Friday, August 17, 2018

Crazy Left Coast Story of the Day

From the National Shooting Sports Federation newsletter Ammoland, we find the story of a salmon researcher in Washington's Okanogan forest who was circled and surrounded by a pack of wolves, climbed 30 feet up a tree to keep from being eaten, and was almost abandoned to the wolves by the state.  According to a linked piece in the Capital Press, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials sounded more concerned about not harming the wolves than letting the woman be eaten by the wolves.
Washington wildlife managers initially opposed sending a helicopter or a search-and-rescue team to save a woman treed by wolves in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, according to recordings and summaries of emergency calls obtained Tuesday.

The Department of Natural Resources pushed back and prepared to dispatch an air crew that eventually executed a swift rescue. Notes from a call between DNR dispatcher Jill Jones and a wildlife officer summarized WDFW’s position, and her position, shortly before the helicopter launched.

“No helicopter. Federally listed species. 3 WDFW personnel saying so,” according to DNR’s call log.

“We are more concerned for her life than the listed animal,” Jones told the officer. “He indicated that she is safe up in the tree. ... I told him that we do not know how safe she is. I don’t know how stout the tree is, and if the limbs will continue to hold her or how long she can hold on.”

Minutes later, WDFW and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials, at the request of DNR wildfire supervisor Chuck Turley, OK’d an air rescue. Within a half hour, the woman was safe in the DNR helicopter piloted by Devin Gooch. The wolves had scattered as Gooch flew overhead before landing in a meadow.

The swift air rescue — reaching the woman by foot would have taken 2 to 3 hours, officials estimated — ended a hectic 45 minutes in which state, federal and local agencies discussed what to do.
In hindsight (always 20-20), WDFW wolf policy coordinator Donny Martorello said the wolf experts thought the woman was in no trouble, but later admitted they were making the wrong call.  “To tell the helicopter not to go was not the right call, and we have to own that,” Martorello said.

Bottom line to me is that the woman is very lucky to be alive.  First, the wolves didn't ambush her; she saw them and had time to react.  She pepper sprayed the first wolf, and more came forward to take his place.  Second, she's lucky there was a sturdy tree there, lucky she was able to climb that tree to 30 feet and lucky she was able to wait there safely.  If the branch she had been standing or sitting on had broken, the 30 foot fall probably would have left her unable to move, and she'd be an easy target for the wolves.  What if she was up there and couldn't call for help by radio or cellphone? 

Dean Weingarten, in the Ammoland News says the wolf apologists already have an answer from the "wolves are not a threat to people" file.
Researchers have already created an excuse for the aggressive wolf behavior. They say the area the woman was in is a “rendezvous site”; therefore the wolf behavior was “defensive” not aggressive. From
They determined that where the researcher was treed was a “rendezvous” site, and the wolves were likely acting defensively to protect offspring or food sources.
Look, I love animals, too, but the tree huggers and greenies that pushed the reintroduction of wolves in America are putting people at risk.  I have a pair of rescue cats around here who regularly boss me around, and while I've had many more cats than dogs in my life, I've had both.  Wolves are not domesticated dogs, they are extremely intelligent, top-echelon predators.  We're told that wolves are "not really dangerous" and "wolves never attack people".  If wolves aren't a threat to people, why do so many legends and sayings (one example) from our ancestral civilizations say they are?  Like mountain lions, wolves require massive ranges of land.  Lions are solitary hunters, not pack hunters, but attacks happen. Why should we think wolves won't attack people?  Weingarten puts it this way, and concludes with an unsettling observation:
When European immigrants first came to North America, they assumed that wolves were dangerous. All of their experience in Europe showed wolves to be dangerous. Wolves in North America are the same animals as wolves in Europe.

The mythology of the harmless wolf was created out of the success of the developing North American civilization. They were successful at protecting themselves and their animal resources from wolves. The European immigrants brought technology that was effective in keeping wolf populations on the defensive, afraid of contact with man. When wolves came in conflict with men who had access to firearms, steel traps, and poison, wolves learned to fear men or die.

The best way to keep wolves harmless is to keep them in fear of man. This pack in Washington state has successfully treed a woman, without any loss. They have learned from the experience. They are likely to treat the next human more aggressively.

File photo of a gray wolf, the species in the area.  John and Karen Hollingsworth/US Fish and Wildlife Service


  1. There is an old Russian saying that basically goes, "Toss the baby from the Troika" which literally means throw the least important person from the sleigh when the wolves are at bay. Substitute old folk if available. Seriously. It's a real thing.

    There's a show on History Channel called "Mountain Men" which is about, well, rugged people in mountainous regions. One of them, Tom Orr, an ex-rodeo clown (no, really) is constantly talking about how wolves have negatively affected wildlife populations, making it hard for subsistence hunters to subside on hunted meat. The wolves are devastating the Elk and Moose population where he is.

    Eco-idiots are just that. Idiots. Same idiots who make it illegal to shoot Mountain Lions in built-up areas or in defense of livestock.

    Mother Nature isn't a kind lady, not at all.

  2. If I was kin to the woman who was treed, Donny Martorello et al at WDFW could look forward to going on the endangered species list this weekend. (And she still gets ten demerits for going off into the wildlands with nothing for protection but pepper spray.)

    And I promise they would "own that", via a .357 to the face.
    If they could survive the full cylinder, I would take that as a sign God or good fortune was smiling on them, albeit minus eyes or teeth, for the most part.

    I'd just be acting defensively, you understand.

    In a fair universe, they'd be staked at the base of the same tree to demonstrate their theories. Pork chops in their pockets optional, but strongly recommended.

    It's high time these ecotards had skin in the game; specifically their own @$$#$.


  3. I'd have shot a wolf, and if they didn't get the message, would have capped more until the pack was 'culled'. Then again, I believe in carrying WHENEVER I go outside in the wild - whether it's Downtown Los Angeles or up at the White Wolf Mine (and there are wolves in the wild there). To do less is to earn a Darwin Award.

  4. Someday we (they) are really going to regret re-introducing wolves. It took a lot of effort and time to get rid of them the first time. Once they double in numbers a few more times the collisions with humans are going to be frequent and deadly.

  5. An associated problem is the Coyote enhancement program created by mixing them with abandoned dogs. Take the attributes of the 'yote and add the size of large German Shepherds to make them a near urban threat. There is a pack that hunts the cattle ranch next door. The Alpha pair are very large G.Shepherd appearing animals that you would not want to meet late at night. Unlike wolves, Coyotes don't mind sharing territory with humans. That is a future recipe for trouble.

  6. One more time:

    It is your fine friends in "Law Enforcement" who enable this. And they will do WHATEVER they are told, as long as that paycheck keeps comin' in.

    And for those of you who would "shoot the wolves", please understand that unless you SUCCESSFULLY practice the three S's - Shoot. Shovel. Shut up - those same fine "Law Enforcement" will show you the error of your ways. In a terminally corrupt "Legal" system.

    Make sure you're ready when pig hunting season opens.

  7. The current populations of Introduced wolves have NO FEAR OF HUMANS. A wolf population that had been allowed to come back naturally would. That woman was really lucky the tree was there and her radio worked. The response of the feds is no surprise to me. Federal employees cannot carry weapons on duty unless they are trained in their use. Sooner or later humans are going to be attacked and eaten. But the feds will say it is the humans fault. Just wait and see.

  8. Lots of great comments.

    The paper I linked to about the myth of harmless wolves has a really great paragraph on using wolves' intelligence as a tool to teach them to avoid humans and reduce the likelihood of attacks on people. It bears reading:

    I was unaware of the coyote/domestic dog hybrids, and that's a nasty complication.

    As Beans said, "Mother Nature isn't a kind lady, not at all." In fact, I think it's fair to reword that as "Mother Nature wants you dead".

    1. I was not aware of them either till I saw a wolf looking animal across the pasture. size of a German Shepard, gray in color, solid all over. Not like the little dun colored mangy coyotes. 25 years ago my little daughter played outside by herself- I would not do that today, the population of coyotes and cougars has increased to where it does not seem safe anymore for a child. We live in a mix of woodlands, pasture and homes, lots of fringe habitat, perfect for deer and their predators.

    2. There is also the Coywolf, yes, a cross between coyotes and wolves. About the size of German Shepherds, all the evil intelligence of a wolf (circling back around to attack from the rear, going for ripping out the guts and eating the victim alive and so forth, you know, friendly wolf tactics) and all the non-fear of humans of many coyotes.

      Damned greenies. Ought to feed them all to the wolves and then shoot the wolves.

  9. I hike in the woods daily and live about 200 miles South of this event. I see mountain lion tracks, bear and coyote tracks. I carry a gun. I don't want to shoot any animal but will in a split second to protect myself and that would include wolves. Ironically my biggest problem is dogs. Haven't shot any yet but came close once. I had two rocks and it took two to get the dog to back off. Once a very large Rottweiler came at me. I knew the dog was usually fenced in but someone left the gate open. He was about 30 feet from me coming full speed. I had a collapsable metal baton in my pocket and when I deployed it with a metallic clang the dog skidding to a stop and trotted back home. Since then I have carried a gun

    1. Thank you for reminding me of metal batons. For the smaller threats like dogs, it makes a lot more sense to use one of those than to waste precious bullets.

    2. 4-5' long walking sticks of a good hard, flexible wood or plastic material work real well. No one sees a quarterstaff as a weapon, and you can whip the far tip hard enough, using a two-handed grip, to crush a deer's skull, let alone a dog's skull. Stand-off distance is a good thing.

      "It's not a threat, it's just a stick..." said Little John. (no, not really, but you get the point, right?)

    3. Speaking of "getting the point", anyone who carries a walking stick/staff, short or long, and hasn't added one of these to the bottom "to ensure your stability while walking" is a little cray-cray:

      And of course, it's there to help you on slippery ground, don'cha know...

    4. Which reminds me, I also knew a renn faire guy who took a 6' section of 1" black pipe, built it up with Bondo© until it looked like lumpy wood, them painted it until it looked absolutely wood-like, and clear-coated the heck out of it.

      For bonus points, he had a spear haft with cross-brace welded onto a threaded pipe end, which he carried in a sheath on his hip, to fit the hidden screw-off tip of the staff, and at which point (forgive the unintended pun) he had the most brutally efficient boar spear you ever saw.