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Do you think that the long term ecological damage caused by exterminating predators or holding them well below their natural pop

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  • shane
    replied
    Wolves can and have taken the big ones, but the majority of the time they save their energy and go for weaker specimens. Calves in general are helpless to wolves, but even when after calves, their hunts fail sometimes. Stronger calves are more likely to be involved in the failed hunts.

    Elk and other ungulates have been getting ravaged by wolves for millions of years, and never have I heard of a case of predation causing a weaker herd. The herds will get smaller, but generally get stronger in the long run. Maybe no difference will be made, but it is highly unlikely that the genetic makeup of the herd will be weakened in any way.

    On another note, I think wolves might have a sense of sport. They are very intelligent, more so than any domestic dogs, so I wouldn't be surprised. I don't think they say "hey look at the rack on that one!", I think it's more of "I'm gonna kill that big sumbitch just because I can!". When they take those big bulls, there is no logical reason for it, so I think they do a little trophy hunting sometimes too.

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  • ishawooa
    replied
    Ken, Shane, Chuckles: I was thinking over Ken's "natural selection" narative. Certainly your points are valid to a degree but consider the following. Per Discovery Channel and YouTube (I actually have not checked out the latter for months so this might be out of date, maybe not the most scientific sources but the best that I can manage for now) there are numerous videos of wolf packs of four or more animals easily taking down mature which seemingly are healthy bull and cow elk, black bears, moose, and other animals of such stature. Thus how do you account for the fact that even a healthy well developed fawn or calf of any ungulate species is able to survive from a roving wolf pack or even a stalking grizzley bear? From my observations this simply is not happening and our herds are being depleted without adequate wolf management. I twice have personally witnessed the wolf activity around an elk herd. One story is absence of substance but I will relate the other event sometime. It appears that finally the grizzley management will be initiated soon but I am not holding my breath just yet. Do you feel that these real world situations in any way impacts the natural selection process or am I somehow deceiving myself?

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  • ishawooa
    replied
    Chuckles and Shane I just gave a YES to both of you because I feel that you are each correct. I indeed have shot elk with .270 and 7 mm with excellent results. My point is that my kid and I shoot larger rifles a lot for pleasure and practice so a .338 to us is probably much like a .270 to folks who don't shoot much. Again we use .416 and .458 for fun breaking up boulders. This says nothing about us except that we have gained considerable experience shooting guns that some people perceive as having a lot of recoil. The reason for this all this effort is actually to become proficient with the larger cased rifles. We do prefer them in and around YNP since we know we can count on their ballis characteristics to stop the animal quickly. Certainly these rifles still require proper shot placement with a well constructed bullet. The hunting we do away from the YNP boundary is liable to find us shooting almost any legal caliber.
    The outfitters had rather see a dude hunter show up with an '06 or .270 than a .338 since most people from back east simply don't have the range or maybe time to shoot the new larger rifle enough to be comfortable with it. Thus a well placed 180 from an '06 is definately superior to a poorly placed .338. Additionally you can bet that if an animal is badly hit near the Park the guide as well as the hunter will be shooting like hell to stop it before it runs away although I am equally as certain that no one would admit to this action.
    Like deer any rifle will kill an elk given the right circumstances but I feel that a big bullet is better than a small one. A big fast bullet is even better.

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  • shane
    replied
    I in no way advocate for big gun and bad aim. If you shot 100 bulls, all perfectly, but 50 with a .270 and 50 with a .338, there would be a lot less running off with the .338. I guess that's how this came up. Hunting on borders where you want your bull to be dead right then and there. Even if not near a border, it's still nice to not have your bull stumble off into something nasty. Same with moose. Better to drop them dead ASAP than have them find their way back to their favorite swamp.

    What I said about the .30-06 is a bit foolish, I have to admit, but that's just me still being reactionary to the seeming "how small of a rifle can I get away with?" craze. Obviously younger folks need a lighter kicking rifle so that they can concentrate on precision. But for them I recommend a .308 or something of the sort. Elk are big and tough, and It's nice to be able to shoot a big tough bullet at them. When I said it, I wasn't thinking of the kids. I was thinking of all the people that are perfectly capable of shooting a .338 or .300 well, and probably own one, but take their .270 anyways for the hell of it. My question is why? Obviously you can kill an elk with a .270, and obviously you are required to make a good heart/lung shot no matter what gun you take, but things don't always work out perfectly. While a mediocre shot with a .270 could wound an elk and cause it a long slow death, a .338 will still likely kill it.

    I don't advocate for big gun easy kill, I advocate for big gun, great shot, spectacular kill!

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  • chuckles
    replied
    ishawooa, I am not about to argue shooting or ballistics with a gentleman such as yourself who has a lot more of it under his belt than I do and probably ever will. I was objecting more to the comment that if you can't handle a 06 you can't handle elk hunting. I can only go by what I have experienced and seen and that is elk being shot with a .270 and a couple with a 7mm. All of the ones that were hit with lethal shots through heart or lungs went down within 20 yds.
    I would never argue that a larger caliber won't anchor the animals better but was more focused on the fact that we have a lot of beginner and young hunters out there who would be best off shooting a gun that they can shoot accurately. I also think, from my experiences with other hunters from outside of CO who often showed up with large caliber weapons that they were not terribly experienced with and ended up wounding and losing animals, that too often people take the big caliber, easy kill mentality as gospel. Often to the detriment of the animals. My experience, limited as it is, leads me to believe that accurate bullet placement is more lethal than anything else and that people are best off with guns they can shoot well as long as they provide sufficient energy for the task.

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  • ishawooa
    replied
    Chuckles I have probably seen more elk shot with .270s and 7 mms than everything else combined. I own and have used both extensively. I also have seen more bulls run off after being hit with one of the smaller bullets. There is indeed a great void between a .270 or '06 and the .338 or .325 when it comes to anchoring an animal that can run for miles uphill packing your 130 gr .270 leaving you a long ways behind. Sorry I love the .270 about as much as O'Connor (he is actually the reason I bought mine back in the sixties) but they are simply not a .338 regardless of bullet choice. My opinion based on killing quite a few elk and see lots more shot with everything from .243 to .375. Keith might have been full of bull in a lot of ways but he knew something about stopping larger tough animals. Now you guys can start hitting me with paper ballistics and how well your .300 did on equal sized animals in Africa, or how your .25 knocked over a Kodiak, or whatever. Have at it.

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  • chuckles
    replied
    Sorry Shane but that just ain't the case. A .270 kills em dead right there if you shoot them through the vitals. Bigger guns are often an excuse for taking marginal shots and the greater recoil causes more misses than hits in lots of guys. I'm not saying a 25-06 is the best choice for everyone but lets not start setting minimum calibers when lots of young hunters might read your post and be steered to a gun they can't shoot accurately. Sorry to get off topic on the predator thing and this argument has been hashed out many times but I had to chime on.

    Leave a comment:


  • shane
    replied
    That's why I don't like talk of .25-06s for elk. I don't even like .270s. .30-06 should be the minimum. If you can't handle the recoil of an '06, you probably can't handle elk hunting. Elk are one of the very good reasons I think the .325 WSM should survive. Not such a mule as the .338s, but bigger badder bullets for big bad bulls. The way it should be.

    Leave a comment:


  • ishawooa
    replied
    Shane years ago some local fellows had a batch of lightweight jackets made up with printing on them to the effect of LAMAR VALLEY HUNTING CLUB, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. Of course this was a local joke but I am told it was amazing how many tourists stopped the guys making inquiries about how they could join. I also figure the Park Service took a very dim view of the attire but could not do anything about it. In reality hunting near the outside of the boundary used to be very productive if you were there when the elk migrated onto shootable soil. This is where the you began to see the need for a .338 or larger to limit the possibility of the bull running away wounded back into the Park.

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  • shane
    replied
    But if they made the trade off deal it wouldn't be poaching. It would be a hell of a time. I think very few hunters haven't fantasized about a YNP hunt.

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  • ishawooa
    replied
    Chuckles hop on in regardless of which view you take. Actually I stumbled onto SCI Expedition Safari on the Outdoor Channel tonight quite by accident. If any of you fellows get a chance to watch it you will view some of the backcountry that my son and I hunt on a regular basis. It is not highly impacted by wolves yet. You will see a couple very unusual close encounters with elk and mule deer as well as some excellent footage of passing wolves. Don't be concerned that I am somehow using this to promote my cause as I only think it is a program that you will enjoy. I don't know any of the Cresent 8 Outfitters people or the SCI member but they do make a decent presentation of high country hunting. My only objection is that I would have turned down the mule deer that the hunter finally shot but then by choice I have not killed a deer for several years because I am too particular. Sometimes my kid and I just watch nice but not exceptional bucks through our scopes and pull the trigger on an empty chamber. Then we mount our horses and ride away very happy as we continue the search for a trophy.

    Leave a comment:


  • chuckles
    replied
    Trust me some of the rest of us are interested but you three are doing such a bang up job of presenting the valid arguments and opinions from both sides it would be redundant and perhaps even rude to chime in.

    Leave a comment:


  • ishawooa
    replied
    Ken I certainly am not weary and in fact hoped that you would not perceive my statements as such. Regardless I feel that it is pointless to verbally joust if we resort to simply downplaying each other's opinions. In re-reading I feel that I am as guilty as you, however certainly at the time of writing I did not intend to minimize your obviously strong feelings on the various subjects we have considered. Briefly I suppose my feeling is that you seem to lack a true understanding of the situation in NW Wyoming. It also appears that you attempt to change my statements to fit your opinions rather than to make an effort to understand them. As I see it you work mainly off theory while I tend to burden myself with reality. An old man once told me that if two people agree on everything then at least one of them is not thinking. Actually you, Shane, and I must be the most interested parties or perhaps simply the ones with something to say on the matter. Either way it is enjoyable and I have learned from both of you. I utilize this site for only two purposes those being education and enjoyment, thus this topic certainly fits the bill. I do not intend to in any way attempt to counter your points just for the sake of doing so. I will add that you remind me of my former attorney who is now a federal district judge. Steve could take a letter, memo, or document and verbally rip it to pieces in a matter of minutes after quickly reading the content. That is a compliment in that I see the same instinct to accomplish this feat in your arguments. I need to check on my yearling colt which was castrated this week to make sure he is fairing well. Perhaps later tonight I will dream up something else to taunt you. Thanks for the reply pard.

    Leave a comment:


  • ken.mcloud
    replied
    on a side note-

    We are having a rather interesting debate about environmental laws and regulations here:

    http://www.fieldandstream.com/answers/other/founding-fathers-believed-governments-are-instituted-among-men-sole-purpose-protecting#comment-302092

    I for one, would love for you to chime in.

    Leave a comment:


  • ken.mcloud
    replied
    ishawooa-

    you said-
    "Shane and Ken I look forward to further conversation on this topic unless you fellows are weary of it"

    what changed?

    I am not weary of it at all, and would like to keep going.

    If you are going to leave the conversation, please at least do me the favor of telling me in which cases I used "defensive efforts to twist clearly stated factual situations to fit [my] favored scenarios"?

    I am genuinely interested in seeing the holes in my arguments if someone can point them out.

    Leave a comment:

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