Wolf Reduction Bill

Conundrum

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Ok, so how do you suggest we get wolf numbers down to objective? Everyone loves to hunt deer and elk. Bear is gaining popularity and is actually achievable. Going out spot and stalk wolf hunting is not effective. How do we force idaho’ns to get off their ass in the winter and run more trap lines to get wolves to 150?

BTW very nice buck in your profile pic! @Customweld

Work with the commission to set a broader methods of take. They could have also passed a budget early in session increasing the commission's budget to address wolves instead of many of the other bills they worked on the last four months. The legislatures' #1 priority is to pass the state budget which would have included money for wolves. Instead, they extended session to work on the budget costing Idaho tax payers over $750k because they hadn't addressed the budget yet. That $750k is more than double the amount they are putting towards the wolf cull. And all the while risking a state shut down because they were busy working on transgender athlete bills, abortion bills, voter initiative bills, limiting the governors power bills, etc. Superseding current Idaho code for wildlife management which is something anyone on this board should be worried about and was one of the bills they worked on before the budget. I'm not saying many of those bills didn't deserve attention, just that they skipped their primary mission to grandstand all the while creating multiple lawsuits which will put a target on Idaho's back which is going to cost much more and could ultimately back fire.

The problem with this bill is that the impotence of it's creation was livestock and elk loss and with all the trouble and cost it's creating, they could of just quietly and with a little bit of class and grace handled the problems in a more fiscally responsible manner without creating more laws. Because Idaho is a fairly red state, it amazes me that we can't do exactly what the conservative leadership touts, be fiscally responsible with a small government.

There is something to be said for doing your job quietly and well and heading home proud of the work you did when done. Then there's something to be said about this legislative session. I write this as an Idaho native who has been a registered republican for about as long as I have been allowed to vote. It's quite disappointing.
 
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Mtnboy

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Work with the commission to set a broader methods of take. They could have also passed a budget early in session increasing the commission's budget to address wolves instead of many of the other bills they worked on the last four months. The legislatures' #1 priority is to pass the state budget which would have included money for wolves. Instead, they extended session to work on the budget costing Idaho tax payers over $750k because they hadn't addressed the budget yet. That $750k is more than double the amount they are putting towards the wolf cull. And all the while risking a state shut down because they were busy working on transgender athlete bills, abortion bills, voter initiative bills, limiting the governors power bills, etc. Superseding current Idaho code for wildlife management which is something anyone on this board should be worried about and was one of the bills they worked on before the budget. I'm not saying many of those bills didn't deserve attention, just that they skipped their primary mission to grandstand all the while creating multiple lawsuits which will put a target on Idaho's back which is going to cost much more and could ultimately back fire.

The problem with this bill is that the impotence of it's creation was livestock and elk loss and with all the trouble and cost it's creating, they could of just quietly and with a little bit of class and grace handled the problems in a more fiscally responsible manner without creating more laws. Because Idaho is a fairly red state, it amazes me that we can't do exactly what the conservative leadership touts, be fiscally responsible with a small government.

There is something to be said for doing your job quietly and well and heading home proud of the work you did when done. Then there's something to be said about this legislative session. I write this as an Idaho native who has been a registered republican for about as long as I have been allowed to vote. It's quite disappointing.
Could not have said it any better and I'm also a Registered Republican and 5th Generation lifetime resident of Idaho.
 

RamDreamer

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Work with the commission to set a broader methods of take. They could have also passed a budget early in session increasing the commission's budget to address wolves instead of many of the other bills they worked on the last four months. The legislatures' #1 priority is to pass the state budget which would have included money for wolves. Instead, they extended session to work on the budget costing Idaho tax payers over $750k because they hadn't addressed the budget yet. That $750k is more than double the amount they are putting towards the wolf cull. And all the while risking a state shut down because they were busy working on transgender athlete bills, abortion bills, voter initiative bills, limiting the governors power bills, etc. Superseding current Idaho code for wildlife management which is something anyone on this board should be worried about and was one of the bills they worked on before the budget. I'm not saying many of those bills didn't deserve attention, just that they skipped their primary mission to grandstand all the while creating multiple lawsuits which will put a target on Idaho's back which is going to cost much more and could ultimately back fire.

The problem with this bill is that the impotence of it's creation was livestock and elk loss and with all the trouble and cost it's creating, they could of just quietly and with a little bit of class and grace handled the problems in a more fiscally responsible manner without creating more laws. Because Idaho is a fairly red state, it amazes me that we can't do exactly what the conservative leadership touts, be fiscally responsible with a small government.

There is something to be said for doing your job quietly and well and heading home proud of the work you did when done. Then there's something to be said about this legislative session. I write this as an Idaho native who has been a registered republican for about as long as I have been allowed to vote. It's quite disappointing.
Very well articulated. I completely agree.
 

Conundrum

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It looks to me like the legislature got tired of the commission failing to properly manage wolves and took the job away from them.
The legislature sets the wolf management and commission/IDFG’s budget. They tripled the cull budget with this bill. Why didn’t they try funding at the new level prior to taking control away?

If this is truly a protect the livestock bill, why wasn’t budget allocated to a rancher grant fund to hire “agents” to cull if provable or potential losses were being experienced?

Conspiracy theory time...rancher’s are died in the wool Republicans that hate wolves would rather call up their ag buddies in government and get them to handle it vs seeking authorization from the director under existing law by showing loss and then handling it. But dammit, I pay my artificially low AUMs on public land, I should be able to ranch it without wolves. But no, we can’t pay more in taxes to give IDFG a workable budget on the matter. A couple years down the road...hey, I know that IDFG is creating green field hunts but Idaho passed some of the strictest private property rights laws around two years ago so hell no those hunters can’t come on my ground. We’ve got an elk problem over here. I tell you what, because IDFG can’t keep the elk population in check, how bout you let us manage the tags and for our time and effort, how bout we sell them and keep the money for the trouble. Hey buddies in leg, we drafted up a bill we’ll email over. Want to get that into committee?
 

Squincher

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The legislature sets the wolf management and commission/IDFG’s budget. They tripled the cull budget with this bill. Why didn’t they try funding at the new level prior to taking control away?

If this is truly a protect the livestock bill, why wasn’t budget allocated to a rancher grant fund to hire “agents” to cull if provable or potential losses were being experienced?

Conspiracy theory time...rancher’s are died in the wool Republicans that hate wolves would rather call up their ag buddies in government and get them to handle it vs seeking authorization from the director under existing law by showing loss and then handling it. But dammit, I pay my artificially low AUMs on public land, I should be able to ranch it without wolves. But no, we can’t pay more in taxes to give IDFG a workable budget on the matter. A couple years down the road...hey, I know that IDFG is creating green field hunts but Idaho passed some of the strictest private property rights laws around two years ago so hell no those hunters can’t come on my ground. We’ve got an elk problem over here. I tell you what, because IDFG can’t keep the elk population in check, how bout you let us manage the tags and for our time and effort, how bout we sell them and keep the money for the trouble. Hey buddies in leg, we drafted up a bill we’ll email over. Want to get that into committee?

How much money has IDFG already spent on wolf management with only failure to show for it?
 

Conundrum

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Fair question but a biased way to ask it. I’d have to look into. I think the cull fund is $110-120k but that is also the conservation species commission’s budget that I believe to used in coordination with IDFG and the USDA under the wolf management plan guidelines. But the lack of results is easy to pin on IDFG. I’m betting a bunch of legislators armed with $391k or whatever it is is going to kick ass. Especially when this thing is going to be tied up in court for a few years.

Might have been easier to allow ranchers access to the money for cull or increase budgets under existing laws. Would have made headlines but not like the current bill is. Certainly wouldn’t be putting PR money in the crosshairs.

But yeah, I guess IDFG is a failure and others can do it better. Will be interesting to see where the numbers go and if there is any fallout for elk hunting in the future. I’m hoping to eat crow.
 

Pacific_Fork

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Work with the commission to set a broader methods of take. They could have also passed a budget early in session increasing the commission's budget to address wolves instead of many of the other bills they worked on the last four months. The legislatures' #1 priority is to pass the state budget which would have included money for wolves. Instead, they extended session to work on the budget costing Idaho tax payers over $750k because they hadn't addressed the budget yet. That $750k is more than double the amount they are putting towards the wolf cull. And all the while risking a state shut down because they were busy working on transgender athlete bills, abortion bills, voter initiative bills, limiting the governors power bills, etc. Superseding current Idaho code for wildlife management which is something anyone on this board should be worried about and was one of the bills they worked on before the budget. I'm not saying many of those bills didn't deserve attention, just that they skipped their primary mission to grandstand all the while creating multiple lawsuits which will put a target on Idaho's back which is going to cost much more and could ultimately back fire.

The problem with this bill is that the impotence of it's creation was livestock and elk loss and with all the trouble and cost it's creating, they could of just quietly and with a little bit of class and grace handled the problems in a more fiscally responsible manner without creating more laws. Because Idaho is a fairly red state, it amazes me that we can't do exactly what the conservative leadership touts, be fiscally responsible with a small government.

There is something to be said for doing your job quietly and well and heading home proud of the work you did when done. Then there's something to be said about this legislative session. I write this as an Idaho native who has been a registered republican for about as long as I have been allowed to vote. It's quite disappointing.

When you say broaden the methods of take through IDFG commission, what does that look like to you?

I’m trying to figure out how plausible it is reducing the wolves down to agreed upon numbers. At the rate wolves reproduce and the remote landscapes they live in I don’t see it realistically, maybe I’m missing something..
 

nodakian

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When you say broaden the methods of take through IDFG commission, what does that look like to you?

I’m trying to figure out how plausible it is reducing the wolves down to agreed upon numbers. At the rate wolves reproduce and the remote landscapes they live in I don’t see it realistically, maybe I’m missing something..
I don’t know the details of this situation, law, etc., but wolves were eradicated a century ago so I assume they can be again. Strychnine probably still works as well as ever.
 

Pacific_Fork

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I don’t know the details of this situation, law, etc., but wolves were eradicated a century ago so I assume they can be again. Strychnine probably still works as well as ever.

I know that but that’s not what the guys in this thread against this bill are arguing for or against. They are saying let the IDFG handle it but not giving examples on how hunters can be more effective. I can’t imagine a world where any fish and game department in this country would allow people to poison big game, and that’s a good thing IMO.
 

87TT

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All this bill does as far as I can tell ( I have read it twice now( is amend current law to allow trapping year round on Private land, take the cap off current take amounts , allow private contractors, and add a little more money to the depredation fund and allow wolves to be taken any way that you can take coyotes now. It also lets anyone use "lethal" force to protect livestock and domestic animals (pets) now. Everyone acts like this is something new. It is not new. They just tweaked existing laws. They did this in 2014 when there were only 650 wolves with the same goal of 150. Fish and game is OK with it except a little loss of control. And they like the tag money. The problem is they were treating wolves like "game" animals instead of predators, I'll bet even with this bill, the wolves will still be over their goal.
 

mwebs

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How much do ranchers pay per head on our public land again!? Seems like loosing a few is a part of their “business” (government subsidies) model. Here’s some boots on the ground Idaho information like 4x4 is providing. I ran into some ranchers rounding up their cattle a few September’s ago and asked them about wolf kills because it was apparently an issue in the area. They had no clue if any had ever been killed by wolves and couldn’t even tell me how many cattle they had let out there in the spring because they didn’t care.. They lose some wolves or no wolves because they don’t have to pay to feed them all spring and summer on our land and didn’t even have a head count...

Now I honestly don’t care about wolves one way or the other, but they were here in some form or another so they probably should be around at a managed level. And saying they should be essentially eliminated for the benefit of a few ranchers that are impacted that get compensated anyways is absolutely stupid.

I’m all for more elk and easier elk to hunt but damn why can’t there be a common sense conversation amongst hunters about this. It turns into two sides with no one seeing the middle ground like everything in politics now days. If this happens and you pound your chest now you’ll be crying in a few years when it comes back to bite you no doubt.

Also anecdotally, two years ago we heard wolves every 2 or 3 nights and had a lot more bugling and action than last year when we heard none. I have listen to them at 5am and chased bugles at 630. Guys need excuses when their spots start to suck that they have been hunting since the 80s and they don’t know how to find new ones.
 

sneaky

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It looks to me like the legislature got tired of the commission failing to properly manage wolves and took the job away from them.
Short of poisoning on a statewide basis, there's nothing in this bill that is going to decrease wolf numbers. Nothing.

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sneaky

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How much money has IDFG already spent on wolf management with only failure to show for it?
How about you educate yourself on the whole wolf situation in Idaho before you start running your mouth. How many wolves did Idaho want? Zero. USFWS dropped them off and said there you go. Gtfo with your nonsense about Idaho failing to manage wolves properly. You spent any time trying to help? Doubtful.

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sneaky

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It seems the only thing you guys out west will gripe about more than ineffective wolf management is trying something different.
You midwesterners make cheese to go with your incessant whining. Perfect match.

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OP
Idaho4x4Bronco

Idaho4x4Bronco

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Guys need excuses when their spots start to suck that they have been hunting since the 80s and they don’t know how to find new ones.

I don't think that has anything to do with the hate for wolves, and I don't think the spots "suck", it's just a lot different in negative ways. The majority of areas with large wolf populations still produce elk and deer. Quality, overall numbers, age class, how vocal the animals are, are suffering.


On another note, this thread was actually intended to motivate residents to hunt wolves more often and bring to the attention how big the issue has become, it was never intended to be about politics or start a pissing match, just to be clear on that.
 

Conundrum

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It seems the only thing you guys out west will gripe about more than ineffective wolf management is trying something different.

I'll gripe more about someone who lives a long ways away talking shit more than I would about what's going on in my home state. Unintended consequences happen. And intended consequences also happen when the people wanting them throw time and money at the process.
When you say broaden the methods of take through IDFG commission, what does that look like to you?

I’m trying to figure out how plausible it is reducing the wolves down to agreed upon numbers. At the rate wolves reproduce and the remote landscapes they live in I don’t see it realistically, maybe I’m missing something..

My unscientific opinion. The cat is out of the bag. We won't reduce numbers by much regardless of the method of take. But, allowing the legislature to break Idaho statute and do what they're doing vs working with the Commission is a mistake. We're going to bring heat from every out of state wolves are cuddly friends organizations. But if you increase method of take via the IDFG commission, not the legislature per current Idaho code, you would be doing everything you could based on science and not opening pandora's box to game management via special interest. By opening method of take via IDFG, you could at least stay in line with feds and "conservation" NGOs to following law so they would have less basis in lawsuits which will probably help no one. But hey, instead of putting money towards problems, lets tie things up for a year here and year there while attorneys make money off tax payers. We're going to have wolves here for a long time. The $390k cull budget is a pittance. I have no way to justify the following but my opinion is there are more than 1,500 wolves in Idaho and there are far more than 492 kills last year. That is the reported number and SSS still exists whether you're for or against it.
How much do ranchers pay per head on our public land again!? Seems like loosing a few is a part of their “business” (government subsidies) model. Here’s some boots on the ground Idaho information like 4x4 is providing. I ran into some ranchers rounding up their cattle a few September’s ago and asked them about wolf kills because it was apparently an issue in the area. They had no clue if any had ever been killed by wolves and couldn’t even tell me how many cattle they had let out there in the spring because they didn’t care.. They lose some wolves or no wolves because they don’t have to pay to feed them all spring and summer on our land and didn’t even have a head count...

Now I honestly don’t care about wolves one way or the other, but they were here in some form or another so they probably should be around at a managed level. And saying they should be essentially eliminated for the benefit of a few ranchers that are impacted that get compensated anyways is absolutely stupid.

I’m all for more elk and easier elk to hunt but damn why can’t there be a common sense conversation amongst hunters about this. It turns into two sides with no one seeing the middle ground like everything in politics now days. If this happens and you pound your chest now you’ll be crying in a few years when it comes back to bite you no doubt.

Also anecdotally, two years ago we heard wolves every 2 or 3 nights and had a lot more bugling and action than last year when we heard none. I have listen to them at 5am and chased bugles at 630. Guys need excuses when their spots start to suck that they have been hunting since the 80s and they don’t know how to find new ones.
Fed land is $1.35 AUM. State land is something like $7 AUM. At $7, probably about 1/3 to 1/4 of real value. Ranchers are getting a sweet deal from public land owners. But remember, for every fist in the air stating that the government should stay out of private business, there is another hand with an open palm facing the sky asking for something. Not all ranchers are like this. Not all constituents are either. But many are and that is what gets us to where we are. So yes, many ranchers realize that losing a few head fits the financial model. Some want more. Some have a loud voice at the capital. Following money isn't tough if you have time for a bit of research.
 

Conundrum

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All this bill does as far as I can tell ( I have read it twice now( is amend current law to allow trapping year round on Private land, take the cap off current take amounts , allow private contractors, and add a little more money to the depredation fund and allow wolves to be taken any way that you can take coyotes now. It also lets anyone use "lethal" force to protect livestock and domestic animals (pets) now. Everyone acts like this is something new. It is not new. They just tweaked existing laws. They did this in 2014 when there were only 650 wolves with the same goal of 150. Fish and game is OK with it except a little loss of control. And they like the tag money. The problem is they were treating wolves like "game" animals instead of predators, I'll bet even with this bill, the wolves will still be over their goal.
The problem with the bill is it allows special interest groups a place at the table for game management. If you don't trust IDFG, this may be appealing. I know you have no reason to trust me as an anonymous internet poster. But when it comes to wolves and ultimately elk and deer hunting, I would rather trust scientists to tell us how to maintain a North American model of game management vs special interest groups, lobbyists, and legislators who are actually ranchers or are friends with ranchers who stand to make money from what this bill represents. Ranchers have avenues to cull wolves and seek remediation under current law. To not pursue those avenues is lazy. But hey, let's make more laws because we're lazy and want the government to support subsidized enterprise even more so than it is already doing.

This bill stands for hating wolves and on a lesser note, the IDFG commission. The money is already there for those that want remediation. My final thoughts and this is truly my opinion, what is happening now is a stepping stone and will impact our ability to hunt elk and deer in the future in the favor of private land owners and that will bleed over to public lands. Couple this legislative session with the last session and the new trespass laws which were passed under the guise of private property rights. Maybe people not out west are numb to losing access but I'm not ready to sit back and be numb. Wolves are an easy scapegoat to start the closeout. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. I hope I'm wrong and will gladly admit if I am.
 

87TT

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All those wolf loving interest groups are probably only raising a fuss because it might just work.

Have you even looked up the Idaho Wolf Control Board? It was created in 2014. The parties on the board have not changed with this bill and include IDFG.
 
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