Our Own Worst Enemy by F4WM President, Robert Roman
By angelamontana

Posted: October 4, 2023
     Trapping, fishing, and hunting seasons are in full swing in Idaho and Montana’s seasons (if they are not already) will soon be opening. One thing I notice, while running my wolf trap line is the sheer numbers of anglers along the rivers. Fly-fishing in my area is dominated by Washington State residents and an abundant number of the elk/deer hunters also hail from that particular state.

I ran into a gentleman named JC, who happens to be from Washington, at a trail head and explained that I was going to check wolf traps. He insisted there would be no trapping season open now as hunting season was open and it would be far too dangerous to have traps in the field. I assured him the trapping season was indeed open and that the only way he could get hurt is if he fell face down on a trap. In that case he might get a bloodied nose.

At another trap site, an archery hunter had put a stick in one of my sets. Now, I really have a tough time figuring this one out. Why would an archery hunter, who is having a heck of a time finding elk to hunt, put a stick in the very device that is helping put elk back on the mountain?

It’s a real head scratcher until you listen to ole JC back at the other trail head minimizing the effect of the reintroduced grey wolf on the elk herds. So many of our own people have been influenced by the greenies. Sure, I concede, there are other factors involved in our drastic loss of elk since wolf reintroduction. Bears, cougars, habitat problems, to name a few, all influence the elk population. However, it is impossible to deny, the reintroduction and following explosion in wolf numbers, dropped the Clearwater elk herd from a robust 16,000 units to a mere 1000 in the first 15 to 20 years after reintroduction. Other mountainous parts of the state suffered like damage. And yet other areas saw a displacement of game from the mountains to the fields in games desperate attempt to flee the onslaught of wolves. Of course, the farmers and ranchers do not welcome large herds of elk in their corn patch.

What I’m getting at is this: there is a general lack of knowledge of the true effects of the wolf on game amongst sportsmen. As a result of this, many of our fellow sportsmen do not respect the efforts made by those who are trying to help manage the out-of-control wolf population.

I’m not singling out ole JC from Washington, nor am I singling out anyone from any one place. Much of Washington is governed by a liberal West Coast majority who are far removed from the land. The closest they come to the land is when they put their leotards on in the morning and jog around the block. Otherwise, all they know about the land and the ecosystem is what they’ve learned from National Geographic documentaries and Walt Disney’s talking animals. They do not live the land. I’ve made a broad sweeping statement and must, in all justice, admit there are good people in WA.

So, what is the remedy? I think friendly patient conversations will help open more eyes as to what we are dealing with when it comes to wolves. Keep fighting the good fight. Educate yourself so you can educate others to the real impact of wolves in Idaho. Check out the map below of Idaho and all the units that are adversely impacted by the wolf overpopulation.

Your support of F4WM is a big step in the right direction.


-Robert Roman
President for F4WM

(Click here for full newsletter)
New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing