Montana Gubernatorial Candidates Voice Support for Wolf Control

The Montana governor’s race has reignited the debate over wolf control and the impact of wolves on wildlife and cattle ranches.  Lobo Watch, an adamantly pro-wolf control sportsmen’s group, has shared with us the results of a survey it sent out to Montana gubernatorial candidates, and we think the responses may surprise you. None of the Democratic candidates responded to the survey, but of the five Republicans and one Libertarian who did, it’s basically a contest over who’s most in favor of killing wolves. Here’s a synopsis of where they stand.

What’s your take on wolf control? Should wolf populations be expanded, sustained at current levels or reduced (if so, by how much)? Let us know in the comments section, and be sure to take our poll.

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Former U.S Representative Rick Hill: "Right now we are at a tipping point with wolves, the point where we won`t be able to manage the population anymore because there are too many of them. The number of wolves in Montana continues to grow and the population is spreading."
Hill's campaign has released a formal "Wolf Management Plan" that would split the state into two sections: a "Wolf No Tolerance Zone" and "Wolf Aggressive Management Zone". The plan's goals include managing and greatly reducing the number of wolves in western Montana, and preventing any packs from entering the eastern and central regions of the state.

39 Responses
  • Jan Taylor

    Wolves are Satan’s creation. They were eliminated from the NW for a reason…now we are dealing with them again. The need to be eliminated again….

    • Dcarr

      Satan’s creatures? Looked in the mirror lately?

      • TO:dcarr,,,God created us you nut!Have you read your bible?I bet you dont even own one.

        • J4Wolves

          gAVILAN: apparently, you haven’t read the bible yourself. If you have, you won’t be attacking people in here. I’ve been reading your comments and you apparently have missed some of the most important passages in the bible. So, the question is, Have you read your bible? Do you even own one?

    • Anonymous Posted on CUTE!!! If we do a construction unit I read Three litlte wolves and the big bad pig the kids really like it and I ahve fun comparing and contrasting the stories with them.

  • M.Clark406

    This is such an educated comment. I can only assume that you have read and done plenty of research, for this type of statement. I would love the opportunity to meet a HALF WIT like you and educate you in the wolf infested wood around my ranch

  • Betty Fox

    I think that they should be killed, there are to many and they are dangerous, I vote to get rid of them.

  • D Orr

    They should be greatly reduced. 2 years ago they were with in a mile of our town. That is too close.

    • Tom

      yEAH, sorta like humans. How many wolves compared with how many humans?

      • dear Tom,why dont you go join them if you love them so much>?

      • Thanks Frank and Betty. It’s interesting to get such estnusiahtic comments on photos like this one, which I was somewhat ambivalent about myself. It gives me reason to go back and look at the image to see what I might have missed. Not that I want other people’s opinions to influence my own, but sometimes they cause me to take a more critical look at an image from a different perspective and gain (or not) a new appreciation for it.

  • Celie Storm

    There is no control they have been allowed to proliferate at an alarming rate and when a predator eats/destroys its natural food source they will come after what you raise and than you! It is not rocket science it is a political world gone crazy! ! There is no comment sense! !


    I support putting wolves back on the ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST AND KEEPING THEM THERE! They are a very important part of our ecosystem and they belong in NATURE. Without them there would an imbalance in NATURE. We should learn to learn along side of them and they have every right to live and run free just as you do. No one has a right to kill any person or animal on this Earth. It’s just WRONG. It’s ANIMAL CRUELTY, INHUMANE AND ABUSE. I’m OPPOSED to HUNTING, POACHING AND TRAPPING, ALONG WITH SPORTS HUNTING, RECREATION HUNTING AND TROPHY HUNTING. REAL MEN DON’T HARM ANIMALS!

    • derek

      you do realize that the wildlife that is around today is due to the fact that hunters wanted them around so they managed and conserved them you dumb ass hippie

    • to:debra warrens,,,would you let your children be eatin alive by a wolf, and just stand there?you seem the type just from what I read about your comment.

    • chris

      Do you not realize that without men hunting you would not be on this planet today??? you people are not just stupid, you are advanced stupid!!

  • chad collins

    wolves should be treated with respect and dignity like we do deer, bison, elk, bear and so many other animals i fully support smart management through hunting but i will fight all efforts to exterminate them they belong in nature and i want my 9 year old daughter and her future kids if she has any to be able to enjoy them weather they want to hunt or just watch

  • What is your position on wolf management in the state? “People above predators on a settled landscape”. It’s not about “loves wolves –hates wolves” ; it’s about wolf densities and who gets to decide , the impacted states or urban America.

    While we weren’t looking ;how wildlife management has changed! Fish and Game Departments are no longer that despite the many , many billions of sportsman’s dollars that sportsmen have poured into wildlife and the wildlife agencies entrusted to protect the game in our states. Montana FW&P needs to focus on the original constitutional and lawful intent of the creation of their department under the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, the only one of its kind in the world. The model’s two basic principles—that our fish and wildlife belong to all North American citizens, and are to be managed in such a way that their populations will be sustained forever. As Governor my appointees , agency and relationship with the counties will have a creed; “People above predators”.. This creed will be enforced to cleanse our wildlife agency of agenda driven non -consumptive promoters who have had their way for far too long. The adherence to the creed and the success of the fish and game department can only be measured by the return of the Shiras moose, the restoration of big horn sheep numbers, and healthy elk and deer herds based on multiple standards in each traumatized district adhering to 50 year averages from the brink of wolf caused near extinction. This will be a condition of employment on a going forward basis for our game managers who will be mostly native Montanans Schools of higher learning pump out individuals who don’t know or respect the North American Wildlife Conservation Model or our Montana values that I memorialized and had codified in 2005 HJR 029
    Our customs , culture, traditions and values are guaranteed in NEPA the National Environmental Policy Act which is the governing law above the Endangered Species Act. Due to a decade of flawed , fraudulent science as a result of court delayed wolf control we are now in a wildlife emergency state . As governor I will declare that emergency. The counties and / or the governor can intervene with the law squarely on their side in this extreme additive predation emergency state and restore the egregious damage done and threat to: public health, commerce, public safety, private property, game herds, livestock production and pets done by extreme wolf densities in what was promoted before wolves were released as a “non -essential experiment”.
    Congress has breached the public trust with it’s failure to define the mission of the USFWS. Since Congress has failed to do their duty and has created a forced wolf based “reintroduction” extreme predator density state of emergency in Montana. The county commissions and or the Governor must declare that state of emergency and take action to protect our game like the Shiras moose and big horn sheep which are destined for extinction themselves as well as our $237.6 million per year hunting industry{as per the USFWS 2001} . Ravalli County recently quantified that an out of state hunter used to spend on average $10,600 when he came to hunt in Montana to hunt.
    The Endangered Species Act is for saving species from extinction, NOT for letting the USFWS and Marxist progressives take over the country in compliance with the first plank of the Communist Manifesto and the UN’s Agenda 21 . It is time to stop the “Distinct Population Segment” charade which is about controlling land and people. The “historic range” scam allows the USFWS to extend “recovery” further afield than ever imagined or was promised to the courts, Congress or provided for in the pre wolf “reintroduction” science and it’s profoundly flawed computer model. “Wolves for Yellowstone Vol 1,1992″ was the deal that was promised when the recovery plan was built; then, through litigation and it’s stall tactics, a bait and switch was crammed down on the entire American west .The bigger issue is “historic range” where the wolf was fraudulently used allowing “Distinct Population Segment” into an American nightmare. “Expand to the entire former range” is a full frontal assault on the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
    The problems are very real and escalating on a geometric basis.State and federal bureaucrats are aggressively obstructing with policy and withholding funding for lawful lethal wolf control when A.P.H.I.S attempts to control problem wolf packs . Sport hunting and the myth of epizootic disease controlling wolf population growth is scientific fraud.
    To defend private property , the cornerstone of a “free enterprise system”, we must bifurcate the laws, attitudes in agencies and enforcement differentiated between public and private lands.There is a big difference between sport hunting and predator control.
    My Administration will make it’s policy clear between sport hunting on public lands and predator control on private property , in defense of private property. Land owners will not be required to seek permission, fear prosecution, or be confined by licences or bag limits.Land owners will be given wide discretion to determine the need for lethal predator control., the staff of professionals that he needs to control wolves and the methods of taking problem wolves on his private property. This means that there is no such thing as “fair chase” on private land. Those engaged in predator control must be allowed to operate during all hours , not just daylight. Electronic or other calls can be used, illuminated optics, artificial light, night vision, sound suppressors, bait,same-day fly & shoot.
    Experienced wolf hunters and trappers in defense of private property will be trained in protocol , terms standards and conditions and given a blanket open licence jointly granted by the DOL & FW&P as they pursue as agents , the defense of private property. The harvested hides and pre-specified internal organs will be taken into custody from each harvested wolf and turned over to the state of Montana who will test for Echinococcus granulosus and 28 other diseases that wolves are vectors for and make those results a matter of public record so disease mapping can begin in real time and make all this information available to Montana public health officials and the Center for Disease control so Montana health care providers can make accurate diagnosis and treat Montanans if and when there is a risk. The state will, after the hides and organs are examined , send those hides for tanning and resale into the marketplace or returned to the control agent who will be paid with his choice of either the tanned hide or $1,000 per wolf taken on private property.

    When I founded “Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, Inc” with Bill Hoppe { 3,742 members} 13 years ago the quest to save Montana’s game herds and protect those who rely on them, became my full time job, free of charge to protect and serve the state of Montana. I have estimated and quantified the value of my time and out of pocket for these philanthropic activities exceed $4 million dollars. No one asked me to do it , I just stepped up as the most qualified man for the job and a self starter and did it because of my Notre Dame biology major, natural talent with numbers and big picture thinking and my vast experience in the court room. I did it because I knew that wolves were a biological weapon used with Machiavelian intent and bad faith dealings from the very beginning.

    Bob Fanning

    • the eagles were up 18 potnis going into the fourth a game in the mid 80,s.needless to say montana came out and showed everybody how the quarterback position should be played.he threw for 4 touchdowns and won the game.i hated and loved the guy at the same time.thanx joe from a diehard eagles fan.the looks on everyones faces as he did this.

  • cal007

    Interesting…in photo #1 there is no body attached to the wolf’s head…I’ve seen this photo before, BEFORE it was altered, it’s from a National Geographic magazine. There is a camera in the elk carcass. Nice way to rile the troops…everyone knows how menacing body-less wolves are.

  • Julie Schram

    I agree with Robert Fanning! this is the only plan there is. we need to take back our state and mange it the way it needs to be done

    • oh alisa!!! i LOVE that! so glad you are doing it. it really is such a fun peocrjt and a great way to connect with other photographers in your area.i look forward to checking out your blogs! thanks for stopping by! xo

  • LLowe

    The Perverse Logic of Wolf Hunts

    George Wuerthner is an ecologist with among others, a degree in wildlife biology, and is a former Montana hunting guide. He has published 35 books.

    The hysteria that surrounds wolf management in the Rockies has clouded rational discussion. Wolves are hardly a threat to either hunting opportunity or the livestock industry.


    For instance, the Wyoming Fish and Game reports: “The Department continues to manage to reduce Wyoming’s elk numbers. The total population of the herds with estimates increased by 16 percent in 2009 and is now 29 percent above the statewide objective of 83,640 animals.”

    Things are similar in Montana. Populations have grown from an estimated 89,000 animals in 1992 prior to wolf recovery to 140,000-150,000 animals in recent years.

    In Idaho we find a similar trend. According to the IDFG 23 out of 29 elk units are at and/or above objective. Hunter success in 2011 was 20%: one in five hunters killed an elk.

    Wolves are clearly not a threat to the future of hunting in any of these states.


    Ranchers are equally irrational. In 2010 Wyoming livestock producers lost 41,000 cattle and calves due to weather, predators, digestive problems, respiratory issues, calving and other problems. But total livestock losses attributed to wolves was 26 cattle and 33 sheep!

    Last year Montana livestock producers lost more than 140,000 cattle and sheep to all causes. But total livestock losses attributed to wolves was less than a hundred animals.

    In 2010 Idaho cattle producers lost 93,000 animals to all causes. Respiratory problems were the largest cause accounting for 25.6 percent of the cattle lost. Next came digestive problems, accounting for 13.4 percent of the cattle deaths. Total cattle losses attributed to wolves was 75 animals.

    To suggest that wolves are a threat to the livestock industry borders on absurdity.


    Worse yet, the persecution of predators does not work to reduce even these minimum conflicts as most proponents of wolf control suggest.

    The reason indiscriminate killing does not work is because it ignores the social ecology of predators. Wolves, cougars, and other predators are social animals. As such, any attempt to control them that does not consider their “social ecology” is likely to fail. Look at the century old war on coyotes—we kill them by the hundreds of thousands, yet ranchers continue to complain about how these predators are destroying their industry. And the usual response assumes that if we only kill a few more we’ll finally get the coyote population “under control.”

    The problem with indiscriminate killing of predators whether coyotes, wolves, cougars or bears is that it creates social chaos. Wolves, in particular, learn how and where to hunt, and what to hunt from their elders. The older pack members help to raise the young. In heavily hunted (or trapped) wolf populations (or other predators), the average age is skewed towards younger age animals . Young wolves are like teenagers—bold, brash, and inexperienced. Wolf populations with a high percentage of young animals are much more likely to attack easy prey—like livestock and/or venture into places that an older, more experience animal might avoid—like the fringes of a town or someone’s backyard.

    Furthermore, wolf packs that are continuously fragmented byhuman-caused mortality are less stable. They are less able to hold on to established territories which means they are often hunting in unfamiliar haunts and thus less able to find natural prey. Result : they are more likely to kill livestock.

    Wolf packs that are hunted also tend to have fewer members. With fewer adults to hunt, and fewer adults to guard a recent kill against other scavengers, a small pack must actually kill more prey than a larger pack. Thus hunting wolves actually contributes to a higher net loss of elk and deer than if packs were left alone and more stable.

    Finally hunting is just a lousy way to actually deal with individual problematic animals. Most hunting takes place on the large blocks of public land, not on the fringes of towns and/or on private ranches where the majority of conflicts occur. In fact, hunting often removes the very animals that have learned to avoid human conflicts and pose no threat to livestock producers or human safety. By indiscriminately removing such animals which would otherwise maintain the territory, hunting creates a void that, often as not, may be filled by a pack of younger, inexperienced animals that could and do cause conflicts.


    We need a different paradigm for predator management than brute force. As Albert Einstein noted, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Unfortunately insanity has replaced rational thought when
    it comes to wolf management.

    • Also, nothing spiaecl? Pandora was breathtakingly beautiful. I mean, the technology has been used before, but it’s not like people complain when a new book is printed on paper. But the world itself was just stunningly realized and with such stunning attention to detail and realism.

  • John Dorne

    I love the idiots who are pro wolf, of course they never have delt with them. We always had wolves here and they were solitary and no problem. these creatures they have brought in are pack animals that just love to kill. They get in a heard of anything and they go on a spree. They don’t even finnish a kill some times and leave an animal to suffer and die with their guts towrn out.
    The thin is when we kill them off is we will have to kill the good with the bad. Leave it to the Government and the liberals to total screw things up . The should ghet off their dead asses and get out doors and see things first hand befor they open their stupid mouths. Tha goes for FWP also. Real green idiots AND THEIR IN CHARGE.

  • John Dorne

    M. Clark 406, Are your comments to me? I live here in Mt.If so you can’t read. For years we had 40+ head of elk calve on our property. 8 years ago they were down to 15 and we hadn’t seen a calf in 5 years. this year we saw 3 yearlings but only 8 adults. They are so scared of the wolves that they were up feeding at our hay barn. We have been contacting FWP; THEY COULD CARE LESS! John Fraly Mt. FWP told me some 15 years ago ( when I saw my first collard wolf, which he told me I didn’t see) that they didn’t care about those problems they made more money from “birders” to which I said what the hell is a “birder” he said you know bird watcher. I said when the hell did they ever buy a licence. I could go on, on how they are poisoning lakes in the Bob ( to reintroduce West slope cutthroats) some of those lakes never had fish in them till some tough old birds carried them in on their backs, and netting fish ; Lake Trout) out of Swan Lake to save the Bulltrout, ( and you can’t selectively net). Only thing is I remember when they wanted to kill all the Bull trout after they ruined the salmond fishing in Flathead Lake by introducing fresh water shrimp. So you see we are on the same page KILL ALL THE WOLVES!!! Every body for give left out letters and misspellings I dyslexic and when I get passonate about things they look right to me till I read them over another day.

    • John Dorne

      M. Clark, Now that I see how these posts come in a realize you were answering the same uneducated fool I was. FORGIVE ME, please. I’m (as you probably are) so tired of these clown who have no idea what they are talking about; I get a little (ok very) angry. There is one more solution, we trap them and send them to their home town. Thanks John

    • Hey would you mind sharing which blog ptorfalm you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  • James Reynolds

    I guess I really don’t understand the problem since I live in Florida where we really don’t have the problem. It seems to me that the wolf’s controled there own propulation before man took over there habitat. We continue everyday to get more and more of it and if we continue to do that don’t worry there population will be controled. I fully understand the problem and can see where the people would be angry at the problems they cause. I, like everyone else really don’t know the answer to the problem but God does. We have the same problem in Florida with alagators. They have tryed to control the population but haven’t made any real progress. Just look at it this way. They were here before we were.

    • Love this photo, Larry, especially the iisserpmon of the Fashion Queen! And the moisture on the windows, whether from rain or condensation, adds to the mood of the photo. Looks like you’re warming up for some more street photography before leaving for the city of lights! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to enjoy yourselves on that trip! I look forward to seeing your portfolio and POTD from there. Hopefully you will have internet access and can keep us tantalized with daily images.Kathy

  • ecological balance

    Hunters should be in the front of the argument for sustaining a healthy wolf population. Predator-prey dynamics always balance out, and the presence of wolves maintains healthier populations of large game animals. This is a dynamic system that feeds off of itself. Removing wolves from the picture will drastically hurt other wildlife populations in the long run.

  • J4Wolves

    Hunt and eliminate wolves? What makes people think that they are better at ‘regulating’ nature than nature herself?

    • Huh, very interesting stuff mug. Do you think that there is a makret for Hitler based memorabilia? I have a few of the original furnaces they burnt jews in and figure they can bring joy to peoples homes. Please respond soon as I have already taken out the loan.

    • I am so very sorry for your loss Zoe. Please know that you and your family are in my thugthos and if you need anything you have a huge support system surrounding you. You are not alone in this big crazy world where terrible things happen to wonderful people ((hugs))

  • kelly

    Pro wolf people have dealt with them , some have spent their lives studying them . Poor , intelligent animals who mate for life , assign babysitters for their pups , who mourn their dead. Who for some odd reason , not only don’t attack people when healthy , they have taken in human children , and the stories go back thousands of years. ” Among Wolves ” is a Portuguese film about the true life story of a man who was taken in by a wolf pack when he was six years old.
    Montana WAS one of my favorite places. We vacationed there for generations. When I travel abroad I would recommend Montana and Wyoming to fellow travelers. Never again , you are not the place or people I thought you were. My family ( which includes a Marine , Deer hunter , NRA member ” have also stopped eating beef.

  • OPI

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    • that’s just a downloadable pilgun for MS word so you can type your writing on word, and then publish it with a click of a button, no need to goto the blogger site which is always down.I use haloscan to trackback the posts:)

  • wie viel Aufwand er in jedes einzelne gesteckt hat und wie ihn am Ende der pure

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