Hunters kill wolf, flee after attack

2010-11-05T06:45:00Z 2010-11-05T07:02:53Z Hunters kill wolf, flee after attackBy Tristan Scott of Montana Lee Newspapers Montana Standard

KALISPELL - Two Flathead Valley hunters say a pack of wolves surrounded them in the woods Saturday while they attempted to retrieve a quartered bull elk, forcing them to shoot and kill a wolf before fleeing.

Because wolves are classified as endangered, federal wildlife officials are investigating the incident and will determine if the shooting was justified. Neither man was injured during the confrontation, but officials will focus their investigation on the credibility of the hunters' stories and corroborating evidence at the site of the incident.

"Nobody got bit, but evidently they felt

sufficiently threatened or intimidated to the point that they needed to defend themselves," said Jim Satterfield, regional supervisor for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. "If a wild animal, a grizzly bear for example, or a mountain lion attacks someone, our investigation usually doesn't focus on where the teeth marks are. We investigate the proximity of the animal to the person, and where in the animal's body it was shot."

"Obviously, a claim of self-defense is more believable if an animal is shot in the chest rather than in its rump," Satterfield continued. "But it's going to be up to the (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to determine if the shooting was justified."

Satterfield said he could not comment on the specifics of the investigation because it was now a federal matter. Officials with USFWS were not available for comment Thursday.

A game warden who accompanied the men to the kill site Monday reported that multiple tracks confirmed that a pack of wolves had been present, said John Fraley, FWP spokesman for Region 1. The elk had been fed on by wolves and a grizzly bear, he said.

Mark Appleby, 49, of Columbia Falls and Raymond Pitman, 27, of Whitefish, told their story to members of the media Thursday evening at a news conference, saying they feared for their lives. The men were introduced and accompanied by several vocal critics of federal wolf management who advocated removing Endangered Species Act protections and returning wolf management authority to the state of Montana.

"They were in a frenzy," Appleby said of the wolves. "They were howling. It was eerie.''

He, too, spoke in favor of wolf hunts and delisting the animal, saying he has now seen wolves on three occasions and was outraged about being forced to abandon his elk.

"There's just too many wolves," Appleby said. "We've got to hunt them because it's just getting out of hand."

A veteran hunter of 30 years, Appleby said he shot the elk Friday, Oct. 29, in a drainage of the South Fork of the Flathead River. The next morning, he returned to the kill site with Pitman to retrieve the elk quarters. Both men rode horses and saw no evidence that wild animals had ravaged the meat, which Appleby packed with snow the previous day but did not suspend. He and Pitman say they saw a coyote track and a wolf track nearby, but no other signs of wildlife - a sweat-stained hat that Pitman left atop the quarters to deter wildlife was still in place, he said.

After making lunch and drawing the horses nearer to the meat to begin loading the elk quarters in a pannier, Appleby said his horse, named "Shotgun," spooked. When he turned around, he saw between six and eight wolves "running at us 30 to 40 yards away," according to a written statement he filed with FWP.

He and Pitman fired rounds from a rifle and a sidearm into the air to keep the wolves at bay, but the pack continued to howl, scaring the horses and forcing the men to abandon the meat.

As they trekked back out to their vehicle along Deep Creek Road, having abandoned the quarters, backstrap and tenderloin, the wolves followed the men.

"We got about 50 to 75 yards down the road when the wolves were howling right next to us on the side of the road," Appleby wrote in his statement. "I said, ‘The bastards are following us, maybe trying to kill us or the horses.' I told Raymond to shoot into the trees at them as we were trying to get away down the road. And that's what he did."

State Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell, who has been an outspoken critic of federal wolf management, appeared with Appleby and Pitman during the news conference Thursday. He said legislation being proposed by U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., is the quickest means of wolf delisting.

"Federal law right now is pre-eminent," Tutvedt said. "The best legal remedy is for Rehberg to pass the bill so the wolf is no longer listed."

In what would be an unusual move, Rehberg's draft bill seeks to amend the Endangered Species Act to delist wolves in Idaho and Montana, giving the states "exclusive jurisdiction" over wolf management.

The reintroduction of the wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains has been extremely contentious, prompting another similar bill to be introduced by Montana Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester. If passed, that bill would delist wolves in Montana and Idaho, but only after the states' wolf management plans are approved by the secretary of interior.

"It's going to be a huge issue this legislative session," Tuvedt said.

Both Appleby and Pitman said they're certain they only escaped unharmed because they were carrying firearms and rode horses.

"God saved us this time, but those wolves are still out there," Pitman wrote in his statement. "I won't go into these woods without a sidearm ever again. Those wolves were not afraid of us at all. They were killers."

Reporter Tristan Scott can be reached 1-800-366-7186 or at tscott@missoulian.com.

 

Copyright 2015 Montana Standard. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(44) Comments

  1. outlaw jr
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    outlaw jr - November 15, 2010 8:09 pm
    elizabeth-i was just wondering how long man has been hunting? and how do we not have a knowledge of how to hunt or how herd numbers are? i'm not trying to be an a** but i don't understand. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to see that if wolves are killing 60 calves and 100 sheep that they aren't eating all of the meat. unless we have pot belly wolves running around with their stomaches dragging on the ground.it is clear that they do kill to eat but they also do kill to kill. and also am i mistaken when i say that these wolves are native to montana? or are they the much larger canadian wolves like they appear to be?
  2. MTgirl4_16
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    MTgirl4_16 - November 12, 2010 9:53 am
    Get rid of the darn wolves!!! They are causing more drama then they are actually worth. I can't say I wouldn't be afraid of the wolves after seeing all the damage they have done to many animals including livestock, wild game, and ranch or farm domesticated animals. Especially after I abandoned the Elk I just shot that was going to feed my family for the next year during these hard times. Just that alone I can personally say GET RID OF THE WOLVES!!!!
  3. Elizabeth
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    Elizabeth - November 12, 2010 7:54 am
    Read the last line of my last post. But you're right. I should have said some or a few, as there are bad apples in every lot, including skiers. My point was that hunters do not have a monopoly of outdoor experience or knowledge, and that science and intellect should not be denigrated as somehow undermining hunting.

    If you hunt on public land, you're hunting "my" (if they can belong to anyone) animals too, as I pay my taxes and license fees like any other citizen. I'd be more than happy to chip in more through a parking pass or whatever for our ski trips (yes we drive to the trailhead, some groomed, some not).

    You may be offended by my opinion, but it doesn't change the facts. Did you ever stop to think that those nasty biologists might actually know something that could improve your hunting experience? There might actually be something in this for you, since that seems to be all that matters.
  4. yetty
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    yetty - November 10, 2010 7:32 pm
    Yowwi it means if I see a dog,of any kind whether it be a wolf,german shepard,or a poodle harrasing livestock.....BANG!!!!
  5. outlaw jr
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    outlaw jr - November 10, 2010 4:10 pm
    Elizabeth- I cry B.S. If you are going to bad mouth hunters for being lazy and leaving garbage everywhere lets think about hikers and cross country skiers being lazy and disrespectful and ungreatful. I hunt, ride fourwheelers and snowmobiles, and I do it respectfully. Sure on a wide open road I will open them up, or in the mountains in deep powder(not touching the ground or harming the eviroment) snowmobiling is great and I can almost bet i'm in the outdoors more than you, and there is wolves all over. For the fact of the lazy hunters leaving garbage, i have rarely seen garbage laying around, fires are seen often but they are usually old or have someone nearby. If cross country skiers are so active why do they drive to the place that they are going to ski at? has there ever been a cross country skier/ hiker that has left garbage? You are very extreme and offensive. extremists are always trying to fight to close everything down for motorized use but when its time to groom your trail who does it? snowmobiles? something with a motor? or is it an animal? that would be cruelty. If you are going to say motorists are lazy start walking to work, don't do anything that could hurt the environment or wolves. look at the facts as jeskimopie said. wolves are killing that many calves and sheep, something is wrong. Wolves are killing for sport.
    P.S. Cross country skiers/ bike riders/hikers- should have to pay to use the trails and land. I have to buy a sticker or have my ohv's street legal and somehow you have more say than me when you don't and can do anything you please... if you want to have your say you should have to pay
  6. jeskimopie
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    jeskimopie - November 10, 2010 12:40 pm
    The fact of the matter is not whether or not the hunter or wolves were at fault. If you look at the whole picture you would realize that we have to manage the wolves - period.

    I realize that over a hundred years ago wolves roamed this country freely and went where they wanted, killed what they wanted and when they wanted. Then along came the frontier pioneers and in order to settle the frontier and give you the chance to build the homes and businesses that you have today, Mankind put a bounty on the wolves. It was not unusual to see them paid $100/hide for a wolf. And back then that was a small fortune. This bounty was put on the wolf because even back then man kind realized that it was either the wolf or them and their livelyhood. Now some might think that this is slightly overstated, but think about it. Last winter in the Big Hole Valley in one night a pack of wolves came through and killed over 60 calves. Then not one month later south of Dillon they came through and killed over 100 sheep in one night. This type of killing is killing done for the sake of killing and no other reason. Now those two ranches that were hit, were larger operations and slightly better able to absorb that type of blow. But the fact of the matter is that, that type of hit to a ranch does not only do harm to the rancher and his family, but think about what it could do to a community of people who are depending on the surrounding ranches for their livelyhood.

    Now everyone is pointing fingers at the hunters and saying that they should not have left their kill in the wolves territory and what did they expect...The fact of the matter is the wolves territory is now EVERYWHERE. And I don't just mean wilderness/forested areas. Wolves are moving closer to towns/cities just like the bear problem in Bozeman. How long before they are coming into our backyards and killing our pets or children. The fairytale of Little Red Riding was made up for a reason, to teach children that they need to be on the look out for wolves because if they were not careful the wolves could and would get them.

    And if you think about it truly you have to expect more hunter/wolf encounters. During hunting season the number of outdoorsmen using the wilderness/forest areas increases phenomenally. And the more people that you have out and about the greater the chance of an encounter.

    We are going to see a huge increase in the amount of encounters that we see there is no way around it.
  7. Frequentvisitor2Butte
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    Frequentvisitor2Butte - November 10, 2010 11:54 am
    This story just reeks of hunters being self serving. I'll gladly change my opinion about this being bogus hunter PR if any pictures taken show an unusual number of wolves were present. Wolves travel and hunt in packs. Of course there will be quite a few, especially if remains of a kill are near by. Neither of these hunters talk about firing warning shots, Splintering a tree to scare them off, etc.

    If wolves and elk were just left alone, an equilibrium of both species would establish itself. To Yetty and her kind: of course wolves are capable of doing people harm. So are cattle, pigs, ostrich and a whole lot of other domesticated farm animals. Don't want to be hurt by a wolf? It's quite simple: Stay out of their territory.
  8. julio
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    julio - November 10, 2010 9:45 am
    tourists come to see Wolves not drunken hunters and their $45,000 trucks.
  9. Elizabeth
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    Elizabeth - November 10, 2010 7:39 am
    "You can either believe what you read by a liberal left wing hippy group, or believe what your own eyes see, although the hippies will tell you that your eyes are lying to you, and you should beleive the BS studies the "scientists" and "biologists" that they hired have done."

    Actually, I can believe both. As an avid backcountry skier and hiker, I have seen first hand the devastation of public lands by overgrazing, the garbage and burning fires left by lazy hunters, poached kills left to rot and holes shot in anything that didn't move. I've seen thousands of elk and deer, lots of antelope, foxes, coyotes, bobcats and bears, and one wolf, one in my entire lifetime.

    As for the "scientists' and "biologists", did you ever wonder if you might actually learn something if you studied a subject for 6-8 years or more. Perhaps shooting elk from a four wheeler gives you a PhD in bullying? As a biologist myself (booo, hiss, another librul intulecshul!!!!), I feel that I have a sound basis for evaluating scientific evidence, little of which is ever presented in this "discussion".

    As to where I live or the position of my posterior, I may be your neighbor and I probably spend more time outside than most people. I even own firearms and know how to use them.

    Finally, for the outraged "hunters", cry me a river. Sounds like you shoot what you want when you want, to hell with the regs or safety. You constantly disparage intellect, but tell me, who designed your rifles, ammo, and high tech outdoor gear? When you get sick, would you prefer to see an educated doctor, or someone who just read an online DIY tutorial. Anti-intellectuals are mental parasites, always expecting someone else to do the heavy lifting when it comes to brain power.

    For those of you who follow the rules and respectfully harvest, I support you and happily remove the quotation marks.






  10. digger4life
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    digger4life - November 10, 2010 7:21 am
    yowi, yetty's comment was in regards to this "Elizabeth said: As for throwing a stick, more people are killed and injured by domestic dogs than wolves. Look there's one now, shoot it!"
  11. outlaw jr
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    outlaw jr - November 09, 2010 5:53 pm
    julio- is this so called welfare grass the stuff you get with your green card in cali?
    I have seen wolves when i am camping "outdoors" and they are not the same wolves they used to be. They are much bigger and kill for fun, not for survival, and I want you to tell me different. Look at some pictures that people have taken of full elk killed and left. I hunt, I have shot a big bull and it was the greatest feeling of my life. I hunted for it and ate every bit of it along with my family. If you are going to fight for the wolves fight for the wolves that were native to montana, not some "BEASTS" from Canada.

    Oldie- I would like to see you out in the middle of the woods with a vegi burger that you probably love so much, and watch the wolves run at you. Would you try and bait them with your vegi burger? Maybe your stash of "welfare grass"? I would say that the wolves were thinking of fresh meat? Maybe because they don't kill for survival, mainly for fun, they probably wanted to kill again! HERE IS A GOOD STATEMENT FOR YOU "WOLF HUGGERS" LOL--> WOLVES ARE TROPHY HUNTERS AND KILL FOR THE SIZE OF THEIR GAME!!!
    one difference between "most" hunters and wolves, most people eat what they kill, not leave it for the griz.

  12. yowiman
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    yowiman - November 09, 2010 5:47 pm
    Ya sorry, I was laughing pretty hard when I wrote that about julio.
    But yetty seems outta line when he says "Well ya know what Elizabeth,I shoot those domestic dogs too!" Unless I'm missing something?? er...what does this mean?
  13. julio
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    julio - November 09, 2010 11:04 am
    I agree: "Overgrazing by any species negatively impacts the targeted ecosystem."
  14. digger4life
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    digger4life - November 09, 2010 8:27 am
    Wow yowi. You and julio could get together and make up one whopper of a fairy tale. Yetty never said he was going to shoot Elizabeth's dog, but you would know that if you actually read all the comments. I would caution you about siding with julio. This is the same individual that declared he was boycotting Montana beef by only eating corn-fed, midwest feedlot beef. LMAO.

    As for julio's delusion that cattle and sheep grazing on public lands negatively effects wildlife: wrong again. There are numerous studies that show managed grazing of cattle complements elk foraging habits. In short, cows will eat the old, coarse, over-grown grasses which allows elk to find the feed which they prefer: tender shoots and new growth. Overgrazing by any species negatively impacts the targeted ecosystem. I hope you can find another line julio.
  15. yowiman
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    yowiman - November 08, 2010 6:17 pm
    neat how these big tough hunters like yetty can pick on the ladies,

    tough guys even callin em out telling her he'd have no problem shooting her dog, real tough guy.


    i agree with julio, jman25 is funny.
  16. JackO
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    JackO - November 08, 2010 5:05 pm
    I think the term 'welfare grazing'... he may be referring to the approx 170 million acres of land that are assigned renewable grazing permits under the Taylor Grazing Act. I believe people bid on those, but they are also renewable. Does that mean if the grazing permit remains in a family it could stay there forever? I don't know how that works.
  17. julio
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    julio - November 08, 2010 10:03 am
    ia gree with jman its welfare ranchers with their welfare grazing (almost free) for sheep and cattle that threaten the Elk. Wolves are real hunters and belong in Montana,
  18. jman25
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    jman25 - November 06, 2010 6:17 pm
    Julio, funny how your "welfare" ranching never threatened the elk before the introduction of the wolf to Montana. Where is this almot free grazing at? I sure would like to know where this is. Last I checked, we had to purchase our land and pay taxes on it, not quite sure how that is "almost free" grazing. Would you please tell me where these almost free grazing areas are and what they pay to use it?
  19. julio
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    julio - November 06, 2010 1:23 pm
    its welfare ranchers with their welfare grazing (almost free) for sheep and cattle that threaten the Elk. Wolves are real hunters and belong in Montana, hunters are looking for a drunken weekend away from the wife!

  20. jman25
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    jman25 - November 05, 2010 10:40 pm
    Hey lrigettub , thanks for proving my point. Nature didn't put Canadian Gray Wolves in Montana. Plus, whoever said people hunt because they need the meat? It's a sport to hunters and population control to the FWP and other agencies. This is about the invasive species wolf problem. Yes, it is a problem, there's a reason the American Gray Wolf, or Timber Wolf was eradicated in the first place, becuase they aren't good for anything. We do not need them to control other animal (over) populations, that's what the states make a hunting season for and it's done in moderation. The wolves don't hunt in moderation, and their licenses are not limited, Human hunters' licenses are limited to ensure the survival of the species. There's not enough wild life to sustain the population of these wolves indefinetely. How bad will you wolf lovers feel when the North American Elk becomes endangered because of the tenacity of the Candadian Gray Wolf? Or will you say it's probably ok to open up a hunting season on wolves before it's too late?
  21. yetty
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    yetty - November 05, 2010 7:15 pm
    As for you Julio!you can go to hell!!Welfare ranchers,I don't think so you don't have a damn clue.When we shoot woolves its for survival and ya know what????It is fun!!
  22. yetty
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    yetty - November 05, 2010 7:08 pm
    Well ya know what Elizebeth,I shoot those domestic dogs too!
  23. jman25
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    jman25 - November 05, 2010 6:33 pm
    It would be nice to find out where the wolf was actually dropped. If it's near the dead elk, those two are going to have some explaining to do. Unless it was in fact shot along the road along their "escape" route, then that will be pretty interesting.
  24. lrigettub
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    lrigettub - November 05, 2010 4:59 pm
    First of all to all those proclaiming save the elk bull crap-stop hunting them then and quit blaming nature! I know plenty of people who hunt that do not need the meat! They are wealthy enough to go to Smiley's and buy some! Second of all the wolves have to eat-it is nature for them to eat on their prey! Did you make it through 5th grade in school? Maybe you should watch the discovery channel and see how animals survive. All of the animals in the mountains live and survive in the mountains and that includes feasting off their prey! Its a part of life! It is not like the wolves were given a home, a BBQ, a steak knife, and some meat from the meat block to live on. Idiots!
  25. oldie
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    oldie - November 05, 2010 2:47 pm
    jman25... I can tell that even if you wanted to believe this story, you just can't make yourself swallow it, can you. You know as well as I do that these are wolves, not Marines. You shoot at a wolf, it's gone. This ain't Ahab and the Great White Whale here. After he shot at those wolves they did not keep coming. Appleby would like us to think that these wolves were out to get him personally. Uh, Uh! This is a balloon boy story, and, deep down, you know it too.
  26. scottie
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    scottie - November 05, 2010 1:18 pm
    And if you have ever been out in the mountains and heard a wolf, it is eerie! You must be to busy sitting on the couch that's why you don't see the dwindling numbers of elk, deer and moose or have had a chance to hear a wolf! Too bad for you...
  27. jman25
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    jman25 - November 05, 2010 1:09 pm
    Oldie, when you've found an elk in the evening, you're not going to pack up and come back in the morning hoping that elk will still be there. As far as him leaving it over night, that's pretty damn dumb, I don't know many people who would do this. I've spent all night and half the next morning packing my elk out of the mountains piece by piece. This guy does make himself out to look like a moron and a drama queen. You can even say he brought upon himself by leaving his kill over night. It's the part of the story where the wolves were not afraid of him (protecting their food source), if even part of his story is true, this isn't the behavior of wolves years past where the mere sight of a human would send them running. They are getting used to humans and unafraid. This is because as they have been here longer, they have just now in the last few years negun to establish the territories. As elk and deer populations are becoming lesser, which is true, no matter the cause, the wolves are going to look for alternate food sources, whether it be our dogs, cats, sheep, cows, ourselves, or our kids while they are fishing, hiking, or camping. Just wait, it may not happen this year, but the incidents will be more frequent year after year and the wolves will do "strange" things people will. Unless, they are managed. How can anyone think we can have any sort of predatory animal that size and not manage them. Defenders of wildlife would have you believe that. Maybe this is where the wolf-lovers are getting their info. It's so choked full of lies and misinformation it makes me sick. Especially when they speak of the amount of state issued licenses. They dont add that once the quota is reached, the hunting season is suspended for the year. You can either believe what you read by a liberal left wing hippy group, or believe what your own eyes see, although the hippies will tell you that your eyes are lying to you, and you should beleive the BS studies the "scientists" and "biologists" that they hired have done.
  28. scottie
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    scottie - November 05, 2010 1:09 pm
    Bottom line....kill 1 wolf save 100 elk!!!! If you see a wolf kill it and shut up!
    And for those"wolf lovers" check out saveelk.com and see how they just kill to eat as in the photo of the doe with it's 2 fawns ripped out of it's fetus and none of the 3 were eaten. Hmmm weird must have been a human.... or better yet a hunter that was hunting at dark right?
  29. oldie
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    oldie - November 05, 2010 12:16 pm
    Just listen to these quotes:

    "They were in a frenzy," "They were howling. It was eerie.''
    That's almost word for word the same sappy account as we heard last year. Frenzy", eerie howling", they use the same words to tell the same lies. How do I know? Because they always follow it up the same way:

    "There's just too many wolves," Appleby said. "We've got to hunt them because it's just getting out of hand."

    This Appleby is out of hand. He's just sorry he didn't get a shot at the grizzly bear he knew was in the area. I think he baited those wolves and that bear. He didn't have to keep hunting right up until dark when he knew he couldn't pack an elk out anymore until morning. He did it on purpose that evening.

    Then, what's the first thing he's thinking about? It isn't the meat, is it? The first thing he plans on carrying out is the horns. That's who this Appleby is, a trophy hunter. He's a would be hero. He looks like the father in the "balloon boy" hoax to me.

    Then, get this, instead of getting right down to eating this dead elk, Appleby says the wolves were so determined to get him, personally, that they chased him, and his partner, after they had already been shot at. That's a little hard to swallow, man. Why don't you go tell Oprah all about it.
  30. jman25
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    jman25 - November 05, 2010 12:14 pm
    One more Julio, ranches and farms inadvertently supply alfalfa, wheat, oats, barley, sorghum, you name it, to wildlife. None of these grains or grass are native to North America and are very healthy for wild animals. So this means, healthier and beefier animals for your beloved wolf to eat. Sounds to me like wild animals are collecting welfare food from the ranchers, who feed the animals all year long, yet the state collects the money for tags and licenses. I suspect you may be a vegetarian, is this true?
  31. jman25
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    jman25 - November 05, 2010 12:09 pm
    Holy cow Julio, you are perhaps one of the most clueless people I've never met. I couldn't agree more with out-of-stater. Just what exactly is welfare grass? I've lived on a ranch almost my entire life and don't remember there being any welfare grass, nor do I remember seeing the wildlife "stressed out" on our place. Is there anywhere else you can think of to point a finger? Maybe, it's the elk and deers' fault their young are in low numbers this year. Maybe the cows and does this year were in short supply of makeup and weren't very pretty so the bulls and bucks didn't breed with them. Or, maybe the Elk are giving their young as offerings to the ohso pretty and majestic wolf. If this were written by some wolf-lover backed by Malloy, and the BO ridden hippies, you would probably believe it.
  32. julio
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    julio - November 05, 2010 11:45 am
    Problem? its welfare ranchers with their cows, sheep eating welfare grass and stressing out the native wildlife.

    the wolves were hunting for SURVIVAL, the humans were hunting for fun! it is a shame to kill Elk and then add beef fat and seasonings to make crappy sarama and kabasa and force it on friends.
  33. jman25
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    jman25 - November 05, 2010 11:13 am
    To out-of-stater Bahahahahahahaha "Julio, you are an idiot. The wolves where hunting humans for survival? You really believe that...then please take a walk in the south drainage of the Flathead River as soon as possible with a pork chop hanging around your neck." Love it!
  34. cuzIcan
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    cuzIcan - November 05, 2010 10:57 am
    Three words

    "Shoot, Shovel, Shutup"
  35. jman25
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    jman25 - November 05, 2010 10:17 am
    Ya Elizabeth, you're right, "a balance in the ecosystem promotes species diversity and richness". When there is an equal balance between predators and prey. In this case there is not. The Canadian Wolf is not from Montana, they have never once "evolved" with Monatana's Elk population. They are a larger breed and cover larger territories than the Gray Wolf that WAS indigenous to Montana long ago. The only "species diversity and richness" that's going to thrive here is eventually going to be the wolf. You would like that wouldn't you? That would mean no more hunting in Western Montana of Elk and Deer because their populations would need time to recover from "over hunting" as you liberals would spin it. It's funny how you people blame the lower Elk calf and Deer fawn populations on everything but the wolves. Must be global warming killing all the young and changing the travel patterns of the animals. There's not anymore or less snow in the mountains right now there there was last year. This was a good spring for the wolves and their reproduction, their population boom this summer. The coyotes are disappearing and changing their patterns as well. But, Elizabeth, what would you know about that? You probably don't live in the mountains where you're used to seeing, wolves, elk, deer, coyotes, and bears on a daily basis. As for more people being injured by domestic dogs, that's because people encounter domestic dogs more than wolves, if people encountered wolves more often, I guarentee you, your stats on wolf encounters/wolf attacks would be a little different. Get off your butt and experience the mountains first hand, you will see your "diversity" in the mountains, if you see anything at all this year. The wolves need to be managed just like any other wild animal for the same reasons and more, to prevent disease, over harvesting of other animals, and to prevent encroachment into human populated areas. Remember this, humans were here in Montana before the Canadian Gray Wolf was. But, maybe people will have their way, they will stay on the endangered list, their populations will thrive, they will annihilate all the other populations, will force bear and mountain lions into the cities, and will contact a disease from over population and will all die out.
  36. out-a-stater
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    out-a-stater - November 05, 2010 10:14 am
    Julio, you are an idiot. The wolves where hunting humans for survival? You really believe that...then please take a walk in the south drainage of the Flathead River as soon as possible with a pork chop hanging around your neck. Anyone who thinks the wolves are "hunting for survival", visit this site and look at all the pictures...then tell me your thoughts regarding the elk. www.saveelk.com
  37. n1637y
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    n1637y - November 05, 2010 10:09 am
    Ditto what yetti said. These other critics commenting here obviously value the lives of animals above those of humans.
  38. digger4life
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    digger4life - November 05, 2010 10:01 am
    I'm glad to see that once again, commenters are proving there are no bounds to the ignorance of the pro-wolf faction. According to the wolf lovers, wolves only attack and kill the sick and weak; they only hunt to survive. Why, when there is fresh elk meat available, would a pack of wolves continue to hunt perfectly healthy men and horses?
  39. runnertrout
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    runnertrout - November 05, 2010 9:48 am
    "The elk and wolf evolved together and belong in the same ecosystem. Hunters might have to work a little harder and be a little smarter to understand that a balance in the ecosystem promotes species diversity and richness, even if it's inconvenient for you."

    Well Said!

  40. idol observor
    Report Abuse
    idol observor - November 05, 2010 9:38 am
    And the stupidity goes on. At what point are we going to consider the facts and stop trying to appease a few folks with an extreme agenda. The first fact is that our native wolves were never in danger of becoming extinct. The second fact is that you can't reintroduce a species of wolves to an area where they never lived. The Canadian wolf is well and triving in its natural area. At a great amount of tax money, they were introduced to this area. The next"fact" that i would like to address is the overused statement"sound science." There isn't any science being used to justify the handling of the wolf situation,certainly not"sound science." How is it that eight or ten folks writing in to the paper and suing the government to continue this insanity. This brings up the next fact, could we have an exact figure on how much has been paid to those folks who sue the government agencies and never get past arbitration. How do we justify this as "equal access to justice." Where is the justice when ranchers have to feed the wolves and then pay the idiots to object to dealing with the wolves. This last election hopefully means that a few people are saying," this total insanity has to stop."
  41. delilahjones
    Report Abuse
    delilahjones - November 05, 2010 9:20 am
    Too bad you had to change a rather dangerous encounter, in which you may have been perfectly justified in shooting one of the wolves, into an attention-whoring political statement. After reading the story, it now kind of sounds like you shot one of the wolves so you could get your slanted political views in the newspaper......and called up the appropriate politicians to help you with it.

    Or maybe you're looking for a reality show: "Montana hunters--the last men on earth!!" I hope you're good-looking and not fat. LOL
  42. megloff1
    Report Abuse
    megloff1 - November 05, 2010 9:16 am
    Hunters should carry more ammo. One wolf or dog is not usually much of a threat. A pack can and will coordinate and overwhelm prey, even if armed. Most hunters aren't going to work a bolt fast enough to save themselves, especially if alone. At the effective range of a pistol, the wolves will be on you before you can get enough of them.

    As for where it got hit, it could have turned while the guy was shooting. I love the monday morning quartbacking of the bureaucrats and wolf lovers.

    Good riddance and too bad you didn't get the rest of the pack.
  43. julio
    Report Abuse
    julio - November 05, 2010 8:47 am
    the wolves were hunting for SURVIVAL, the humans were hunting for fun! it is a shame to kill Elk and then add beef fat and seasonings to make crappy sarama and kabasa and force it on friends.

  44. Elizabeth
    Report Abuse
    Elizabeth - November 05, 2010 7:49 am
    Perhaps the hunters should acknowledge that leaving a kill will attract predators. Funny that all the big tough hunters are terrified of the natural ecosystem. Changes in elk behavior this year certainly can't be attributed to the weather or any other factor, must be the wolves. The elk aren't moving into the mountains because of the wolves, right? Not because there's no snow.

    The elk and wolf evolved together and belong in the same ecosystem. Hunters might have to work a little harder and be a little smarter to understand that a balance in the ecosystem promotes species diversity and richness, even if it's inconvenient for you.

    As for throwing a stick, more people are killed and injured by domestic dogs than wolves. Look there's one now, shoot it!

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