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John Van Gelder
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Posted: August 18 2018 at 5:55am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I was listening to the news on my way into town yesterday and there was an item about wolves in NE Washington killing cattle.

It was not a good idea to re-introduce the wolves, in many places the deer and elk herds were struggling, so when the wolves could not find natural prey, then cattle were next on the menu.
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M700
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Posted: August 19 2018 at 1:16am | IP Logged Quote M700

Ya, the wolves have been here for some time now. Interestingly, some folks are pretty sure that there were always wolves, in some of the more remote parts of the Selkirks and up in the North Cascades as well. Each of those ranges have some very remote, seldom-traveled areas.

Reaction to these new wolves is of course mixed. Ranchers by and large are of the opinion that wolves were nearly wiped out a century ago for good reason, and that wolves don't mix well with ranching. I tend to side with them.

Hunters are worried that the wolves will decimate our deer & elk herds.

Interestingly there's a small herd of caribou that wanders in and out of Northeast Washington, into Canada and over into Idaho. It's rumored that the new wolves have taken a heavy toll on those caribou.

Some folks get all sorts of excited. When I was still working as a cop, my buddy, a deputy sheriff, responded to a 911 call from a resident on the edge of Wenatchee, outside the city limits. A wolf had chased a mule deer right up to a backyard fence, and was slowly killing it.

Wild animals don't always kill quickly, not like a rifle shot typically does.

So, the 911 calls come in and the deputy rolls up, takes a long look at the situation. Monitors it to make sure the people watching don't do anything stupid, and of course makes the proper decision to just let the wolf do what wolves do - kill the deer.

Some folks were real irritated at him - but he did the right thing. We have wolves now, and they do what wolves do.

Some idiot poached one a few years back, skinned it and tried to ship the skin to a taxidermist in Canada. Well, of course that didn't work. The wolves are illegal to hunt. He got caught. Can argue about IF they should be illegal to hunt or not, but they are.

Oddly, instead of letting some hunters draw tags and pay to hunt them, the state insists on hiring professionals to go in and wipe out entire packs, or sometimes individual wolves when they prey on livestock.

My youngest son, now 27, loves to hike alone in the nearby mountains. The wolves had moved in before he was able to own a handgun. We already had mountain lions and black bears. For his 21st birthday he got a 45 1911 Kimber that he's pretty danged good with. Mama and I feel a lot better with him having that. Sometimes he carries a Ruger Blackhawk in 45 Colt, but he prefers the Kimber.

Ya, the wolves are here. Not much I can do about 'em. I actually don't mind having them around, but do think they should be managed like any other large mammal in North America, by wildlife biologists and hunting.

I'm hoping to get my wolf skin back from the tannery pretty soon. Took that one up in Alaska last year. Beautiful hide on it!

Regards, Guy
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: August 19 2018 at 6:50am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

The ranchers here are pretty adamant about the wolves, and they are taking a toll on the deer and elk.
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dahlin
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Posted: August 19 2018 at 7:00am | IP Logged Quote dahlin

It is the same here no love for wolves we have to many way over what they had for goals when the Wolves were introduced. My nephews raise Angus beef and have had Wolf predation with beef prices down they can't afford many losses to predators. Randy
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