@ elk eater - If that last comment was directed at me, whether or not I like wild places is not the point. If something drastic is not done with the Montana/Idaho wolf situation, you might want to change your screen name to veggie eater. I live in and love Montana for all She has, dangers and all. But I also hunt for my meat and enjoy seeing elk in the off season. So you can take your smart ass remark and shove it.
Here's my two cents worth and a little extra...
#1 - Nutritional content of vegetation will vary each year. Last winter was brutal compared to this winter. Fires add to decreased vegetation as well. It all plays a roll, but in my opinion, its not the biggest factor the elk are facing...elk will find food, if they can get to it without wolves getting them first.
#2 - The increase of Mountain lion predation on elk (if they can prove that) could very well be due to the high number of wolves. Even a large tom may not be able to defend its kill against a pack of wolves. Mt. lions 'generally' kill once a week. They kill, bury and come back to feed. If wolves find it, the lions have to move onto another source. Its a domino affect. AND unlike wolves, mt. lions only kill what they need. They also don't have a pack to feed other than their own young which is usually 2 cubs, sometimes 3 and sometimes only 1. Nonetheless, lions kill less than wolves - but they may be being pushed harder due to the unfair competition for prey. ALSO, many guys I know who hunt lions can't hardly let their dogs out anymore because wolves are killing their hounds left and right too. Common sense would point out the fact that less hunters taking lions = more lions. Right? The wolves are the biggest factor in all of this...other than the ignorance and liberal agenda of the pro-wolfers.
Here's the extra. I live in the Bitterroot and I hunt. Didn't tag anything this year. I did jump up three does that were bedded down - but almost simultaneously a wolf howled. The most of ANYTHING I saw were wolf tracks - everywhere. Also, the wolves are so near my house now, I won't hike without a gun anymore and I'm afraid for my own HUGE dog. My neighbors fear for their pets too and their livestock. Our neighborhood is on a 'wolf watch' of our own, but we sure as hell won't be reporting to that pro-wolfer Marc guy. I believe in a balance in Nature. Right now the scale is tipped so far on the wolf side that its, quite frankly, scary. What we "sportsmen and women" need to do is get in the face of the gov't officials any way we can and get the predator control movement well on its way...county by county. Get the wolf numbers down, elk/deer/moose numbers up! Until then, smoke a pack a day!
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