• 191

Montana: Wolves devastate ranchers’ sheep

Yeah, but why bother when you get paid $350 a pop for the loss of sheep, right?
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Replies (26)
    • Article in the Billings Gazette: [link=http://www.billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_61f0f9de-938e-11de-95d7-001cc4c002e0.html]Wolves devastate ranchers’ sheep[/link] [size=16]Wolves devastate ranchers’ sheep[/size] Nick Gevock Montana Standard | Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 10:50 pm BUTTE - Kathy Konen has lost guard dogs to wolves in the past, but nothing prepared the Dillon rancher for the killing of 120 buck sheep last week. "They were in the sagebrush, on the creek bottom - just all over the pasture," Konen said Thursday. "It's a terrible loss to our livestock program." Konen said they discovered the attack Aug. 16 while checking their sheep in the Rock Creek drainage of the Blacktail Mountains south of Dillon, where they pasture buck sheep in summer. She said they check their sheep every two or three days, so the attack was recent. She and her husband, Jon, immediately called officials with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, which sent out a federal trapper to investigate the scene. The trapper found numerous carcasses of sheep that had been killed by wolves, said Carolyn Sime, FWP wolf program coordinator. The total included 82 confirmed kills and 40 carcasses that were classified as probable kills, including some that had been eaten by bears. The attack occurred on private land the Konens own. "That's a lot all in one incident," Sime said. The sheep were just killed and yet the carcasses were almost all intact, Konen said. "They didn't eat what they killed, most of them were just brought down," she said. "I don't know whether they were teaching their pups or what." It's not the first attack that the Konens have had this summer. They lost 26 sheep to wolves in the same pasture in July, she said. After that attack, FWP authorized federal trappers to remove three wolves that had been observed in the area. Trappers shot and killed a gray-coated wolf and shot another black one that got away but was believed to be mortally wounded. The third wolf, another black one, got away. Sime said that when the latest attack occurred, they figured it involved the same wolves, which were from an unknown pack. Trappers were looking for two black wolves but instead spotted the Centennial Pack nearby. That pack consisted of two collared adults, a third adult and five pups and had not caused problems with livestock before. Sime said they authorized trappers to shoot the uncollared adult, which they did, while still looking for the black wolves that are authorized to be killed. They have yet to find the black wolves. Konen said they wanted the entire pack wiped out given the severity of the attack, although their request was denied. "They've done enough damage to say that they need to be eliminated," she said. "We have cows and sheep up there right next to where the sheep were killed." Since then, the Konens have found a calf that was attacked nearby, which investigators are looking into. She said they fear the wolves will strike again, this time on the cattle they have pastured in the same area. Sime said there has been wolf activity in the area in recent years. Last year, trappers eliminated the Freezeout Pack in the Gravelleys not far away and wolves are known to inhabit the Blacktails. She said officials asked whether the Konens had taken steps to protect livestock from wolves, including electric fencing, dogs, herders or fladry lines, but they declined. Sime said wolves will inevitably return to the area. The Konens have applied to the Montana Livestock Loss Program to get reimbursement for the sheep. The program pays up to $350 for buck sheep and can reimburse more if a rancher can show the animals were of higher value. In the meantime, the plan is to try to replace the sheep, Konen said. "There are a few sales in September and we'll have to go and just try to make up the loss," she said.
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      • This excessive number of kills usually occurs when mothers are teaching their pups to kill prey - on easy targets. A few real LGDs could have easily prevented this. Dan
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        • Yeah, but why bother when you get paid $350 a pop for the loss of sheep, right?
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          • Are those guys so tight-assed that they won't buy some dogs? Get into contact withem and give'em some dogs to test Dan?
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            • Dogs are great I agree-The farmers should have a few running around the pastures... Because a predator is going to EAT...Nothing better then some grain fed sheep.
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              • [quote1251758301=Wolf]Yeah, but why bother when you get paid $350 a pop for the loss of sheep, right?[/quote1251758301]Yes, very true. But for one, other Montanans don't like this "let the government fix our mistakes" mentality, and second these sheep ranchers want the entire wolf packs eradicated, which ill upset many environmentalists (outside of the State of Montana). So I think some kick-butt LGDs could do wonders there - and save the wolves ..... probably for hunters to shoot for sporting reasons, ... but you get the idea. :) Dan
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                • Oh, we're totally on the same page. I was just being facetious. ;)
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                  • Time to breed PROPER Irish Wolfhounds.......A return to glory.....The hunt with the long dogs.......
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                    • [quote1251817786=Wolf][quote1251817831=Astibus][quote1251758301=Wolf]Yeah, but why bother when you get paid $350 a pop for the loss of sheep, right?[/quote1251758301]Yes, very true. But for one, other Montanans don't like this "let the government fix our mistakes" mentality, and second these sheep ranchers want the entire wolf packs eradicated, which ill upset many environmentalists (outside of the State of Montana). So I think some kick-butt LGDs could do wonders there - and save the wolves ..... probably for hunters to shoot for sporting reasons, ... but you get the idea. :)[/quote1251817831]Oh, we're totally on the same page. I was just being facetious. ;)[/quote1251817786] Oh, I totally caught your insinuation of sarcasm. :) And I agree that this might just have been the thought process of those ranchers, especially considering that $350 per buck is way above today's market value. By using your facetious comment I thought I could further elaborate on why this "easy way out" isn't necessarily such a hot idea. :) Dan
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                      • [size=12]If they take the easy way out and get paid $350 a pop for sheep - they will eventually run of of their own sheep. I suspect they could import them from NZ for about $100 or less a head and then have them as predator food - and get $350 a head. But since they are imported and of geat quality they could get up to $500 per head. With this Cash for dead sheep deal I think I will become a sheep farmer. But, I'll process the dead sheep and sell it as dog food - raw died is pretty good. Looking for business partners in this venture - any takers. Seriously though - Dan, seems like a good opportunity to engage the farmers about the use of LGD to prevent predation. You are probably doing that already though. [/size]
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                        • Thought of this thread when I read this today. http://www.predatorxtreme.com/ArticleContent.aspx?id=461
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                          • the farmers know som eLGD breeds?maybe not...ajhahah
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                            • [quote1264078616=redneksamurai] Are those guys so tight-assed that they won't buy some dogs? Get into contact withem and give'em some dogs to test Dan? [/quote1264078616] And they aren't half as bad as my fellow hunters. Eveyone that can't kill an Elk blames it on Non-Resident hunters and Wolves...usually in the same breath. Funny how the people in the "Cowboy" states seem to feel they own the Federal land that the rest of our Taxes fund. And YES I did see it said private land....gerneral statement....and as far as I know wolves can't read tresspass signs.
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                              • [quote1264088660=salame] the farmers know som eLGD breeds?maybe not...ajhahah [/quote1264088660] Do you have the internet? Then why wouldn't they? In America, farmers are incredibly successful businessmen. They could buy your village with pocket money.
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                                • Well, with Astibus and his Sarplaninac as neighbors, if they didn't know, they do now...;)
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                                  • The direction this thread turned reminded me of my Favorite Former Detriot Mayor Kyame Kilpatrick...And his crew of circus freaks posing as city officials..... A year or so back a Coyote got turned around and ended up in the City, it became big news here on getting the "Dangerous" wild animal off the streets. The Mayors right hand man goes on Camera and states, When we catch this Coyote we will kill it and hang it at the City limits, to warn ALL wild-life of the dangers of coming into the city!!!!! LMFAO! Good Stuff....Because THAT will work! Sorry Had to share....It reminded me of it....Hope it made you laugh to!
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                                    • It's funny until you realize that these people are put in charge of things... like other people's money. I wouldn't be surprised at all if my city, Philadelphia, were turned over to wolves and coyotes that it would do better than it currently is. The animals who've had control over this city for some time have done more harm than good. I've heard of Kilpatrick (because of his scandal).... money down, that guy's NOT as smart as the coyote they killed. Getting back to Astibus, I do think it's awesome that he's doing what he's doing. Simply for the fact that they might excellent partners in his "project", I wish rangers would pick up some of his dogs.
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                                      • This does show the contempt man has for preditors that interfere with his little world. The loss of a few sheep ( in comparison to the over all sheep population) is nothing compared to the damage caused by White Tail deer in the corn belt. Yet, you never hear the outrage about crop loss. It was est. that when the Desoto landed on Florida's shores there wwere some 1 million white tail deer in the U.S. Today we have 900,000 deer in Illinois alone.
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                                        • [. They could buy your village with pocket money. I live in Rome so maybe not..ahahhahaha8-)
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                                          • "She said officials asked whether the Konens had taken steps to protect livestock from wolves, including electric fencing, dogs, herders or fladry lines, but they declined. Sime said wolves will inevitably return to the area." I remember reading about this big kill when it happened, and reading the above sentence, and saying to myself, now there's a lazy rancher who flunks animal husbandry 101.... I know a lot of people who subscribe to the SSS principle (shoot, shovel, shut up). I am friends with people in MT who avidly believe in shooting wolves, instead of taking measures to prevent them from killing their stock. It will be very interesting for me personally this fall when I go up to MT invited by a conservation co-op, to put on a dog and pony show (ha, literally, as I'll be hauling some of my dogs up in my gooseneck horse trailer!) for ranchers about the use of more rare, less known about LGD breeds as effective LGD's. The gentleman who asked me to do this says he's really got his hands full trying to convince ranchers to even put fladry up. Now I've lived on both sides of this fence being a former cattle rancher/cowboy for years. I know the mentality he's up against. A lot of the blame of course can go to our dear Govt for trying to over-regulate every creature that stirs out there, including wolves. And I know since the introduction of the Canadian Grays in the mid 90's the wolf population has increased, and that a good number of these lobos are 'not your grandpa's wolves' ie they are big buggers.... However, back to the article referenced in the beginning of this thread, when I read something like this, I have no sympathy whatsoever for this rancher who did NOT do enough to protect his flock. Checking on them every three days? No herder? No DOGS????? What? No excuse. I am anxious to see the mindsets up there first hand and the response once they see probably for the first time ever, a Boz, some Spanish Mastiffs, a Kangal, etc. If it will be a waste of my time, or if maybe my presentation about using the right kinds of LGD's IN THE RIGHT NUMBERS....will get through to someone. I guess if even one guy comes away enlightened and smarter and willing to try something new, it will have been worth it. I'll sure report back here how the thing goes.
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                                            • This has been on my mind for some time now. How to save these Molossers(LGD-Flockguards) from losing their status as working dogs. Not just campanions. Is what Cinco has written about in the last post. Is finding them jobs what they where born to do.The reintroduction of wolves has possibly reduced the over destruction of trees and other vegetation, from animals it preys on like Elk. This brings balance and LGDs will return to their former jobs like in Spain. Now that wolves are back in Europe.I saw a video where ranchers where using Mastins. I wish you luck. And hope you can get people to see outside the box. Richard
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                                              • [Do you have the internet? Then why wouldn't they? In America, farmers are incredibly successful businessmen. They could buy your village with pocket money. i dont think in this occasion are businessmen..:_)))even if they re rich!!!my village is Rome:)) ^o)
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                                                • [quote1320146767=Ragdog]~~ what Cinco has written about in the last post. Is finding them jobs what they where born to do. [/quote1320146767] Very astute observation Richard. Dogs with jobs are normally happy dogs. As it gets a little cooler in South Texas the Coyotes are starting roam again. There is something menacing in their yapping at night though the sound is quite beautifu. Last night several deer jumped the fence and was acting very skittish in the front part of the property. We held the dogs in the back so the deer could stay and feed. I suspect the deer were being chased by a pack of coyotes since they could be heard nearby. This is the time of year when we also have to watch out for packs of wild dogs which love to destroy domestic farm animals.
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                                                  • gary i m so sorry..next time let the dogs out..u ll not haveproblem :))
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                                                    • No problems. The dogs are always out - and I am always armed.
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                                                      • sure!!!
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                                                        Topic:
                                                        Montana: Wolves devastate ranchers’ sheep
                                                        Text:
                                                        Yeah, but why bother when you get paid $350 a pop for the loss of sheep, right?
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