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Surviving With Wolves (Page 2)

Wildlife managers, hunters, trappers and others are creating new frameworks to ensure there is room on the landscape for predators and prey.

That declaration makes animal-rights groups choke on their café lattes, but it’s designed to form a line between where wolves have room to be wolves and areas where conflicts with livestock and pets would be unacceptable to local residents.

With locals finally able to take charge of their wildlife, managing the wolf’s impact on deer and elk populations is starting to look achievable. Minard says, “We’re cautiously optimistic, but we still have a lot of work to do. This last season officials closed two units near Yellowstone because hunters shot a few wolves with tracking collars. I get that they don’t want to lose research animals, but how can hunters manage wolves if officials are going to be that trigger-shy? The elk in those units are in peril. Game officials also need to understand that.”

If this is a turning point—and most involved think it is—then the plot shift is occurring incrementally. This is why the NRA and Safari Club International and groups like the Montana Guide and Outfitters Association are staying involved. They know that if hunters, trappers and wildlife professionals can continue locally managing wolf populations for the good of entire ecosystems then maybe we can have healthy elk populations and wolves.

Imagine that, hearing elk bugling and wolves howling at the same time without getting the sick, nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach that you might be witnessing the beginning of the end of thriving big-game populations in the Rockies? Now that’s a beautiful goal.

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1 Response to Surviving With Wolves (Page 2)

Liz wrote:
February 28, 2013

Its good to finally see a balanced approach instead of the extremism (on both sides) that the media has been focusing on.