Fish and Game meeting
After our local fish and game meeting last night I came away a lil put off.
When asked directly why our elk are way down answer was "probably wolves"
When asked what they were going to do to get those numbers back up the response was " we have a meeting in April to discuss that" or "what do you think we should do?" And then (busily writing what was said down "oh that is a great idea"
These are the people we entrust our wildlife with? bobble heads going through the motions to just get away from the "public"?
As was my "recommendation", Time to kill more predators, Wolves bears lions coyotes, all need shot. Tags are cheap for residents.
I saw 24 bears last year! come on down.
So Seth, I guess I am a little confused about what you're upset about.
Is it that it seemed like FWP didn't know what they are doing?
The people that you talked to may, or may not, I don't know.
In our area, I have spoken with our FWP biologist, and he is very knowledgeable about the situation, and spoke a lot about predator control. He told me that public meetings are great for him, and he hopes to hear a lot of good ideas from the public. He is currently undertaking a big wolf predation study so that when people ask why elk numbers are down he can say it is because of wolf predation (and any other factors he finds in the study), and he can have the data to back it up. Right now, "probably wolves" is a pretty good answer, IMO, because the correlation between wolf numbers going up and elk numbers going down, but they don't yet have the scientific findings to say for a scientific certainty.
I would feel encouraged that they are having meetings, and asking the public what the public thinks can help. I will be at our meetings in this area as well.
FWIW, I also think predator control should be a top priority.
Was rushed yesterday in my comment, Problems presented were too many wolves (FWP not sure what they are going to do about it)
Too many bears (FWP not sure what to do about it so they proposed a lengthened season until June 15th or 21st)
Too many mountain lions (FWP not sure about what to do) Public proposed going back to quota and leave season open til it is filled.
The elk numbers are way down (Locals proposed that rather than unlimited cow tags for youth and disabled hunters they get the only cow tags in the area but must apply so numbers taken are controlled yet youth still gets that advantage.
No more shooting a cow with a bow (not that I ever have)
Long story short, sounds like the boy who cried wolf years ago is now just getting a "you were right" Meanwhile they propose nothing to get after these predators, and return game to our state. They(FWP) are the organization running the numbers, getting the paychecks from hunters, they need to have their feet held to the fire on this.
Sounds like a bit of what Guy Eastman wrote back in November 2011, "Predator Death Spiral...", "We all as hunters need to keep pressure on our politicians and state agencies to make sure they do the right thing for our wildlife." You folks in Montana have made some great strides getting wolves getting controlled now. My thanks go out to both of you Bitterroot Bulls and sethkuhl for going to these meetings. Thanks for doing that in Montana you two! With the information age the "bad winter, try again excuse" told to us hunters who by the way happen to be the customers of the Game and Fish Commission is not going over as easy as it did in the past.
Thanks for the clarification, Seth.
I certainly was not trying to be confrontational, just pointing out that there are good, hardworking people in MT FWP that are keeping the wildlife and hunting in mind when they are coming up with management strategies.
Our meeting is on Monday at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton at 6:00 PM. I will be there. I hope to hear some better detail than you did. I will post about it after the meeting.
I think it is also important to remember that MT FWP did not reintroduce the wolves, and they were given the unenviable task of managing them after the fact. I am going to suggest a trapping season.
We have had extended bear seasons in our area for the past few years and FWP is encouraging hunters to harvest them. We as hunters need to do our part as well and get out and make those harvests! I think I will see if I can't tag a wolf tomorrow.
I've had good responses in gaining information from wildlife biologists in both hunting and fishing information. I know there are a lot of good folks out there trying to do the best they can for our wildlife and for the future of hunting. It's a complex combination and each area has it's own set of biodiversity parameters. We need their support for the future of hunting and we all need to work together. I think it is good that they are taking their time to hear what you have to say and table a conversation together to answer questions, voice concerns or possible solutions.
I think it's important to remember there is a political movement intent as well to remove hunting as a management tool and another also intent in removing our second amendment. Wildlife management has had it's share of pressure and some knowingly or unknowing have gone along with the federal government's plan in reintroducing predators to control the ecosystem without the use of hunters.
God bless you both in helping and voicing your thoughts, concerns or possible solutions at these meetings.
It stinks that this wolf issue has to be handled with silk gloves and not the iron fist, but Fish and Wildlife departments, especially in ID and MT have to be careful not only with the policy they set, but how they handle the public and their perception of the policies. The private interest groups have their own biologists and spin doctors scutinizing the 2011 and 2012 wolf hunts and the hunting community can be assured that they will put a different light on the predator-prey relationship and ungulate herd numbers declining. In their eyes; and remember this- We (hunters) are the wolves, and they blame us. I feel wierd even typing this, it just plain sucks! There doesn't seem like any concrete solution that both sides will ever agree too, and the lawsuits and degredation of out beloved ungulates will continue far into the future. At least we can hunt in Idaho and Montana wolves now. I feel bad for the fish and game departments; they don't want to lose a bunch of money by slashing tag numbers and backing it with the rationale that they can't deal with a situation that was out of control long before state management was implemented. You guys and gals who are attending these meetings are awesome (SETH, Bitterrot, everybody), and that is a bummer that you(SETH) felt dejected after leaving a public meeting. You are the front line, and the voices that are being heard, and it is important for a bunch of us to go to the public meetings and voice our concerns rationally, keeping in mind that the departments and their managers are new at this too, and care (god, I hope) about the strength and stability of their states wildlife and its future. Mini-rant over and out.
We all have to understand that with out wildlife our fish and game people do not have jobs. I personally know the Biologist in the Bitteroot and he is working his butt off for us. We have taken the right steps for predator management. Fish and Game have rules to follow. They do work for us and they can only do so much. I have been in the Bitteroot all of my life and watch our elk decline horribly. We as sportsmen need to attend all the meetings and put our heads together to help fish and game come up with a sollution.I will be attending the metting in Hamilton also. Please people attend if you can. Thanks
Hey Seth. Just point me in the right direction. My wife and I are looking to do some spring bear hunting.
PM sent check your mail box
Originally Posted by mtmuley