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Wolves touted as park stewards

February 07, 2010 at 02:02 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - With ballooning elk and deer populations eating up greenery and altering ecosystems at national parks across the country, a group of researchers is suggesting an unusual solution: introduce small packs of gray wolves to curb the expanding herds.

They acknowledge that it’s a tricky endeavor: the hungry predators breed prolifically, roam hundreds of square miles and have a taste for cows and sheep.

But the researchers have got a solution for that, too: Neuter the wolves, fence them in, fit them with shock collars and - just in case - add a tracking device so they can be hunted and killed if they get too far afield.

“If there’s lots of food, they’re happy,” said Dan Licht, National Park Service biologist for the Northern Plains region. “An intensively managed dozen, ten (wolves) - we think that is doable with today’s technology,”

Licht led a team of five researchers who authored a paper in the February issue of the journal BioScience proposing to put wolves back atop the food chain at sites across the country. The predators would become park “stewards,” responsible for keeping game numbers down in areas as small as 15 square miles.

A single pack can go through an elk every three to four days. But when they wander, it’s often not long before wolves start getting into livestock.

From New York’s Adirondack Mountains to California’s Sierra Nevada, the extermination of wolves last century allowed big game herds to balloon - tipping nature’s scales and caused overgrazing in many parks and protected areas.

For years after wolves were gone, excess elk from parks including North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park were captured and shipped out, to establish new herds in Kentucky, South Dakota and Pennsylvania.

Those shipments have since been restricted because of worries about spreading animal sicknesses like chronic wasting disease. In their absence, Theodore Roos evelt park officials will use volunteer shooters to help trim its 900 elk herd by more than half over the next several years.

In Rocky Mountain National Park - where elk have wiped out aspen and willow groves, prime habitat for beavers and birds - officials last year enlisted paid and volunteer shooters to kill 33 elk. The Park Service rejected proposals to use wolves for the job.

Gray wolves were wiped out by the 1930s except in Alaska, Canada and the Western Great Lakes. They went on the endangered species list in 1975 and were reintroduced to parts of Yellowstone National Park and Idaho in the mid-1990s.

They multiplied exponentially, and now number an estimated 1,650 animals in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. In Yellowstone, scientists have tracked an ecosystem rebound since the predator-prey balance was restored.

But the $30 million Northern Rockies wolf restoration program also has stirred rancor. Many ranchers, embittered by frequent wolf attacks o n their livestock, say the government let wolf numbers get out of control.

Hunters, too, have complained about declining numbers of big game. Federal biologists say that is just part of a return to more natural conditions.

But gaining public acceptance for similar, if smaller-scale, programs at multiple sites across the country would bring enormous political complications.

“Wolves fix very few problems compared to the ones they create,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Ed Bangs, who leads the Northern Rockies wolf restoration program.

That program has withstood criticism in part by taking a hard line against wolves attacking livestock. Since 1995, more than 1,200 wolves have been shot in the region by government wildlife agents or ranchers in defending their property.

Their high numbers have allowed wolves to thrive despite the government killings. With a single wolf pack, there would be far less flexibility.

“When you have gr eat densities of people, lots of agriculture, you’re not going to keep wolves alive,” Bangs said. “If you’re talking even 100 square miles, or 200 square miles, you’re talking about a territory that’s too small for even one wolf pack.”

In Utah, where Idaho wolves haves shown up on occasion in recent years, one state lawmaker has said he wants them removed by the federal government.

In Oregon, another state now home to dispersing Idaho wolves, state officials have shown more tolerance and are ready to let up to eight packs get established.

However, other than the Rocky Mountain National Park proposal, Licht said he knew of none under consideration to cart in wolves and task them with ecological restoration. Give the idea a few years to germinate, he said.

“It is indeed consistent with Park Service policy, which to restore native species and natural processes,” he said. “Right now we’re starting the dialogue.”

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Correct me if I am wrong. Wasn’t there a wolf killed in northern Illinois recently?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/07 at 05:26 PM

What a brilliant idea! Look at the success in Northern Wisconsin and out West that they’ve had.
MORONS…...

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/07 at 07:18 PM

There is an article on here below somewhere stating MN is debating about doing away with antlerless season due to decline in herds, and these tojoes are recommending re-introducing wolves. Just allow bowhunting in the parks, the same way they should allow bowhunting in the N IL forest preserves. People would gladly pay reasonable sums of money to hunt in these areas. No instead we must introduce coyotes (in Chicagoland FPs) and wolves in the west.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/07 at 09:11 PM

ANOTHER GREAT IDEA!

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 02/07 at 09:20 PM

Couldn’t the United States government find a better use for the $30 million than to spend it on bringing 1,650 wolves into the Northern Rockies to piss-off a bunch of ranchers, embittered by frequent wolf attacks on their livestock. Just think what $30 million dollars would do if it were invested properly and the dividends off of it went to fund Elk restoration programs. I thought we had “Isle Royale” a remote wilderness island in Lake Superior where wolves and Moose were in balance, and where the researchers could study wolf predation to their hearts content.  Why do we need another “great experiment” on something that we already know will not work….....putting large predators and people in close proximity and in competition with one another.  Wouldn’t the recent string of cougar attacks in California, brown bear attacks in Canada, black bear attacks in the U.S., and the near annihilation of huntable mule deer and elk populations in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming give pause for another hair-brained idea to be foisted onto the American public by the “wolvers.”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/08 at 08:39 AM

Who among us has never said “I wish I could have seen this land before it was settled…”  Wolves were a part of the ecosystem then and they should be a part of the ecosystem today.

Sadly, too many “hunters” place a ridiculous amount of importance on a useless growth protruding from a deer’s head.  True sportsmen understand that the killing something is not the full measure nor the only reason to pursue the outdoor experience.

Too many “hunter” are takers and not givers.  For them, animals are born to die for our satisfaction and the loss of an animal to a natural predator is only a wasted opportunity…something that was somehow robbed from them. 

They are selfish…and uneducated…and, in the larger scheme of things, less important and more damaging than the predators they so loathe.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/08 at 08:49 AM

Neuter, fence, shock collar and a tracking device so if they slip away you can wackem. Sounds a little over the top even for wolf lovers.If there’s plenty of food the wolves in time might show up without spending the 30 million.
BigD I remember reading a while back that the Royale Isle wolf pack has ran into some problems of the genetic form due to inbreeding,backbone deformaties I think it was. Stuck on a island and no new genes.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/08 at 03:42 PM

Sounds like Spoon River is Spoon fed. Obviously, he or she is completely ignorant and uneducated on the subject of conservation and the roles different species play in the ecosystem.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/08 at 07:05 PM

Not sure if anyone has been keeping up on the recent sightings and distinctive howls that have been permiating the midnight air around Kewanee, IL.  Possible breeding pair of black wolves are on the move in the Kewanee area.  First sighting west of Kewanee.  the next time distinct wolf howls north of Kewanee.  A long long long time ago this would have been normal.  That is not the case in 2010.  These wolves need to be darted and taken back from where they came from.  They will be shot if they cross the wrong path.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/08 at 11:17 PM
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/08 at 11:24 PM

O.K. Spoon River, I’ll “bite,” no pun intended. Who, indeed, among us has never said ?I wish I could have seen this land before it was settled?? What does that mean? Settled, by whom?  Europeans? Let’s see, Columbus landed in 1492, so should our goal be to take back the country’s wildlife management species index to the pre-columbian time frame?  That means that Elk, black bear, and prairie wolves inhabitated the Illinois prairie, along with cougars. Would you support bringing all these species back or just the wolf? Or do you prefer taking the ecosystem back to before the Native American’s “settlement” about 10,000 years ago, when Ice Age giant mammals like Mastodons, Dire Wolves, Cave Bears, Camels, Giant Beavers, and Giant Wapiti were present?  Where do you draw the line.  Dire Wolves were a part of the ecosystem then and they should be a part of the ecosystem today?  The trouble with you “wolvers” is you can’t ever decide on when the right historical time frame to take everything back to.

That “useless growth protruding from a deer?s head” is called an antler.  God created antlers on male deer so they could fight and determine dominance, so that the deer herd would have a better chance of survival, because only the more dominant, better breeding candidates would pass their genes on to the next generation.  You know, the same way the wolf packs decide who will be the dominant “alpha” male, through mortal combat.  Unfortunately, as “time to go” has correctly reported in his post, due to inbreeding, the small restocked U.S. wolf populations are doomed to the same fate as the Isle Royale wolves.  Simple fact of life, when an isolated population doesn’t have enough diversity in it’s gene pool, then these kinds of problems arise, whether you are talking about a population of wolves or a small isolated human population. Most true sportsmen understand that killing something is not the full measure nor the only reason to pursue the outdoor experience. Harvest of a game animal usually results in it’s death.

A few ?hunters? are takers and not givers, however, many more hunters give back to the “outdoor experience” much more than they take.  Thousands of hours are spent by IDNR volunteers teaching school children about nature and Illinois’ wildlife heritage, instructing youths and first time hunters in hunter safety and gun safety courses, teaching and mentoring newcomers to the sport how to properly shoot both archery equipment and firearms.  Many more hours and donated dollars are given freely by Quail Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation members, Quail and Pheasants Forever members on programs that not only benefit their target animals, but provide habitat for all game and non-game wildlife alike.  I happen to believe that God created animals for the use of man.  For man’s enjoyment, whether that means companionship, food source, entertainment, or pleasure like riding horses, hunting deer or predators, or taking part in dog shows or field trials.  Death of animals, like death of humans is a part of the natural circle of life.  Animals, like humans are born, live, and die.  We cannot change that fact. Nor should we be sorry for pleasure arrived at by a hunter’s natural “satisfaction” at the taking of a game animal, provided it is done humanely, ethically, and legally.  The loss of a game animal to a natural predator is only considered a wasted opportunity by a hunter, if the predator is one that probably doesn’t belong in the ecosystem in the first place. It always amazed me why “anti’s” get so worked up about a few Canadian seal hunters clubbing some harp seals to death, when in reality, if they didn’t, those same baby seals would be devoured by Polar Bears.  Does that somehow make it better for the baby seals?  Death is inevitable in either case.

As far as branding all hunters as “selfish?and uneducated?and, in the larger scheme of things, less important and more damaging than the predators they so loathe,” is not fair to the vast majority of hunters.  Most hunters I know are unselfish,  intelligent, educated, decent members of society, that I would be proud to call friend.  Can you say the same about all of your fellow “wolvers?”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 12:16 AM

If I’m not mistaken, the $30M price tag is part of a larger multi-state wolf restoration program (which appears to be working in MT and ID). But I agree that it will cost considerable amounts for a park to implement some sort of wolf “stewardship” management plan for a dozen or so wolves that could very well end up as road kill on the first weekend, emigrate from the entire area completely, or cause more harm to the neighbors. Wolves are not as imperiled in the lower 48 as they once were. Parks out west that have suitable habitat will eventually be inhabited through natural means. Reintroductions/Repatriations (whatever you want to call it) rarely work and never 100% successfully.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 06:56 AM

OK, Tom, why don’t you share with us your thoughts on “What a predator’s role in a properly functioning ecosystem might be?”

And as for BigD, talking about how antlers were put there so the biggest animals could be better prepared to pass on their genes…answer me this…“What long-term affect does the killing of big antlered bucks by human hunters have on the deer herd’s genetic pool?”

And I’m not calling all hunter’s selfish and uneducated…only those that think predator’s are somehow taking something from them.

Questions for all…When was the last time you took money out of your pocket to (and I mean you personally, not DU or somebody else) plant a tree, re-create some prairie, fix an erosion problem?

If all you do is spend money on food plots, tree stands, the newest hunting gimmick or a banquet ticket…you have no personal sweat equity in the solution to our ecological problems…

Does that make you a giver or a taker?  You tell me.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 08:56 AM

I planted over 500 Oaks last weekend. I own a little over 200 acres of “bottomland” that we are restoring to a natural wetland state. I utilize this land primarily for “hunting” purposes and would not disagree that the work I have done will enhance the hunting potential. We have also spent a great deal of money installing levees to hold water on the property. While the improvements that I have made atract a great deal of “huntable” wildlife, the benefits are also enjoyed by MANY non-hunted species…..For example. My daughters and I spent about an hour watching a family of otters fish and play last weekend. While the work I have done was not done specifically to attract otters or provide them habitat, they are certainly benefiting… It should also be noted that I AM HAPPY to have done so.  What you fail/refuse to recognize Spoon River is that when sportsman/hunters become “stewards” of the land and make improvements ALL wildlife benefits. If you don’t believe me, then I would invite you come for a visit…..Plenty of eagles to view this time of year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 10:56 AM

Spoon:  I don’t believe that you quoted me correctly: “because only the more dominant, better breeding candidates would pass their genes on to the next generation.”  It is a fact that the “biggest antlered” deer quite often is not the dominant breeder in a herd.  It’s usually the “meanest” one that passes on his genes.  As in many things, bigger doesn’t always mean better.  Therefore, to answer your question: ?What long-term effect does the killing of big antlered bucks by human hunters have on the deer herd?s genetic pool?? A beneficial effect, if the hunters harvest older, mature deer, they are usually past their prime and are not as active in the breeding as younger, more prime bucks. The long term effect of controlled hunting from a strictly herd genetics perspective is probably better for the deer herd than predation.  The controlled harvesting of a number of deer throughout several age classes would do more for the genetic variations in the herd than predators, who mainly concentrate on the young, injured, and weaker prey species.  Recent studies by the Quality Deer Management Association on predation of fawns in the southeastern U.S., show that coyotes are a major factor in fawn mortality rates.  To introduce wolves back into an ecosystem that hasn’t had them for a hundred years would wreak havoc on the existing wildlife populations.  That’s what we are seeing today in parts of the western U.S., certainly in Canada and Alaska.

In Canada, the native peoples, called First Nations, are dependent on their Moose population for their livelihood.  They have always hunted wolves for fur and kept the population in check. They earn a living guiding Moose hunters and Moosemeat is a staple in their diet. They protested the fact that the Canadian government was preventing them from hunting wolves on their own reservation.  The wolves increased to the point that they were culling the moose down to the point that the First Nations peoples were having difficulty in finding moose to shoot.  You see people are part of the ecosystem as well as the animals.

Answer my questions, please! At what point(in history) do you personally consider the “ecosytem” restored to it’s ‘original’ state? And why would one period of history be any “better” than another, since any ecosystem is a dynamic changing natural system, isn’t it subjective to say that any one period would be better than another?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 11:12 AM

Rasputin…from the sounds of it, our farms are probably next door to each other.  Over the last 25 years, I’ve done all the same things on 5 different farms, so we are on the same page…no problems there.  The world could use more of the personal commitment that you demonstrate. Thank you.

BigD…in a place like Illinois, there is no going back to any resemblance of what existed prior to the ax and the plow.  The issue I driving at is this almost fanatical belief by some people that predators are uniformly “bad”.  They aren’t bad, they are just predators…doing what predators do.
As far as being dangerous, deer kill more people in this country in one year than have been killed by wolves over the last century…that is a fact.
And saying that hunter’s are better for a herd’s genetic diversity than are predator’s “if hunter’s harvest mature buck’s past their prime”?  Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen.  A better solution would be to dis-allow the killing of all antlered deer until the rut is over!  Just look at the this year’s pictures of the big buck’s killed before rut.  Are you’re going to tell me it had no effect of de-valuing the herd’s genetics?  Right…
And as for re-introduced wolves wreaking havoc on wildlife populations and reference to the QDMA…those statements alone show a bias toward…sorry…predator’s are eating “my” deer.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 01:27 PM

O.K.  Now you’re all going to think I’m nuts or smoking something.  About a week and a half ago I was out shed hunting in Knox County.  When I returned to my truck unsuccessful as usual, I began to take my gun holster off my hip while taking a few steps towards a huge culvert that fed lots of field water into my creek.  I heard so much water coming through the culvert that I had to take a look.  As I walked to the edge to look over at the culvert, I saw a wolf standing in it and looking to jump down to the edge of the creek.  I was absolutely stunned.  It wasn’t a Husky or some other dog, it was a wolf.  As I stood there stunned, this thing saw me and immediately charged up the bank at me.  Thankfully I had my gun already in hand and fired one shot off in fear right in front of it.  It came to within 6 or 8 feet of me before turning when I fired the shot.  As it ran across a road and into a cut corn field, it just lope off with its head turned back facing me the entire way.  It scared the crap out of me and I didn’t know who to tell.  I thought whomever I would tell would look at me like I was the guy who just saw a spaceship.  After the wolf left, I looked back over the edge to the culvert and saw a mostly eaten deer carcass not 10 yards from the culvert on the creek bank.  Now I know most of you are going to say I’m nuts, but I know what I saw.  This thing’s head came up to my hips…at least.  It was huge.  Now maybe this could have been one of those 80% wolf, 20% domestic dogs that some nutjobs like to breed and keep tied to a tree in front of their house, but this thing was a wolf all day long.  Am I alone here or has anyone else ever seen this?  I did take a picture of the track it left not 10-12 feet in front of my truck.  The track was every bit of 6” in diameter.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 01:34 PM

I’ve seen them twice, but the closest I ever got to one was about two hundred yards…so no, you aren’t crazy and there are plenty of people around the neighborhood who would believe what you’re saying.
And, yes, their tracks are huge, but you should also see their scat piles.  Impressive!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 01:48 PM

Introducing wolves?  Is this the same panel of people who introduced the ladybugs that would help us all out?  Stop messing with nature.  It’s pretty perfect the way it is now.  Here in Illinois, we are the top predators and I like it that way.  I don’t need wolves feeding on my dogs and barn cats.  My kids are already afraid of poachers and trespassers when they walk to their stands in the dark.  They shouldn’t have to fear wolves too.  I feel that we, man, have been put in charge of wildlife by God.  Stop letting wolves and coyotes do the job of man.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 02:06 PM

Treehugger…
Passenger pigeon…extinct.
60 million buffalo slaughtered out west and wiped out east of the Mississippi…along with the moose and the elk…
Giant Canada geese…almost wiped out
Deer, turkeys, otters, beaver…wiped out in Illinois and only in recent decades re-introduced…
Maybe it’s God’s will that man should act so selfish and irresponsible…but that’s not the God I believe in.
“Stop letting wolves and coyotes do the job of man”...translation…they are eating “my” deer.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 02:21 PM

Not my point at all Spoon.  We shouldn’t expect wolves or coyotes to do a job that we can.  Wolves can not monitor how many they kill….we can.  If wolves overpopulate and thus overconsume deer, how are we going to control that?  We won’t be able to pinch out any of the wolves.  Animal rights whackos won’t let us do that.  Once wolves are introduced, they are allowed to kill as many as they want to kill.  If we, man, take care of an overpopulated deer herd, we can determine how many deer we want removed, if any at all.  Wild animals do not have the ability to control their own habitat and consumption levels.  They also can not monitor their population numbers.  They are not capable of it.  Forget about your greed theory for a minute.  Don’t you think we can control things better ourselves with our level of higher intelligence?  Certainly wolves and coyotes can do their job of knocking down herd numbers, but can they stop themselves or at least slow down when the numbers are right?  I don’t think so.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 03:30 PM

Somehow, one should have expected Spoon River’s response to ‘treehuggers’ first hand encounter with the big bad “Wolf.”  Next we’ll be hearing about the conspiracy theory about the IDNR/USF&WS;‘s secret plans for reintroducing the timber wolf or prairie wolf to Illinois.  That ranks right up there with the theory about the Illinois Farm Bureau’s current reintroduction of the cougar to Illinois in order to control the deer herd.  I think Spoon’s been secretly reading a little of Cleveland Amory’s “Man Kind?”  The Passenger pigeon is extinct alright, but not from hunting.  That “colony” nesting bird was wiped out by the plow and axe not the shotgun.  When their nesting sites were wiped out, it was just a matter of time for them.  To bad though, I sure would have loved to hunt them.  In fact, had modern wildlife management, environmental laws, and controlled hunting been around a hundred years ago, the passenger pigeon would probably be an excellent game species and certainly, saved from extinction. As far as the 60 million buffalo slaughtered out West, you would have to look to the Federal government for the blame there.  That atrocity was done for one reason only…..to starve the American Native Peoples into submission and to make them totally dependent on the U.S. Federal government reservation system. The fact that Giant Canada geese, white-tailed deer, turkeys, river otters, beaver and let’s not forget the bald eagle, other raptors, and songbirds have been re-introduced in recent decades is because of hunters.  Hunters and fishermen were the rallying force behind the passage of the Dingle-Johnson Act and the Pitman-Robertson Act which funded the research, paid for the land acquisition and actual work in the field to re-introduce these wildlife species both huntable and non-huntable.

And, if you really want to know why there are any large mammals left on the African plains, it is because of hunters.  It is the love of hunting, being able to pursue the quarry, that causes the right people to become motivated to spend large sums of money to perpetuate species that live on the edge of extinction.  Sorry, Spoon River, I have yet to see a “wolfer” spend a nickle to see a piss ant eat a bale of hay. Certainly, there are wild places where wolves should be in the ecosystem in the world.  But, as a game species, predator or not, they can be managed, through hunting and trapping, and guaranteed a place in the environment.  Without that status, they surely will be wiped out.  Mother nature is not nearly so kind as hunters.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 05:54 PM

BigD…The Passenger Pigeon was shipped to Chicago by the rail cars full…year-round market hunters were, indeed, the primary driving force behind their extinction…not loss of habitat.

And BigD, there is a lot discuss in your letters, too much and more than I care to go into at this late hour.  But I’ll leave you with this…

Mother Nature has no feeling’s nor conscience.  It’s not kind, nor fair, nor ethical.  It just is.

As an ecosystem, Illinois is mess by human standards, but Mother Nature could care less.  Illinois just is.

I’m going to recommend that everyone should read “A Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold…the guy recognized as the Father of Modern Wildlife Management.  And a quote from Leopold’s book…

“To have an understanding of Ecology, is to live alone in a world of wounds.”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 09:01 PM

Where do you start the clock?  That is a question for lots of debates.  Wolves.  Since they rank higher on the chart in ability to affect man, we tolerate less of them.  We reduced lots of species in conquering the land.  As such we have taken over the population control duty from nature by removing the predators that some now say compete with us.  IL is no longer the wild prairie.  Instead its mostly one big garden with a treasure trove of prey.  Predators have a lot less real estate to call home.  Should all wolves be killed?  No.  Should all wolves be protected?  No.  Some value true wilderness for its raw and no holds barred rules for animals.  Not much of IL falls in that category.  If man is to surrender any ground to the wolves, they better know their place.  Meanwhile some hunters assume the duty of reducing the overall population control.  Some hunters desire just removing the older population.  The wolf just wants to eat.  In the end, the wolf doesn’t fit in with man’s need for control.

As for antler size, I dare say it, could be likened to human obesity.  A deer with excess nutrition and no predatory pressure may grow some impressive racks.  These racks are not signs of genetic survival of the fittest.  Instead they are a reflection of our preferences and priorities.  And if the wolf doesn’t honor that, well….

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 09:37 PM

Yeah, right Spoon, and there once were beavers….........“As many as stars in the Sky.”

“Chief Ironbelly” the movie “Mountain Men”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 10:05 PM

BigD…just get a copy of Leopold’s book and read it.  Then get back to me….

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 10:41 PM

wolves will make excellent targets;;;lol

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/10 at 05:38 AM

I wonder with all the other hardware they will be wearing if they will get a little name tag also. Like.. HELLO MY NAME IS TIMBER
      I’M A PARK STEWARD

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/10 at 11:58 AM

Like I said, BigD, don’t know if it was a pure bred wolf or just some knucklehead’s idea of a pet (80% wolf, 20% dog) that got loose.  I knew I’d sound nuts, but I know what I saw and I saw it very very close.  I also saw its aggression which leads me to believe that it was someone’s “pet wolf” on the loose.  I assume it could have been protecting the half eaten deer from me, but I’d also assume that if it was an actual wild pure bred wolf it would have taken off in the other direction as opposed to straight at me.  I knew I’d sound nuts.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/10 at 01:03 PM

Tree and Spoon:  Don’t take my post wrong!  I have no doubt that you saw something that you identified as “Wolves.”  They could have been hybrid wolf-dogs or maybe a “timber” wolf from Wisconsin or Minnesota migrated down.  But I still don’t think it’s a very good idea to get yet another extirpated large predator species started again in Illinois.  Kentucky has black bear just across the Ohio from us.  Missouri has photographs of cougars just across the Mississippi from us.  And Wisconsin used to have big old nasty “Badgers” just across the border from us, until the Illini killed them the other night. Cheeseheads, all! LOL

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/11 at 08:42 AM

Well God bless that wolf-dog thing if he ever passes under my stand.  He was damn lucky I’m terrible with a handgun.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/11 at 09:39 AM

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