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View Full Version : To all the elk hunters hunting in wolf country...



arrowslinger21
12-04-2012, 10:14 AM
Have you noticed any differences in elk habitat location or in other words where the elk are being found during your hunting seasons. I know have seen quite a bit of variation or shift in elk towards certain areas that used to not hold as many elk. Here is what have observed and maybe some possible reasons for it... http://kunderwoodblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/elk-meets-wolf/

Edelweiss
12-04-2012, 01:52 PM
The elk on Union Pass in Wyoming seem to be running full out to get away from them. Not like the elk I hunted as a kid.

Colorado Cowboy
12-04-2012, 02:22 PM
Went to Wyoming last year for a wilderness elk hunt in the Teton/Thorofare area right next to the SE border of Yellowstone NP. It was in early September and the rut was supposed to be going full bore. Bulls would not bugle as this was a signal to the wolves where they were. Guide told me been like that for a couple of years. Saw lots of wolves during the 6 day hunt and very few elk!!

Huntography
01-01-2013, 10:16 PM
I was filming a father and 2 sons in Idaho during archery and the father explained on camera how this very shift in elk vocalization had gone down due to the reintroduction of wolves in that area.

He shared how they used to hear bulls at night and in the darkness of the morning years ago but not anymore.

- Rudy


Filming America's Hunters, One at a Time

arrowslinger21
01-01-2013, 11:17 PM
I know they are getting quieter in a lot of areas. I havent run into too much trouble with that yet here in Oregon, but I am sure its only a matter of time. They have headed for higher ground for sure, but as of now I am still getting them to talk.

cnalder
01-20-2013, 01:20 PM
I've hunted in wolf areas and outside and haven't noticed too much of a difference. I sat and watched a herd with 6 bulls and 15 cows last fall and had wolves howling at the same time within a 1/4 mile. I watched the elk through the spotting scope and they paid no attention to the wolves. The one thing I have noticed is how much more the elk are bugling at night, even with a new moon, versus years ago. We camped in a basin in mid-september and had bulls bugling all night with no moon but come 830-900 they were done. I think hunters hare having more of an impact on when bulls bugle than wolves. Many hunters are bugling non-stop even if the elk aren't. Opening day last year I hunted this drainage, lots of elk in it, and had a bugle happy hunter on the other side. In a 2hr period I bet he bugled 20-30 times. I have definitely noticed the wolves have pushed the elk out of the open areas and back into the trees.

Drashly
01-21-2013, 10:27 PM
Hunted Idaho wolf country 2 yrs ago late September, heat of the rut. Definitely made it challenging. Very quiet, only pulled my string once all week. And we went way back away from pressure every day, very difficult. Heard plenty of wolves too. Its not good.

elkmtngear
01-22-2013, 09:04 AM
Eastern Oregon was tough this Season. All the elk seem to be on private lands, and did not get vocal and aggressive until after the end of the bow Season. http://elkmtngear.com/blog/father-and-daughter-vs-eastern-oregon-elk.html

I really do not think it had anything to do with wolves, but I can certainly see where wolves would completely kill elk hunting if they got a foothold there.

AnthonyVR
03-17-2013, 06:03 PM
Elk, and their breeding habits, evolved around wolves. Elk still bugle with wolves in the vicinity, you just have to work a little harder...

xtreme
03-17-2013, 07:10 PM
I don't need wolves, not any, not one. I don't need WildEarth Guardians, not one.

Drelk
03-17-2013, 08:34 PM
I don't need wolves, not any, not one. I don't need WildEarth Guardians, not one.

Exactly what he said

Colorado Cowboy
03-17-2013, 09:23 PM
Elk, and their breeding habits, evolved around wolves. Elk still bugle with wolves in the vicinity, you just have to work a little harder...

Sorry bud, but I really don't agree with your statement that I will have to work a bit harder. I live in SW Colorado and roam the mts where there are literally 1000's of elk & deer....and oh yes...no wolves. I know how the act and react. I also have hunted Wyoming in the areas where there are lots of wolves. The elk & deer are really very different in their habits. 25 or 30 years ago there were no wolves even close to the numbers that are there now. IMHO it is criminal how the endangered Species Act was used to introduce Canadian & Alaskan wolves here. We can agree to disagree, but the deer, elk and moose numbers are what suffers.

xtreme
03-17-2013, 10:22 PM
Ditto what CC said

shootbrownelk
03-18-2013, 07:00 AM
Right you are Colorado Cowboy, I used to hunt Grand Teton National Park untill wolves decimated the elk herd. Where they used to issue thousands of elk tags, it's reduced to a handfull now. I quit hunting the park in 1999, when I started seeing more wolf tracks than Elk, Moose & Deer tracks. It's a crying shame what the Clinton Gang did back in 1995, releasing a Canadian invasive species on United States Sportspeople.

AnthonyVR
03-18-2013, 09:23 AM
Just to clarify, I never said that the populations stay the same when the wolves move in. I'm not a wolf lover or an earth guardian and I didn't come on this forum to spend hours going back and forth about the wolves. I was just stating a fact that elk are still vocal in wolf country.

spark
04-07-2013, 06:58 PM
At our local RMEF dinner this year an outfitter in the Gardiner,Mt area donated a hunt for the live auction but it had a reserve on it. Now this is in PA. They could not even get the price up to the reserve so it did not go. Even PA. hunters know how the wolves have affected the elk. I feel sorry for the people trying to make a living in the outdoors where wolves are present.

elk_n_esox
04-08-2013, 10:13 AM
Just to clarify, I never said that the populations stay the same when the wolves move in. I'm not a wolf lover or an earth guardian and I didn't come on this forum to spend hours going back and forth about the wolves. I was just stating a fact that elk are still vocal in wolf country.

yup... they bugle and then run for their lives!

AnthonyVR
04-08-2013, 11:13 AM
yup... they bugle and then run for their lives!

That's funny, the bull I bugled in and killed this year didn't seem to mind... maybe I was just in his escape route.

tim
04-29-2013, 01:15 PM
It seems like the rut has shifted later. I am hearing bulls bugling in mid october and yes we have wolves.

packmule
04-29-2013, 02:05 PM
Right you are Colorado Cowboy, I used to hunt Grand Teton National Park untill wolves decimated the elk herd. Where they used to issue thousands of elk tags, it's reduced to a handfull now. I quit hunting the park in 1999, when I started seeing more wolf tracks than Elk, Moose & Deer tracks. It's a crying shame what the Clinton Gang did back in 1995, releasing a Canadian invasive species on United States Sportspeople.

I'll never understand why folks think the wolves here now are what were here and it absolutely annoys me that the Parks up there are in the business of pimping out all the wolf merchandise.

Colorado Cowboy
04-29-2013, 02:13 PM
I'll never understand why folks think the wolves here now are what were here and it absolutely annoys me that the Parks up there are in the business of pimping out all the wolf merchandise.

I'm no wolf expert, but I've done a little research. What we had were Timber Wolves (now extinct). What was released are Canadial/Alaskan Gray Wolves which I think are substantially bigger.

packmule
04-29-2013, 03:12 PM
Lot of difference between 80lb and 180lb animals.

tim
04-30-2013, 01:01 PM
the wolves did not come from alaska. I have heard that fairy tale, to many times.

I live in part of the state of idaho, that is always at the top or near the top for hunters killing wolfs. Last night, my wife made the comment, that elk are every where, she looks. And she is right. Granted still winter big time in the high country, so lots of elk down low. but there are alot of elk out there.

AKaviator
04-30-2013, 02:14 PM
tim is right, the wolves were imported from Canada, not Alaska. (Insert joke about them ending their howl with "eh"!)

It's good that you have lots of elk around too, but wolves effect the elk. They may not decimate them while you have healthy populations of elk, deer, whatever, but they sure can keep them down, or worse, when trying to recover from a bad winter or die-off of some sort.

These wolves are apex predators and do a lot of killing all year long and it make all other species adapt to them. Up here, you'll find moose doing more calving in urban areas when they get overrun by predators in their traditional calving areas. That may be a reason that you see lots of elk around.

I happen to love seeing wolves and am glad they are here. I see lots of them. But they need to be actively managed if we are to have healthy populations of all wildlife.

Colorado Cowboy
04-30-2013, 02:33 PM
tim is right, the wolves were imported from Canada, not Alaska. (Insert joke about them ending their howl with "eh"!)



These wolves are apex predators and do a lot of killing all year long and it make all other species adapt to them. But they need to be actively managed if we are to have healthy populations of all wildlife.

That my friend is a fact.

tim
04-30-2013, 04:24 PM
good post akaviator




tim is right, the wolves were imported from Canada, not Alaska. (Insert joke about them ending their howl with "eh"!)

It's good that you have lots of elk around too, but wolves effect the elk. They may not decimate them while you have healthy populations of elk, deer, whatever, but they sure can keep them down, or worse, when trying to recover from a bad winter or die-off of some sort.

These wolves are apex predators and do a lot of killing all year long and it make all other species adapt to them. Up here, you'll find moose doing more calving in urban areas when they get overrun by predators in their traditional calving areas. That may be a reason that you see lots of elk around.

I happen to love seeing wolves and am glad they are here. I see lots of them. But they need to be actively managed if we are to have healthy populations of all wildlife.

MTHusker
05-01-2013, 08:14 AM
There was a article in the Billings Gazette a few days ago regarding two wolves killing 5 ewes and 8 lambs on a ranch north of Gardiner. The rancher was given two permits to kill the wolves, but only if they are on his property.

Longknife
05-01-2013, 09:39 AM
Another problem people don't realize is that it is very hard to manage a predator species. Ever try hunting one? Also they reproduce at a faster rate than their prey and while yes at some point things will balance out there will be a lot of damage inflicted. Here's a little news flash to the wolf lovers out there, we ARE an apex predator. In fact we are the #1 apex predator on the entire planet. We have enough hunters out there to manage wildlife populations without getting extra "help" from wolves. I'm a southerner from Louisiana and before you say what could I possibly know about this subject I will say I have read a great deal about the subject and can tell you first hand a scenario that I believe can be compared to the wolf problem. In just the last few years I've seen the turkey population and now beginning to see the deer population decline in one of the areas I hunt in southern Mississippi. Coyotes are the culprit here. We did not introduce them but they are here nonetheless. The damage inflicted on our turkey population is undeniable. The birds that are left are much more quiet also. Makes sense? I'm pretty sure an elk can put two and two together if a turkey can. I think the reintroduction of the wolf was a major screw up. They should be considered a predator and hunted year round just like we do with our worthless coyotes. If you feel I am being too hard, sorry that's how I feel. God made us stewards over wildlife. I don't believe in hunting to extinction but I believe where humans and wolves are competing for the same game animals we should not cater to the frickin' wolf and give them precedence or even protection.

tttoadman
05-01-2013, 01:59 PM
I have been torn on this subject for years. I like the idea of having them, and I think some people want to manage elk and deer like a food crop. We have seen the positive impact when the elk heards are not allowed to lay around and eat the aspen all day. I am not educated enough on the subject to get into a debate, but it seems like the wolf population has quickly gotten away from the managers, and that was where it went to pieces. I do believe that opening year round hunting on them with no limits would take us right back where we started. There are enough people who want them "gone" to likely get the job done.

Those were my thoughts..............now I learn that these wolves aren't even from here to begin with?? WTF

Now I am more torn than before, but you can rest assured that I will be buying at least 1 wolf tag for idaho this year and try to help "manage" the population.

Colorado Cowboy
05-01-2013, 03:18 PM
We (and I say we humans collectively) have depended upon our fish & game for survival for all time. We definately "manage" them today as a "crop". We limit the take, the size and the methods used in this "harvest". If we didn't it would be like the early 1900's when our fish and game here in the US was basically harvested almost out of existance. If it wasn't for the sporthunters and fisherman, we would not have what we have today.

The real problem with the wolf introduction into Yellowstone NP was that no sport hunting is allowed there and the game was allowed to overpopulate. A similiar situation is evident in Rocky Mt. NP. IMHO introducing a species that was not native to the area to control the game animals and classifying them as endangered, borders on criminal. It is surely not what Congress intended when they enacted the ESA. Pretty sad deal.What they should have done is put a 10" fence around the NP so the wolves could not get out and let them eat to their hearts content. Instead we all have to deal with them in our own way.

Sorry for my rant, but its not right and I have been and still am pretty ticked of about whats happened.

mntnguide
05-01-2013, 10:29 PM
CC... you realize that a 10" fence wouldnt contain most squirrels...let alone wolves.. not sure if you meant a 10' fence which would have entailed it being basically its own ecosystem like a high fence operation. . Aside from that, the wolves were introduced at the same time as YNP, into most of Idaho and portions of Montana simultaneously. The whole scenario was ridiculous and unfortunately sponsored entirely by sportsman dollars, yet now that the Anti's love these things, its still OUR dollars that pay for them. Which is ridiculous.

As well, the wolves have not nearly taken off around YNP as they have in Idaho. Idaho is more or less one continuous mountain range which has enabled the wolves to spread and grow rapidly, where as Wyoming and Montana have more separated mountain ranges that have helped contain the spread of wolves. Wyoming has less than MT, and ID because of that reason especially. I guide right up to the line against Yellowstone in WY, so I am well aware the situation there, as I have also guided in the Frank Church Wilderness in Idaho. At least in WY, we still kill bulls of size, in Idaho we were lucky to even see elk sometimes. Its unfortunate for sure, and even though we now have seasons, the hunting will always be different and wolves will always be here. Idaho has a trapping program which is a great way to get at the high population during winter now that these wolves have become enlightened to hunters. They are a smart animal, and definitely will not be going away anytime soon. The hunting seasons, will never bring back the game that used to thrive before the wolves arrived.

Colorado Cowboy
05-02-2013, 06:39 AM
Yes I meant 10 Feet, but my fingers just didn't get to the correct key....a common occurance for me! I did not know about putting wolves in the areas outside the park. You are right about how smart they are and that they are here to stay.

The thing that really scares me is that I believe that they will eventually be here in Colorado! There has already been 2 documented (but not highly publicized) cases of collared Yellowstone wolves found dead here in northern Colorado. They may not be a problem here in my lifetime, but it only a matter of time.

All done with our $$$ and the Endangered Species Act................

MacDonald
05-02-2013, 07:37 AM
We have rapidly spreading packs here in North Central WA, but I haven't seen any differences yet in the deer & elk populations. It's still Winter in the high country though, and while Wenatchee's outskirts had a wolf a couple of weeks ago, nothing yet in Leavenworth area. The wolf was observed taking out an injured deer, and some idiot called the police, who "dispatched" the deer and hauled the carcass away so the wolf was forced to hunt again.

MacDonald
05-02-2013, 07:44 AM
Wow!! First post here, and I'm a "junior member"! That's cool, to be a junior ANYTHING, at almost 65 years old:cool: Haven't been carded in so long I forgot what it's like!

Timberstalker
05-02-2013, 09:11 AM
They affected my last elk hunt in Oregon's Silvies unit several years ago. We hunted the same area we usually do well in for several days with no luck, we couln't figure it out. We found elk before the season was over, but not where we usually hunt. The last nigh we heard wolves howling from camp and saw the tracks the next morning. It made sense then why were wern't seeing elk around camp. There are more in Oregon than they lead us to believe IMO. Without being able to use hounds for bear or cougar, now wolves, Oregon is in BIG trouble. Once the get into the Cascades, we will never control of them without poison.

Welcome to the forum MacD

Eric Bailey
05-02-2013, 12:22 PM
Yes I meant 10 Feet, but my fingers just didn't get to the correct key....a common occurance for me! I did not know about putting wolves in the areas outside the park. You are right about how smart they are and that they are here to stay.

The thing that really scares me is that I believe that they will eventually be here in Colorado! There has already been 2 documented (but not highly publicized) cases of collared Yellowstone wolves found dead here in northern Colorado. They may not be a problem here in my lifetime, but it only a matter of time.

All done with our $$$ and the Endangered Species Act................

For me wolves are one of most powerful symbols of wilderness. Some of the first books I ever read as a kid were Jack London's White Fang and Call of the Wild. My dad likes to tell a story about me getting bullied at school and saying to him "and then I asked myself, what would White Fang do?" I guess I smashed the bully in the face with my lunchbox. :) I can't help but want to see them here in Colorado, but I'm sure not in any hurry given how they have torn up elk herds in ID and MT. I hope now that they are de-listed and eligible for state level wildlife management that Colorado can keep their numbers in check.

mntnguide
05-02-2013, 12:47 PM
Wishing you had wolves in Colorado....You are about to get some major heckling about that statement..haha. Once the wolves push down that way, you wont only have a problem with massive amounts of hunters, you will start loosing the elk numbers that support it. . About a year ago a wolf that had been collared in Yellowstone was killed by a car in South Dakota...thats a lot of travel over both desert and mountains for one of them. Just goes to show that they can and will travel massive distances. Here is the article from a year ago... http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/wolf-found-near-pine-ridge-migrated-from-yellowstone/article_f6d01210-9f07-11e1-a76d-001a4bcf887a.html

tim
05-02-2013, 12:58 PM
mtn guide is correct they where dropped into many areas at the same time. not just in yellowstone. the nez perce tribe was a big reason for the wolf transplanting into idaho. They wanted them. Personally we wouldn't be in the situation we are in if wyoming would have played with idaho and montana. Remeber the original charter was all 3 states had to have an approved wolf management plan. Idaho was first, montana second, and wyoming for whatever reason did not want to put one togehter. Therefore we as states where not allowed to manage the wolf. The wolf was allowed to do what they do and they have done it very well.

As far as hunting wolves, it is not easy, and the trappers seem to do a better job than the hunters.

tttoadman
05-02-2013, 01:17 PM
I heard the collared wolf in Oregon was tracked clear over by medford or crater lake. that is a huge non-timbered area that she crossed to get there. They say she(I think) is wandering alone and has not found a mate. look out when she does.

Colorado Cowboy
05-02-2013, 01:20 PM
For me wolves are one of most powerful symbols of wilderness. Some of the first books I ever read as a kid were Jack London's White Fang and Call of the Wild. My dad likes to tell a story about me getting bullied at school and saying to him "and then I asked myself, what would White Fang do?" I guess I smashed the bully in the face with my lunchbox. :) I can't help but want to see them here in Colorado, but I'm sure not in any hurry given how they have torn up elk herds in ID and MT. I hope now that they are de-listed and eligible for state level wildlife management that Colorado can keep their numbers in check.

I assume that you are a big game hunter because your here on this forum (altho not necessarily a given!). You had better hope they don't get a foothold here in Colorado. It is not only elk that will suffer population declines, deer will also be effected. In 2011 I was on a hunting trip to the Teton Wilderness (an area called Thorofare) near the SE corner of YNP. It is (or was) a pretty famous area for great elk and deer hunting. Notice I said was.... I hunted with an outfitter and in 6 hard days hunting only saw ONEdeer and 12 or 15 elk. Did see lots of bones and lots of wolves. Pretty sad siruation.

Colorado has some wonderful big game hunting that offers lots of opportunities for hunters (along with lots of money from the hunters). If you really want to see wolves, move to one of the areas where there are lots of them! If I ever see one here in Colorado its SSS time.

groc426
05-02-2013, 02:49 PM
I hate to be this guy, but any place that have elk herds enough to sustain wolves will eventually be affected. It's all a matter of time. Way too many people sympathetic to the wolves to slow down their progression now.

bearmandoline
05-02-2013, 03:05 PM
Hopefully here in Co.the ranchers up north keep up with 3 S program they've utilized forever. Thank You Ranchers!!!!!

bearmandoline
05-02-2013, 03:07 PM
P.S. don't tell the tree huggers and bunny squezers.

Squirrel tail
05-02-2013, 05:58 PM
this is an intersting site i found about the sightings around the north west..thought you all might be intersted
http://www.northwestwolfsightings.org/Map.html

tim
05-02-2013, 06:03 PM
sure is alot of sightings where i live. Wondering when i will see one from the house. A wolf did kill a neighbors dog last winter.
Hound hunters sure have had to change there game.

tdub24
05-02-2013, 08:11 PM
That's a pretty cool website, will come in handy when we head to ID for some elk hunting. Thanks for posting Squirrel tail!

MacDonald
05-02-2013, 08:12 PM
P.S. don't tell the tree huggers and bunny squezers.

One of our legislators from the Spokane area offered to sponsor a bill in the state house which would authorize trapping and release of wolf packs to the west side of the cascades in the Seattle area, and Oh boy, did the above-mentioned groups have their underwear in a wad!!

packmule
05-02-2013, 08:31 PM
I seriously doubt we'll ever see the state try to reintroduce the Mexican wolf here. They resemble coyotes too closely and the state dishes out to much money in tax exemptions for predation control.

Colorado Cowboy
05-03-2013, 07:11 AM
All you have to do is look at New Mexico & Arizone where it has not been too successful. Lots of SSS going on there.

Alabama
05-11-2013, 09:30 PM
http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/wolfrest.htm

Check out the 2nd paragraph about the NPS policy on restoring "native" species. Also the 3rd paragraph about projected percentages of prey species affected. I wonder what the real numbers are now.