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Author Topic: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves  (Read 2213 times)

Offline jackelope

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Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« on: August 08, 2019, 04:19:36 PM »
https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/aug/04/study-in-idaho-cougars-kill-slightly-more-elk-than/?fbclid=IwAR21YxzwrIJkmxsLJWBefCUh-qU0T2PmgLCt43uPrUgCXuDsCsocuYOGXSw


An expansive study of elk mortality in Idahoís wolf country did what most good science does: challenged ideas held as gospel by wolf partisans and wolf antagonists.

Namely, wolves kill elk, but mountain lions kill more. And, food availability and winter severity are the most important factors for elk calf survival.


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Offline BeerBugler

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 04:44:21 PM »
No real info in this article or the gohunt.com version. Just a couple of cherrypicked stats and quotes. However, I would be interested in reading the study in its entirety.

Offline bulldogs40

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 05:09:13 PM »
Whatís the ratio of mountain lions to wolves? Article says that wolves account for 32% of identified female elk mortality while lions for 35%. If there are far less wolves in then lions then it shows that they are a far more effective killer. I would like to see the number of elk killed per one wolf to one lion

Offline Cougartail

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 05:21:16 PM »
Per animal (wolf/cougar) I would say wolves kill more elk. Cougars are a more versatile hunter.
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Offline idahohuntr

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 05:34:26 PM »
Nothing really that surprising IMO.  I think wolves often disrupt or run elk completely out of drainages, which is much more noticeable (at least to hunters)...even though cougars account for a greater portion of overall elk mortality.

Habitat and weather being the most important component of survival is also not at all surprising.

I'm sure the crazies on both sides of the wolf rheotric will shriek like clowns at these otherwise boring results. 
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Offline idaho guy

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 05:54:40 PM »
 They did a panhandle study a few years ago saying the same thing. lions were killing more elk than wolves.( I don't know if this is new one or just old news?) A few involved also shared that lions were killing way more because the wolves were stealing the lion kills forcing the lions to hunt more. Its fake news  :chuckle: I used to see at least twice as many lion tracks in the 90s hound hunting as I do now and there were way more elk in the more remote areas (not next to town). The elk around town have probably doubled but the areas where they should live numbers have gone way down. It doesn't matter now that Idaho has aggressive wolf management a lot of areas have stabilized. Its the wilderness that will never be the same since trapping and hunting wolves in that area is too difficult to be effective. I mean it is done, but not to the extent that will actually reduce wolf numbers or even stabilize them.

Offline meatwhack

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 06:43:02 PM »
This must be why the elk population in Yellowstone plummeted after wolf introduction apparently the cougar population exploded at the same time.

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2019, 07:26:35 PM »
This must be why the elk population in Yellowstone plummeted after wolf introduction apparently the cougar population exploded at the same time.

I actually watched a really interesting documentary that was trying to make the case that LAKE TROUT were a big factor in the decline of elk in Yellowstone.

No joke.

Somebody dumped Lake Trout into Yellowstone lake.   The Lake Trout decimated the Brook Trout......
Those Brook Trout spawning in the Spring were THE big protien source for Grizzlies....
Now they are basically gone.
The Griz that used to eat them had to switch to something else in the Spring and many of them switched to elk calves.

So went the Wildlife Biologists theory.

I'm not saying I buy it or I don't, because I don't know enough to know.

But....  I was 100% in the camp of "wolves wiped out Yellowstone elk", and after watching that documentary, I am no longer sure.....

Please don't call me a wolf lover.....
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Offline Bob33

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2019, 07:42:28 PM »
Just because one predator kills fewer game animals than another predator doesn't make it a "good" animal. Both wolves and cougars kill game animals that could have been killed by hunters. Both need to be aggressively managed.
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Offline Timberstalker

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2019, 07:45:40 PM »
Amen. Lock the thread.
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Offline Dan-o

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2019, 07:53:24 PM »
Just because one predator kills fewer game animals than another predator doesn't make it a "good" animal. Both wolves and cougars kill game animals that could have been killed by hunters. Both need to be aggressively managed.

Agreed.

Also, it makes sense to me that if an ecosystem has reach equilibrium, if you add another apex predator, the new equilibrium will not look the same.
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Offline Bob33

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2019, 07:58:20 PM »
Just because one predator kills fewer game animals than another predator doesn't make it a "good" animal. Both wolves and cougars kill game animals that could have been killed by hunters. Both need to be aggressively managed.

Agreed.

Also, it makes sense to me that if an ecosystem has reach equilibrium, if you add another apex predator, the new equilibrium will not look the same.
Besides thrilling some with their howls, I cant see any value to having more wolves or understanding how they benefit our ecosystem.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline Stein

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2019, 07:59:17 PM »
Perfect, let's open cougar season to all year any means then.

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2019, 08:42:00 PM »
The cutthroat are coming back in Yellowstone as are the elk.  The over 200 wolves that ran the place decimated the elk so they dispersed.  Now the park has less than 100 and surrounding areas, us, are the lucky recipients of the wolf.  An artificial system, killing as many lake trout as possible helped the cutthroat and doing the same with the wolf would help the wolf prey.  They are far above any level ever proposed for delisting.  Give them the same status as a coyote and pay for the damages they cause to domestics.  They will be fine.  They are not going away.  With the tools afforded us they can not be significantly reduced in number.  Sorry for the diversion from cat studies.  It is apples and rhino steak. why would any agency spend money on this?  I know, to paint a rosy picture of the wolf.

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: Idaho: cougars kill more elk than wolves
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2019, 09:15:41 AM »
This must be why the elk population in Yellowstone plummeted after wolf introduction apparently the cougar population exploded at the same time.

I actually watched a really interesting documentary that was trying to make the case that LAKE TROUT were a big factor in the decline of elk in Yellowstone.

No joke.

Somebody dumped Lake Trout into Yellowstone lake.   The Lake Trout decimated the Brook Trout......
Those Brook Trout spawning in the Spring were THE big protien source for Grizzlies....
Now they are basically gone.
The Griz that used to eat them had to switch to something else in the Spring and many of them switched to elk calves.

So went the Wildlife Biologists theory.

I'm not saying I buy it or I don't, because I don't know enough to know.

But....  I was 100% in the camp of "wolves wiped out Yellowstone elk", and after watching that documentary, I am no longer sure.....

Please don't call me a wolf lover.....
I've never known of any spring spawning brook trout, all fall spawners.  Not saying they don't exist just never known of any.  Maybe they were postulating about Yellowstone cutthroats?  The Yellowstone lake population is severely impacted by lake trout, but there are still abundant Yellowstone cuts in the rivers and tributary streams. 
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

 


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