Call of the wild

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Alex MacDonald, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,264
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Well, okay. The conflict is primarily between ranchers and wolves ... with conflict with hunters tossed in for good measure in Oregon. Point is, man doesn't live well with wolves so I can see no good coming from trying to re-introduce them.

    (ranchers are supposed to be reimbursed for any loss of livestock to wolves in Oregon but what about open range where the cows are allowed to graze in the very area where wolves live?)

    It was one thing to "plant" them in Yellowstone Park where there are no hunters or ranchers but pretty silly for the biologists to believe some of those wolves wouldn't decided to head out on their own outside of the park.
  2. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,495
    Seattle, WA
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    Gene -
    I don't think the biologists ever thought they wouldn't leave Yellowstone and the Bitterroot region after they were re-introduced. In fact, they hoped those plants would 'take' and repopulate the extended region where wolves used to live. In that respect, the wolves have exceeded most wildlife biologists' expectations.

    The biologists also knew that the landscape had been altered significantly by the loss of wolves as apex predators on ungulates, primarily, although I don't think they knew the full extent of that impact. As things have recovered in Yellowstone, and throughout the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, it has become better appreciated.

    While the ranchers whine, because they now have to take some additional measures to protect their livestock as they degrade the public resource, and try to conjure fear on the part of residents by suggesting humans are at risk far out of proportion to any actual risk, it is elk hunters who have become the most vocal anti-wolf group in many parts of the west. It turns out they don't like 'nature' when it is in a natural state, with elk populations dropping into what is more sustainable in their habitats, and exhibiting a bit more caution in where they graze and hang out.

    Funding measures were in place from the beginning to reimburse livestock owners for wolf-related losses. The financial impact to ranchers is not great, and certainly much less than the benefit they accrue from cheap access to public land for grazing.

    The state sanctioned wolf hunt in Idaho last year resulted in 400 wolves killed. While this may be sustainable given the current wolf population, there is some indication that it has exacerbated wolf/livestock conflicts, because when packs are disrupted, stray and lone wolves are much more likely to attack stock.

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  3. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,336
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
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    Wilken, you think my anology is juvenile, so shoot some holes in the idea-the driving philosophy. And you can't for certain claim that all the large sauropods are completely gone,either. You assume, based on best evidence, but it's not certain. We know there are large reptiles in some areas of the planet still. They're called saltwater crocodiles, alligators, caymen, and monitor lizards.

    Class is NOW in session for you. You're writing about "outside it's natural range". Take a look at an urban area, which is where the wolf was bordering on, and call that a "natural range". It's not, by any stretch. You can't dispute the point that wolves haven't roamed this state for over a century. Each year sees a new generation of wildlife, and the cervid population hasn't known wolves for at least that many generations. Now, a new apex predator is introduced. And make no mistake, this sucker's NEW, as in "just moved into the neighborhood". Most people can see that if something is working to establish itself in a niche, it's something that has not heretofore filled that niche.

    I also don't imply humans should be free of the challenge of dangerous wildlife. That's your assumption. When I'm out in the forest-which is every day of the year, I'm carrying my own fangs. So let's look at some of the reality here. Bears (you mention them) don't hunt in packs; wolves and coyotes do. Black bears are fairly shy creatures, and don't normally go out and hunt. They're scavengers and opportunistic feeders. Wolves are predators: a little difference.

    We have our share of useless blathering fools here too. I happen to have quite a bit of knowledge of wildlife biology and basic ecology, but i'm happy you think you've torn my logic a new asshole. Unfortunately, you didn't address the original premise: that of wolves being seen as an invasive species. Give it another try.

    Dick, I gotta go with George Carlin on global warming here!:D "Pack yer shit folks, we're goin` away!".
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  4. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,264
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Dick, I guess I hear more from ranchers in regards to the wolves than most because of my ties to NE Oregon. However, you are correct. The largest complaints I hear on this side of Oregon is from the elk hunters.... which is kind'a ironic but I'm not a hunter so I won't go there.

    I have to stick to my guns on this one. I still think it is a bad idea to bring back the wolves because man will end up killing them off.... just as we did before. It doesn't seem fair to the wolves. Guess I'm pessimistic that man and wolves can live together... due to the nature of man.
  5. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,163
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +798 / 1
    I'll bet that wolf has a vivid image stored of the guy who called the cop (and deprived him of his his legal booty)...might make his late night trips out to the trash cans a little more interesting :D
  6. Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    Posts: 3,766
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    I agree here. Particularly because, as I understand the whole wolf reintroduction thing, the gov't agency responsible for the program chose the wrong species of wolf to release into the wilds...a species that was never here in the first place.
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  7. jersey livin' the dream

    Posts: 237
    sonoma county
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    Canadian Wolf is different from a Gray or Timber Wolf...oops
    Its OK though the Canadian Wolf does display signs of empathy
  8. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,495
    Seattle, WA
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    sop -
    I don't for a minute think that people who purposely hunt bear, cougar, or wolves are afraid of the woods, but I do think there is a significant kernel of truth to your point that this motivates people who think they need to carry whenever they leave the car to fish, hike, etc.
  9. Flyborg Active Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Kalama, WA
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    I think that's an incorrect assessment of the situation. I find it more likely that just like us anglers, hunters just don't want top-level competition. They hate wolves for the same reasons we anglers hate sea lions. Without giving in to the fear-mongering "hide yo children lock the doors" mentality, there are still plenty of valid reasons they shouldn't have brought the wolves back. The first of which is, quit fucking with delicately balanced ecosystems. Sure, it was bad when we did it the first time, but we really have no gauge on the effects of re-introducing the packs after decades of non-existence.

    Personally, I think the amount of time wasted on the issue is comical given it's import in the bigger scheme of things; but hey, we're humans. We're good at only paying attention to the things waving in front of our faces.
  10. bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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  11. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,495
    Seattle, WA
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    Or, someone who doesn't want you around. Ever tell someone walking into your favorite honey hole that the fishing there isn't very good; nothin' but dinks...
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  12. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,262
    Moses Lake, WA
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    I don't think one needs a gun in black bear country but I do feel one is very useful in cougar country. They don't scare as easy as a bear.
  13. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,262
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +1,036 / 1

    Plenty of time even if the handgun is in a pack. Cougars don't attack out of trees like on TV. Hikers aren't deaf nor blind neither.

    If one isn't too fast, claw the handgun out of the pack after the attack and put yourself out of your misery.
  14. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,262
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +1,036 / 1
    From my viewpoint the worst animal to have in camp is a skunk. You can beat a bear with a stick, shoot it...whatever. But I wouldn't advise beating a skunk with a stick. I spent 25 years backpacking and doing the high cascade deer hunt and the only critters we had issues with was mice and chipmunks. A mouse will put a hole thru a tent or pack in a moment. Bears keep their distance. They might get close enough to stir up horses or dogs... but that's about it.

    Wolves are territorial and I don't know how I'd feel about a dog in camp if wolves were in the valley. They just might want to chase that dog out of camp.
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  15. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,694
    Outer Duvall
    Ratings: +249 / 1
    Just last night I was told about an easily accessible cascade lake with some surprisingly large trout but warned at the same time about a sow and cubs that have taken up residence on the lake shore. While I won't be carrying a gun I will be extra cautious when I visit that lake in the next few weeks.

  16. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,495
    Seattle, WA
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    After all of my years in the mountains, I've concluded that the probability of a problem with an animal is inversely related to its size. Mice, ground squirrels, marmots, camp robbers, and other chiselers, are all much more likely to make your trip unpleasant than a bear or cougar.
  17. bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

    Posts: 1,428
    Ratings: +215 / 1
    Hell...mosquitos are the worst.
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  18. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,941
    Skagit River
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    Yup...except I trained those Canadian skeeters to just fly me home when they've had their fill...
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  19. Peyton00 Active Member

    Posts: 772
    Puyallup, Wa.
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    If attacked by a cougar and the gun isn't in your hand and held tight, The force from the cougar pouncing on you is going to knock you down and if unlucky knock you OUT. The idea of digging a handgun out of a pack while under attack by a cougar is some funny shit.

    Stay home and save your family the heartache of somebody finding some body parts and gear( with a pistol in the pack).
  20. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,603
    Your City ,State
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    Yep, skeeters are the worst! Had mice chew a hole in my first mountain tent. Learned right away to leave ZERO food in tent. Never encountered a skunk while camping, fortunately. Did shoot one in the barn when I was a teenager. Seriously stupid that was! Guess who got to do chores morning and night all by himself for two months? Had deer come into camp checking for edibles, but they chase away pretty easy. Bears run off when I holler at them, . . . so far. Haven't used the bear spray or a gun on them yet. Wolves keep their distance and watch me watch them. The cougar that bothers me is the one that I don't know is checking me out. A gun wouldn't be much use in a surprise attack. I'm more concerned with walking up on a remote meth lab than I am about wild animals. Other than skeeters, of course.

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