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Sorry, But Wolf Slaughter Is Not American

Graphic Photo: Vigilantes in Wyoming Enact “Justice” Against Wolves

masked wolf hunters

“Fed Up in Wyoming” reads the caption under this stunning photograph posted on a hunter's Facebook page (reproduced here under Fair Use). The photo is yet more evidence that, two years after political reactionaries led a successful campaign in the House of Representatives and then the Senate to remove the North Rocky Mountain gray wolf from the endangered species list, the slaughter of wolves continues to escalate as wolf hunters fall deeper in their paranoid fantasy that the wolf represents a liberal conspiracy against rural communities.

The Facebook page  that originally posted the image belongs to two Wyoming hunting outfitters, Colby and Codi Gines. The Gines run CG Wilderness Adventures, headquartered in a highly remote part of Wyoming’s Bridger Teton National Forest, bordering on the southeast section of Yellowstone National Park.  “Wyoming is God’s country, and we invite you to come see it for yourself,” says the Gines’ website.

Their invitation evidently does not extend to wolves. Driven extinct in most of the continental US in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the wolf returned to the American landscape in 1995, when the US  Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced 66 wolves captured in the Canadian Rockies to Central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. Conservationists saw as the return of the wolf as a crowning accomplishment to renew the wilderness, and millions of Americans came to celebrate the wolf's comeback. But by 2009 a virulent opposition movement opposed to the wolf had formed. Made up of hunters and outfitters, ranchers, and far-right groups, these forces coalesced around a cultural mythology in which  wolves became demons — disease ridden, dangerous foreign invaders  — who served as icons of the hated federal government. (Read Cry Wolf, our in-depth report on this issue.)    

With the Klan-like hoods and the ostentatious display of the American flag, the photo is a glimpse into the mentality of those behind the anti-wolf campaign. There is, apparently, a cohort of people who view the destruction of wild nature as something to be celebrated, something quintessentially America. They are play acting at both patriotism and rebellion. And, in their play-acting, they reveal a great deal about the paranoid fantasies that have gripped some people in the age of Obama.

The Facebook comments following the photo are especially revealing. Among those who LIKE this page is Sportsmen Against Wolves, a group whose “About” statement is, “Sportsmen against illegally introduced Canadian Gray Wolves.”  Here's one wolf-killing friend, J. Weeks, commenting on the photo: “Kill all federally funded terrorists. ” To some, the reintroduction of wolves represents Washington’s treason against civilization itself: “Yet another brilliant bleeding heart program…reestablish the bloodthirsty critter that every civilization from the dawn of time has tried to eliminate,” says Johnny W.  To Sarah H., the wolf killing is just self-defense: “I imagine they don’t want any wolfies to come after them or their families!” Then Haines complained that only one had been killed — there “should be a pile of them tho!”

The white hoods, with their echoes of Jim Crow-era terrorism, were actually celebrated by some commenters.  “Redneck KKK” wrote Austin T. One fan, Julia G., argued that the wolf hunters should be more brazen, posting,  “Next time they go full REGALIA.”

For their part, the Gines prefer to call the hoods the sign of “Vigilantes,” a way of “Trying to make a statement!...Frontier Justice! Wyoming hunters are fed up!” John  P. concurred, “Yeehaw...looks like modern day Wyoming rangers taking care of business!!!!!”

Some commenters suggested that the wolf hunters wore hoods to protect themselves from government persecution. One supporter of masked men posted, “I fully understand the masks…Keep on killing guys.” 

It would seem that wolf hunting is the wildlife version of George Zimmerman's vigilantism – self appointed keepers of order waging a battle against an imaginary enemy.

Or maybe it's worse, and the wolf hunters with their KKK masks are more like shades of Timothy McVeigh. The cammo gear, the rifles – it’s as if the wolf hunters were  fighting a guerrilla war against Washington. As if they were worried that at any moment a US Fish and Wildlife Service black helicopter would swoop down and a SWAT team emerge, assault rifles blazing.

But it's a phony rebellion against a phantom menace. The wolves aren't actually any danger to people or much of a threat to ranchers'  livestock. And the US government permits them to be killed. There's no real transgression here requiring a mask. It's all theater meant to self-impress.

In April, 2011, the House and Senate sponsored a “rider” on a federal budget bill that removed gray wolves in the Northern Rockies from the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Here's the very long story in short: Democratic Senator Jon Tester faced a rough challenge in the 2012 Montana election, and sacrificing wolves as expendable was deemed politically expedient to win the race. Wolf hunts renewed in Idaho and Montana that fall. Legal challenges by environmental groups against the delisting failed.

Wyoming took until 2012 to win full federal approval for a plan to declare the lands near Yellowstone a “trophy zone” with wolf quotas. In most of the state, wolves can be killed year round without limits. The Gines’ hunting operation is in “Wolf Hunt Area 3.” In late October they reported killing two wolves, filling its quota of three wolves (one had been hunted earlier). Whether the wolf in this photo is one of the three legally killed is not known. 

The Northern Rockies have become an unsupervised playpen for reactionaries to act out warrior fantasies against demonic wolves, coastal elites, and idiotic environmentalists — the members of these latter two categories being “two-legged” wolves. The sheer extremity of the hatred shown to wolves, and the bizarre juxtaposition of the KKK-like hoods and American flag, plainly expose this movement for what it is: A scapegoating of the wolves by men and women who have succumbed to their own rage against imagined enemies. And while the failure of federal, state and local political leaders to denounce the anti-wolf movement illuminates their moral failure, history offers encouraging instances of public indignation creating change from below.

Take, as just one example, the eventual take-down of Senator Joe McCarthy. After years of cynical Red-baiting, including accusing high ranking military and intelligence officials of treason, McCarthy was eventually brought to a kind of justice. McCarthy  accused the US Army of harboring Communists and, in June 1954, in the course of a televised Senate investigation of the Army-McCarthy conflict, McCarthy accused a young lawyer working for Army counsel Joseph Welch of being affiliated with communism. After McCarthy repeatedly pressed his accusations, Welch savaged McCarthy: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Welch’s indignation broke the spell McCarthy had cast upon the nation and ended his political career.

Perhaps this latest wolf snuff photo will bring a similar kind of justice and force the public to declare, in no uncertain terms, that wolf killing is un-American. Maybe it will force people to ask:  When will this indecent killing come to an end?

James William Gibson
James William Gibson writes regularly for Earth Island Journal. Among his books is The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam (1986).

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Comments

Wow. Eight dickless idiots with guns and one lone defenceless wolf. No wonder they covered their faces.

By Karen Barker on Wed, March 05, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Cows and ranchers are not native to America actually, the cows replaced free roaming buffalo and there were never any ranchers in America before the European settlers.

By LABradford on Mon, November 25, 2013 at 8:16 am

To all sides in the wolf argument—first the anti-wolf people: Wolves were here for 10s of thousands of years and yet there was a massive amount of elk, deer, moose etc. until people killed everything…an then reintroduced it-first elk, then decades later wolves, etc. The animals are native and belong here. They aren’t a government conspiracy; the American people as a whole wanted our wolves restored.
  To my fellow wolf-lovers-it doesn’t help our cause hating on cows and ranchers; they are also native and traditional parts of the American West. I eat hamburgers, and I have also bonded w/ wolves and wolf/dogs.
  To everyone: Look to Transylvania, Poland, Minnesota, and the Canadian Rockies for ideas of how livestock and wildlife can all exist.

By Anne Lewis-Strobell on Sun, November 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I don’t think opening Pandora’s box to Lyme Disease not to mention plague ,which is endemic out West, is healthy for Americans. Had they ever researched the term trophic cascade and catastrophic they might understand the consequences of their arrogance and ignorance.

By Carolyn on Sun, November 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Kayucian and Kimber Leigh; nicely written and accurately portrayed.  Thanks for the info and for being voices of reason in a crazy place!

By Donna Porteus on Mon, November 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

To Colby Gines,

Wolves are not an invasive species, they are native to the North American continent. You do understand that Canada is part of the same continent as the US, correct? And you are aware that animals do not understand human made imaginary borders, right? You don’t even know that much about these animals, you have no business killing them.

By L.A. Bradford on Mon, November 18, 2013 at 10:45 am

Colby Gines ,Governor Meade supports your behavior? So you’ve spoken to him?  I’m waiting for that press conference. You and I and humans are invasive.

By JK on Mon, November 18, 2013 at 10:26 am

To all:
Everyone is waiting anxiously to hear from me, I’m sure! 
This wolf was taken LEGALLY with a license.  If we were “wolf slaughterers”, each person in the photo would be holding one.  Those of us that know wolves well, know that they don’t travel alone.  They travel in packs.  We could have “smoked a pack that day” but we didn’t.  The masks and photo are to make a statement from us who actually get to see the devastating effect the wolf is making.  The masks are vigilante not KKK but of course most of you want them to be cause you are so stuck on racial issues.  Some of our best friends are Native Americans and African American.  So sorry, nope, not KKK masks or racial by any means. 
You guys sure have got a lot of propaganda going here.  The funny thing is that no one really knows.
We never once said to kill all wolves.  Do these wolves belong in Wyoming? No, they are an invasive species. Since they are here now, they do need to be managed just like everything else.

I do want to thank you all for the free hunting advertisement I’ve been getting lately.
God Bless our Governor for finally getting the management back on the Grey Wolf.
Colby

By Colby Gines on Fri, November 01, 2013 at 1:35 pm

========================================

News flash, Colby Gines: God Was Never On Your Side.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1grhmdzoHrw
And he never will be on your side.

By Powerslave Wolf on Sun, November 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm

@t: How about you allow the wolves to have their freedoms and do what they want.  You should move to a country where some nasty dictator will kill you the moment you step out of line, since you seem to be comfortable doing the same to those weaker than you.  And IMO the big cities are less harmful to animal habitat than certain rural pursuits.  Cities house a large number of humans in a small space; a single ranching family may sprawl their cows over hundreds of acres, which then become unsafe for any living creature that dares to compete with, prey on, or otherwise bother the precious domestics.  If you all packed up and moved to the city, the cities wouldn’t have to grow all that much accommodate you, and then we could let the land turn back into REAL wildlife habitat.

By CaptainSakonna on Sun, November 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm

All of you tofo fartin ferries have an excellent point that the wolf should be allowed to live so heres an idea, why dont you all tear down you fabulous concrete jungles (creating habitat) and leave this awesome county where we are allowed to have our freedoms and do what we want.

By t on Fri, November 15, 2013 at 11:51 am

As the result of an Anti-wolf, hatred fueled 2011 Congressional rider that removed federal protections for wolves turning management over to the states, we are seeing for the first time a kind of sickness displayed in the form of pictures and comments by individuals who are a true embarrassment to the America people.

By L.A. Bradford on Wed, November 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm

To Todd:  I hope some day when you are tossing and turning when your own death comes, that you will think back with disdain, on all the grief and heartache you caused to the wolf and to those who love the wolf.  Nobody made you God.  The wolf is only living the way the Creator intended him.  What would YOU do in his place?  We know the answer..you would be looking for something to eat, and just trying to live your life…but you want to make a living hell out of the wolf’s life, and perpetuate the fairy tale myth of evil.  You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to drum up fear and hatred, you are no better than the freaks in this picture.
The cattle are on land which the wildlife have been pushed out of, from the greed and overpopulation of humans, leaving them with nowhere to go.  It is totally unnecessary and shameful.

By Donna Lober on Wed, November 13, 2013 at 6:26 am

Donna Lober Thank you I appreciate it i agree it’s really frustrating to read a lot of the nonsense spread around the internet. There are so many flaws and ridiculous statements made about wolves and the way they are “managed” shows how flawed and ridiculous people’s views on wolves and predators in general are. I always see things posted online on how wolves do this and do that and they were brought here illegally and blah blah blah but personally I think there needs to be more emphasis on the craziness there is behind these management policies. It’s crazy to me how the US is supposed to be the most advanced and the most developed country in the world but when it comes to our wildlife, we are worse than almost any other country and nothing is being done about it what so ever. Africa and Asia are able to co exist with large animals and predators that are far more dangerous and"destructive” than the native animals in the US and they have far less resources than we do. They can live with prides of lions tigers elephants rhinos and giraffes but we can’t live with a 110 lb wolf? And not only that but they want those animals on the landscape and understand the importance they are unlike the US. Makes a lot of sense to me. Just shows the selfishness and absurd views of the majority of the American people. I’m gonna end it right there before I go on and on Lol. Thanks again for the reply!

By Cody on Wed, November 13, 2013 at 1:47 am

Manage the wolf population or nature.  How do you plan to do that?  You who say the wolf is good and an animal that is needed have never seen the devastation to cows.  By the way, cows are managed and provide food for us all unless you don’t eat meat.  But even if you don’t eat meat the wolf in a pack will still take you down and rip you apart as they eat you alive.  The wolf is a wonder to see but should never have been re-introduced.
It was a legal hunt.  We need more.
TD

By Todd on Tue, November 12, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Cody, I agree 100% with you…your comment of Sunday the 10th was like a breath of fresh air (from the stench of listening to the haters) when I saw it just now…THANK YOU!

By Donna Lober on Mon, November 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I always here people saying that wolves need to be managed like every other animal on the landscape but name one animal that is managed like wolves. You can’t because they are not managed like other animals. What animal is managed to be at a sustainable level at 100 animals in each state? What animal that has a population less than 300 animals in WY and are able to be killed without a license in any amount in basically anyway in 80% of the state? What animal in Idaho has a hunting season where over half of the states population is able to be killed? Just for comparison, grizzlies number over 1,500 in MT and WY and wolves number 900 in those 2 states. So why aren’t grizzlies considered over populated and not endangered? It blows my mind that people think wolves are so over populated when in reality, they are one of the least populated carnivores in the rockies. Study after study on wolves have shown they are essential on the landscape and the myths are constantly debunked but you stupid idiots still think wolves should be killed. Hundreds of thousands of predators for years but 1,500 wolves are decimating everything and there’s a wolf around every corner. Open your eyes, stop listening to the idiots who hate on wolves based from emotion and not science. Damn you people can’t find something better to do than to hate on an animal. Grow up

By Cody on Sun, November 10, 2013 at 3:48 am

Donna Lober, wow. I’m sorry, I must have forgot that everybody that
leans left is righteous and compassionate. A friend of mine that did a
stint in the Peace Corp, in Africa, went back to the country that he
served and set up a baobab operation. He employs most of the village
and follows Fair Trade business practices. While trying to set up
accounts, here in the states, he encountered questions about whether
his African crews were vegan or not. Of course they aren’t, they eat
anything that stands still long enough. Needless to say, he didn’t get
those accounts. That, my dear, is the definition of a libtard( cousin
to the racial redneck). In the comments there are calls for rounding
up the the rednecks of Idaho,Wy and Mont. How is that a live and let
live policy? It’s comments like those that give liberalism a bad name.
You are not helping your cause. I know plenty of left leaning folks
that live rurally, harvest game and control predators with lethal
force. Get over yourself. Long live the wolf, just not too many, they
don’t buy tags.

By Kenneth McWhorter on Tue, November 05, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I’m old enough to remember hunters making hateful comments about wolves in Montana where I lived for 14 years from 1968 to 1982. There are definitely ‘wolf haters’ out there who justify their attitude with misinformation about the devastation wolves cause to wildlife and even how ‘inhumanely’ they kill their prey (as if they have a choice of weapons). At the turn of the century (100 years ago) all predators were considered ‘bad’ and incredible numbers of cougars, bears, coyotes, and wolves were hunted, poisoned, and wiped out by folks with the excuse of savinging other wildlife and of course, ranchers’ sheep and cattle. That was before we knew how important wild predators are to maintain healthy populations of ungulates and their habitats. Once wolves were removed from the ecosystem, prey animals forgot how to protect themselves, but they’re learning and hiding better making it harder for hunters to find them. In defense of the small wolf populations scattered around the western states, I contend that if wolves were so harmful to prey populations, why do healthy populations of elk and bison still exist in YNP after many years of living with wolves?

By Bernie Henzi on Tue, November 05, 2013 at 9:43 am

Check out rewilding! Introducing a natural top predator to an ecosystem doesn’t harm other species at lower levels of the food chain, on the contrary, it helps them, makes the ecosystems much healthier. All you hypocrites have to find another excuse to justify your shit to yourselves. “Wolf management” my ass!!
Now, I don’t think you will burn in hell, not religious, I believe idiots, who don’t respect life should loose their right to it, though.
Here, its easy enough to comprehend:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rZzHkpyPkc

By Aniko Bodi on Mon, November 04, 2013 at 7:09 am

The only reason Wyoming’s wolf “management” plan got approved in the first place is because former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (ex-rancher) cut a back room deal with Wyoming’s Governor Matt Meade. WY Senator Barrasso held up Salazar’s nomination for USFWS Director, Dan Ashe, until Salazar gave Meade what he wanted.

This is a wolf “management” plan that is so bad, USFWS rejected it several times. Not until Salazar decided to let politics rather than science guide his decisions was the plan finally approved.  In case you’re wondering, Wyoming allows wolves to be killed in 85% of the state without a permit. And, because wolves in WY are classified as predators, they are exempt from animal cruelty laws. 

This is what passes for “scientific management” in Wyoming and the rest of the Northern Rockies.  These people still believe in Big Bad Wolf fairy tales, and see wolves as vermin rather than the ecologically beneficial and necessary species that they are. These states are completely incapable of “managing” wolves or any other wild predator.

Ignorance, fear, hatred, and politics rule when it comes to wolf “management” in the Northern Rockies. Just take a look at some of the vile, misinformed comments here and on anti-wolf sites if you need further proof.

By Joanne Favazza on Sun, November 03, 2013 at 9:38 am

hunters and ranchers are vermin and should be managed, not wolves.

By hunters and ranchers are vermin on Sun, November 03, 2013 at 8:10 am

The guys in this picture are cowards and anti-wildlife vermin. Welfare ranchers and hunter are an invasive species and the gray wolf is native to North America. Hunters and welfare ranchers need to be managed, not the wolf.

By hunters and ranchers are vermin on Sun, November 03, 2013 at 7:34 am

“To all:
Everyone is waiting anxiously to hear from me, I’m sure! 
This wolf was taken LEGALLY with a license.  If we were “wolf slaughterers”, each person in the photo would be holding one.  Those of us that know wolves well, know that they don’t travel alone.  They travel in packs.  We could have “smoked a pack that day” but we didn’t.  The masks and photo are to make a statement from us who actually get to see the devastating effect the wolf is making.  The masks are vigilante not KKK but of course most of you want them to be cause you are so stuck on racial issues.  Some of our best friends are Native Americans and African American.  So sorry, nope, not KKK masks or racial by any means. 
You guys sure have got a lot of propaganda going here.  The funny thing is that no one really knows.
We never once said to kill all wolves.  Do these wolves belong in Wyoming? No, they are an invasive species. Since they are here now, they do need to be managed just like everything else.

I do want to thank you all for the free hunting advertisement I’ve been getting lately. 
God Bless our Governor for finally getting the management back on the Grey Wolf.
Colby”

=====
WOW, that was deep Colby, thanks for enlightening us.
You say the masks represent vigilantes not the KKK? Well here’s a little nugget for you to chew on:  “The original vigilantes in America were an extension of the Ku Klux Klan.

Wolf is now the minority to hate. It’s called scapegoating. Look it up.

By nabeki on Sun, November 03, 2013 at 1:03 am

Merlbuck - Apparently you give a s**t or you wouldn’t be checking back. (Just stating the obvious.) And the majority of commenters here do as well, for different reasons. Don’t declare victory too soon.

By Julie Ruth Long Gallegos on Sat, November 02, 2013 at 12:19 pm

At the end of the day nobody gives a shit. Like I commented earlier, Truly entertaining. Not to worry we are blasfemers and we will burn in eternal hell for killing of the wolf. Hahhahahhhaahaha! We will be struck down by lighting bolts!
But we are the crazies! That’s awesome!

By Merlbuck on Fri, November 01, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Merlbuck, why does “management” include basis, a flag and a photo with a dead wolf?  Seems this has more to do with sensationalism than management.  Why would a hunter parade a bloodied wolf carcass through town on the top of his vehicle?  Why do hunters queue up outside Yellowstone, waiting for the opportunity to, specifically, kill a wolf from a pack that lives inside the park, and enjoyed by tourists all over the world.  That, son, is not “management,” that is spite.  And that’s what many wolf hunters are; disenfranchised, mean-spirited, and lacking empathy or kindness.  Killing wolves does not make you a brave hunter, it makes you a fool.

By Chula on Fri, November 01, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Sorry, wolf slaughter and KKK outfits are American! If we are to live on Earth Island, we need to stop identifying ourselves as Americans.

By Marc on Fri, November 01, 2013 at 4:16 pm

To all:
Everyone is waiting anxiously to hear from me, I’m sure! 
This wolf was taken LEGALLY with a license.  If we were “wolf slaughterers”, each person in the photo would be holding one.  Those of us that know wolves well, know that they don’t travel alone.  They travel in packs.  We could have “smoked a pack that day” but we didn’t.  The masks and photo are to make a statement from us who actually get to see the devastating effect the wolf is making.  The masks are vigilante not KKK but of course most of you want them to be cause you are so stuck on racial issues.  Some of our best friends are Native Americans and African American.  So sorry, nope, not KKK masks or racial by any means. 
You guys sure have got a lot of propaganda going here.  The funny thing is that no one really knows.
We never once said to kill all wolves.  Do these wolves belong in Wyoming? No, they are an invasive species. Since they are here now, they do need to be managed just like everything else. 

I do want to thank you all for the free hunting advertisement I’ve been getting lately. 
God Bless our Governor for finally getting the management back on the Grey Wolf.
Colby

By Colby Gines on Fri, November 01, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Merlbuck’s recent comment illustrates perfectly the truth behind the pro-“management” faction. The comment starts out semi-rational and ends up shrieking insanity in all caps!  Thanks, Merlbuck! A picture is worth a thousand words.

By Julie Ruth Long Gallegos on Fri, November 01, 2013 at 11:35 am

Kenneth McWhorter Wow, you are nasty, you fit right in with the picture!  Stop glorifying yourself and pointing your finger at everyone else.  There is no need to insult liberal minded people here, because at least they have a live and let live attitude and are not hate mongers, which is apparently part of your calling.  We don’t need killers “managing” our wildlife, they do just fine left alone.  Worry about your own reproduction, we for sure don’t need anymore of your kind, running roughshod over our wildlife.

By Donna Lober on Fri, November 01, 2013 at 9:27 am

This is so sad. If these people were truly God’s people, they would know it is a sin to kill any of God’s beautiful creatures. This makes me ashamed to be an American.

By Julia Kirby on Fri, November 01, 2013 at 5:31 am

When I see a photo like this of humans glorying in the senseless slaughter of an animal and posing with the dead and bloodied animal body, I really wish I were not also a human being.  I don’t want any association with people of such base, cruel, perverted pleasures.  I would much rather be a wolf.  Wolves have dignity and intelligence, unlike the human yahoos in the photo.

By Ann on Thu, October 31, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Truly entertaining. I guess you have to make a living somehow. I find this article both entertains and disturbing. First, to turn this into a right wing issue or a racist issue is truly disturbing. This is a wildlife issue. While most of those who comment are right in saying the wolves are just doing what wolves do. They kill and that is exactly why they need to be managed. Make no mistake about it the wolves have had an impact to the wildlife in Wyoming. Any biologist that has lived in a wolf populated area in Wyoming would be lying if they said otherwise. From the information that I have gathered the picture above is of a wolf managed legally in Wyoming and the picture is in protest of the harsh reality wolves bring to other wildlife. This idea that people in Wyoming are just full of shit and just want to kill the wolves out of paranoia or that we need educated about wolf behavior is halarious. It’s simple, wolves kill and they need to be managed for same of other wildlife. So go ahead, have your tea and crumpets while listening to the circle of life sound track and reading about the gun toting monkeys in Wyoming. WE HAVE THIS SHIT HANDLED!!

By Merlbuck on Thu, October 31, 2013 at 8:10 pm

When I first learned of the wolf re-introduction plan of 1995, I cheered. I am all for bio-diversity and the thought of ecosystems being healthy enough to support wolves made me gush with pride because our conservation efforts seem to be working. This is not pre-columbian N. America. Wolves are very effective predators and must be managed. To let wolf populations grow unfettered would be irresponsible and not sound wildlife management. Furthermore, just as the people pictured are tools, so are most of the people making comments here. So full of hate and some sense of higher moral authority. Sure there are ignorant rednecks, there are ignorant libtards, too. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of good sense. If you don’t like hunting, don’t hunt. Don’t forget, if it weren’t for hunting revenues (taxes/fees), we wouldn’t have the wildlife that we do.

By Kenneth McWhorter on Thu, October 31, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Pretty typical - thse “brave” hunters wear masks, kill innocent nature, then hide behind the American Flag!

By Sanary on Thu, October 31, 2013 at 3:01 pm

All cowards!!!!!!!!!!

By Douglas Nikkila on Wed, October 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm

It’s all part of the hateful mentality of the Tea Party Dominionist wing. These people are an embarrassment to the country and are making our Democracy a laughing stock for the whole world to see.

By Yo on Wed, October 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Cory James:

You’ve posted that you want sociopaths like these to kill all of the wolves. 

You and the twisted, cowardly individuals in this photo prove what those of us who support wild diversity already know:  That this so-called “wolf management” is not based on science.  Rather, it stems from fearful, ignorant, antiquated views of wolves that can be traced back to medieval times and beyond. And, it stems from politics and paranoia.

You have also proven that all of this senseless slaughter is about extirmination—not scientific “management.” 

All of this goes to show that the Northern Rockies states are entirely incapable of “managing” wolves or any other predator. Indeed, the wolf policies of WY, MT, and ID are completely unethical and immoral, and the federal govt. should grow a set and take wolf “management” out of their hands for good.

By Joanne Favazza on Wed, October 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm

hunters and ranchers are worthless dirty vermin

By rick on Wed, October 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

http://www.ktvb.com/home/Wolves-kill-176-sheep-near-Victor-greatest-loss-recorded-in-Idaho-220371911.html

This tells me the wolves were doing what comes naturally to them, what “God” (re: God’s country) put them on Earth to do. Thinning herds, weeding out the weak ones to keep the species strong. There isn’t mysticism in that, that’s just the way of nature. They don’t use guns or helicopters or traps to hunt their prey, they use their ‘god’ given resources and do it naturally. So, which one of those redneck klan wannabes wants to face off with a wolf in the wild with his bare hands and blunt little teeth and Budweiser gut?? Any volunteers? You talk about the ecosystem??? Are you serious? What has humanity done lately for the ecosystem?????

By Amaruq on Wed, October 30, 2013 at 11:21 am

Way to go boys. Keep killing those worthless filthy vermin. They are like cockroaches. Kill them all

By Cory James on Wed, October 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

Well, that’s embarrassing and discouraging. 

Know that many of us living in Wyoming feel differently about wolves, wildlife biology and conservation, ecology, and the world around us.  These morons do not represent a large number of us in Wyoming.  I’d say they make me angry, but it’s not worth wasting my anger on people like this.  I’d also say we should try to educate folks like this, but again, I fear it’d be a waste of time.

By Wyoming Man on Wed, October 30, 2013 at 6:28 am

This pathetic exposure of what Wyoming, Idaho & Montana is really about says it all. These red necked geo political realms are under the warped mentorship of sadistic politicians in their state’s politically right-wing fiefdom. These “Ork” entities apear to be all fuzzy and astute ‘bout what right for ther’ territory. One things our regents have notice (by and large) is that these very shut down human beings tend to have a strong male dominant veiw-point, regard including organic vegtable & produce as a mainstay of their diet as absurd, and by and large numb themselves with alot of corporate processed food (if it actually qualifies to be called that). Not one of these miserableOrk entities would ever strive to get in touch with his “vitarian light-level” practice yoga, or participate into a inquiry about the nature of their mind. Theyare commited to being loyal & trustworthy subjects to their warped society’s “king”. Consequently,  they must forfeit any natural attraction to pyschadelic solution solving and render whatever pyschic fuel their feeble minds can generate to the “Queen Bee” of their respective state (Gov. os Mont./Idaho/Wyo.) The pecking order dear reader is basically a seamless descent from its top heavy Ork throne. “Suck up or else!” is ” is what our Regents notice ‘bout the lovely wolve hatin people of these sick states and how everybody kinda has to mimic the throne’s wishes, lest (God forbid) they all be OUTCASTS~untouchables on the mainstreet in their shitty little rural towns where the only thing you can buy in theri grocery stores is Tang, Crisco Oil, Velveta Cheese.Wonder bread, and GMO tomat’ers & potat’ers. Let me ask you this fellow citizen; if you subjected your body day after day to this abuse (didn’t mention the Hamm’s/Coor’s beer either) wouldn’ you Volunteer to participate in something like this. The regents agree with one of the comentators from today registry; A large internment camp should be prepared for these Ork entities including esp, each of the state Govenors & subordinates , and in that prison like enviornment,,,,we;ll teach them how to grow sunflower & alfafa sprouts,  grind sprouted wheat berries, dry kale & chard chips, juice fresh ORGANIC apples. But the most critical mandate directly transmitted from our fellowship’s Celestial wisdom bodies is mandatory Magic mushroom trips..day after day moon after moon until they ACHIEVE anunderstanding about the SACREDNESS OF ALL LIFE! For the Regents of THE BHUMI-DEVI Brigade- Inlakesh & Autumn Light Dr Isha Mazer Special Attache

By Dr Isha Mazer on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Some comments here are regurgitating the misinformation perpetuated by wolf foes ad nauseam. The wolves being killed by the Gines operation in particular, are being killed in the Thorofare. The most remote region in the lower 48. On public land. Wolves are not safe from this hatred in even the wildest country. Presumptions that this has anything to do with livestock or competition is completely fabricated to justify your own hatred to yourself.

The Southern Rockies Canine Project had been tracking wolves traversing from Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada to northwestern Montana and northern Idaho since its founding in 1987. This was one of the most extensive wolf research projects in all of North America. See: Pluie wolf. The reintroduction of gray wolves captured east of Jasper NP near Hinton, Alberta, and east of Williston Lake in British Columbia and released into central Idaho and Yellowstone NP, simply hastened a natural return that was already in the works. Gray wolves have been crossing the imaginary boundary that is Canada since well before the occupying culture of hominids created such a concept.

Even Theodore Roosevelt during his explorations of the region, did not encounter the mystical pygmy wolves which the anti-wolf lot claim are closer in size and dimension to the persecuted coyotes that are fawned over oh so much. The fact that reintroduction had to even be considered, should clue one in that those who hate the species are desperately latching onto any language they might misuse to ensure a wolfless landscape. Unfortunately, ecological ignorance is widespread enough that the lies have caught on.

Back to Theodore. He described the native wolves of the Northern Rocky Mountain states as the “long-toothed giants of their race.” “in the northern Rockies his courage and ferocity attain their highest pitch…A mastiff, if properly trained and of sufficient size, might possibly be able to meet a young or undersized Texas wolf; but I have never seen a dog of this variety which I would esteem a match single-handed for one of the huge timber wolves of western Montana. Even if the dog was the heavier of the two, his teeth and claws would be very much smaller and weaker and his hide less tough…Ordinarily, however, no two greyhounds or deer-hounds are a match for a gray wolf, but I have known of several instances in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, in which three strong veterans have killed one.” - Hunting the Grisly, Chapter VIII, Wolves and Wolf Hounds, published in 1893 by Theodore Roosevelt. More here: (http://www.cascwild.org/teddy-and-the-big-assed-wolves/)

I find the false accusations against this population to be astoundingly hypocritical, Concerned Wyoming. From being non-native, to killing for fun (or profit), to causing a lot of damage when they want and upsetting ecosystems. None of this describes Canis lupus. It does describe some of the people in the above article. Which is an excellent article, by the way. Thank you, Bill.

By Kayucian on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Thank you for this article and for helping expose the killing spree on America’s Wolves. As seen by the comments, most of these wolf killers have their tales to tell. They will attempt to use the death of a few humans by wolves (which probably were strays from packs killed off) or live stock deaths, but leave out key factors to those killings. They will use the pregnant cows, poor calves ripped to shreds, as a way to evoke sympathy from those who should are for ungulates only, attempting again to make a predator look like some sort of evil killing machine. Sorry, but in the wild there are no grocery stores, farm markets or weapons around for a predator to use. They will take down their prey with what real carnivores where given to obtain food. They will not expend enormous amounts of energy to take down food and just waste it. There is no waste in wild, simply because humans have grown to be wasteful, a look at nature will show food is never wasted. They will also leave out the fact that the real reason they would like wolves gone is for their own selfish reasons. 1. So their livestock can graze on public lands (infecting big horn sheep & other susceptible ungulates) for free. 2. So they can resume the high numbers of tags for ungulates. Which of course provides tons of $ for so many in the killing business. Their arguments are so tiresome, boring and put if touch with reality that ONLY a person with little common sense could ever actually believe that wolves are horrible vicious creatures that must be destroyed. These killers also refuse to acknowledge that vegetation, waterways, and even several species of animals/birds have benefited greatly from allowing our Grey Wolves to return to where they belong. Make no mistake these are grey wolves, not some subspecies that was just thrown in to America. They were here, they belong here! For those still researching and learning about why wolves are very vital to our Eco systems, please do the research and avoid mythical stories with half truths and stories full of hate that have been passed on through generations.

By Kimber Leah on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm

the overpopulated species are the welfare ranchers and the anti-wildlife terrorist hunters.

By anonymous on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm

concerned wyoming, you’re an ignorant person. Your sheep and livestock are a non native species. Gray wolves are native. Livestock and cattle are a non native species that needs to be exterminated

By tim on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm

the people in this pic are anti-wildlife terrorists. people like this should be managed.

By tim on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Wyoming,
I am not currently living in wolf territory, but did and will again before long. I am aware of the deaths of two people by wolves but because those deaths were so statistically small (except, of course, to the people killed) I didn’t mention it.  Since you admit to having a college degree, let’s not waste time comparing deaths of humans by all animal species.  The killing of humans by wolves (plural, BTW) is remarkably rare. In fact, the killing of domestic cattle by wolves is statistically minuscule, too.  But you know that. 
It seems your issue is with wolves being reintroduced, period.  Why?  All of your pseudoscience about wolf types is actually wrong.  A grey wolf is a grey wolf.  A Mexican wolf is determined to be a separate subspecies, but not the grey wolf that comes from North America. 

You seem to be upset that the government reintroduced wolves.  Perhaps you should move to a less stressful place.  I’m not being sarcastic or hateful - just making an observation.  But don’t blame wolves for living where wolves should live, and for doing what wolves should do.

My original gripe still holds true; wolves should not be victims of politics. Politicians and governmental wildlife agencies need to think hard about which side they want to support - wildlife, or those who would bring them back to the brink of extinction.

By Chula on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Nabeki and others:

The men with white masks, who proudly display our American Flag, along with a dead wolf, have, believe it or not , done decent people a favor by exposing who they really are (despite their masks).

The symbolism, which they unconsciously display, is crystal clear. The image is almost identical to those I have seen of Ku Klux Klan members in various archives about lynchings. Just substitute for that wolf, a black man hanging from a tree limb, and you will see what I mean.

I have been aware for some time that these people are projecting upon wolves their own fears and hatred for the unfulfilled lives they lead. The wolf though, is only a proxy for their hatred of the Federal government, and particularly of a black man who had the temerity to become the President of the United States of America.

If a black person can be elected to be the most powerful person in our country, it only emphasizes the masked ones’ essential powerlessness.  They can now take out their frustrations on an animal that no government official, either local, state, or national has the guts to stand up for.  A perfect target – for cowards, equipped with high powered rifles

We may take scant comfort in knowing that this image is one of the last stand of the white supremacists in this country. As a man whose loving daughter-in-laws are Chinese and Korean, I fully understand the demographic revolution that is sweeping this country. The difference is that the masked men hate it, while there are those like myself, who look to it hopefully. It will be difficult to demonise “others” if your brother-in-law, granddaughter, or cousin is of their ethnic derivation.

We are going through a difficult transition and will continue to see much pain inflicted on these animals, but we may take heart in knowing that this too, will pass.

By Ken Fischman, Ph.D. on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm

These twisted sociopaths are the real “eco-terrorists.” They are brutally destroying biodiversity in the name of “scientific management.” These violent cowards are no different from those who committed near-genocide against the Native Americans, or those who terrorized African-Americans in the South. And, the federal govt. turned a blind eye to those injustices, just as it is now turning a blind eye to this bloody and pathological wolf slaughter. Enough!

By Joanne Favazza on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm

By Chula,
I have one question do you live in a Wolf Populated area?

Here are some facts for you since you think I am ignorant, the Canadian MacKenzie Valley Gray Wolf a subspecies called Canis lupus occidentallis were introduced to the United States when the Timber Wolf population got low to help manage the over growing elk population and the loss of the Timber Wolf itself.  The subspecies was an indigenous species it did displace and possible replace Canis Lupus Irremotus the original Northern Rocky Mountain Timber Wolf.

In 1982, the ESA of 1973 was amended to allow the introduction of experimental populations under the protection of the endangered species act and because all subspecies of gray wolf were listed as endangered it meant that any subspecies could be translocated and protected under the endangered species act, even if that subspecies never existed in the relocation area. In 1994/95,the Canadian MacKenzie Valley Gray Wolf (the largest and most aggressive subspecies of the Grey Wolf) was brought in and released in Yellowstone and Idaho. What was left of the indigenous and truly endangered Canis lupus irremotus has most likely been replaced by the transplanted Canis lupus occidentallis. There for replacing our Timber Wolfs. So please don’t apply that I don’t know my facts. Our original Timber Wolfs were a lot smaller then the subspecies of Grey wolf we have now and less aggressive. I never once applied that they stalked people but that we should be aware of what they are able to do. If you want to go to the point of them not stalking people, please tell that to the teacher in Alaska who was ripped apart by a pack of wolfs while running a marthon(http://naturalunseenhazards.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/alaska-report-confirms-wolves-killed-32-year-old-jogger-candice-berner-last-year/)They are wild animal and that is how they should be seen.

I am not saying I think wolfs should be slaughtered at whatever cost, but I could say that till I was blue in the face. I am saying they should be managed. When their numbers were low we protected them now they have grown and they need to be managed in a legal way. You throw book titles and names but I have seen what they do in person its sad. The point I am making is that a lot of you will not be open minded to the other side of this argument but instead go in with blind hatred accusing whole states of being idiots and so on. Once again the picture above I find offending but there are plenty of good citizens here that hunt in a legal manner to help manage over populated species. Some of us idiots here even have a college degree or two imagine that.

By Concerned Wyoming on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm

My thoughts exactly, Barbara.  This has gone way beyond any kind of sportsmanship and responsible killing..if there is such a thing.  It is fueled by hatred and sadism.  They post photos of beautiful wolves who have been ‘gut shot’ in the belly to prolong their suffering and ultimate death!  It is the hunters and trappers who are the savages, not the wolves.  The wolves are only being the way they were created, nothing more. Which of the hunters would not be killing those same animals as the wolf, if they were left out in the woods with no other provisions?  Hunters would rather kill for pure enjoyment (sick) than because they really need to to survive!!

By Donna Lober on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Concerned Wyoming:
You are repeating the same misinformation we see printed every time the wolf debate comes up.  No, these are not “super wolves” that are bred only in Canada and foisted on the U.S.; these are grey wolves. No, they do not decimate deer, moose and elk herds; the elk herds have increased in many areas (although brucellosis, from domestic cattle, is infecting elk herds), deer herds are exploding (read “Deerland” by Wisconsin hunter and writer Al Cambronne), and moose have been hit with warming climate illnesses. 
Some people are crazy for wolves; some are crazy against them.  Do not make them something they are not.  They do not stalk people, kill prey for kicks or spread disease to ungulates.  They do kill and eat what they need (without using any of the handy weapons hunters have, so their kills probably appear brutal).  They would rather kill the easy prey (young, old or sick) and those are not animals preferred by hunters.  They will kill unprotected cattle if it’s easy and there are few deterrents.
Like you, some people will speak out of passion, or ignorance, or fear or hatred.  But if you truly want to advocate for your belief, do the research first because that’s the only way to be taken seriously.

By Chula on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 11:25 am

http://www.ktvb.com/home/Wolves-kill-176-sheep-near-Victor-greatest-loss-recorded-in-Idaho-220371911.html

Reading the response to this picture kills me you have to realize that you are not making a better point by saying you would round these individuals up and put them on death row if they were even allowed such an easy death. Suggesting that all of us here in this rural area should be fenced in because it would make a better America is crazy.  We are not all violent criminals, sex offenders, drug addicts alcoholics,maniacs and crazy people here in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. I believe that would be the one threatening to round all of us up and fencing us in.  Not all of us agree with the picture posted above but we do agree with being able to pay money to for a hunting licence to be able to help manage the wolf population. Reason being so that other species of animals like Moose, Deer, and Elk have a chance to survive. This species of wolf is not a native species they are a much bigger species of wolf that was originally found in Canada. They are upsetting the balance of the Eco system here in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.  These are not some mystical creature that appears through the mist howling and then running away peacefully they are very dangerous and can cause a lot of damages when they feel like it. I have seen where a wolf has killed just to kill. They took down a pregnant doe deer killing her tearing out her twins and then they just left her body and babies there to waste away. Most creatures in nature will kill to survive either that survival is for protection or for a food source either way they don’t kill just to kill like a wolf does.  They can be a very cruel species no different from us humans really. Once again I do not agree with this photo and yes it is an embarrassment for the state of Wyoming. But you all have to realize that Wolf management is becoming a necessity or you can write in Moose and Elk for the next to be on the endangered species list. I just think you all need to live and interact a little more with these animals before you start judging others for the way they feel about them and there behaviors.

By Concerned Wyoming on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 8:55 am

It is sad, but there’s no way wolves can stay alive much longer. There are far too many of these pathetic losers and it is a tragedy on so many levels. What do you think they will focus their hatred on when there are no more wolves? They are monkeys with revolvers and very dangerous, not just to wolves. I agree with Donna, they are not fit to be around other people. Or lick the wolves’ asses, for that matter.

By Aniko Bodi on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 8:32 am

It is amazing to read how stupid some people really are in this country. If you truly believe these animals have no threat against our livestock then perhaps you should buy beach front property in Nebraska….Perhaps we should put them into your back yard and see how well you like them then. Until you actually live where they live you have to voice.

By J on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 5:57 am

These racists have earned themselves a place on the list of People Who Ought To Be Killed.
If I were in charge of this country right now, these people would be on Death Row by now. And I’ll have you know, I’m normally against the death penalty. So for me to do an about face and advocate its use shows how deserving of it the pinheads in the above photo are. And if you ask me, today’s execution methods in America are too good for them.
And for those who don’t qualify for it - if any of them do - here’s an idea of what to do with them. You take a large, rectangular-shaped state, move everyone in it out, put a 10-story tall electric fence around that state, and turn it into a prison farm for the anti-wolf crowd. Not only will the above plan save this country a whole lot of money on prisons, it will also remove from society many of America’s more annoying citizens, including violent criminals, sex offenders, drug addicts and alcoholics, and maniacs and crazy people.

By Powerslave Wolf on Tue, October 29, 2013 at 12:07 am

Enough is enough. That Fish and Wildlife Service has gone too far. I demand that they protect and save the wolves everything, including Mexican gray wolf. Get this hunting and slaughtering stopped for good. Don’t give up on them.

By Michael Guest on Mon, October 28, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Bill, thank you for the historical background and information about the players in this disturbing scenario.  While I never believed that only ranchers and elk hunters provided the impetus for creating wolf hunting season, I am actually shocked to learn that so many state legislators actually support these recidivists.  Is this the side of history they want to be on?  These people represent such a small segment of Americans. But because they are propped up by pro-hunting and pro-gun groups who see a value in playing to this maladjusted minority, they feel emboldened to escalate their behavior and presence.  At some point they will prove to be a liability to both the lobbyists and legislators but the damage will have been done.
Since a number of these wolf killers appear to be quite proud of their abilities they provide us with photographic proof of their acts, we need to aid them in post in their deeds far and wide in the hope that decent people will question their legislators and turn the tide in this terrible chapter in our country’s conservation efforts.

By Chula on Mon, October 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm

They are not fit to lick the wolf’s ass…they ought to be locked up because they are not fit to live around any other people OR animals!!

By Donna Lober on Mon, October 28, 2013 at 5:27 pm

A thousand curses on those evil,
blaspheming trophy-hunting infidels!!!

May the Great Spirit strike them down
with a thunderbolt and cast them
into the fiery Abyss of Eternal Death!!!

The pain they inflicted,
is the pain they shall suffer…
Two, To A Thousand-Fold!!!

By WiZaRd on Mon, October 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm

These idiots are lower than dirt…someone needs to shoot them and put them on display…hope they rot in HELL!!

By Sandra Piening on Mon, October 28, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Thank you Bill, for shining a bright light on this despicable situation.

I remember the “bad ole days”,in 2009, when Obama delisted wolves in the Northern Rockies. We were so outraged but those were tame times compared to the slaughter that’s taking place now. The states promised to be oh so “responsible managing/killing wolves but thousands of wolves have been wiped out since then.

Idaho now has a year round wolf hunt somewhere in the state. Quotas have been abolished in most areas.  All the wolf killing states allow trapping, a barbaric practice banned in 91 countries. Wolf hunt “seasons” have been extended into wolf breeding and pupping season. Wisconsin is on the verge of hunting wolves with dogs, by December 2, 2013, if a pending appeal doesn’t stop it. And of course we have Wyoming, the worst of the worst.
Quoting you:” With the Klan-like hoods and the ostentatious display of the American flag, the photo is a glimpse into the mentality of those behind the anti-wolf campaign. There is, apparently, a cohort of people who view the destruction of wild nature as something to be celebrated, something quintessentially America. They are play acting at both patriotism and rebellion. And, in their play-acting, they reveal a great deal about the paranoid fantasies that have gripped some people in the age of Obama.”

When will the Democratic party wake up and realize how much damage they’ve done to the ESA and wolves? They sit there in their ivory towers feigning ignorance of this deplorable situation, when all Senate Democrats, save three, voted to delist wolves in the Northern Rockies WITHOUT JUDICIAL REVIEW. All because getting Tester re-elected and holding onto their Senate majority was more important then upholding the principles of the ESA. They betrayed wolves and the American People.

By Nabeki on Mon, October 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I agree with Barbara Tunick’s comment wholeheartedly. There is a hugely destructive and heavily armed minority in this country, living in rural areas, and only too happy to bully, torture, and kill wild animals to feed their paranoid, anti-Federal survivalist bullsh*t fantasies.

By Julie Ruth Long Gallegos on Mon, October 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I find this photograph both revolting and tragic. It is indicative of an angry, hate-filled mentality that seeks to destroy our wildlife in the name of sportsmanship and being all-American. I think that an all-American would rather preserve and protect, not destroy. Furthermore, the masks, I presume, are to remind us that the prejudices and hatred of times past, still thrive in parts of “real” America. What an embarrassingly shameful photo!

By Barbara Tunick on Mon, October 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

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