Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bull Moose - Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

This Bull Moose was eating bitter brush in the snow near Moose, Wyoming. Moose move out of the wet marshes when they freeze and spend the winter in sage-brush flats where they find nutritious bitter brush to eat.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dead Elk Running - Grand Teton National Park

This Huge 6x7 Bull Elk has less than 15 minutes to live. He is panting from being pursued by road hunters in pickups participating in the "Elk Reduction Program" in Grand Teton National Park. He is in an area that is for killing cow elk only. A white pickup full of hunters cut him off with their truck and turned him so that he crossed the road into the area for shooting bulls. He was shot and killed soon after. I took this photo yesterday.

This "Hunt" is sanctioned by Teton National Park Officials and results in elk being shot by road hunters with no resemblance to fair chase hunting.

There is no justification for shooting bulls in this elk reduction program. If they want to reduce the elk numbers, only cows should be killed.
This a money making "Trophy Hunt" disguised as a way to reduce the elk numbers..There has to be a better way to do this. Hunting in Grand Teton National Park is a bad idea. This is a horrible way to treat any animal.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trumpeter Swan - Jackson,WY

There were 30 Swans on Flat Creek in Jackson yesterday and 6 of them were close enough to photograph. I have lots of swan photos, but how could I resist when they were so close.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gray Jay - Yellowstone

I like these birds. They often show up at a hunting camp and can carry off an entire loaf of bread one small piece at a time. They are sometimes called "Camp Robbers". They are fearless and will land on your head if they can.

Coyote Reflection - Yellowstone

This coyote was out in the Yellowstone River checking out muskrat houses.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gray Wolf - Canyon Pack- Yellowstone National Park

This is the alpha female of the Canyon Pack. She has three pups, one black and two gray this year. They had just started swimming across the Yellowstone River when I saw them last about ten days ago.
Yellowstone Wolf Researcher, Doug Smith, likes to put radio collars on all the alpha wolves in Yellowstone. I fear that when I see this wolf next year, it will have a gross- looking radio collar around its neck.
Doug needs to leave these beautiful animals alone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Black Wolf on Yellowstone Road

The Canyon Pack Wolves often use the roads in Yellowstone for travel. I photographed the black male of the pack as he trotted down the yellow line.
This wolf has a radio-collar, but it is not very visible from this angle. He seems much subdued compared to last year when he was not collared.
Yellowstone Rangers often shoot members of this pack with rubber bullets when they see them on the roadways. They claim to be "conditioning them to not use the roads". It is part of the over-management of wolves and other wildlife by the park staff. Rubber bullets break ribs and can kill wolves at close range. Animals in Yellowstone are treated like farm livestock.
I look for this wolf to be killed by other wolves this winter, since he is handicapped by the radio collar and will have a hard time defending himself when the Canyon Pack interacts with other wolf packs while following migrating elk.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Alpha Male Wolf of Yellowstone's Silver Pack Dies of Radio-Collaritis

The only radio-collared member of Yellowstone's Silver Wolf Pack was found dead this past week. The reports indicate he died of infection from unspecified puncture wounds.
Radio-Collars handicap the wolves forced to wear them and most of them die sooner of later from the effects of being chased by helicopter, constantly harassed by wolf watchers, and from being buzzed by the park researchers in their little yellow airplane.
The two most accessible wolf packs in Yellowstone (The Druid and Slough Creek Packs) were studied and harassed out of existence. I suspect that the Silver Pack , who inhabit the same territory as the Druids once held, will suffer a similar fate.
The social misfits that have "Studied" Yellowstone's wolves for sixteen years have collared seven hundred and fifty nine (759) wolves in this endless study that benefits NO wolves and kills many of them.
Not only are the collars unsightly, they handicap the wolves in many ways. It makes it harder for them to capture large dangerous prey, like elk and bison, and the collars provide a convenient handle for other wolves to grab hold of in a fight.
The broadcast location of collared wolves (By seasonal park employee Rick McIntyre each day) are used by tourist groups(Yellowstone Association Buses) to find the wolves for viewing, which is a sorry way to use any wild animal.
Rick is employed by the Yellowstone Wolf Study for a few months each year and spends the rest of the time as a volunteer for the Wolf Study and also for the Yellowstone Association. (NPS info provided to me at the Mammoth Visitor Center)
He comes into the park each and every morning and locates the wolves with a park provided radio receiver that picks up the signal from the radio collars on the wolves. He then radios their location to the Association Buses and his group of wolf watchers(locally referred to as the "Wolf Nazis") so they can converge on the located wolves.
This creates traffic jams and the presence of so many humans, intimidates the wolves from going about their daily business. It is no wonder that the Druid Pack and the Slough Creek Pack disappeared. They were simply studied and harassed to death. Look for the Silver Pack to disappear soon.
With the Lamar Valley wolf packs so decimated, Rick and his followers have started doing the same thing in Yellowstone's Hayden Valley. The small hills used for viewing the Canyon Pack wolves at Grizzly Overlook in the Hayden Valley were closed this summer to public use because of the erosion and plant damage done by the wolf watchers. I fear for the Canyon Pack due to this shift in interest by this group.
A Collared Wolf Is A Dead Wolf!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Radio-Collared Wolf - Yellowstone National Park

This wolf is a member of Yellowstone's Blacktail Pack. He is skinny and malnourished looking, which makes sense since he is handicapped by the ugly radio collar around his neck.
This abuse of Yellowstone's wolves has been going on for over sixteen years. Seven hundred and fifty nine (759)wolves have been collared like this during the Yellowstone Wolf Project Study. If you add in the wolves that had collars replaced after the batteries failed, the number is more like eight hundred (800) or more wolves that have been treated this way.
People that treat Yellowstone wolves like this deserve some jail time. Those that pay for these obscene collars should join them in jail. Yellowstone Park Officials who approve of and fail to stop this abuse should be jailed also.
A Radio-Collared Wolf is a DEAD Wolf.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bull Elk-Cold Morning, Yellowstone National Park

This Bull Elk is bugling while back lit on a cold October morning in Yellowstone.
Bull Elk in Yellowstone are not collared as they used to be twenty five years ago, because enough visitors and photographers complained to the Park Superintendent about the practice.
If enough people protest the collaring of Yellowstone wolves, maybe the collars will come off of them as well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yellowstone wolf Researcher Has Collared 759 Wolves

NPS Photo

Over the past fifteen years, Yellowstone National Park Wolf Biologist Doug Smith has radio collared over 759 Yellowstone Wolves. What the news releases don't mention, is that he chased each of them to exhaustion by helicopter, darted them and then posed for photos like this one. (Notice that he doesn't use any gloves or a mask to protect the wolf from any disease organisms.) Yellowstone wolves sometime die from being infected with Parvo Virus, which is spread from domestic dogs by poor sanitary practices like this.
It only takes one feces-contaminated domestic dog hair to spread the virus.

Fifteen years of treating wolves in Yellowstone like this is not something to be proud of.

Any useful information was retrieved years ago and the study now is more about locating wolves for tourists to watch than for any biological reason. (And to keep Doug employed)
Not one wolf has been helped by the study and 759 Yellowstone Wolves have been treated like lab rats.

Stop this study Doug, and find something useful to do!

A Radio-Collared Wolf is a Dead Wolf!