Maury Jones

Maury Jones

A front-page article in the March 2 issue of the Jackson Hole News&Guide regarding a wolf encounter by local resident Brian Hayden included this statement: “Wild wolves, going by the numbers, virtually never attack people.”

The facts dispute that conclusion.

From the year 1800 until present there have been at least 36 fatal attacks by wolves in North America. Two of these fatalities occurred in this century.

On March 8, 2010, school teacher Candice Berner was jogging near her home in Alaska and was attacked and killed by a wolf or wolves. DNA testing and necropsies performed on wolves killed in the area shortly after the attack ruled out rabies or wolf-dog hybridization as causes of the attack.

On Nov. 8, 2005, Kenton Joel Carnegie, a logger taking a walk through the forest, was killed and partially eaten by wolves near Points North Landing, Saskatchewan.

Worldwide, a reported 37 people have been killed by wolves since the year 2000, 271 in the 1900s, and 980 in the 1800s. In areas where wolves are prevalent and firearms are few, such as in Siberia, wolf attacks are not rare.

“Well,” you say, “those are anomalies. That is not indicative of wolves’ gentle and nonviolent natures.”

The evidence disputes those objections. There is a report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Technical Bulletin 13 (2002) titled “A Case History of Wolf-Human Encounters in Alaska and Canada.” You can find that at DigitalCommons.unl.edu/wolfrecovery/26.

The report says: “Thirty-nine cases contain elements of aggression among healthy wolves, 12 cases involve known or suspected rabid wolves, and 29 cases document fearless behavior among non-aggressive wolves.”

Hayden’s encounter was one of the latter: a curious wolf, not afraid of humans. However, Hayden said the wolf was injured in some way and was dragging a back leg. That could be a danger signal, as an injured wolf that cannot hunt efficiently is more likely to be hungry and to view humans and their pets as prey.

It is also disconcerting that this wolf showed a reluctance to leave even after Brian clapped his hands and shouted at him to “get out of here!” A wolf with little or no fear of humans is a potentially dangerous animal. Wolves are predators and have evolved to kill animals and eat them. If a wolf loses fear of humans and is hungry he just might regard the human as a meal.

Newspapers at the time reported the following incidents:

Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada, Dec. 23, 1922: “An elderly Caucasian trapper left his camp to ‘mush down’ to the village to pick up his mail.

“Later in the day, two miles from the settlement, two Native American Indians discovered his bones and blood in the snow amidst torn pieces of harness. The two Indians took their own dog teams and extra ammunition out in pursuit of the same wolves but did not return.

“The following day, two miles beyond the scene of the first fatal attack, a search party discovered the rifles and bones of the two Indians amidst bits of clothing and empty shells. Scattered in a circle about the scene were the carcasses of 16 wolves.”

Menominee, Michigan, January 1885: news report: “Mr. Duging failed to return that night from a hunting trip. His friends found his body gnawed to the bone the following morning within 2 miles of their logging camp. Thirteen wolves that he had shot dead lay scattered near his body. At his side was his Winchester rifle with one round still loaded in the chamber.”

I, Jonesy, was once 6 feet from a wolf. My son and I were snowmobiling down Greys River Road when a big black dog ran out onto the groomed trail, headed toward Alpine. It loped ahead of us, not running in a panicked attempt to escape but as if it simply had some place to go. That caused me to question if it was someone’s dog and was headed back home.

Trenton came up beside me on his sled, and I mouthed the question, “Wolf?” He shrugged, not sure either. We dropped back a bit. The critter kept loping toward Alpine.

I finally increased my speed and came right up alongside the animal. He turned his head and looked at me from about 6 feet away. One look at those yellow eyes was all the confirmation I needed.

Wolf! We backed off and followed from a respectful distance until he finally left the groomed trail and went down into a hollow and stopped under a big spruce tree to catch his breath. We tried to take pictures, but he was in the shade so they didn’t come out. Some other snowmobilers arrived and we all watched him for a few minutes, then continued our return to Alpine.

The chances of being attacked by a wolf are slim, about like getting hit by lightning. But each of us should carry bear spray and be aware of our surroundings. If a wolf appears, first get out the bear spray, then take pictures.

Remember they can be dangerous, especially when in a pack.

Remember, life is always better when viewed from between the ears of a horse. Contact Maury Jones via email at columnists@jhnewsandguide.com.

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(92) comments

Maury Jones

New fresh story of wolf attack in Bulgaria.
Subject: British skier to lose toes after fleeing from wolves in his socks

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/04/british-skier-to-lose-toes-after-fleeing-from-wolves-in-his-sock/

Don Sussums

What wolf attack ? He saw three wolves .

Jay Westemeier

So now just the presence of wolves within eyesight of humans is defined as an "attack"? Paranoia runs rampant.

Don Sussums

Seems like it !!!!!!!!! I must have been attacked a few times then .

William Hopper

Barry Green, I see that you don't allow responses to your narrow minded posts, so I will just to a broadcasted reply. I have far more hunting experience than you can even wish you had. I have more weapons than you can only dream about. The issue I have is ranchers and farmers as yourself have destroyed the wilderness with your invasive species and you call this progress. The only progress your kind have spawned is the increase in your bank accounts at the expense of the taxpayer and the native species. If you cannot live with the species God placed in your location, then you are unfit to live in that location. Yes the price of beef may rise, but you don't know that is a certain since only a small percentage of the beef in the marketplace is "free-range" beef. In fact the most expensive way to raise cattle is free-range and it is typically a lower quality of beef. Oh, yes, you pay for someone to author and edit your published writings so superfluous phrases may be used to impress those of your ilk. And by the way, I am not a vegetarian, I live in a small rural agriculture economy based town with many ranchers all around. Every and that means every cattleman uses llamas, mules and other non-lethal deterrents to predators; and they are using their own land and not being parasites using Federal lands for free.

Maury Jones

Jay, you say, "Yellowstone and Jackson Hole will never be the attraction it is without its predator species." It was always a huge attraction for the variety and number of wildlife. Now the moose are gone and the elk are 20% of what they formerly were. When all of the ungulate species are gone, except bison (too big and formidable for wolves to kill many of them), the wolves will leave Yellowstone as they are now doing. Thanks to wolves and grizzlies, Yellowstone will no longer have the attraction it once had. Already visitors are getting angry that moose are gone.

Chad guenter

Maury: Mr. Westemeier is not concerned with any species other than wolves and grizzly bears.

Well I guess he is concerned with elk, but only to further the decimation of the herds to unhuntable numbers. (the real goal of the predator agenda whether they themselves know it or not)

I've come to realize even acknowledging his comments on these issues is a waste of time.

Jay Westemeier

"Maury: Mr. Westemeier is not concerned with any species other than wolves and grizzly bears." ABSOLUTELY FALSE.
I'm pretty confident that Mr. Jones understands my position and realizes my equal concern for all species in Northwest Wyoming. He and I just agree to disagree on how to help ensure the security of all species. On the other hand, there are a few here who've pretty much admitted through their statements that they have absolutely no concern for certain species and actually advocate the overall destruction of those species. We can only hope that many more don't jump on that wagon.

Jay Westemeier

Guenter says "Well I guess he is concerned with elk, but only to further the decimation of the herds to unhuntable numbers."

Here is some interesting information recently published by the WGFD in their 2015 Annual Report. This data seems to debunk the claim that predators are having an adverse affect on Wyoming hunters' abilities to harvest elk in Wyoming.

The statewide total population objective for elk is 79,525.
The latest population estimate for elk in Wyoming is 114,600, which is 44% above objective.
The hunter Harvest Success Rate is 45% and is among the highest of any state or province.
The report states "Overall, the Department continues management strategies to REDUCE Wyoming elk numbers.

Although these numbers aren't broken down by individual or regional elk herds, it should be noted that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that operates the National Elk Refuge has been trying for nine years to reach a goal of 5,000 of the 11,000 Jackson elk herd population feeding on the refuge. The latest count found 7,300 elk feeding on the refuge (46% above objective). Also note that last year's crowding from 8,300 elk on the refuge led to an outbreak of hoof rot that claimed close to 9% of the calves. These numbers were taken from Angus M. Thuermer Jr.'s article on WGFD veterinarian Dr. Mary Wood's report to the agency's commissioners last week in Rawlins. Wood told the commissioners "I would be doing my profession and the oath that I took as a vet a disservice if I didn’t say artificially concentrating animals over a feed source will facilitate disease transmission.” There is also interesting info in her report about CWD and predators' roles in helping control it and other diseases. That full article can be found at
http://www.wyofile.com/state-vet-combat-cwd-reducing-elk-feeding/

Maury Jones

And here is the key: "these numbers aren't broken down by individual or regional elk herds". Having 50% too many elk in the Laramie Peak/Muddy Mountain elk herd has NOTHING to do with the fact that the Gros Ventre Elk herd near Jackson is 50% below objective. Taken as a whole, Wyoming is doing just fine for elk, not so good for moose. But taken regionally where wolves and grizzlies are numerous, the moose are almost gone and the elk are greatly reduced in number. I see a lot of moose in Jackson and just north of Jackson to the town of Moose (entrance to Grand Teton National Park). North of there the moose are decimated. Note; all the moose have the same parasites, the same willow bushes, the same global warming, but those north are struggling to survive while those near town are doing fine. Why? Hmmm...... there are very very few wolves and grizzlies near town. Lots of them north of Moose. Yet you people keep denying the relationship of predator populations to prey populations. We don't understand your denial of that simple fact.

Maury Jones

And by the way, Jay, the reason the elk herd cannot be reduced on the National Elk Refuge is that the wolves are running the elk off the state-run feedgrounds and the elk escape to the NER close to the town of Jackson where there are fewer wolves. Also, the elk that live in and near town are not preyed upon by wolves and grizzlies so their numbers are much higher than desired, actually twice as many as we would like in those areas. The ranch I manage is in the elk over-population area near town and right next to the Airport. We have too many elk. Too much private land to hunt them effectively and we almost no wolves or grizzlies to prey on them, and we don't want those large predators near town. So, where there are no wolves and grizzlies and you can't hunt elk, there are too many elk. In areas where there there are a lot of wolves and grizzlies and no hunting there are few wolves and elk. Where there are wolves and grizzlies and you could hunt elk, there are few elk or moose to hunt. Wolves and grizzlies ARE the problem, whether you acknowledge it or not.

Chad guenter

Maury: I used to live near and still have family in Canmore Alberta. Canmore and Banff have the exact same scenario with TOO many elk in town and none further out in Banff Nat. Park. The wolves there have taken even a worse toll on the local elk herds.

Jay Westemeier

Maury, I truly hope that moose are able to make a comeback in Yellowstone in the near future.

Maury Jones

Moose will NEVER make a comeback in the Yellowstone ecosystem as long as we have this many wolves and grizzlies. It is simply impossible based on the biological fact that wolves and grizzlies like to eat moose.

Jay Westemeier

I guess then, you'll just have to get over the fact that there won't be any moose in the ecosystem going forward. And after CWD takes hold in the elk feed grounds, you'll just have to get used to having no elk either. Then you can blame that on the wolves and bears too. By then, it won't matter. You seem to forget, I'm not against population controls on wolves. But if you believe that they should all be eradicated, you're wasting your breath. It won't happen.

Christopher Harbin

Chad Guetner, if it's true that the wolves were fed how about we kill all the people in the logging camp then we take out half the population of the other logging camp. You can decide who gets to live. Don't take out the cook though. The cook is invaluable.

Jay Westemeier

The Alberta Fish & Wildlife Commission estimates there are 118,000 moose in Alberta. Alberta also holds large populations of the same type of wolf and grizzly bears found in Yellowstone and Jackson Hole.

Maury Jones

"For a decade now, the Alberta government has hired hitmen and biologists to kill wolves, more than 1,000 of them, through aerial gunning from helicopters, poisoning with strychnine, and allowing them to be strangled with neck snares." there is your answer as to why Alberta has a thriving moose population. By the way, it is open season on wolves in Alberta, just like coyotes are here.

Don Sussums

Alberta has a closed season on crown land for wolves. And during hunting season you must have a big game license to shoot a wolf on crown land .And there are 10.000 plus wolves in Alberta .

Don Sussums

Poison is only used by the Government where the wolves are devastating the cariboo herds in the far north of Alberta

Ralph Maughan

Grizzly bears are not doing well in Alberta, especially compared to B.C. There are less than a thousand.

Maury Jones

Jay, the high pellet count of snowshoe hares was not in or near Jackson Hole. Can't find one right now. In the mid-late 80s I drove the 15 miles of dirt road in the Greys River many many times a week. I would see numerous snowshoe hares, especially at night. Then mountain lions came into the area and the count dropped until I haven't seen one in that stretch of road for almost 20 years.

Jay Westemeier

Maury, don't you think that a number of things might have changed to prevent you from seeing them in the same spots? Read up on preferred snowshoe hare habitat and the dozens of variables present that affect wide population variations. Different predator species are just some of the many variables. The most up to date research methods place the average density level of a healthy mountain lion population at 1.7 mountain lions per 100 square kilometers. Based on that figure, realistic estimates claim Wyoming could have as many as 2,000 adult lions in the entire state. Unfortunately the public will never know for sure until the WGFD presents official numbers of its own, backed by credible, peer reviewed, evidence. The Wyoming Game & Fish Department tries to avoid public scrutiny of their lion management practices by publicly refusing to release estimates of lion populations in the state. So, you actually think that the possible presence of just a few mountain lions in the area of the road you drove eliminated the hares you used to see? Again you place blame for any of your perceived population changes squarely on a certain predator. When it comes to wildlife in your area, you seem to live in a very small world Maury.

Maury Jones

I'm just saying that snowshoe hares are a major food source for mountain lions, as are porcupines. Mountain lion numbers increased dramatically in the '90s and porcupines and snowshoe hares disappeared.
The reason the GF doesn't release figures on lions is they are almost impossible to count. Good luck finding one. In 1984 Lincoln County had a quota of three lions and they were always killed in the far south, near Kemmerer and Cokeville. By year 2,000 the lion quota was in excess of 20 lions and it took less time to fill that quota than it did to fill the 3 quota limit earlier, and lions made serious expansion of their range so that lions were killed throughout Lincoln County.
About 2001 I asked the local Game Warden, Duane Hyde, the following question. "In '83-84 we had a terrible winter and lost 60% of our mule deer herd. The herd recovered quickly and by 1984 the herd was back in large numbers. Then in '92-93 bad winter the deer herd dropped again by 60%. They haven't come back yet. Why not?" He replied, "I can answer that in one word. Lions. We didn't have lions back then and now we have a bunch of them."
Lion hunters with hounds have a good handle on how the lion numbers are doing based on tracks and lions encountered year to year. They are better than Game department as far as the trend in lions. If lion numbers drop they are the first to demand a reduction in permits so they will continue to have lions to run their dogs.

Jay Westemeier

"The reason the GF doesn't release figures on lions is they are almost impossible to count. Good luck finding one."

You then go on to claim that there is a supposed surplus of lions that you can never see. But when you can't see porcupines or snowshoe hares from the road, you claim that they are gone and that they've been wiped out by a predator. Your arguments seem to always be one sided Maury. Your numbers seem to always come from hunters, outfitters and game wardens who use the same sources. Your answer to any supposed population drop is always the increased presence of a predator and your immediate answer to that is to eliminate the predator. Again, I think you're basically advocating a zoo without a predator habitat display. You aren't advocating a true ecosystem that contains all of the wildlife species that the majority of the country and foreign visitors want the chance to experience when they visit. Yellowstone and Jackson Hole will never be the attraction it is without its predator species.

Don Sussums

2 people killed by wolves since 2000 out of a population of about about 400 million people in North Amercia I think I will stay inside today , There might be a wolf waiting who is hungry.


Ralph Maughan

Still, we are in more danger from wolves than getting hit by a meteor.

Jeff Martin

I suggest that if you are afraid you will be eaten by wolves that you should probably just stay home in front of the TV, where the only danger is diabetes and heart disease. Deaths from dog bites each year range between 20 and 30 just in the US.so don't go outside!

Jay Westemeier

I'm anxiously waiting for follow up articles on the other dangers people venturing out in Jackson Hole should be aware of. Someone could devote a lifetime doing that.

Don Sussums

The comment about Kenton Carnegie is not correct . He was not a logger . these wolves were hanging around a camp eating garbage in a local land fill site . The workers were sometimes feeding the wolves . Kenton was warned to not go walking alone in the evenings. The wolves found him alone and attacked him . It was not clear why they attacked him , weather he had nothing to feed them. It is unknown. This was told to me by the Conservation Officer that was there when this case was investigated. It was determined the cause of this attack was the feeding of the wolves .

Maury Jones

I just reported what newspapers reported at the time, about him being a logger. He took a walk from a logging camp so I suppose they labeled him a logger. It doesn't matter if he was advised not to go walking. The facts remain that the wolves killed him and ate him.

Chad guenter

But..... "It wasn't the wolves fault they killed and ate him."

THAT is a typical response from the blind predator worshippers. EVERYTHING in their eyes can be directly traced back to the evils of human beings.

I'm with Kevin Crawford on this.
#1 Take out the entire pack responsible for the slaughter at the feedgrounds, and start thinning every other pack down to half a dozen. The park wolves keep their protections for now.

Don Sussums

Chad If you are referring to me I am not a predator worshipper, I have spent many years alone in the bush on a remote northern trapline . Maury the newspapers must have really screwed up their reporting then , it was also not a logging camp. It is a remote northern airport .

Kevin CRAWFORD

disgusting what they did to those 17 Elk. Open season on wolf in my opinion.

Valerie Music

Awful, just awful what they have done. This is just the herd reported. There have been many other slaughters. They just refuse to report them.

Valerie Music

Let's all just go hug a bunny. Have a Blessed Easter Sunday.
Enjoy your family and friends.

Jay Westemeier

Great idea. I like bunnies too. But then there are those darn coyotes. Soon there won't be any bunnies left in Jackson Hole.

Maury Jones

There aren't bunnies here now, thanks to the coyotes, wolves, fox, raptors, etc. There used to be many snowshoe hares. No more. Can't find one.

Jay Westemeier

According to the latest published report by the Journal of Wildlife Management:
"We found a broad range of pellet counts and snowshoe hare
densities in western Wyoming, which included some of the
highest observed hare densities in recent years in the
contiguous United States."
"Hare population densities may vary 100-fold over the span of several years."

Valerie Music

Silly these boys stir up such a ruckus. Jonesy's only point was to make sure humans are aware and to be cautious. He did not even attack the wolf. Chill out boys.

Maury Jones

Valerie, the reaction here surprised me. All I did was quote newspaper reports of people killed by wolves and then cautioned people to be careful. What is inflammatory about that?

Maury Jones

Jay, my position on the wolves is the same as when they initially proposed. The USFWS and you wolf lovers said it would be an "experimental non-essential population" that could be removed if they caused too much damage. They mandated 100 wolves and when that number was achieved they would be delisted so the state could keep them at that number. Current data is that Yellowstone has 111 wolves and ten breeding pairs. That satisfies the criteria for introduction and satisfies the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement). My position is, and always has been, if they step foot outside Yellowstone they can be treated like a coyote and shot on sight. You wanted them in Yellowstone; fine. Have them there. But don't force them on us to take away our wildlife herds.

Valerie Music

They won't stay in Yellowstone. They should have known this when they planted them. The wolf likes more action. That is why they are surrounding the valley floor, cattle and feeding grounds.

Jay Westemeier

Maury,

I've done a ton of reading over the past week of articles and reports pertaining to the subject. Although my opinion hasn't changed on the presence of predators in the ecosystem, I will admit is has changed some on what can and should be done to control the wolf population. Although I can't go along with your opinion that any wolf outside of Yellowstone should be shot on sight by anyone, I will agree that some type of lethal method might be necessary to help prevent any drastic decline in ungulate populations going forward. I hope the state of Wyoming and it's wildlife agencies can put their heads together with federal and other wildlife agencies and groups to come up with what they all agree to be proper methods and population targets for all species concerned. I know that won't be easy but it would be better than just handing one of those organizations the ball to run free with. I know you don't like to hear it but I also feel it will be necessary to include the current elk feedground operations in the discussions. Strict population controls on wolves along with intelligent decisions on a systematic faze out of the feedgrounds will help improve the current situation in my opinion. I know the arguments on this site have gotten pretty fierce lately and at first I was entertained and got caught up in it. The longer its gone on, I've decided that the arguing hasn't and probably won't achieve anything positive. So anyway, I'm gonna have a few beers and try to enjoy the holiday weekend. Best regards to all and to the beautiful place you all call home.

Maury Jones

Have a happy Easter.

Maury Jones

By the way, Wyoming's management plan which keeps getting rejected in lawsuits is to protect 150 wolves within Wyoming, which includes Yellowstone. That is 50% above the mandated 100 wolves. When we were able to manage wolves for two years we had 350+ wolves in Wyoming and the permits issued by G&F were for 52 wolves the first year (hunters only killed 46) and 26 wolves the second year. That didn't even keep up with the rate of growth and yet, by law, we could have killed 200 wolves and still been above the 150 threshold. That is what makes us so incredibly angry. It's not about the wolves; it is about taking away our wildlife so there is no more hunting. That is the only reason for their actions that we can think of.

Jay Westemeier

Actually, I understand your frustration and anger Maury. It's the same on both sides. Neither side wants to give an inch. Try to realize the possibility that there might be other factors behind the scenes that might be driving the lawsuits that you mention. There are very many people who feel that the Wyoming elk feedgrounds should be closed. The state and its agencies have so far refused to give an inch on that. Maybe that's one of those factors. The lawsuits and objections to the state of Wyoming managing predators, the proposed delisting of the grizzly, and the feedgrounds issue could all be bargaining chips. Until both sides are able to somehow make compromises, I'm afraid we'll continue to see gridlock similar to our federal government and very few of us will be happy. Just a thought.

Chad guenter

Maury: After thinking about your article more, I think your suggestion of bear spray is not appropriate unless the attacked individual has no firearm experience. Any wolf that is bold enough to attack a human should be killed so that another person later on does not meet the seem circumstances from the same animal.

Maury Jones

Chad, the problem with the firearm defense is then you will be in BIG trouble with the feds for killing one of their pets.

Chad guenter

The "laws" of this nation have become numerous and unconstitutional that anyone who still values the liberty/freedom this nation USED TO represent cannot/should not comply.

S.S.S.

Jay Westemeier

So Guenter, do propose that any HUMAN bold enough to attack a human should be killed? Now that would be a new twist on capital punishment and the death penalty in Wyoming, wouldn't it? Not sure what the state's "stand your ground" law is.

Sean Mulkearns

So Jay, Anyone BOLD enough to attack and rape your wife - Should NOT be Killed?

Remember: GOD did not make men equal - Colonel Colt Did!

Jay Westemeier

"Remember: GOD did not make men equal - Colonel Colt Did!"

Tell that to the many bad shots who went to their graves believing that.

Scott Rockholm

By the way, Candice Brenner was not a logger, she was a school teacher that was "Jogging".

Maury Jones

Go back and read the story again. "school teacher Candice Berner was jogging"

Scott Rockholm

I am quite sure, that you all have learned; the gig is up. Emotion baiting will not work any more, and bovine feces stories like this, have little to no effect any more. The public knows, that hundreds of documented cases of wolves killing humans exist, and they aren't going to buy this crud. The idiot in this story, fabricated his encounter, no doubt.

Chad guenter

Thanks for the report Maury. Is there anyone who got pictures of the slaughter that happened last night?

Wolves seem to have a taste for the unborn, it has been evidenced over and over again. It is a glaring reality of why wolves have ALWAYS been looked at as "evil" by our ancestors for millennia.

Maury Jones

Yes, go to my Facebook page and you will see the photo. Maury Jones The photo is all over the internet now.

Jay Westemeier

Do some reading about the 17th century Salem witch trials Guenter. Our ancestors thought those PEOPLE were "evil" too. We all know how that turned out. Our ancestors then basically committed genocide on many different native American tribes, constituting one of the most disgraceful periods in American history. Those are only two examples of what happens when we let mass hysteria take over. Those examples also show the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism and false accusations. And by the way, your ancestors aren't mine.

Maury Jones

Jay, one more thing on outfitters supposedly getting rich from hunting and in me having an ulterior motive. In all the years I outfitted we were financially stressed. I was an excellent outfitter with loyal clients and staff, but the whims of the license draw and the vagaries of weather and predators (lions back then) and subsequent decrease in game to hunt made it REALLY tough to make a living. One year I drew 7 hunters total (random license drawing). I and one guide/cook handled the whole season. The previous year I had about 30 hunters and 6 guides/staff. In spite of going in the hole that year of only 7 hunters I still had to pay for insurance, vehicles, horses, license fees, taxes, etc. If you could have seen my wife crying when we got the results of the license draw, wondering how we would feed six kids that year, you would have a different perspective on what it takes to be an outfitter. And the staff/guides that had a formerly solid year-round job had to try and find another job that year. Some moved away. Yeah, sob story. And it truly was in more years than one. And that same scenario is playing our right now as our elk herds and moose herds decline to the point that guides and outfitters can't make a living from a profession that is more than 100 years old and some of them are 3rd and 4th generation outfitters. I put this here to simply say that, yes, "ulterior motive" is what motivates some outfitters. They want to continue the profession they have worked at for the past many years. In contrast, what is your motive for protecting the predators at the expense of our moose and elk? Moose are gone. Why do you defend that?

Jay Westemeier

Maury,
Not once have I said that outfitters get rich from hunting. I challenge you to find one of my posts where I stated that. My statements have always been that outfitters support whatever will make them money. Making money and getting rich are not the same thing. I realize that the guiding services are probably not a lucrative financial career for most, especially with today's economy and regulations they have to live with. I'm not one to normally comment on one's career or business choices, but the supposed struggles of hunting outfitters that you describe will not make me feel sorry for them. As I've always maintained, people make their own choices and have to either live with them or change. Obviously, there's still enough money to be made in that business or you wouldn't see as many of them as there is. Hunting continues to be big business in this country, especially when and where these businesses are able to adapt. Unfortunately, some of those businesses in many areas of the west haven't been able to adapt and are struggling or going under. To be frank, it's not my or anyone else's problem. By now, I'd think that you have to know what my position is on the whole elk, moose and predator issue but for your sake, I 'll state it again. I love the presence of elk, I love the presence of moose, and yes I love the presence of predators in your part of the world. I believe that there are many other steps we, the state of Wyoming, and our federal government can take to help ensure the survival of those and the other species in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem other than hunting. It's one of the last complete and diverse ecosystems in the lower 48 states of this country, and I hope that it is preserved so that millions of people can continue to enjoy and value it for what it is. Other than that, I have no personal or financial motives behind my position.

Maury Jones

I believe you love the presence of elk, moose, and predators. The problem is, predators with no "management" limits on their population will kill all their prey. It has been demonstrated time and time again. On March 29, 2014 Yellowstone did an aerial survey of the prime moose habitat on the north third of the park. They flew 326 miles and counted six, yes SIX, moose. You refuse to lay the blame on the wolf. I do. Wolves are not compatible with a healthy population of moose.

Chad guenter

Maury: At first I was going to say "they don't care about the prey", but actually they do. They want the numbers of "prey" so low that human beings can no longer rely on that same food source.

It IS Agenda 21, and I will always believe the release of the invasive wolves in the GYE was part of it. Bush/Clinton should be charged with Treason for their parts in it (it was a team effort).

Jay Westemeier

Maury, if you look back through all of my posts, you'll find that I never stated that I'm against "management" of the bear and wolf populations. It's the type of management that is being proposed by the state of Wyoming and some on this site that I disagree with. I'm against the delisting of the grizzly and wolves and against the all out genocidal like tactics of Chad Guenter and people who think like him. More and more, I'm wondering if you actually are agreeing with him.

Maury Jones

Jay, I just shake my head in disbelief. You said, "There has never been a plethora of moose within easy visual distance from the roads of Yellowstone." Moose were one of the most plentiful animals in the park, from a viewing and photographing perspective, up until the introduction of wolves. I've got a photo of my family in front of a bull moose in Hayden Valley about 1982. We saw numerous moose in that visit to the park. Also, when I moved here in '83, we went to the Park every summer and saw moose. Lots of them.
So, you accuse me and other outfitters of just wanting to get rich by killing animals in Wyoming? You obviously know nothing regarding that. Most outfitters are just trying to scratch out a living and are subject to the whims of "wildlife advocates" like yourself that only care about the predators. To heck with the elk and moose. Moose are now gone in Yellowstone and you deny they were ever plentiful. How about the Teton Wilderness Area north of Jackson? The G&F study shows that moose are down by 80% north of Jackson and in spite of severely restrictive hunting regulations, (cutting out ALL moose hunting) that herd cannot recover. I guess global warming killed them all.

Jay Westemeier

You say that up until the introduction of wolves, you have photos of and numerous sightings of moose. I don't doubt that. It wasn't an "introduction" by the way, it was a "reintroduction". One of the many reasons for that reintroduction was to reduce the herds of elk and moose and bring the populations back in line with historic levels. So it shouldn't be a shock to anyone that you don't see as many as you did back in the 80's. And before you fill me with all of your numbers, I do realize that the moose numbers are now below what you many believe to be healthy. But pegging the wolf as the only reason for that population decline is what makes me just shake MY head in disbelief.

Valerie Music

Oh so now it's "reintroduction" May want to get your talking points in order. When these large Canadian wolf were planted we were informed it was because the dastardly hunter had killed our grey wolf off. Not true. They were here. In the wilderness and parks where they belong, along with the grizz. So now they were planted to "reduce" the herds, "bring them back in line." Which is it? Shake my head in disbelief at the spin.

Jay Westemeier

You'll have to excuse me. I never look up definitions of words in the Ms. Music Dictionary. That's a language I'm unfamiliar with.

Jay Westemeier

I wonder what would happen if elk ever got into and destroyed the Valerie Music gardens or crops.

Comment deleted.
Jay Westemeier

Valerie, looking back at the majority of your posts and comparing them to what Todd wrote, you are certainly a pot calling the kettle black.

Valerie Music

You are right Jay. Will try not to stoop to their level. Will use "not so honest" in the future. Todd needs to stop fueling the fire. We need some honest reporting. He breaks the rules of name calling and printing the truth. Bernie boys not so bad. I have Bernie friends and I am a Trump supporter. We get along fine because of the honesty factor. Have a great weekend.

Maury Jones

Those nice cuddly wolves killed 19 elk on the McNeil Elk Feedground last night. They slaughtered 17 calves and 2 cow elk. The only thing they ate were the fetuses in the two cow elk. Don’t you Wolf Worshippers EVER try to again claim that wolves won’t kill for sport. That is a lie like the rest of the lies told in order to get these wolves introduced.

This is the same pack of wolves that killed some cattle a couple of weeks ago and the US Fish and Wildlife Service shot 5 of those wolves from a helicopter, leaving 12 wolves in the pack. There is nothing that can stand up against 17 very large wolves in a pack. And when they decide to just kill for fun, the 12 remaining can do a lot of damage, as witness by 19 elk killed in one night by them.

Our native wildlife in the Yellowstone Ecosystem is being destroyed by these Canadian Timber Wolves. They have already destroyed the moose population in Yellowstone. The facts about the illegal and dishonest introduction of these non-native wolves make me furious. I can’t post a photo here, but go to my Facebook Page to see it.

Jay Westemeier

Please provide documented evidence of the McNeil Elk Feedground kill. What is your reliable and unbiased source of this info? If true, isn't this yet another knock against your beloved feedground zoos? Unnaturally bunched up and vulnerable herds of elk. You keep mentioning that these terrible wolves are non-native. What happened to the "native" wolves Maury? Should we provide photographic evidence of the slaughter they had to endure and ultimately succumbed to? Why not finally admit it Maury. You only approve of and want one elk predator....humans.

Rose Carr

I appreciate you sharing the Facts. I am in agreement with you. Where are the moose? Wolves are aggressive and I fear more will destroy our already fragile numbers of forest animals.

Chad guenter

Amazing. More knee jerk reactions about an article that only mentions bear spray to combat an attack by an extremely dangerous animal.
I'm surprised there were no calls to close the feedgrounds in the comments about an article merely telling people to watch there six around the wolves.

Thanks for the article Mr. Jones!

Sean Mulkearns

I think these guys have a chip of their shoulders. I did not read anything Jonesy said that indicated that he wanted to eradicate the Big Bad Wolf! He gave us statistics about Wolf Attacks and Some very good advise - some would say "Cowboy Common Sense - about being prepared in case Your Next Encounter turns from non-aggressive to life threatening! Regardless of the Species.

Remember: Anything that was Removed Once - Can be Removed Again! Never say Never....

Jay Westemeier

Sean, you have to know Mr. Jones's history of articles where he constantly blames the wolf for everything he perceives is wrong with the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem to really understand why "these guys" seem to have a chip on their shoulders. Mr. Jones will use every advantage available to plant fear in the minds of uninformed people when it comes to wolves and grizzly bears. If you didn't already know, Maury is passionate about the area's elk herd. He has worked for an area elk hunting outfitter and is a member of the Wyoming Outfitters and Guide Association. It's his close association with these entities that drives his anti-predator crusade. I agree that parts of his article do provide some good advice, but you have to excuse some of us for questioning Mr. Jones's real motives behind the article.

Maury Jones

To clarify the info, I was an outfitter from 1978 through 2006, guiding deer, elk, moose, antelope, bear, and lion hunters. Then I guided for a couple of years. I also guided summer trailrides for 40 years. I still help guests of my boss’ private retreat enjoy Wyoming outdoors. Through that period I helped literally thousands of people have a great outdoor experience. Many of them have become life-long friends. On our trips we often had some thoughtful discussions on wildlife management and a “balanced” ecosystem. I was always respectful of their sometimes differing views and I presented my evidence factually and without dogma or tirade. Most of them had only heard from you guys and the media about how wonderful it is now that wolves are back in Yellowstone to “balance” the ecosystem. I told them the other side of the story, how they introduced a non-native wolf and it is destroying the moose and elk herds. I challenged them to find a moose on their visit to Yellowstone. Few saw one. None in the past three years have seen a moose in Yellowstone and the moose formerly were almost the most visible and photographed animal in the park. Outfitters have never hunted moose in Yellowstone. Moose hunters had almost 500 annual permits north of Jackson for decades before wolves became prevalent. Now there are no permits offered because there are only 10% of the moose that formerly inhabited that country. I’m sure no hunting of moose makes you guys happy, but the flip side of that is that there are also no moose to photograph or enjoy viewing. You commonly see moose north of Jackson until you get to Moran Junction. Then they are almost gone. Almost extinct in Yellowstone. That is why I have a problem with wolves and with those who blindly protect them.
Outfitters are the ones who are always the most concerned with the health of the herds. If herds are gone, so is their livelihood and their staff is out of a job. Yes, they want healthy herds in order to hunt them, but also to see them and enjoy them on the summer trailrides when it is simply an outdoor experience. Do you think outfitters want to kill all animals they possibly can? When herds are in trouble, outfitters are the first ones to call for cutting back and being more restrictive with hunting. That is about the only impact on wildlife populations we can control. I wish you had been to the G&F Season Setting meeting in Jackson on the 22nd of March. Two outfitters took issue with the proposals. They objected to the plan to hunt female animals in areas where moose and elk populations are below management objective. They strongly felt that if no females were harvested the herds would be healthier and more able to withstand the onslaught from wolves. Wolves will keep eating regardless of how many animals are out there. Because numbers of moose or elk are lower, the wolves won’t go on a diet.
You guys are wrong about the motives of outfitters and hunters. Because of them we have robust wildlife herds in Wyoming, except in areas with a plethora of wolves and grizzlies.

Jay Westemeier

Thank you Maury for clarifying and verifying what I suspected were your motives for the article. By the way, I think it was pretty easy for you to challenge anyone, unless they were backcountry hikers, to see a moose during their visits to Yellowstone, even 25 years ago. I've never returned from a road trip through that park thinking about all of the moose I saw. There has never been a plethora of moose within easy visual distance from the roads of Yellowstone in my memory. The vast amounts of people who visit that park rarely ever venture far from the park roads, which collectively amounts to a tiny fraction of the total area of the park. Sure, the total population numbers you use are lower than they were, but I feel you're overstating the past visual prevalence of moose in Yellowstone even when everyone knew it would be lower once wolves were reintroduced and established. And your statement that outfitters are the ones who have the most concern for the health of the herds is absolutely false. In the minds of the outfitters, a "healthy" herd is one that assures them the most revenue, not one that helps assure the existence of as many other species as possible in the ecosystem. Ask any outfitter or hunting organization in this country to rank every species within a particular ecosystem by importance to them. You know exactly how they'll rank them and most of the time they wouldn't even rank or have any concern at all for any of the other species they don't hunt. That's one of the biggest differences between a hunter/outfitter and a wildlife advocate.

Chad guenter

Sean: "Common sense" is an endangered species amongst the collectivist Left. Some may even argue it is extinct with them.

Jay Westemeier

That's funny Guenter, pigeonholing every wildlife advocate as part of the collectivist Left. Millions of us are registered Republicans and have shown that we can put our political differences aside to unite and fight for what we think is right. It's your kind of divisive separatist attitude that is killing this country and giving the western states a black eye.

Chad guenter

Party affiliation means nothing these days. "Republican" is not some kind of badge of honor in my eyes, some of the worst enemies of this countries future are "Republicans".

Funny, I'm not supposed to "pigeonhole" the collectivist left, then you do the same with "divisive" separatist" for me.
Hypocritical much, Mr. Westemeier?

Valerie Music

"Burnie boys" are just plain mean. They are worse than little girls bickering.

Jay Westemeier

You can backtrack and try to spin it any way you want Guenter, but it was your "collectivist Left" statement here and in many more of your posts that reveals your attempt to politicize the subject. Doing that is "divisive" in my mind. Try to somehow realize that the people who are defending the grizzly and wolf never have or never will say "kill all the elk", or "let the bears and wolves wipe them out". That is not the ultimate goal, which differs greatly from your views and statements on the predators. As I've said in other posts, it's a pity that 21st century men like you find it necessary to make it sound like you're having to compete with two wildlife species for your existence.

Valerie Music

The big bad "Bernie Boys" attack Jonesy. Ohhhh, bet He would rather be attack by the wolf. Why do you boys attack the messanger, just becaue they don't like the message. You guys are just mean.

Jay Westemeier

Well Val, I bet you'd be shocked at how nice and decent most of us "Bernie Boys" (whatever the heck that moniker means) really are. If you could put aside our differences of opinion on how the area's wildlife should be managed, I think you'd actually like some of us. [wink]

Roger Hayden

Give it up, Maury. The wolf is here to stay and not as big and bad as you would like us to believe.

Maury Jones

Roger, you need stronger reading glasses. I said nothing about getting rid of the wolf. I just cautioned people that wolves are not the cuddly puppy dogs you guys say they are.

Jay Westemeier

Yikes!! Yet more anti-predator propaganda from our local wildlife expert Mr. Jones. Not really an all out assault, but what I'd call an indirect dig. Let's see, 36 fatal attacks by wolves in North America since 1800. That's frightening Maury. Lets compare that to the 470 fatal attacks by domesticated dogs since just 1982, with one of those fatal attacks committed by yes, the ferocious Chihuahua. We could dig up much more data on species other than the wolf that have caused many more deaths to humans directly from attacks and indirectly, and those species include deer and moose. I do agree with Maury that it's smart to carry bear spray when venturing out in Jackson Hole. Also, you might not want to forget it the next time you visit Aunt Nancy and her Chihuahua.[beam]

Maury Jones

I'm just reporting the facts, Jay, to correct a deliberate misrepresentation which was promulgated in the NaG front page article. No doubt some uninformed readers believed wolves are not dangerous, as the article said "virtually never attack people." Feel free to write a Guest Shot warning people about killer Chihuahuas.

Jay Westemeier

Maury,

I think you missed your true calling. Should have maybe been a kindergarten teacher since you think it's necessary to inform mature and educated people that your boogieman wolf can be dangerous. You and I know exactly why you wrote the article. Why not just include your usual ill conceived tirade that the wolf will eventually kill all of Jackson Hole's elk and then move to Jackson's residential backyards to eat their children. Indirectly planting constant fear in the minds of the paranoid local mothers who seem to worship your opinions doesn't help the wolf. Don't try to make your article out to be something it isn't.

Maury Jones

My supporters aren't that stupid to worship my opinions. They think for themselves. Jay, the difference between your opinions and mine is my opinions are backed up by facts, such as the wolf is directly responsible for the demise of our moose and that wolves do attack and kill people occasionally. And the fact that a local had a wolf sit and observe him from very close range and then was reluctant to leave even when that human waved his arms at him and yelled at him. That disconcerting event was the inspiration for my column. Hug the wolf and "kiss him better" for his injured leg was not advisable.

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