Wyoming Outfitter Bob Jackson on Wyoming Wolf "Management Plan"
In the paper world of wolf regulations and recovery objectives the "safe zone" for maintaining wolf populations in Wyoming supposedly allows this animal an area of sanctuary. In reality this zone is not all that safe.
Most every hunting outfitter hates wolves because, for one, wolves move elk around. Thus every guide who glasses a herd of elk the night before is PO'd the next morning when he sees no elk (and no $300 tip from his hunter) but lots of wolf tracks. The outfitter he works for is doubly PO'd because he hears shots coming from close to private hunter's camps or worse yet, from a neighboring outfitter he has been feuding with. Those were his elk, "damn it".
On federal lands, where outfitters have, by defacto, taken "ranches" the wolf represents a threat no different than what cattle ranchers feel when wolves come onto their property.
These outfitters will go to any lengths to kill every wolf out on their "land". For one, they have the blessing from the state of Wyoming. The management plan gives them the green light to shoot any wolf harassing their horses. Since there is no law and order or even witnesses back in these areas any wolf outside Yellowstone is fair game.
But we still have the core sanctuary of Yellowstone, don't we? Not so. There are few packs of wolves in Yellowstone that don't have some part of their circuits outside of the Park. Plus all these fall hunting outfitters take dudes into Yellowstone for sight seeing and fishing trips in the summer. Any den discovered... and it is not that hard to find, just look for the pup tracks on the sand bars and do a few circuits in the area ... is hoof pounded out by the outfitter and his whole entourage. Then after the dudes, unaware of what they are contributing to, go back to camp this same outfitter makes sure the wrangler runs all the stock over this spot and every guide slips away to do the same thing everyday the dudes are fishing anywhere near. Then when the outfitter leaves he tells the other outfitters and the same thing is repeated the next week. Get the idea? Destroy the core den by harassment and wolves either move on immediately or they won't come back next year.
In my neck of the woods, the Se corner of Yellowstone, there was a wolf den less than a mile from my cabin and a half mile from the Bridger Teton Wilderness boundary. As soon as I saw and figured out what these guys were doing I rode to every camp, sorted the outfitter and help from the dudes, and in very explicit terms told them if this behavior continued there would be hell to pay. I may have been able to save this den with its 4 pups, but with Yellowstone wanting all its back country rangers to make only short trips into its backcountry, how much of this illegal behavior by outfitters will be noticed or curtailed? As for the "trophy hunting" area, where the Forest Service has only volunteers or cowboy wantabe's on its backcountry staff, who there is going to insure critical denning areas are saved? No, I don't think the wolves are safe in their sanctuary!! And when wolf numbers go down in these areas and these harassed wolf packs are increasingly dispersing out of these "safe" areas to lands where open season prevails the biologists won't know why. It will be blamed on disease, "new" carrying capacity information etc. Then the number of packs needed to be maintained, as stated in the recovery plan, will be downsized. It will be the easy way out for our govt. Then the "caring ones" will sympathetically put a hand on the shoulder of wolf proponents and say the idea of wolf recovery may have been for a good cause but today is not the days of the frontier when there was lots of open land for wolves.
Read more at http://wolves.wordpress.com/2008/04/12/dont-worry/