from Nov. to April each and every year of its adult life. They actually eat even more large prey, but that is the standard research year because it is easier to detect wolf kills on the snow.
Wolves also change the behavior of their prey, making them much harder for hunters, reducing their success rate. They change herd structure, killing weakend but geneticly superior breeding bull elk and buck deer. It should be a surprise to no one that hunters are less tolerant of wolves for these reasons. Add to that farmers, ranchers, and pet owners in rural areas inhabited by increasing numbers of wolves are less tolerant than urban dwellers who get their slanted information from the Humane Society, Defenders of Wildlife and Mr. Repanshek, the author of this article. If you are going to summarize studies, Mr. Repanshek, do it with a little more objectivity. And you just have to love the dead wolf on the snow. Is that supposed to be objective, too. Why don't you put a photo of an elk calf - mutilated and still alive, or a meadow full of dead sheep, throats ripped out and uneaten. Your article needs a little balance.

If you are an urban dweller you may love wolves more because you don't have to deal with them on a daily basis. Studies have shown world-wide the further you are from where the wolves are the more you like them. And Vincent, above, knows little of what he writes.
(Ed. note: this post has been edited slightly)

Wow! That sure was "painting with a broad brush". Hunters, like members of all groups come in many sizes, shapes, and from many varied backgrounds. Like all groups, hunters are a group of people having "good, ethical" members of the group, as well as the not so "good or ethical", with the vast majority falling somewhere in between. I have always been taught that sterotyping is dangerous and unfair.
I am a wildlife biologist and a hunter. I was brought up to respect all animals and to learn as much about all as I could. My children hunt. It is not all about the kill, much of it is about the places the hunting takes place in and the people you send time with. It's about the experiences in the wild. I don't just hunt "trophies" though each animal taken is a prize, a reward and a blessing. I have no desire to hunt certain species even though there may be an open season. I support programs to return extripated predators and mega fauna to their historic ranges. I take part in habitat projects that benefit many different species of wildlife, many of which are not considered game species. Yes, unregulated hunting in the 1800's and early 1900's wiped out some species, and brought many to the brink. But in this day and age of regulated hunting and wildlife management, many game species populations are at historic high levels. Levels that are creating problems such as browse lines, devegetation, disease. I agree that human hunting pressure alone will not adequately regulate these populations. Numbers of hunters nationwide are also decreasing. Without a combination of hunters, wolves and other predators, those species that are experiencing over population and their negative impacts will never be controled.
Populations issues for many species today are not generally driven by over hunting but by human development and fragmentation/distruction of habitat. If we as a species keep it up, we may survive, but our quaility of life will be greatly reduced and we will be very lonely.
I would just encourage you to back off a bit on your tone and get to know some hunters. Sure you may find some you don't care for. I've run into plenty of them myself. If you look, however, you may just find that we are not all cast from the same mold.

We totally agree with Vincent based on 55 years of observations and conversations
with friends and relatives who have no integrity or ethics respecting any wildlife;
they see wildlife as a moving target for killing; many western ranchers despite
their alleged "Love of the Land" stories have destroyed many predators with their
"Bison Hunter Mentality" (Oh, let me be the one to Kill the Last Bison)
as in portions of E. central Nevada, near Great Basin NP, complaining about the rabbit over-populations after they, the ranchers have effectively decimated coyotes and other predators. Sadly, Hunters and trappers (supported by State & Federal public taxe dollars,
as in the Agricultural Wildlife Destruction Agency))
dominate many State Fish and Game Departments who repeatedly lie to the public press
about re-locating bears or cougars when in fact they have darted the animal with an overdose of lethal chemicals to make certain that the animal will never breathe again. Most hunters are eager to kill the largest of all the charismatic big game (e.g. deer, elk, bighorn sheep) species effectively destroying the future genepool for any chance of mega-size gene recovery.
Most Hunters have little interest in learning the basics to effectively managed wildlife and fish
in a sustainable manner by understanding their basic life histories and biological facts
critical to managing a sustainable, healthy population. Hunters generally think that they
are Experts in Wildlife Management and resist any constructive criticism from non-hunters.
And just as unethical and criminal, a surprising number of idiot great hunters are guilty of poaching in parks & refuges including some national forest and national park staff
who know where to locate the trophy animals that remain. “We tried to track the fees paid to environmental groups in certain federal courts. These guys are charging between $350 and $450 an hour in legal fees.” Falen says the Federal government is picking up the tab and adds: “In Federal District Court in Boise, over the last ten years, WWP received a total of $999,190 in tax dollars for ‘reimbursement’ for attorney fees and costs.”
“Nonprofit, tax exempt groups are making billions of dollars in funding,” said Falen. She says the majority of this legal fee money is not going into programs to protect people, jobs, wildlife, or endangered species but to fund more lawsuits from ‘non-profit environmental groups.Everything else on the wolf issue is smoke and mirrors this is all about greedy people that hate America.

Hi Judith. If you agree with Vincent then you are clearly as uninformed as he is. I hunt a 380 acre area in Mississippi with five other guys. All of us are dedicated conservationists. We do not, in fact, kill the strongest fo the species, but instead harvest from a wide spectrum of the gene pool. We have a 15 acre lake on the property as well and have solid rules about which sized fish we can and cannot take out of the lake.
We do tend to kill coyotes on the property, mainly because they predate on the fawns and small birds that inhabit our area. All in all, in that nearly four hundred acre area, we probably harvest five to six deer annually, while our population is roughly four times that size and includes some large bucks who have lived there for quite some time without us having hunted them.
I have known some bad hunters in my life who do not set a good example, but the vast vast majority of hunters I know are conservationists and care a great deal about wildlife, the environment and leaving something worthwhile for their kids to hunt and fish on.
Of course, leave it to the same liberals who preach all the time about how horrible it is to use stereotypes, or how irresponsible it is to generalize - these are the one's who will paint you up in a heartbeat. It's ignorance that drives this debate - ignorance from the wolf-loving left who haven't a care in the world for the rancher trying to make a living when his sheep or newly calved herd are being destroyed while he sleeps by a pack of viscous wolves. The wolves that have been introduced (not RE-introduced, but INtroduced) into these areas are not native to that region. The new wolves are Canadian Timber Wolves, and are larger, more powerful, faster, and in many studies have been shown to hunt for sport, and not for food. They should never have been introduced, and it's now time to remove them. My personal preference is that people such as Vincent and Judith take these wolves in to their homes and back yards. You love 'em so much? You take 'em. (Ed. note: this post has been edited slightly in keeping with our policy of respectful dialogue.)

my husband is a hunter and so is my son. My family hunts for subsitance purposes only. They only take what we can eat. We do share our food with older hunters who can no longer get out and it helps with their fo...od for the winter. We donate the hides to the VA for PT sessions for vets. We say prayers over every animal killed and thank it for giving it's life so we can live. Not ALL hunters are evil. They also know how passionate I am about wolves and agree that wolves have their place on the plant as natural predators who gleen the sick and old from the herd thereby helping,in the long run, the survival and strength of the herds. My husb/son know their are poachers and have turned in those in restricted areas. That's a dangerous thing to do when you have guns involved with people who do not care in the middle of nowhere. They have had stand offs with people out in the woods that they knew were up to no good, and have reported their license plates -- about all they an do without having a gun fight in the middle of nowhere. Our family believes that if you can't eat it, don't shoot it, and killing defenseless animals is not something they would stoop to doing. So there are a few. Very few I agree. With the NRA so rich and firmly behind the hunting 'experience' and their deep pockets, the few that do bellieve are up against a tide of others. They do speak up but as we, they are rarely heard and as we also know, things can get pretty ugly when you are up against some who feel it's their right to hunt whatever they want to whenever they want too. I personally believe that those who do believe in the value of wolves teach their children and so on what the right thing to do is, unfortunately they can't teach everyone. It comes from the sense of what is right and what is wrong that we teach them about....down to the 7th generation. But we are too few. I fear the story has started and that the end will be very hard to handle, espcially with the destruction of the ESA....again, thanks to the politicians, most who are republicans (no offence to anyone who disagrees...we all have our own opinions). Blessings to all. I, for one, will continue this fight with my last breath. At least I can say in the end that I tried and that my thoughts were pure for my brother/sister wolf.

On the Issue of Humanity Eating better: plase read with an Open Mind:

Discusses how much public tax money is wasted subsidizing bad habits of Big Agric-Business.

Bruce, the fees are only paid to the organization if they win, if they lose the case the government does not pay their legal fees. So unless they know they are going to win every case, they are not in it for the money.

Who many Billions have the collect from the tax payers??? They are winning a lot this is nothing but a con job.. For the fake hunters that live anywhere near wolves.. You are preaching lies..
Wow I guess the wolf lovers have not heard the facts. Dr Mech states wolves are NON ESSTENIAL to healthy eco system. President of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation David Allen, I have apologies
until I am blue in the face for our organization ever supporting the wolves.
We must get the wolves under control that will take 10 years and THEN
ANOTHER 20 years to build the elk, moose and deer herds back up. This is not
about wiping the wolves out but controlling them. David Allen President of
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

I'm not entirely sure I understood the post by Bruce Hemming, but I do know for a fact that Dr. Mech does believe wolves are essential to a healthy ecosystem. As for having to get wolves under control, why? They aren't even out of control. They haven't decimated the elk, moose, or deer herds at all. They hunt the young and the weak for the most part, keeping the herds healthy. To poor hunters who are used to just shooting the animals off the road, it may seem like the numbers have lowered, but the animals are just acting like they are supposed to. They stay hidden for most of the time for protection. They're there and the populations are fine, you just have to look a little harder.

I meant to say How many Billions have they collect from the tax payers??? Watch the video see the truth about wolves... This is real Americans that are putting up with wolves.

Bruce, Can you please cite the sources for both Dr. Mech and Mr. Allen? I would like to review the information you presented in full and I think it beneficial when quoting someone that you include source information otherwise how do I and other know that indeed the information presented is factual?

With regards to Mr. Allen’s quote, I am unaware when if ever that RMEF supported wolf reintroduction.


Let's listen and Learn from these sources too: with an Open Mind:

Bruce ... They only get paid if they win, not lose. Don't hate the environmental organizations because they are good at winning.

Well I watched the video and I didn't hear much truth from the ranchers. In 2010, only 63 domestic animals were killed in WY, which was the lowest since 2003. In states with wolves, only 2.5% of sheep losses and 0.11% of cattle losses were as a result of wolves. Domestic dogs, on average, kill 5 times as many cattle as wolves. and theft was responsible for almost 5 times as many cattle losses as were lost by wolf predation.
Out of the 20 things that can contribute to the loss of cattle, wolf predation is #19. The top causes are health and weather related issues.

Not sure if my last comment will get posted, or if this one will it has been a while. @Rangerlady, I would ask the same form you that I did of Bruce, please cite your sources.


As a hunter but a zoology/wildlife biology major i am a but torn here. I am a wildlife steward when it comes to our endangered and threatened wildlife species, wolves, bears, cats, etc, and i believe that it is our duty to protect these species. As a hunter, of course you want to take the largest and best looking animal, but yes that does lead to poor gene pools which i fully understand, which is why i don't hunt any predators of the sort. I highly disagree with the fact that wolves were taken off of the endangered species list, and how can you say they are non essential to a healthy ecosystem? Did you take high school biology? The wolves are what take out the sick, injured, unhealthy animals out of the herds of "our elk" (the term so lightly used by uneducated hunters)... Last time i checked, it's not a competition between man and wolves, they are the native species here, and the elk and deer ARE THEIR FOOD SOURCE! It amazes me how people say the wolves are decimating our elk, when in fact it's not the wolves decimating our populations, it's them living, and staying alive, poor hunter if you can't get your six point for the year. I am always a little disappointed if i don't get an elk or a nice buck, but i know that there are always other years, and there are always going to be other hunts... So to those of you hunters who just think that wolves are non essential and blame them for the decimation of the elk populations, you need to really educate yourself on the structure of an ecosystem and think about what if all of the predators were gone... then what?

Hunters are fine for 'conserving' horned and antlered animals so they can shoot them themselves but that does not translate to conserving healthy ecosystems and the whole vibrant diversity that is essential for the wild. My experience is that hunters will not stick their necks out one millimeter to protect carnivores politically for fear of being smeared as bleeding hearts. (even if individual hunters do value carnivores) Hunters have all the political power now when it comes to wildlife because of the way decisions are made by boards and commissions composed almost entirely of hunters. This is why the myth that hunting benefits wildlife persists. The money they spend mostly does not go to conservation. It goes to hunting adminstration and infrastructure that doesn't help wildlife in the least.
I am longing for the day when the stranglehold by hunters on wildlife 'management' is released. Or for the emergence of another Aldo Leopold or Teddy Roosevelt to call them out. The political stage is painfully and grievously deviod of people like this now. info came from a report by the USDA and the FWS[/url] Ravalli county commissioner meeting See the truth from people actually living with the wolves.. Wolves are changing our land into barren wasteland.

Vincent - Groups like RMEF & Ducks Unlimited have done so much in cooperation with fish and game departments it would be a list a mile long.

Vinc... If you and your ilk (envirionmental obstructionists) want to be true conservationalists list you would quit the law suits and join the real goups like DU, SCI, RMEF etc . [This comment has been edited slightly. Ed]

Just because it's on Youtube doesn't automatically make it true.

Didn't you know Youtube is peer-reviewed now?

Michele and Danika are obviously proof that there are conservation-minded hunters out there but they also unfortuantly prove how small and unheard their voices are compared to the majority. So JLA and Boogra you may be correct about it being an inaccurate generalization but unfortuanly that is what happens when the majority of hunters is allowed to speak their misinformed minds at the contrary of what ethical hunters consider good stewardship. Too few of you "good" hunters are standing up to the rest who are making a mockery of your tradition. I have spoken with hunting organizations who do value what predators (including wolves) bring to the ecosystem but at the same time are reluctant to go against those who think otherwise. Who wants to stand up to a gun-happy nut job who wants to shoot anything that gets in his path? Apparently gunless liberals are the only ones with the guts to take that stand.

There are two sides to every issue. In this case, there are hunters out there who do care about wildlife. They only want
to add variety to their dinner. Those type of hunters aren't out to get a
trophy, just dinner. They also know that hunters have to take place of predators in areas where there aren't natural predators. Trophy hunting/sportfishing are only interested in
"records" and not interested in wildlife conservation. Those "trophy" animals tend to be older or prime breeding animals with the best genes. Otherwise they wouldn't be "trophies". Taking these animals out of the picture reduces the healthy gene pool, allowing for more sickly, weaker animals to breed. This in turn produces more weak animals that can't survive adverse conditions. A hunter who is pro-wildlife conservation understands the workings of an eco-system and that life forms are interdependant in that eco-system.
Hatred of wolves by hunters can be explained as simply as compition for food, or as complex as a deep seated fear of a predator by prey. The history of European wolves and humans explains a lot as well. The irony of wolf haters however is that those who dogs have domesticated wolves. That dogs evolved from wolves is a genetic fact, though some wolf haters deny this statement.

There are anti-wolf groups out there who fit the profile in this article.
I have nothing against hunting or fishing. My brother hunts. He doesn't think wolves should be hunted but he does say that wolves shouldn't be introduced into much of their former range because of the increase in human population and loss of natural habitat. I agree with him.

My father in law is an avid hunter but highly responsible. He loves to hunt and loves the hunt but when he kills something he makes sure he uses as much of it as possible. Meat, pelt, bones, hooves, and what he can't use he donates to a local university for study. He's met hundreds of hunters (if not thousands) and he's met more "shoot anything that moves" style hunters than ones like him. He's met many who would admit to him that they'll kill as many deer as they can but only take what their lisences will allow, leaving the rest to rot. When wolf trophy hunting begins you can rest assured that there will be some that will have this mentality and with the numbers so low even killing an extra 1%-5% can be devistating for the future of the wolf. It's sad, luckily his hunting friends are like him and he really promotes responsible hunting.
To be a good hunter you need to respect the land and nature. You need to understand that mass killing only makes it harder down the road and only killing what you need is the best for the hunters and the hunted.

Too bad I agree with all the negative comment about hunters. Of the hunters I have observed the majority hunt so they can have:

1. A live target to shoot at

2. Something to kill

A minority of hunters hunt as a way to understand the natural world and to procure food. Hunting resident geese that are in the sight and sound of subdivisions or hiring a guide that puts you in deer stands with corn feeders are examples of the status quo for many hunters.

Sharing game you killed and processed with friends and family is different than dropping off the animal you shot at the local food bank. All hunters should be required to personally clean and process what they shoot.

wolves IMO is a dumb idea anywhere.

Wolves occupy an iconic---and highly negative---place in European society. They are uniformly portrayed as both intelligent---almost as intelligent as humans---and dangerous to Europeans and Euro-Americans and the animals we domesticated and tend. This "iconic" position likely originates in the late Paleolithic to early Neolithic, when proto-Celts and other central Europeans domesticated cattle, sheep, and goats. Wolves were and are seen as a threat to the "core" of European (and Euro-American) wealth and stability. Many Euro-american hunters likely see wolf hunting from the perspective of wolves being an "ancient enemy," regardless of their real role and function in an ecosystem.
By contrast, American Indian tribes---without an extensive reliance on domesticated game---never developed the concept of wolves as an "enemy." They killed them, but never developed the extermination urge that clearly motivated---and still motivates---many Euro-Americans. When Americans of european decent argue for wolf eradication or "severe" control, they are simultaneously arguing that they are not as smart as the tribal peoples who co-existed with wolves for at least 12,000 years AND that they can not envision a way to do so, EVER. This is really sad, given wolves' demonstrated roles in ecosystems. We should not be giving up like this.
America was---and can be---a place with both wild places and functioning ecosystems, and a place with cities and farms. The real question is: ARE WE UP TO THE CHALLENGE?

Then there are the folks that are neither hunters nor ranchers that are for wolf management. We are not "anti wolf" - we see the need to manage this predator to keep it wild. We are seeing habituated wolves hanging around our communities, losing their fear of humans. Hunting puts the wild back in the wolves - but I don't exepect folks that don't live with wolves to understand that. You are not the ones paying for extra fencing, vet bills and the heartbreak of finding a maimed or dead pet. Our critters are part of our family and we have lived for a long time in harmony with nature. Good dogs keep smaller predators away - but now they are targets for wolves.

Yurok Tribe Educates Hunters on Effects of Lead Bullets
Dangers to humans and wildlife from spreading lead throughout our environment.

Oh? By whom? I sorta don't think the peers of most who post YouTube stuff are capable of reviewing much of anything excpet a beer in front of their tube.

The comment from Crotalus about You Tube being peer-reviewed was tongue in check.

I know. But my last one wasn't.

The elitist snob comments are really the most "unnatural" of postings that I see. Hunter/gatherer stuff is a part of our DNA (not arguable). Al be it replaced by many by a trip to Safeway or the like. Like domesticated animals we're only one step removed from those realities that that seem so unseemly for some and completely at peace in the effort by others. Of course, everyone has there learning curve from what I've seen but with parents parenting (not always the case) the young grow up with a healthy respect for their contributions to the table. All the judgements on this and other topics seem to be made by many that seemingly elevate themselves to something more honorable than others (their opinion), their fallacy. Man, that WAS good Scotch:)!

Wow. I'm more than a little shocked & saddened at some of the comments. As stated above, the label "hunters", covers a large spectrum of people. Some of the hunters are exceptional & wonderful people. Some hunters would fall into the scourge of the earth category (in my book). Then there is a huge population of hunters that are trying to be the best they can be, with varying levels of success.
My family hunts & fishes. We love it & enjoy getting a 'trophy'. (Yes, we eat what we kill.) But we also love to watch the fawns playing & watching small bucks mature into the trophies, not to mention the million other animal encounters that we are blessed to witness (such as the mamma doe chasing the coyote away when it got too close).
We spend much money & time protecting the habitat, for the animals that we hunt as well as other animals that are not hunted at all.
I agree with the article that we need more education about the wolves, but I would be utterly shocked if Vincent or Judith have done 1/2 as much for wildlife, as any of the hunters that I associate with (and no - complaining about hunters does not count).

New article on wolves and more potential benefits to the Yellowstone ecosystem:

Tell that to the 14 wolves left in Oregon. 14? That's sustainable when the hunt is targetting the alphas and allows hunting during the time whent he alpha female is pregnant. And does anyone take into account the poachers who just have to have a wolf hide on their wall or a stuff wolf in the corner, or maybe a pup. I'm from Wyoming. My husband and son hunt. I work for an environmental agency and if you can't eat it, leave it alone. Period. That's not management, that's murder, and before we realize what we have unleashed with this type of 'management' it may be too late for our wolves...and yes I do live in an urban area now, but like I said...I'm a Wyoming gal and this makes me sick. Threatened, endangered.....the ESA is being gutted and molded to serve the purpose of those who graze on BLM land for a pittance. Who's getting away with murder there? This is bad. Very bad. When will we learn that each and every c reature has a place...except Man.

If Hunters believe themselves to be such valuable conservation tools, to be so defensive of themselves as "good, ethical ones" as opposed to the bad apples they obviously KNOW do exist today... Why aren't they taking a stand against those apples? To you I ask: Where is your responsibility today to clean up the mess that hunting has become? Your voice is SO loud to get what you want... but otherwise you just stay sitting down quietly while those "bad apples" tarnish what you claim as a heritage so important to you. Stop blaming the "anti's". Those rampant, unethical hunters today - and the state agencies that are afraid of upsetting their clientele base - these are the folks that are shooting your beloved heritage in the foot - your foot! Stand up and clean up hunting! Propose compromises that are long overdue on 18th century practices (and fees).

I'm sick of hearing about dwindling budgets of state wildlife agencies when they still charge 1940's tag prices and bend over backwards to appease a minority, with NO consideration or voice given to the majority, or even the 21st Century.

[= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Wolves never should have been de-listed from protection by political maneuverings and now politically managed in western states that are hostile toward them and by agencies that have traditionally been hostile to them in particular and other predators. Western and mid-western states are going very far against hunting ethics or anything that resembles fair chase to cull wolf populations down to marginal numbers. Now, in [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Montana[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial] and other states we are even having a trapping season, extended seasons, and even legislators proposing more drastic measures in the coming year. Basically, this majestic, apex animal is being treated as a varmint by sportsmen, ranchers, state and federal wildlife agencies. Hostile western states cannot responsibly manage the wolves or even other predators. Wolves are a very healthy factor in wilderness ecological systems. Man is not. [/]

[= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Managing wolves by hunting and trapping is asinine, cruel, barbaric and unnecessary, and poor management strategy, and terrible public relations. It does not work well. It is bad public relations for [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Montana[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial] and other western states. It is vendetta, anti-wolf hysteria, pushed by self-serving hunters, trappers, ranchers, and wolf hating yokels, a tradition of anti-wolf folklore over the centuries, supported by rancher politicians and rancher government officials and agencies. If [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Montana[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial] and other states have to hunt, why not stick with a fair chase season and then call it good no matter what the outcome. Spare us the perverse arguments of need for management by trapping, extended hunt seasons, bounties, more than one kill ticket, use of calling devices, need to hit a quota, or use of other barbaric measures of unneeded control. Hunting and trapping are barbaric “blood sports” and a war on wildlife, not a legitimate management tools. We do not do near enough about non-lethal means of control or management.[/]

[= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Actually, hunting wolves is asinine. A hunt and trap season is indiscriminate in killing. Wolves causing no problems are killed. Alpha males and females are killed. Wolves are a very social family with special roles assigned. Families are disrupted. Juveniles are left to learn on their own. Pups are left to die or learn on their own when a female parent is killed. Wolves that are leaving humans alone are killed. Animals are wounded and not killed. Many hunters and trappers take a sadistic pleasure in how they kill. Hunting and trapping tends to drive down the average age of wolf populations. Some younger wolves are not given the opportunity to learn from adults to stay away from human domains and how to hunt their natural prey. Wolves do not need to be managed by hunting or trapping at all. They will fill up wilderness niches and limit their own populations relative to prey and territory as they have in [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Yellowstone[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Park[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]. With respect to [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Yellowstone[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial] wolves, [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Montana[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial] and [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Wyoming[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial] are giving themselves a black eye with the rest of the nation with an anti-tourism, anti-science, anti-wolf hysteria. [/]

[= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Trapping is cruel even if done legally, even if it is a tradition, even if seen as a management tool. Traps are cruel. It should be banned for the public, allowed as necessary for wildlife officials who use it vastly too much with a pervasive kill attitude of their own. Why should animals suffer for private economic gain on fur sales or to artificially farm (boost) elk herds (elk farming)? In the [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]USA[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial] over 4 million animals are trapped each year for “sport” and millions more for “management” and millions more as collateral damage. Hunters worldwide kill over 100 million animals. USDA Wildlife Services sees killing animals, for control or management, as their mission. The western states are locked into a mindset of quotas and marginalizing wolf populations by hunting and trapping and other lethal methods. Quotas for delisting were based on outdated figures for sustainable wolf populations. Wolves have not harmed game populations or significantly harmed stock populations (.0029%), contrary to repeated and repeated anecdotal opinion. Elk populations are up, from around 89,000 in 1989 to over 140,000 plus now. Hunters have great seasons on killing ungulates in [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Montana[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial], 25,000 elk in 2010 and 90,000 deer (per FWP). Elk harvest is generally up, 100 to 127% per MT FWP. Wolves regulate their own populations as they have in [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Yellowstone[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial] where their numbers and bear numbers go down naturally. Problem wolves and problem packs should be “managed” but usually not always by lethal means and not by hunters and trappers. Wildlife agencies seem only to have a kill mentality wanting to control predators by hunting and trapping and other lethal means. Wolves belong in the wilderness and are good for the ecological systems as has been proven in [/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]Yellowstone[/][= 10pt; font-family: Arial]. Wolves are more natural in the wild than man, who no longer needs it for subsistence; now only for sport killing—- take a camera instead and go to the grocery to get your meat, ride a hike or bike or horse, or go camping.[/]