Western Montana hunters enjoy good elk, whitetail season contrary to their fairytales

It gets old listening to hunters cry that there are no Elk or deer left because of Wolves. They are as bad as ranchers.

Wake Up  Government, it is the Hunters that are decimating the Wildlife not our Native Predators!

Despite uncooperative weather in the final days, the 2017 big game season closed with the highest tallies in four years in Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 2.

Despite uncooperative weather in the final days, the 2017 big game season closed with the highest tallies in four years in Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 2.

Montana’s five-week big game hunting season ended Sunday with unseasonably warm winds and patchy snow for tracking. Nevertheless, those who went out in west-central Montana did better than average.

Most of the elk came through the Darby station, where 159 elk amounted to a 14 percent increase over last year. The Bonner station recorded its best success since 2011 with 95 elk. That was also 64 percent better than the 2016 season. Anaconda hunters brought in 46 elk, 59 percent more than last year.

Rebecca Mowry, an FWP wildlife biologist in the Bitterroot Valley, said the numbers here were “pretty average.”

“We had such a strong opening weekend, and then it kind of backed off,” Mowry said. “We need a lot of snow and cold weather to keep the elk moving around, and that didn’t happen.”

Hunters told her they saw elk they couldn’t shoot on private property; a lot of people drove around but didn’t get out of their vehicles; and other hunters reported they shot and missed.

“But there are people who brought out elk they took on public lands,” Mowry said. “For the most part, the harder you hunt the more success you’ll have.”

Deer hunters brought 607 whitetails through check stations at Bonner, Darby and Anaconda. That was 3 percent higher than last year and the highest whitetail count since 2008, according to FWP spokeswoman Vivaca Crowser. All but 100 of those came through the Bonner station.

“We’ve seen a steady climb in whitetail harvest since 2014, which correlates with our sense of a growing population,” said Mike Thompson, FWP Region 2 wildlife manager. “This information is a good check on our thoughts of restoring some antlerless harvest opportunities for the 2018 hunting season.”

Mowry said new regulations in the Bitteroot that only allowed youth hunters to take whitetail does  probably led to fewer successes coming through the game check station in Darby. Only 68 were checked, a steady decrease from 110 taken in 2014.

Mule deer harvest in Region 2 came in 35 percent below last year, with just 77 muleys through all three stations. That’s also the lowest recorded in the past four years. FWP imposed special permit requirements in order to boost mule deer numbers throughout the region.

Overall hunter numbers were down about 8 percent compared to last year. Nevertheless, the 11,115 hunters interviewed during the five weekends of check-station operation tagged 999 animals, which was up 6 percent in 2017 and the best Region 2 success rate in the past four years. FWP game wardens also recorded nine black bears, one moose, three bighorn sheep and two wolves through the Region 2 stations.

None of the wolves passed through the Darby station.

Across the Rocky Mountains, FWP Region 4’s solo check station at Augusta saw normal elk numbers and variable deer success.

“The total elk harvest was 5 percent below the 10-year average,” said Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist. “Similar to other years, the elk harvest this year peaked during the second and third week of the season when snow and cold arrived.”

But mule deer numbers were about 15 percent below the 10-year average. Whitetails were 14 percent above average. All told, the Augusta station recorded 315 elk, 253 mule deer and 341 whitetails.

In northwest Montana’s FWP Region 1, hunter success overall was up to 8.6 percent for 2017, compared to 10.1 percent last year. The six game check stations in the region logged 16,269 hunters.

“The percentage of hunters with white-tailed deer varied greatly depending on where you were hunting,” said Neil Anderson, FWP Region 1 Wildlife Manager. “Overall, hunters seemed to be enjoying themselves despite some challenging conditions. Most of the hunters I spoke to, including those who did not harvest an animal, stated they were having a good and enjoyable season.”

Overall, Region 1 hunters took 1,275 whitetails, 78 elk and 51 mule deer.

 That’s the lowest number of mule deer since records were first kept in 1985, Anderson said.

“We don’t know why the numbers were so low,” Anderson said. “Fortunately, we are initiating a mule deer study in the Fisher River and Whitefish Range in Region 1 this winter. We hope to get valuable information on habitat use, nutrition, and some data on mortality rates.”

Source: Western Montana hunters enjoy good elk, whitetail season | Local News | ravallirepublic.com

PEER respectfully submits this complaint about USDAS Data Quality

protect the wolves, sacred resource protection zone

It is past time that we begin to hold the USDA accountable and rein in their squandering of Taxpayer Funds!

December 20, 2017
VIA EMAIL AND U.S. MAIL

Connie Williams, Chief, Program Evaluation and Decision Support
Quality of Information Officer
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
4700 River Road, Unit 120
Riverdale, MD 20737
[email protected]
(301) 851-3087

RE: COMPLAINT ABOUT INFORMATION QUALITY

Dear Ms. Williams,

PEER respectfully submits this complaint about Data Quality.
Pursuant to Section (b)(2)(B) of the Data Quality Act of 2000 (“DQA”), Section 515 of
Public Law 106-554, and the Correction of Information mechanism of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture Information Quality Guidelines, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
(“PEER”) hereby challenges data manipulation and conclusions drawn therefrom by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (“USDA”), as detailed infra. PEER is especially concerned about the government’s
dissemination of faulty research that has been erroneously used to justify harmful, commonplace,
and excessive coyote control and extermination policies throughout federal lands despite more
recent, thorough, and peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrating the importance of large
mammalian carnivores contributing to ecological health and stability. Specifically,
PEER challenges the government’s continued reliance upon the USDA-funded study Connolly, G.E., and
W.M. Longhurst, 1975, The effects of control on coyote populations: A simulation model, University
of California, Division of Agricultural Sciences Bulletin, Volume 1872, 37 pp. (hereinafter
“Connolly and Longhurst study”).

The USDA has consistently used this study for over 40 years, despite its established
flaws and disputed findings, to justify large-scale coyote extermination efforts – even though the
study’s own findings stated that eradication efforts were not an effective means of preventing
depredation. In addition to being used to justify large-scale coyote control (i.e., killing2programs),

this obscure (i.e., a small agricultural bulletin) and non-peer reviewed study has been
cited and utilized in a variety of USDA documents over the years to justify a variety of agency
actions related to coyote management. See, e.g., Paul L. Hegdal et al., Hazards to Wildlife
Associated with 1080 Baiting for California Ground Squirrels, USDA National Wildlife
Research Center – Staff Publications (1979); Guy E. Connolly, The Effects of Control on Coyote
Populations: Another Look, Symposium Proceedings—Coyotes in the Southwest: A Compendium of Our
Knowledge 23 (1995); Kathleen A. Fagerstone and Gail Keirn, Wildlife Services—A Leader in
Developing Tools and Techniques for Managing Carnivores, USDA National Wildlife Research Center –
Staff Publications (2012); Eric Gese, Demographic and Spatial Responses of Coyotes to Changes in
Food and Exploitation, Wildlife Damage Management Conferences—Proceedings 131 (2005); John L.
Gittleman et al., “References” for Carnivore Conservation, USDA National Wildlife Research Center –
Staff Publications (2001); Gary Lee Nunley, Present and Historical Bobcat Population Trends in New
Mexico and the
West, Proceedings of the 8th Vertebrate Pest Conference 177, 180 (1978); Stewart W. Breck et al.,
Evaluating Lethal and Non-Lethal Management Options for Urban Coyotes (2016); William C. Pitt et
al., An Individual-Based Model of Canid Populations: Modelling Territoriality and Social Structure
(2003); USDA, 5 Year Environmental Monitoring Review for Predator Damage Management in Montana: FY
2002 through FY 2006 (2007).

Furthermore, USDA has relied upon this study for justification of coyote eradication efforts or
large scale control (i.e., killing) programs in numerous Environmental Assessments
and findings of no significant Impact under the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. §
4321, et seq (“NEPA”). This includes, but is not by any means limited to, Final EA: Predator Damage
and Conflict Management in Idaho (2016); Final EA: Reducing Coyote Damage to Livestock and rther
resources in Louisiana (2016); EA: Mammal Damage Management in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
(2015); EA: Reducing Mammal Damage in the State of North Carolina (2015); EA: Mammal Damage
Management in the State of Rhode Island (2014); EA: Mammal Damage Management in Arkansas (2013);
Decision and Finding of nosSignificant impact: Reducing Mammal Damage through an Integrated
Wildlife Damage Management Program in the State of New Jersey (2004); Decision and finding of no
significant Impact for Management of Coyote, Dog, and Red Fox on livestock in the Commonwealth of
Virginia (2002); Environmental Assessment and Decision/Finding of no significant impact for
Predator Damage Management in the College Station Animal Damage Control District Texas (1997).
While USDA guidelines limit challenge of material used in NEPA documents to the public comment
period for each NEPA document, it is evident from the recent and continued use of this study in
justifying coyote eradication and control efforts that the study is being disseminated by the USDA
and is clearly influential in both state and federal wildlife agency decision and policy-
making, despite its faulty nature.

 

 

Michigan’s Isle Royale wolves: Area probably down to a single wolf

protect the wolves

DETROIT — Isle Royale may be down to a lone wolf, as the federal government ponders whether it will replenish the pack on the northern Michigan Island.

For the last two years, a male and female wolf have held on as the last remaining pair of wolves on the 893-square-mile island national park in Lake Superior. The pair were spotted in the summer of 2016, on the motion-triggered trail camera of Michigan Technological University wolf researcher Rolf Peterson, and again in Michigan Tech’s annual winter survey of the island last January.

But the survival story appears to have taken a turn this summer.

“I wasn’t able to confirm two wolves,” said Peterson. “We did confirm one wolf with a trail camera, but we didn’t get any definitive evidence of the presence of both wolves this summer.”

Source: Michigan’s Isle Royale wolves: Area probably down to a single wolf

Plan to save wolves in Southwest appears an extinction plan

protect mexican gray wolves, protect the wolves

Lets get some Real Info out here, first USFWS ran on an old Nepa Study to kill Phoenix, second, the News Reported it as it was the White Mtn Apache that requested she be ‘Slaughtered” After speaking with WMA Game and Fish, We know that is not a true statement. Further We warned them about the picture that was being painted about them in the news.

They claim there are 113 wolves in Arizona and New Mexico with an additional 30-35 in Mexico, however with the recent poaching and slaughtering, We would have to call to question their number.

Sherry Barrett wouldn’t know a Wolf Plan if it bit her on her backside it appears. Further, ESA says over their historical Range, they are not even 20% of their historical range currently. And we would have to ask why these Govt Agencies continue to Ignore Science as is within their mandates under the Trusts? Why do they continue to either disregard, or not allow public comment?

If you want to get something done in Court, We have the attorneys and Research waiting. We need 57,400 paid members and we will begin putting 1 state in court each month!! Clearly the only talk these Government Agencies comprehend is Language from a Judge!! Take back your power as The Public and join Us to put these Crooked Agencies In COURT today, before it is too late Tomorrow!!

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a plan Wednesday to revive the dwindling population of Mexican gray wolves, but some environmental advocates fear the measures are not enough.

The Associated Press reported that the plan sets a goal of having an average of 320 Mexican gray wolves in the wild over an eight-year period before the animal can be removed from the endangered species list. Officials estimate recovery could take another two decades and nearly $180 million.

Belton nature enthusiast Waldo Montgomery makes several trips per year to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves. He said the plan to save wolves in the Southwest is insufficient.

“A lot of people — and I’m inclined to agree with them — believe it’s probably a plan in name only. If they follow through with that plan, it’s probably a recipe for extinction for the Mexican gray wolves than it is for recovery,” Montgomery said.

“This isn’t a recovery plan, it’s a blueprint for disaster for Mexican gray wolves,” conservation advocate Michael Robinson said in a release. “By limiting their habitat and stripping protections too soon, this plan ignores the science and ensures Mexican wolves never reach sufficient numbers to be secure.”

Montgomery said experts believe the identified study area is too small.

“A lot of the scientific community believes there should be three populations of Mexican gray wolves in the United States, but the plan limits the expansion of the gray wolves to south of Interstate 40. The scientific community has recommended that there should be two other populations,” he said.

Montgomery added that the wolves play an important role in nature as they help regulate the population of deer and elk.

“For eons, (the wolves) have kept the deer and elk population healthy. Now they’ve got problems. Wolves have a unique ability to single out sick and old animals rather than healthy elk,” Montgomery said.

Without a vibrant wolf population to weed out sick animals, Montgomery said diseases have started to spread among deer and elk.

“Wolves can take those that have diseases out of the herd long before the elk show any sign of being sick,” he said.

Even with the criticism, Sherry Barrett of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is optimistic that the plan will yield positive results.

“I know that with most things having to do with wolves, there’s going to be a lot of strong opinions on both sides,” Barrett told the Associated Press. “But to us, it is a big step forward for us to have something in place to start working toward and working with the public to achieve.”

 

Source: Plan to save wolves in Southwest criticized | News | tdtnews.com

Protect The Wolves

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