Posts tagged: ranching
PREDATORS — I guess the old line can be revised based on the latest research:
Montana — where men are men, women are scarce and livestock is nervous, if there's a wolf pack in the neighborhood.
U. of Montana researchers track cost of wolf predation for ranchers
Wolves can impact a rancher's bottom line beyond sheep and cattle the predators actually kill, according to University of Montana researchers. Using livestock sales records from 18 ranches in Western Montana, as well as data on wolf-tracking and climate between 1995 and 2010, the team found that, in herds where wolves had killed livestock, the weight of the calves that year decreased some 22 pounds per calf. With herds averaging 264 calves sold that year, the cost to the rancher in underweight calves was $6,679.
On the other hand, the study also found that annual precipitation and temperature played a much larger role than wolves in affecting cattle weight.
But it all adds up.
WILDLIFE — Montana's decision to let migrating bison roam freely across 70,000 acres outside Yellowstone National Park was upheld by a court ruling Monday that dismissed a pair of lawsuits filed by ranchers to challenge the policy.
The judge sided with state officials and conservation groups that have sought to ease restrictions on bison movements.
Thousands of bison flood out of Yellowstone during severe winters. In the past, the animals were subject to mass slaughters over fears they could spread the disease brucellosis to livestock.
The slaughters were blocked by former Gov. Brian Schweitzer. But when hundreds of bison were allowed to return to the Gardiner Basin, local officials said they posed a threat to safety and destroyed private property.
In his ruling, Phillips acknowledged the plaintiffs' struggles with bison, but said those were an unavoidable consequence of living in Montana with its abundant wildlife.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman magazine monitored the entire presentation and comment period of Friday's Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting devoted to Washington's wolf management activities.
I listened to the webcast from Olympia, too, but reading Walgamott's blow-by-blow blog post on the presentations and the 41 three-minute testimonies from the public — plus the resulting website comment string — is more entertaining and requires less caffeine to endure.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — A few callers say they're scratching their heads trying to figure out the point of today's outdoors column regarding wolves.
Here's a hint: Wolves need a lot of fresh meat year round in order to survive.
The Yellowstone model has spawned a myth that elk and moose — the wolf's favorite meal — are overpopulated throughout the West and that wolves will bring the ecosystem into balance.
But in Northeastern Washington, there's no over-population of elk, moose or deer.
Unless wolves are managed, they will continue to multiply and reduce game population to even lower numbers. Then, left to natural processes, the wolf numbers will go bust, but not before they turn to preying on livestock as their last-ditch effort to survive.
Either way, wolf management is the better option if you really care about the future of wolves.
Read a detailed account of Washington wolf management update and resulting public comment during the Oct. 5 Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Olympia.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — At the request of Stevens County ranchers and commissioners, Washington Department of fish and Wildlife officials will present an update on their efforts to deal with gray wolves that have killed or injured at least 15 cattle since mid-July.
Some of the issues were spelled out in today's Outdoors column.
The cattle belong to the Diamond M Ranch which summers its livestock on a national forest grazing allotment in the “wedge” area near the Canada border between the Columbia and Kettle rivers.
Steve Pozzanghera, WDFW regional manager, will outline the agency's efforts in a public meeting set for 5 p.m. tonight (Sept. 20) in the Colville County Commissioner's meeting room (old Avista Building) 230 E. Birch Street Colville 99114. See map.
WDFW posted these answers to questions about the Wedge Pack issues on its website Wednesday.
Reading between the lines, Northwest Sportsman editor Andy Walgamott says the agency appears to be targeting more than just a few of the Wedge Pack wolves — perhaps the entire pack of 8-11 animals.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — No report yet on whether more Wedge Pack wolves have been killed in northern Stevens County as they continue to kill cattle while eluding the guns and traps of Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officers.
Get up to speed with:
Fight over wolves reignited — Seattle Times
Daily Wolf Howler, week's-end update — Northwest Sportsman
Colville Tribe confirms state's 9th wolf pack — Spokesman-Review
PREDATORS — Idaho's 2012-2013 wolf hunting season opens statewide on Thursday (Aug. 30).
A season has been open since July 1 on private land in the Panhandle Zone, but no wolves have been reported harvested to date.
Wolf advocates are countering the Thursday wolf season opener with a rally “honoring the 379 wolves killed in Idaho, during the 2011-2012 wolf hunt.” The event is set for 3:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Fort Sherman/Coeur d’Alene City Park.
Live music, guest speakers, refreshments are planned as well as a trap-release workshop put on by Footloose Montana. The session is aimed at educating citizens on how to identify traps/snares, and if necessary, how to release a pet that is caught in a trap or snare.
The 2012-2013 wolf trapping season opens Nov.15 in six wolf zones.
Wolf hunting and trapping seasons and rules are posted on the Idaho Fish and Game website.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — A Methow Valley rancher may get the distinction of receiving Washington's first compensation for livestock killed by wolves.
State and federal wildlife managers have determined that wolves likely caused injuries that resulted in a death of a calf on a Methow Valley ranch May 18 and that the landowner would qualify for compensation.
PREDATORS — Wildlife Services agents dispatched a 175-pound mountain lion near Helena, Mont., recently after the cat killed at least six llamas and left them uneaten. Sport-killing behavior is rare for cougars, and officials don't have an easy answer.
Read the Helena Independent Record report.
WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS — A wolf was caught on tape by a police cruiser's dash cam roaming through northwest Kalispell. The video and tracks were confirmed as a radio collared wolf by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists.
Read the story in the Daily Interlake.
PREDATORS — Hunters and trappers are making a little progress in reducing the number of wolves in Idaho, with North Idaho hunters doing better than they did during the last wolf season in 2009-2010.
Here's this week's update from Jim Hayden, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional wildlife manager in Coeur d'Alene.:
Wolf harvest in the Panhandle is at 25 to date, slightly higher than we had in all of the 2009/10 season. During 2009, we had 24 hunter kills by the end of March. (There were also 4 illegal kills in 2009, giving us the final tally of 28.)
The wolf trapping season has been open for 3 weeks. Only 1 wolf has been reported taken by trapping in the state so far (in the Clearwater), although many trappers may have still been deer hunting (season closed last Thursday).
PREDATORS — The British Columbia government has declared open season on wolves in the Cariboo region to benefit cattle ranchers, a move that critics contend is unjustifiable and based on politics, not science.
Under new wildlife regulations, there is no closed season and no bag limit on hunting wolves in 10 management units in the Cariboo region, according to the Montreal Gazette.
An annual hunting bag limit of three wolves is typical in B.C.
The changes also allow for unlimited trapping of wolves on private land with leghold traps in nine management units from April 1 to Oct. 14.
HUNTING – Barbed-wire fences have scarred, crippled or killed wildlife ranging from birds to elk since it was stretched across the West beginning in the 1870s.
But this photo suggests that a fence actually saved the life of one lucky buck or coyote in western Spokane County.