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Thread: Wolves: Controversial Conversation

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Averageman View Post
    I was invited to run a trap line on a local ranch while I was in high school.
    I had an experienced Trapper show me the ropes and at one point I might have had as many as 40 sets out over a weekend and maybe a dozen during the weekdays.
    For the most part and because this was Arizona, we caught Coyotes. Probably 100-150 Coyotes over four months. Now that's a lot of Coyotes, but it barely put a dent in the population as far as I could tell.Toward the end you could tell it had just moved the population out and toward the BLM property nearby. You could go ten miles away and call Coyotes very, very successfully.
    It's easy to assume this is cruel and a viscous way to treat an animal, but to balance those thoughts you have to understand that there simply wouldn't be the large numbers of Coyotes if they weren't killing a large number of calves. You could tell by simply seeing the numbers of calves with bobbed tails and the Coyote scat in the same range with hair fibers.
    I don't know a thing about Wolves, but I would imagine that they can kill a lot more and with greater efficiency.
    Coyotes are fascinating animals, they are an animal that humans have tried to systematically eliminate and yet they have only expanded their range. I heard that one issue with hunting them is that it can actually increase their numbers. When they do their howl it acts as a roll call and when one is missing the alpha female kicks into her reproductive cycle and had a little of pups. Dan Flores is the one who I heard that from, he wrote the book Coyote America and was a guest on the Meateater podcast with Steve Rinalla, the most interesting hunting podcast I have found.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywalkrNCSU View Post
    Coyotes are fascinating animals, they are an animal that humans have tried to systematically eliminate and yet they have only expanded their range. I heard that one issue with hunting them is that it can actually increase their numbers. When they do their howl it acts as a roll call and when one is missing the alpha female kicks into her reproductive cycle and had a little of pups. Dan Flores is the one who I heard that from, he wrote the book Coyote America and was a guest on the Meateater podcast with Steve Rinalla, the most interesting hunting podcast I have found.
    Well, hot damn...

    This might explain why we had more activity in our areas the year after we moved onto this property and started hitting the ones stupid enough to try and get close to our Chicken Coop. I just thought we had that many roaming through. Interesting read, thank for sharing.

    Over all, I have learned a lot about snaring/trapping and the different types. I think you all have provided a good service in educating someone (myself) about this topic and getting a better idea on how it applies.

    I think Skywalker's post on the previous page echoes my mentality at this point.

    Nonetheless, I didn't expect this many responses in such a short time. It's remained pretty civil, 'cept a couple individuals.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeruMew View Post
    Well, hot damn...

    This might explain why we had more activity in our areas the year after we moved onto this property and started hitting the ones stupid enough to try and get close to our Chicken Coop. I just thought we had that many roaming through. Interesting read, thank for sharing.

    Over all, I have learned a lot about snaring/trapping and the different types. I think you all have provided a good service in educating someone (myself) about this topic and getting a better idea on how it applies.

    I think Skywalker's post on the previous page echoes my mentality at this point.

    Nonetheless, I didn't expect this many responses in such a short time. It's remained pretty civil, 'cept a couple individuals.
    I'm surprised at how many have trapping experience. I expected it to be a lost art except for die hard survivalists. Then again, I've been out of the trapping business for 30 years and it's been a couple of decades plus since I hunted or poked cows.
    What if this whole crusade's a charade?
    And behind it all there's a price to be paid
    For the blood which we dine
    Justified in the name of the holy and the divine…

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by glocktogo View Post
    I'm surprised at how many have trapping experience. I expected it to be a lost art except for die hard survivalists. Then again, I've been out of the trapping business for 30 years and it's been a couple of decades plus since I hunted or poked cows.
    I periodically run a trap-line to deal with invisible beavers on my property. Anyone who is anti-trapping in this scenario has no clue as to how invasive & destructive beavers are. In most cases, once they show up, your woods, yard, whatever will soon be under water. I have over 100 hardwoods on my property killed by beavers, which then fall, blocking trails/roads, etc. Basically, beavers constantly expand their water as they eat (kill) the trees, and their offspring have to expand. I don't try to eliminate them all, just put a dent in them to curb the need to expand.

    The connibear is the most ethical trap that exists. Some areas will only allow their use. It will not trap deer, and in most cases, will not see unintended bycatch if set correctly. I don't enjoy trapping, but have no issue with it as long as done ethically. I'd probably rather not trap bobcat/Lynx, etc. But only because they are rare in my area.

    As to Wolves, we don't have them. But I'd welcome them, as we've never had as much game locally as we have since coyotes moved in. (and I have a bunch locally, they sounds like a pack of hyenas at times)

    I've made my peace with the Coyotes. Yep, they eat deer and much else. I find the skulls in my pasture where they like to hang out at night. But overall, game seems more healthier now. Less extreme swings. We see more turkeys, rabbits, snakes, deer, then we ever did before.

    I've also made my peace with the giant snapping turtle in my pond... it keeps geese away Spring-Fall. I do wish the ducks could use the pond, but if you've ever been around where geese hangout, I'll take the tradeoff. And he does not really eat much fish.

    One last thing on the pack animals... like Coyotes... killing/thinning them does not work. They will increase the reproductive rate to makeup the loss. And once stable, dial it back down again. They only thing they have found that can keep them away is recordings of the blood curdling hyena sounding warbling they do as a pack to show the territory is occupied.

    I have a neighbor who sits out at night guarding his goats and chickens because of coyotes. He's not learned the above yet. :-) I'd rather have the Coyotes, they have more claim to the land than pigmy goats do. Other neighbors raise stupidly expensive Alpacas. They have a particular guard dog breed that lives with them. They never have coyote problems. Nor do the ones with "watch-donkeys".

    What I find very hypocritical is that many of the anti trapping crowd are the first to want the coyote's gone because they eat their family cat's. When in fact, the cats are ruthless killers of birds, rodents, snakes, lizards, pretty much everything.

    We also have Great Horned Owls. Many cat/small dog losses at night are really from them, not Coyotes. But 'yotes are pretty opportunistic. Just wish they were more effective against beavers. Coyotes will haul a beaver carcass that weighs 50+ lbs to family and eat it.

    Same for the hawks. Red Shoulders largely do not bother anything bigger than snakes/lizzards/mice/rats. Red Tails prefer more docile game. They are very opportunistic, will avoid even squirrels and the risk of bites if they can get smaller stuff. Yep, they'll happily eat a rabbit, but unless it's a very hungry juvenile, rarely would bother a cat or small dog. My son is a falconer, we've spent years handling & hunting hawks. I guess technically I'm a falconer as well as I passed the test, could have one. Still hunt with him and his hawk several times a year. (mostly squirrels)

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinzgauer View Post
    I periodically run a trap-line to deal with invisible beavers on my property. Anyone who is anti-trapping in this scenario has no clue as to how invasive & destructive beavers are. In most cases, once they show up, your woods, yard, whatever will soon be under water. I have over 100 hardwoods on my property killed by beavers, which then fall, blocking trails/roads, etc. Basically, beavers constantly expand their water as they eat (kill) the trees, and their offspring have to expand. I don't try to eliminate them all, just put a dent in them to curb the need to expand.

    The connibear is the most ethical trap that exists. Some areas will only allow their use. It will not trap deer, and in most cases, will not see unintended bycatch if set correctly. I don't enjoy trapping, but have no issue with it as long as done ethically. I'd probably rather not trap bobcat/Lynx, etc. But only because they are rare in my area.
    My dad used to go out a couple of nights every spring and thin out the beavers with a 10ga goose gun. They can really do some damage if left unchecked.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...rom-space.html

    And the donkey observation is spot on. They're great guards against yotes.
    What if this whole crusade's a charade?
    And behind it all there's a price to be paid
    For the blood which we dine
    Justified in the name of the holy and the divine…

  6. #46
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    One last thing...

    Most of the anti-Connibear stuff I see comes from people who are:
    1) Transiting property they do not own
    2) Lettings dogs run off leash on said non-owned property

    Almost by definition:

    1) If people are putting traps on your (or jointly owned) property without permission... It's illegal, call Fish & Game.
    2) If they are putting traps on public property and is not allowed... It's illegal, call Fish & Game.
    3) If it's public property and is allowed, it's legal, and if you don't like that, change the law. But until you do so in most states, it's illegal to tamper with otherwise legal trapping sets (or hunters).

    And the biggie...
    4) If on public lands, in many states, it's illegal to allow dogs off lead unless involved in hunting activities. If they leave your property and get on other's land (private or public), you are at fault for anything that happens to fido. Some will not like this point, but it's true, and in most areas, the law.

    5) Keep your leashed dog on trails, and pay attention to where they stick their heads. I've never heard of a leashed dog encountering a kill trap. There are trapping laws that largely prevent this.

    These 5 cases cover pretty much every situation a non-trapper & dog would ever encounter a connibear trap.

    Meanwhile, dogs running deer, rabbits, foxes, chasing horses, or worse, throwing the rider happens every day in national parks near me. Illegal to have them off lead. Not allowed, verbotten. By the way, pick up after them. (never happens).

    I live next to a lady crippled from being thrown from her horse on a public designated horseback trail from an off lead dog which attacked her horse, jogger owner 100 yards away making no attempt to control it.

    So while I get no joy out of trapping invisible beavers with Connibears... (OK, a little, if it's successful), and in particular, I'm not a fan of trapping on WMA's... I believe it's legal, should be allowed. And because of property rights, should be legal without restriction on land you own.

    Also, the same folks (usually) that are driving anti-trapping behavior use "we should not kill animals" as their basis, and are also anti-hunting. And usually use the same logic to pursue that goal. I'm sure there are exceptions, but they are rare in my experience.

    So no, I'm not sympathetic to the "Connibears sometimes kill dogs" thing. Even though I would be very sad if my dog got killed in one, it would be my fault. Just like if they got killed by a car. Dogs off lead on property you don't own often come to a bad end.

    Here's the deal... in my state... it's perfectly legal to kill beaver. Nuisance status. And completely illegal to tamper with a dam or den, even on your own property. Even if the beavers just moved in from downstream, and would flood your home. So what do you think folks do?

    Also, beavers are smart in that canny rodent way. More like pigs. Trap them, they get trap shy. Shoot them, they go totally nocturnal. (you can usually only get away with it once). Tear their dam down, they build it back. Tear it down to the roots, they build it back stronger. Put a drain in that sneaks water out? They will build one 25 yards downstream, writing off the old dam site as problematic. BTDT.

    The only longer term answer is to keep them thinned out. I leave small ponds with dams. A pair or two is not a problem. Keeps the skeeters down (fish) and gives the wood ducks a place to hang out.

    The problem is, left unabated, they will flood 10-12 acres of mature hardwoods, and another 5-10 acres of pasture. In a year or two. And then keep moving upstream as well as expanding the current pond.

    Back to Wolves and top predators... the same folks who want to let their dogs and cats run free will be the first to complain if they
    are eaten by wolves or yotes. I'm sorry the jogger or the farmer's sheep was attacked by the mountain lion. You were in their house! Predators predate! We have plenty of joggers and sheep. Puma's are scarce!

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinzgauer View Post

    I have a neighbor who sits out at night guarding his goats and chickens because of coyotes. He's not learned the above yet. :-) I'd rather have the Coyotes, they have more claim to the land than pigmy goats do. Other neighbors raise stupidly expensive Alpacas. They have a particular guard dog breed that lives with them. They never have coyote problems. Nor do the ones with "watch-donkeys".
    In my experience some sort of guard animal (donkey, sheepdog, or llama) is usually enough to keep coyotes away from a heard of sheep or goats. The territorial nature of coyotes can also be a factor. If your property falls within the territory of an animal that is content to hunt small game and leave livestock alone, the worst thing you can do is kill that animal and open the territory up to another coyote that may not be so reluctant to kill domesticated animals.

    I have no experience with wolves and livestock depredation.

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