When the wolf known as 778M was in his heyday atop the Blacktail Pack, competing canines that ventured into his territory in Yellowstone’s Northern Range weren’t likely to be greeted with submission.

The unusually large alpha male was fiercely defensive and protective.

“He would fight at the drop of the hat, and he was willing to run right into battle,” Yellowstone Wolf Project Biological Technician Rick McIntyre said.

“In defense of his family and his territory,” McIntyre said, “he was very aggressive.”

The size, aggression and smarts led 778M to a long, productive life, in wolf terms. At 9 1/2 years old, 778M was among the oldest known male wolves since the large carnivore species was reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park 21 years ago. Before being shot and killed by a Montana hunter last month, the big alpha was also the last living member of the Druid Peak Pack, which grew to an almost unheard of 37 animals, was witnessed by 100,000 visitors and helped make wolf-watching into big business.

Wolf 778M’s time in the world famous wolf pack, which ran the show in the Lamar Valley around the turn of the century, was fleeting. Born into the Druid Peak Pack in April 2007 as the grandson of one of the original Albertan transplants, “Big Brown” took off by fall 2008. He split off alongside four brothers, less than two years before the Druid Peak Pack was wiped out by mange.

Pairing up with four females from the former Agate Creek Pack, 778M and his band of brothers formed the Blacktail Deer Plateau Pack. Big Brown’s leadership role in the pack was a natural one, McIntyre said.

“He had that classic confidence and quiet self-assurance that pretty much all alpha males have,” he said.

Over the next several years the Blacktail Pack thrived, growing into a large and successful pack that topped out at 15 animals and held down territory in the western Northern Range.

Yellowstone Wolf Project Leader Doug Smith’s first interaction with 778M was in 2011, when he sedated, captured and collared the alpha male. At 118 pounds, he had plenty of heft.

At the time 778M was paired up with alpha female 693F, and though they never produced a litter together they made a “great couple,” Smith said.

“He had a tight pair bond with 693,” he said.

The alpha female was found dead outside Yellowstone National Park in late 2013. Afterward, 778M headed outside the safety of the park as well, joining up with the Slip ’n Slide Pack.

“Where he moved first was 2, 3 miles over the park line, just outside in the Gallatin National Forest,” Smith said. “Four or five months ago he really took off and went way north, and I didn’t hear about him anymore. The next thing I heard is he got shot.

“He went from being one of our main wolves to being a peripheral wolf to being a wolf we didn’t keep track of at all,” he said.

In some ways 778M’s demeanor and resilience was reminiscent of his grandfather, 21M, the longtime Druid alpha that McIntyre described as the “all-time greatest heavyweight champion.”

“When things came along that had the end result of members of his pack being killed, like rival wolves, time after time after time 778M survived that,” McIntyre said.

Gardiner, Montana, wildlife photographer Deby Dixon looked back on the wolf she knew as Big Brown as a survivor.

“His whole pack died of mange,” Dixon said, “and he lived in Jardine for two hunting seasons prior to getting killed this year. He was fairly habituated, too — people didn’t bother him — so it’s amazing that he stayed alive for so long.”

Genetic testing of Yellowstone wolves in the years ahead will tell the tale of how well 778M spread his genes.

“Certainly there is a sadness in the death of 778 after living a long and difficult life,” McIntyre said. “But now that he’s gone, we still have descendants of the Druid wolves.”

On a aerial telemetry flight Tuesday morning, a Yellowstone biologist spotted the Druid-descended Lamar Canyon Pack sleeping within a few hundred yards of the original Druid den site.

“That’s happening right now,” McIntyre told the News&Guide, “as you and I are talking.”

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or environmental@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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(72) comments

Kristin Morgan

"we are the invasive species" Not if you consider human beings "animals". If human beings are mere animals, anywhere we choose to settle would be a natural biomigration, would it not? If you do NOT consider human beings as mere animals, then we are given control of this earth and do what we feel is best. Either way, human beings are not a pest, or a parasite upon this planet. Frankly, the anti-human being trend should die, it is a ludicrous argument, and the ones promoting the argument never seem to nominate themselves to be part of the great depopulation plan.

Chad guenter

Kristin, you are 100% correct regarding the "anti-human" part in the environmental movement.

They believe the earth would be so much better without human beings.

IMO it is a mental illness perpetuated with self loathing.

Jay Westemeier

There is radical fringe on both sides of the argument. But pigeonholing every wildlife advocate as being anti-human or as an environmentalist is grossly incorrect. True Wildlife advocacy does not place the ultimate importance of wildlife above that of human beings. It places the responsibility of human beings to preserve and protect wildlife as one of our planet's precious assets at the forefront. Claiming that hunting is essential to human survival in the United States today could also be considered to be irrational and a mental illness perpetuated by humans who are out of touch with or afraid of an acceptable modern lifestyle.

Chad guenter

Hunters do more to preserve and protect wildlife than any other group Mr. Westemeier. When is the last time you stopped traffic in both directions of route 191 at dusk so 500+ head of elk could cross safely without being hit by a vehicle in the dark? I and others have done it in the last month when no rangers were present to.

You can have your "modern lifestyle" but do force it on others or deny others of an alternative that existed as long as humans have been on this planet. That is what you are doing when you continually push for and end of a huntable population of ungulates in the GYE, a place YOU don't even inhabit.

You may be happy with your cellophane wrapped, agri-corp raised, poison called "meat". But do not force it on others who prefer to provide sustenance for our families the way humans always have.

Jay Westemeier

Just another irrational and paranoid claim by Chad Guenter to justify his one week a year recreational pastime. I'm actually not against your fettish for ungulate meat. I'm against your disregard for overall wildlife well being. You can try to spin it anyway you want Guenter, but we all know your real motives. Your claim that hunters do more to protect and preserve wildlife than any other group is nothing but propaganda. If your right to hunt was somehow abolished, I would bet the farm that you wouldn't lift a finger or spend a penny to help protect wildlife or even the one species you cherish.

Chad guenter

Pittman Robertson act Mr. Westemeier.

I doubt all the green, enviro, predator worshipping groups combined haven't raised even close to 1 billion dollars for conservation to date, yet sportsman raise nearly that much EVERY YEAR.

It's not propaganda.

https://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ref=service-distributes-$1.1-billion-to-state-wildlife-agencies-to-support-&_ID=35495

Jay Westemeier

The dollars generated from hunters is not "raised". It's generated through licenses which are basically a tax on hunter's recreational pastime. I'm not saying that this money is not an essential part of conservation. It's the undermining intent, mindset and motives toward overall wildlife conservation that many hunters like yourself that should be scrutinized. As I said, if you couldn't hunt, I doubt if you or the majority of "sportsman" like you would contribute a cent or a minute of their time to help preserve wildlife or wilderness. That is the underlying reason for hunting licenses.

Marion Dickinson

There seems to be two types of enviros, those who dream of Utopia where nothing kills or eats anything and those who are looking for the next tax free "grant" paid for by those who do pay taxes to study this that or the other. The best historical view of Yellowstone is that documented by the first visitors, they saw NO wolves, thousands of elk, NO buffalo, altho they did hear the small Pelican Valley herd across the Lake. Yellowstone has been changed to suit an enviro research grant mindset.

Lorelle Blackwell

There has been discussion as to the 'native' as opposed to 'invasive' characteristics of wolves and mention made of their reintroduction into the national park. Just out of curiosity what are your opinions on the wolves that used to live in Florida? Were they native or invasive? Should they be reintroduced into the Everglades, or the pine forest of the Ocala National Forest, or the sandhills area of central Florida where they used to be plentiful? If so, from what gene pool would you take them? The coyote and coyote hybrid population in Florida has mushroomed and is a huge problem to the humans and animals in most of the state, and currently ignored by wildlife officials in Florida. Should something be done about them competing with the Florida Panther for food? If it's possible to do so, what effect would wolf reintroduction have there on the coyotes and Florida Panthers, and humans?

victoria tamblyn

Long live los lobos rip, btw for all you cowards shooters that hate wolves we are the invasive species, take heed on yourselves. You cant hunt like a wolf does. Try surviving like they do. go out into the wild into the cold and avoid becoming annihilated, and see if you live you will die, if they don't eat you first!!!!

victoria tamblyn

In the beginning on this continent, as well as in other parts of the globe,a species that have existed, thrived and continued to survive beyond extinction for some species would be the wolf. Canis lupus, has the scientific evidence of remains dating back 15,000 years on the north American continent . Far few and wide this species has continued to stay alive. Except for the pursuit of the now American frontier to conquer, which remains to be in question as to if humanity could continue to live on this land with or without predators. Should this be within the idea that all nature takes care of itself. with or without intervention as it has been throughout time. In our intelligence which we think we humans being the top predator on this earth, is of absolute resolution. Would be of complete inconceivable belief, that we as the only species left humankind would not as we do, because it is in our nature to kill and eat, as it is for all predators. Maybe then we should think before we drink. For If humankind does not live with the animals, then we must let them live for themselves. For if we do not have the animals we shall not have anything but ourselves. In the end there will be nothing but silence. We must Listen to nature as it speaks to all of us .For those who can hear the cry of the wolf, truly understand.

Byron Baker

Canadian Wolves are an "invasive species" and should be exterminated in all Wyoming lands. The stupidity of the National Park Service to introduce them into Yellowstone has caused the unnecessary slaughter of thousands of Elk, Mule Deer and Moose.

Even the original NPS director who brought in the Canadian wolves has regretted this decision ever since.

Let's get Wyoming set up like Idaho. I would be proud to hunt and kill 5 wolves a year1

Jay Westemeier

"Even the original NPS director who brought in the Canadian wolves has regretted this decision ever since".

That's an inaccurate statement taken out of context.

The seasonal hunts of elk, mule deer and moose can also be seen as unnecessary slaughter by many people.

joshua able

false, they are the SAME wolves. Science and DNA prove it.

Bob Roland

Once elk herds in Montana had calf cow ratios of 60 calves for 100 cows. We had all the predators and the only thing changing was the return of wolves. Now elk herds commonly have less than 10 calves per 100 cows.

www.esajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1890/11-0768.1
Wolves reduce pregnancy rates by 24-48% it's about more than the number eaten.

As for the size of wolves move south to Yellowstone, read "Bergmann's Rule". Explains exactly why wolves brought here were larger.

joshua able

they arent larger, soooo..... also, Montana has about 80,000 More elk now than at the time of reintroduction.

D P

A quick clarification from a biogeographer and ecologist -- Bergmann's Rule is just the observed empirical pattern that body size increases with latitude, both intra- and inter-specifically. Bergmann's Rule in and of itself does not propose any mechanism for that pattern, and so cannot explain "exactly why wolves brought here were larger." The pattern hold for many (but not all) taxa. What's often not know is whether intraspecific variation in body size is a phenotypically plastic response to the environment, or the result of local genetic adaptation. In both cases, it's unclear how labile that response is -- in other words, we don't know whether populations of big individuals transplanted towards the equator stay big over several generations or retain their relatively larger body size.

In any case, the relatively few degrees of latitude between Yellowstone and the source populations is unlikely to be associated with a large enough difference in body size to make an ecologically appreciable difference.

Carry on...

joshua able

Chad, (1) killing wolves tends to increase breeding and cause the population to expand faster than being left alone (2) the population of elk is 4500, directly in line with the scientificly determined carrying capacity (3) and again, science (including dna) show that our current wolves are the same as what we had before.

Brice Hemming

That is complete and utter fairy tale. Idaho has the proof hunting wolves does not increase wolf population. You do understand how to read a science report right?
2. Independent fly survey of the elk herd the count was 938 elk. The Fish and Game is lying to the public to cover up the fact that wolves destroyed the elk herd down from 19,000 elk to 938 is a disaster.
3. Wrong the Rocky Mountain wolf was a smaller and the scientific term was canis lupus irremotus is not the same wolf as lupus occidentalis from the Yukon.

Bob Roland

If killing wolves causes a increase in the number of wolves, you wolf lovers should thank us wolf hunters. [beam]

Glenn Graham

No thanks to ignorant wolf hunters

Brenda Negri

This is tragic. I hope he is able to live on through his pups.

joshua able

seems he never had pups, he was shooting blanks

Bob Brister

Trophy hunting is inexcusable.

Brice Hemming

No one trophy hunts worthless vermin wolves. It more of taking the trash out of the woods.

joshua able

yet you are trash, so its ok to "take you out"?

Chad guenter

Mr. Folks: I have seen that study before and find it laughable. Multiple studies of biased and unbiased scientists put the number of elk killed every month per wolf between 2 to 3. 500+ wolves in the GYE are removing 12000 to 18000 elk a year from the ecosystem. The Druid pack at its peak killed approximately 1600 to 2400 elk a year. When Montana started allowing wolf hunting the collapse of the Northern Yellowstone elk herd was halted and it has slowly stabilized and started recovering. Wolves and wolves alone took the herd from near 20,000 animals to 3,500 in 15+ years.

The biggest problem with the wolves that inhabit the GYE currently is that they are an transplanted invasive species, as destructive to the ecosystem as Lake Trout are to Yellowstone Lake.

Canis Lupus Irremotus vs. canis lupus occidentalis
Look it up

Jay Westemeier

Yes, everyone should look it up and see how foolish Mr. Guenter is on the subject. He continues to imply that one of the two subspecies never hunted elk in the GYE.

Chad guenter

"one of the two subspecies never hunted elk in the GYE."

Before 1995 that statement is 100% accurate.

Brice Hemming

Jay the facts are wolves are worthless vermin pest that destroyed the ecosystem in Yellowstone. If you love barren landscape void of most wildlife then wolves are great. I prefer thriving ecosystem full of wildlife.

Jay Westemeier

I don't know you Brice, but based on your posts I have to chalk you up as just another paranoid sportsman who's been brainwashed by selfish and bandwagon riding ideals past down for generations. I've lived in the upper Midwest most of my life and am well versed in how wolves interact in and affect an ecosystem. Our area of the country has over twice as many wolves as the northern rocky mountain region and has been dealing with them for a longer period of time. There's no doubt that wolves have an effect on ungulate populations. Anyone who claims otherwise is just misinformed and/or just inexperienced studying the subject. But one thing that is also easily apparent is that the northern rocky mountain region maintains the most disdain for the wolf in the country. That hatred was created by the early ranchers and homesteaders of that region who had no regard at all for the overall balance of any ecosystem. Time and changing demographics have yet to fully heal rampant wolf hate in that part of the country. Obviously, some people just find it very hard to admit that predators, including the wolf, are essential to maintaining balance in every ecosystem. My own experiences have taught me that almost every person who admits hate of wolves or any other predator, basically has no regard at all for wildlife as a whole. They only have their own personal interests in mind.

Bob Roland

Jay Westemeir, I dare you to provide one piece of research showing wolves are essential to maintaining a balance in ecosystems where humans live and work in the west.[sleeping]

Jay Westemeier

Ok Mr. Rowland. You can start by reading the following:

http://www.yellowstonepark.com/wolf-reintroduction-changes-ecosystem/

This is just one of many articles based on unbiased scientific research. This one happens to be part of the YNP web site which can't be considered to be a one-sided or biased site. This whole wolf argument basically comes down to this. The ONLY sectors of the human population that can find any detrimental affects of having a thriving wolf population are mountain West livestock producers and elk hunters. And within those two sectors, there is not a 100% consensus that wolves are a bad thing. You and others tend to believe only what you can easily see, less available elk tags for the areas that are convenient for them to hunt and less elk available for them to easily shoot. Livestock producers that practice free public range grazing or own vast amounts of unsupervised grazing land only see a potential threat to their bottom line financials. The vast majority of both groups have never stepped off of a paved main road through YNP, GTNP or other parts of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. They don't see or recognize the positive trickle down effects of predators and most refuse to look for or be shown these positives. People can either be what I call lazy, and rely only on what they hear from within their peer groups, or they can get out in the field and really experience what is beyond a binocular's field of view.

joshua able

Chad, I'm talking about the elk outside of the park, and not standing in Gardiner. If you live in the area you must see them. Over populated elk doesn't make for a good argument. If you want to live in a Game Farm, then buy one.

Chad guenter

Whether it's in Mammoth, Gardiner, south of Jackson or by the airport, elk now congregate close to man, finding protection where wolves haven't yet emboldened themselves to go. I have an uncle that lives outside Banff National Park in Canada where the elk have suffered the same wolf driven collapse and his yard is usually home to several elk year round, with wolves howling on the far river bank across from his home. Seeing elk around towns in built up areas does not mean overpopulation is occurring, it actually could be the opposite and the last "safe spaces" for elk are the last place they want to be.

Hunting/Management ensures over population doesn't happen, that happens in every state from coast to coast.

joshua able

since the elk population is just about prefect for the region, you might want to work on your theories

Brice Hemming

If you want wolves so bad buy a farm to put the worthless vermin pest on. Oh are you some communist that wants to force you ideas down everyone else throat?

joshua able

Robyn, "revived"?? What are you talking about? Oh, and it would seem Big Brown was shooting blanks ..

Michael Folks

For those who are willing to read Discover's interview with Dr. Middleton on the study... it of course is not new news.


http://discovermagazine.com/2014/may/16-elk-vanishing-act

Michael Folks

I'm not sure Chad has read it but why does no one else even mention the 5 year study by PH.D. Biologist Arthur Middleton from U of Wy which initially was really meant to confirm the hunter myth and Creel's MT State conclusion that wolves were the root cause of high calf mortality and shrinking Yellowstone herds. Chad, have you read the results of the study since you have had a couple of years to do so?

"After spending five years trying to find the one thing that could explain the declining elk populations, Middleton has concluded that there isn’t one — there are many: Trout fishermen, bears, wolves, fish, climate change and factors yet unfound collectively shoulder the weight of that loss. “Changes in the system were perceived as a consequence of wolves,” he explains, but these reintroduced predators actually have a relatively small impact — one that is far outsized by the hoopla surrounding them. The elk population in Yellowstone is at the mercy of a much larger, human-altered ecosystem."

You got it all figured out don't you Chad... it's those darn wolves fault... not!

Brice Hemming

Sounds like his father was one of the scientist that said smoking was good for you. I can't believe anyone is stupid enough to believe that fairy tale. Wolves need 9 pounds of meat a day to survive. So these wolves are not eating all the elk they must be vegan wolves to believe that nonsense. LMAO

Robyn Busch

This is the most egregiously offensive action. I think the man needs to be criminally prosecuted!! Now the wolf pack can NEVER be revived!

Brice Hemming

I think all wolf lovers should be criminally prosecuted for destroying the ecosystem and wiping out the elk herd.

Jay Westemeier

And I think anyone complaining about wolves and people who support the existence of predators, should study the subject of what a truly balanced ecosystem is. Get a true education on the subject outside of the local coffee shop or bar. Griping and placing blame will never cover up your obvious ignorance on the subject.

Cheri Domer

This is disgusting. Killing wolves is killing the divinity of nature. This makes me sick.
[sad]

Brice Hemming

Need a tissue? Cry babies are so boring.

Sam Lobo

Its even sadder, Cheri Domer, when people like you don't come to the real realization that wolves need to be killed. NEVER in the history of man have they lived around people and did not need to be killed... NO PLACE You have no wolf utopia. I thank this hunter for doing what is needed to balance MAN and beast. Inevitablity is something you can not get around! What makes a group like HSUS so vile is that they know this fact YET pimp wolves to no end so they can wear them on their sleeve and get the gullible like you to press their "donate now" button. Again, you have no wolf utopia!

Glenn Graham

Sam Lobo - do you actually believe what you write? Someone must be paying you right?

Chad guenter

Your numbers on elk and their RECOVERY reflect wolf hunting beginning in WY and MT in 2012-13.[smile]

Chad guenter

Mr. Huard your "numbers" on wolf population mirror the loss of the Druid pack in 2010 to mange.[smile]

William Huard

After decades of debate over whether this range was overgrazed by too many elk, public concern has shifted to the herd’s small size. The winter count, which was approximately 17,000 when wolf reintroduction began in 1995, fell below 10,000 in 2003. It fluctuated between 6,000 and 7,000 as the wolf population on the park’s northern range declined from 94 in 2007 to 79 by the end of 2012. The elk count dropped to 3,915 in early 2013, the lowest since culling ended in the park in the 1960s. However, 4,844 elk were counted in winter 2015 suggesting the decline has stabilized. Decreased numbers have been attributed to large carnivore recovery (wolves, cougars, bears), hunter harvest, and drought-related effects on pregnancy and survival. The State of Montana has reduced the permits issued for this herd so that hunting of females now has little impact on population size.

From the national park service.
What do they know!
They are not wildlife experts like hunters!

joshua able

Again Chad, they are the SAME wolves. As for Elk, they are actually at the population that is ecologically sound, and as for not having elk out by Gardiner, I guess the hundreds that are seen on a normal basis must be fake elk?

Chad guenter

3000 elk tags near Gardiner fed HUMAN families for years Mr. Able. That hunt no longer exists. A few hundred hiding in the shadow of park buildings is not something to herald as a success. (and no they are not fake)

Jay Westemeier

It's it a shame that those families are now starving near Gardiner. If I were you Chad, I'd abandon your fairytale hunter's paradise and move next to one of the many packing houses in Kansas. Plenty of meat scraps to go around.

Glenn Graham

So sad. The wolves and bears are a big part of why people come to Yellowstone. Yet the selfish minority want to kill them. Even if these people have no compassion, its obvious they're worth more alive than dead.

Sam Lobo

Hog wash.... people come to see wildlife and are disappointed & sick of the predator pimps pushing their bigotry on them.

Jay Westemeier

Scam Lobo, All of the latest surveys conducted by YNP and GTNP prove unquestionably that your statement is the true hogwash. Either that or you and people who share your opinion are too lazy or cheap to support our national parks and participate in the surveys.

William Huard

"The decimated North Yellowstone elk herd will benefit from Montana's continued vigilance to control an invasive species. "

Facts don't matter to some folks.
First of all- the North Yellowstone Elk herd is not decimated.
There are factors other than hunters "not liking Wolves" explains declines in ELK herds. Weather, habitat, and 4 or 5 apex predators are a few.
The herd is just about right- somewhere between 4000- 5000 animals.

If you HATE wolves you can never have too many ungulates and to few wolves.
These are "wildlife experts."

Wolves are an "invasive" species because ecologically illiterate hunters say so!
HATRED for wild animals is NOT "wildlife management."
Poor Chad!

Chad guenter

Mr. Huard, an 80% drop in the Northern herds population is accurately described as decimation. The migratory elk hunt outside of Gardiner no longer exists that once fed thousands of families.

What would you call it if hunts were allowed to take GYE wolf numbers from 400+ down to 75........ I bet decimation wouldn't be your descriptor, it would be something along the lines of "genocide" as predator worshippers seem to put the same value on animals lives as humans or even more so.

William Huard

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2015/feb/05/yellowstone-elk-show-increase-latest-count/

I post links but the 'wildlife experts" have their own agenda- based in hatred and misinformation.
When in doubt- blame wolves!

Jay Westemeier

Although hunting has been part of this country's wildlife management model for an extended period, wildlife management, in itself, was not and should not be depended on to preserve the recreational preferences of hunters. In other words, no species should be singled out and kept at an artificially high population just to satisfy hunters. That was the common practice in the Mountain West before the reintroduction of predators. The inflated local economic impact numbers that were tossed around for years by hunting organizations and outfitters were exposed and don't hold water when compared to the tourist industry in Wyoming. According to estimates from the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, hunting generated about $400 million and 5700 full & part time jobs to the state's economy in 2015. According to the Wyoming Department of Tourism, domestic and international visitors generated $3.3 billion and 32,000 full & part time jobs during the same year. The reported tourism dollars did not include those from hunters. Like it or not, the tourist generated dollars greatly overrule the hunter dollars in modern day Wyoming.

Sam Lobo

Its disgusting people that want to keep a population artificially high to satisfy their bigotry and hate of hunting and ranching that is the problem.

Jay Westemeier

I hunted a variety of game during the early part of my life and currently have a large number of good friends who still hunt. The majority of them share my opinions of predator importance. The few remaining ranchers in the mountain west who depend 100 percent on livestock production for their income are nothing more than relics doomed to eventual failure because of an outdated and uncompetitive business model. The belief that the elimination of predators will somehow save livestock ranchers from failure is archaic and wrought with denial. My part of the country used to hold what was thought of as an endless population of pheasants. Today, that population has been reduced to virtually nothing. It wasn't decimated by predators, it was due to the elimination of wild habitat by agriculture believing every square foot of land needed to be plowed and planted. The largest threat to hunter's recreational pastimes everywhere is land development, not predators.

Jay Westemeier

The vast majority of wildlife biologists will tell you that we don't have a wildlife problem, but we have a people problem in almost every wildlife management plan they deal with. Wildlife has the ability to adapt and cohabitate with humans while some humans either refuse to or are unable to use there God given sense to do the same.

Sam Lobo

From 19000 to 9000 the biologist were besides themselves saying how healthy Yellowstone was.....Books and movies were made to proclaim this big success. then the same thing when it fell to 6000, more healthy talk..... and wouldn't you know it same thing at 4000! It seems that when the herd hit rock bottom 3921 elk it was once again healthy! Jay and Billy, we have come to learn that YOUR only healthy ecosystem is what comes out of the south end of a wolf headed north! Moose on this range have faired even worse. When pressed on the subject of the moose they (park biologist) plead ignorance and claim that moose are not a priority! I am not aware of an annual count of the moose on that range since the winter of 2009/2010 when they used that very excuse because the year before the once healthy herd of 1200 moose fell below 100.
When you actually study wolves you find that in the past the true NATURAL balance of wolves most certainly included MAN. Evidence from animal discard pits (bone yards) shows predator to prey ratio's of 35 percent predator to 65 prey animal bones. These same people lived with dogs and most certainly would not have tolerated wolves! According to Jay and Billy these people were intolerant and hateful. Another interesting fact that would make old Billy's nails curl is letharia vulpina (wolf poison) goes back to AT LEAST 1759 & was believed to have been used by and originated with natives to kill wolves and foxes (predators) by stuffing dead animals with this lichen… The narrative that Indians lived in harmony with predators is correct.....JUST not in the bigoted hunting and ranching hate way good old Jay, Billy and her cohorts want us to believe!

joshua able

More evidence to add to the push for a no hunt boundary around our Park. Of course if we lived in a sane country our Parks would be tripled in size.

joshua able

Chad, science (including dna) show our wolves are native.

Chad guenter

The wolves are decedents of Northern Canadian transplants. "Native" Lake Trout in Yellowstone lake are not welcome either.

Chad guenter

The decimated North Yellowstone elk herd will benefit from Montana's continued vigilance to control an invasive species.[smile]

M McGee

You are heartless. Wolves are not an invasive species and I think Aerial hunting is a cowards way to hunt. How is that even a sport. Not to mention why hunt Wolves in general certainly not for their meat. Just so you can say you hunted a Wolf!!!!! I really think they should outlaw aerial hunting all together. Effing lazy no morals hunters.

Chad guenter

M McGee: To my knowledge aerial shooting of wolves is not permitted in Montana or anywhere in the lower 48.
I agree, it isn't so much "hunting" as it is population control. Just like the aerial shooting of destructive wild hogs in Texas or wolves in Alaska.

Cheri Domer

Well said. I agree!

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