makes for some lazy hunters if you ask me.
i don't really mind about the phones regarding the delta buffs, but some of this stuff is making for some wussy predator hunters.
makes for some lazy hunters if you ask me.
i don't really mind about the phones regarding the delta buffs, but some of this stuff is making for some wussy predator hunters.
snares = trapping = not hunting.
helicopters = fish and game wolf control = not hunting.
cell phones = lazy hunters
I'm more on the side of the fence that you need to call it what it is and not get hunting confused with other types of predator control, trapping, etc.
The media gets poachers confused with hunters all the time. Some ass clown goes out and shoots a moose out of season, or a dozen caribou without tags and leaves the carcasses to rot is not a hunter either.
Well put Jerod.
i know it's management. that doesn't mean we have to get lazy.
It would not be hard to trap the wolves in these units, or to increase the incentive for hunting them.
i support smart predator control programs. what i am hearing is not smart, plain and simple.
I agree that most media is way off the mark on this stuff. but there is no reason to blatantly fan the flames.
if you can't see how this will do that then think about it.
Last edited by stid2677; 03-05-2010 at 19:11.
fish and game could trade caribou permits for wolf hides. i think a limited bounty system would be less liberal fodder than helicopter gunning.
i also think it would not be hard to bring down the grizzly pop with hunting. it is obvious that they haven't tried very hard.
a unit isn't open to moose/caribou hunting until the predator control for that unit has been achieved for the year. that'd work too.
They would never be able to meet their objectives for wolf population control by trapping or regular hunting, even with a bounty. When they can take 50+ wolves in a week from an aerial gunner, that is more effective than any other method out there. In areas where it has happened, moose and caribou populations are noticeably on the rise.
It works, it might not be politically correct, but sometimes you have to take to extreme measures to get the end result you are looking for. I see both sides of the issue, but it is just too expensive and time consuming for the average Joe to be in the woods long enough with traps or rifles to have a decent shot at one wolf, let alone dozens. I'm not on the side of trying to give the liberal fodder a warm and fuzzy feeling when they go to bed at night. If they heard the word "bounty" they would be all over that too. They will never be happy with the decisions of sound management, because they don't like what has to happen in order for it to be accomplished.
You might be on to something for closing the moose and caribou hunting in a predator control unit for a season if the predator management objectives are not met. That would get the locals involved a lot more you would think.
for caribou, moose and sheep seasons in many IM units there are practically stampedes of hunters....so I don't think it's accurate to say that the money and time aren't there to do the predator control too.
If we want the plentiful game produced in the IM units then we ought to step up and put the effort towards the predator control as well.
Claiming that we need aerial gunning, and now helicopters, is pathetic.
The thing about wolf control is, that in order for initial control (say a five year reduction program) to be sustainable, it requires proximity to larger urban areas from whence trappers get out and continue to harvest about 40% of the wolves, as is happening in the 20A and adjacent units. This creates that magical win-win scenario in which we have high densities of both predators and prey. 20A has the highest density of moose in North America. It also has the highest wolf:moose densities. But only because trappers can be effective every year to keep the wolf population on check.
In areas like 20E and the upper-tanana conrol area, what happens is that reducing wolves over five years can lead to creation of much more biomass in the form of moose/caribou that then allow wolves to come back even faster, so in order for things to work in those places we'd really need to do control efforts every five years into eternity in order to sustain the increases in prey populations. Otherwise all we're doing is managing for a boom/bust scenario.
Been reading some mgmt reports recently out, and actually the wolf sterilization technique of the pack alpha male and female, and initial control efforts of the other pack members, is longer lasting than wolf control in keeping wolf numbers down. It also isn't more expensive when you consider how much helo control costs over the same time period.
In the "old days" (which weren't that long ago <grin>), there were a lot more people living in the woods. Out here where I still live, back in the 80s we had cabins about every 15 miles with families or single guys living in them, and we all trapped and we were very effective at keeping wolf numbers lower.
Nowadays, however, it seems hunters want everything provided to them, and all for the measly cost of a ridiculously low $25 hunting license. "Put more moose out there!" "Kill more wolves and bears by whatever means!" It's disappointing to me that so many hunters now lean to the extremes of creating high densities of ungulates. Helicopters, bear snaring of grizzlies...not my vision of what hunting should stand for. We are indeed our own worst enemy, and if I feel this way I wonder what non-hunters must think of all this, and how in future they will vote when issues come up that affect us.
"Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.
Real hot button issue this one!! I just attended some seminars on this subject with some top wolf bios, heres some food for thought.
Mark according to the Bios the highest moose densitys in North America are #1 Newfoundland Canada #2 the interior of BC (Prince Gorge region)
Sterilization... the bios said they found this out in the finlayson wolf control program... 2 wolves killed more moose per winter than a pack of 5... the reason for this they said was that the ravens would clean the kill made by 2 wolves up very fast and easier than if there were more wolves guarding the kill.... They have vey well documented studies that show 2 wolves will on average kill 25 moose each winter.
According to the Bios what happens when they Sterilize the Alpha male is that after 6 months or so the Alpha male and female not being able to produce pups break off from the main pack and are on their own.... so of course another alpha male/female emerge within the pack and it starts all over again.... remember 2 wolves kill more than a pack of 5.... With these facts does sterilization still seem like the best way??? Seems to me like it creates more problems than it solves....
Hunting and Trapping will never manage wolves in most areas.... here in the Yukon we have a wolf incentive program... $150 bucks for each wolf shot or trapped, the number of wolves killed has not gone up because of it. In BC the outfitters get a ton of money from different orgs in the lower 48, they use this money to trap/snare wolves... they use a helicopter to find kills then they land and set snares and traps around the kills... it has been very effective.
Some zones here had 12 calfs per hundred cows the last few years.... how long do you think those moose numbers will stay stable without some form of control???? Hunters have absolutely nothing to do with it.
I was just hired to take our regional Bio. on a 14 day trip down a remote river in the extreme Southeast yukon, to do a bioinventory of the game there and the Discovery Channel is going along. There is no hunting there, but I trap there and know the moose/caribou numbers are plummeting and its no mystrey why... hope we can show that fact with the film.. to often hunters get blamed. A bio in Hinton Alberta asked me this the other day when we were discussing ungulate populations and how hunters affected the overall population... he said "well hunters normally only kill bulls right"! This fact is lost on to many people! When you have only 12 calfs per hundred cows survive each year explain to me how hunters are causing that???
And I just have to ask:
Where oh where is all this PUBLIC OUTCRY and why aren't you all running around sporting the BLACKEYE that 'some' come on this very forum and screech about.
Good on you guys/gals for taking the approach you do. Do you have very many Wolves in Sheeps Clothes to deal with? If so, how do you deal with naysayers and put them in their place, so you can continue with your business at hand? We have much to learn from our neighbors, if we would listen up.
"96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
Newfoundland does have real high densities (up to 3moose/mi2) of introduced moose. They are smaller in size than what we have here, not sure if they are Alces alces gigas or not (?). I don't know about the BC population.
Based on the reports, the Unit 20A densities of 3.1 to 3.2 moose/mi2 are used to express highest densities in N.A. for that large of an area. (There are higher densities in the Delta Jct region in a smaller part of 20D where there are cleared ag lands and a recent burn...somewhere around 4.5moose/mi2)
Anyway, I wanted to reply to the other stuff you mentioned on sterilization of wolves etc.
There is a paper recently out from Richard Farnell titled Three Decades of Caribou Recovery Programs in Yukon: a Paradigm Shift in Wildlife Management.
It's too large a file for me to attach here. You may know Farnell...he recently retired, was a bio for a long time in your province. (Drop me an email if you haven't seen this paper, I think you'll enjoy having it as a reference and I can get it to you that way.)
Anyway, Farnell documents several caribou recovery programs (wolf control) in the Yukon. For the Aishihik caribou herd, they used some non-lethal sterilization. Here's an excerpt: "Important findings of the wolf fertility control experiment were that sterilization reduced wolf rate of increase by stopping 12 breeding events from potentially producing about 68 pups (based on average litter size of 5.7) from 1994 to 1997. Wolf sterilization reduced the wolf rate of increase to between 11-58% from 1995 to 1998. Wolf territorality, pair bonding, and survival rate were found to be not affected by surgical sterilization. This study showed that wolf fertility control using sterilization is a technically feasible management option."
Farnell also reports on the Fortymile recovery program, and the wolf sterilization done in that initial effort: "In all, 15 wolf packs comprising all the wolves in the Fortymile herds' calving area were treated this way [sterilization]. Wolf control was carried out for five years until spring 2002. During this time dominant pairs remained and defended their pack territories but failed to produce pups. The sterilized wolves lived longer lives on average, likely because they did not suffer the stress of reproducing and feeding offspring. "
You mentioned the Finlayson caribou recovery (wolf control) program, and Farnell also has a synopsis of that program: "While the case history of the Finlayson herd provides abundant insight into the relevant biology of woodland caribou - particularly predator-prey relationships (National Research Council 1997) - it failed as a long-term management solution. The failure was largely owing to the the lack of a comprehensive long-term management plan endorsed by the Yukon public - one that limited human harvest and land-use activities. Human harvest levels became non-sustainable as wolves fully recovered and greatly accelerated the caribou population decline until 1998 when strong conservation measures (outfitter quotas, permit hunt for licensed resident hunters, First Nation voluntary compliance) were put in place to reduce these effects."
Regarding pairs of wolves having a higher per-capita kill rate than packs, that is an interesting phenomenon. Hayes did a study in the Yukon on this and found what you mentioned, that while larger packs killed more prey, pairs of wolves had higher per-capita kill rates. They based this on meat intake. For average packs the intake was near 9kg per wolf per day. For pairs of wolves it was right near 20kg per wolf per day. So say you have a pack of 8 wolves would = 72kg of meat intake per day. A pair of wolves would be 40kg per day.
But using your example, a pack of five would have an intake of 45kg per day, just about equal to the pair. However, that pack of five would end up taking down more prey than the pair.
Just trying to get across that while it's true pairs have a higher per-capita kill rate, I think it'd still be best for the most part to keep the sterilized pairs in their home territories rather than have packs form again that would end up taking more prey. And based on the reports I've read, sterilization does work as a very effective control tool that reduces overall predation.
Regarding the calf:cow ratios on the low end, that's just typical for much of the Yukon and Alaska to have these LDDE states. And while they are dynamic, they are stable as well...there is no danger of extirpation of moose or anything. We can do control to boost populations, but as I said earlier, and this is sorta of Farnell's point too re the Finlayson caribou herd, if we don't continue with control every five years into eternity we end up just going back to the same lower dynamic equilibrium states once wolves rebound, unless it's an area like the Tanana Flats region where a large urban trapping population can keep harvesting so many wolves every year.
So yes, hunters killing only bulls can affect the herd dynamics.
An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
- Jef Mallett
Mark yes I do know Farnell, very well in fact. Some of his findings are now being questioned by other bios. Im not in any way trying to slander Rick. He has done a lot of great work here. I will give one example of what they are finding now.
First off I do not know one Bio that is for wolf control other than the Yukons wolf bio. The problem with the Finlayson study was that it was to short. Wildlife management has to continue. In the Finlayson control project they just stopped and of course the wolf numbers rebounded, and with the increase in their food supply the numbers grew beyond what was expected. Now the Finlayson herd is in real trouble, so yes you are right it was a complete failure.
Now if they had kept some form of moderate wildlife management going I think its pretty clear we would have a good healthy population of both wolves and caribou. The way it is now they will never do another control program here and thats to bad because the caribou will not recover in our lifetime.
Cow calf ratios, I think Mark you were saying the 12 calfs per hundred cows was normal and the herd would stay stable at those numbers?? Correct me if that is not what you meant.
How could a herd possibly stay stable at those ratios??? Even take hunting out of the picture, you still have mortality. At the meetings just held in Whitehorse these numbers were a big concern, nobody thought they were OK.
I didnt mean hunters have no effect on game populations EVER. But in the north (at least here) they have no effect on the overall population. I know from guiding moose hunters that by the time most big bulls are killed they have bred a bunch of cows. The calves here are born every year within 3 weeks of each other.
The problem the way I see it is some people are just not comfortable with the idea of wolf control and it is easy to find bio study's to support their views, and thats OK. I on the other hand have seen for myself what good wildlife management can do. Look at Northern BC.... there is nothing magical about the country.... it is the trappers/outfitters who manage the game there. There is lots of game of all kinds including wolves.
I am excited about our river trip this year as that country is not hunted period (except the 5 bulls the outfitter takes) yet the moose numbers are and have been plummeting. look at Dickson on the White river.... he does his own control and has great moose numbers, he has a small area so for him it works but for large remote areas that is just not possible.
I am only speaking for Canada here, but this is how it works here.... a biologist gets funding from many different sources a lot of those sources want nothing to do with predator control of any kind no matter what the bio finds.
Mark on the sterilization.. I have no experience with it whatsoever, I was only repeating what Al Baer our wolf Bio. told us at a course he put on in Watson Lake this year.... He has almost 30 years of wolf study under his belt...
Figured you knew Rick.
You are making many of my same points really, that control must continue indefinitely at some level in order to sustain the higher levels of prey populations in most areas.
Regarding moose calf:cow ratios, a 12% annual recruitment as per your example is typical for LDDE moose populations in areas where we still have mulitiple (bear, wolf) predators and aren't doing any control work. So yes, it is normal for those LDDE populations, but we have to remember that Low Density Dynamic Equilibrium means that things aren't exactly static, that there is a dynamic there where populations can go up and down a bit but still remain within low densities.
Again, these LDDE states with moose are common in outlying areas across Alaska and the Yukon where no control is being done, and don't lead to any danger of extirpation of moose. The amount of biomass available regulates the number of predators as well.
With these LDDE populations, hunters can typically only take about 3-5% of a segment (mostly bulls in a certain class) of the population annually. By closely regulating this human harvest, the population can remain relatively stable (persist) even though we have such low recruitment levels. Of course, those lower recruitment levels have to be greater than the adult mortality by all causes.
Are you in disagreement with this opinion somehow? I'm not understanding maybe why you disagree. Val Geist, one of the more prominent bios on your side of the border, has written extensively on this, on the fact that the vast majority of calves in these type of systems die each year, and how even though that happens populations can remain relatively stable on the low end.
As far as the claim that there in the Yukon hunters "have no effect on the overall population," that really is a contradiction to all of the available science and studies done there. Farnell isn't the only Yukon biologist to cite cases like the Finlayson herd and the negative impacts of human harvests on the overall population once the wolves came back after control. Or the effect hunting and hunters had on the Fortymile herd in the past. We know for a fact that hunters and hunting can have effects on overall populations. Not saying they always do, just that they can. That's why Yukon has asked for voluntary agreement from various First Nations tribes too regarding harvest levels. And again, if you look into what happened with the Mulchatna caribou herd in SW Alaska, hunters played a huge role in that.
I think, Dave, it'd be crazy to not have prudent predator managment in places where it can work and where it can lead to sustainable increases in prey populations to provide food for residents. I'd wager we are in complete agreement there <grin>.
But I also think there are various means of control that we can use, like the wolf sterilization and initial lethal control, that may actually provide more long-term benefits. I think that in some places (like areas that consistently see deep-snow winters that kill off great numbers of moose) control is inadvisable from a funding and sustainability standpoint. What I disagree strongly with is the extremes we go to here in Alaska of late, that are to me as ridiculous as the extremes of the no-predator-control-ever crowd, the helicopter transport and bear snaring stuff. Those methods and means weren't and aren't necessary imo, and they are being pushed not to increase prey for resident hunters, but for an alternate agenda that in the end sure isn't going to be good for resident hunters.
Dave & Mark,
I don't have my notes handy but here's the best of my memory:
A minor point here but GMU 20D South moose population approached 6 moose/sq mile prior to the cow hunt authorization.....the Intensive Management Goal was 3 moose/sq mile.
Yea Mark I do disagree that a moose herd with a cow/calf ratio of 12/100 can sustain itself.
The Dehcho moose program had a calf/cow ratio of 30/100 and the finding indicated the potential for population decline.
Remember the Chisana herd?? Fish/Game had been told for a few years the calf survival rate was incredibly low.... That herd is all but gone now. In that case from what I have been told bear were more of a problem than wolves??
I had a conversation about the number of bulls needed per hundred cows with our regional biologist last summer. This question in my mind is essential in determining how hunting (bulls only) effects game populations. Well surprising as it sounds the numbers they use were taken from a caribou herd.... in the biologists own words there were many factors that could have been responsible for the population of that herd other than the bull to cow ratio but that is the number they use.... not exact science in my book.
The Yukon has asked a number of First Nation groups to curtail hunting to help stabilize the population.... but we are talking about more than one animal killed per person in these cases, or just bulls.
I agree we should have ongoing predator control of some sort, I guess it just depends on where we think the population levels should be. What I just cant understand is why fish/game will let our big game populations plummet when they know what is causing it. The easy target is the hunter and thats where they lay the blame..... well most Yukon hunters are starting to see just what kind of "management" we are getting for our dollar (and the fish/game budget is huge) we are not getting much... every caribou herd we have is in trouble, moose populations across the territory are in decline, and we have what maybe 1000 hunters?? Yea I guess you could say I disagree.
Vern, I'm not getting down on you here, but can you tell me where that info came from? ( the 6-per mile) and can you tell us if it was from a Delta survey, and if it was, when it was done and at what time of the year it was done.?
Again I'm just trying to get the picture of where you guy's got this info.
Vern thats a pretty good moose density! Some WMUs in Alberta have been known to have 4 per sq mile. I think the numbers can get a little out of whack at times though. In some areas depending on snow conditions and even predator numbers, moose will move sometimes a long ways and if the count only looks at certain zones or in some cases drainage s without factoring in moose movements or the possibility of it the numbers can be way off.
I know in Southeast Yukon the moose will yard up much like deer in some areas. If those areas were counted the moose per sq mile would be very high.