Montana ranchers are suffering more losses every year!
This is a 2008 map of wolf distribution (more wolves have been found in the state)
McGowen Ranch, Drummond
Our family has been ranching in the Montana for over 140 years. We are on our 5th generation here. We pull calves out of snow banks at -40 degrees on the winter time and put up hay at over 100 degrees in the summer. When we see the domestic terror attacts that wolves play on our cattle it makes our skin crawl. These animals are savage beasts that grab ahold of the animal and hang on until there is enough blood hemorrhage underneath the skin that they die or as in the pictures the calf was stuck in the fence during one of the attacks. They ate another calf that they had caught, when the wolves had finished they ate the hind end out of this calf while he was still alive. The next day they went over the ridge and killed a third 500lb. calf. We have had an insidence where we found a calf that was attacted brought it and it's mother home. When we lost the calf from it's wounds and then the mother later died from the stress of the attack. We realize that wolves are here to stay but we need to be able to protect our property, our family, our pets and our livelihood. We would like to be able to say 20 years from now that we are on the 6th generation of ranching and agriculture in our family but these wolves can put any rancher out of business. With the loss of another ranch you lose the food for the people that it can produce and likely lose the land to development or out of state ownership. We love this land, we love this country, and we strive to preserve it for future generations and for the wild thing that we respect and love to see. but as their numbers are allowed to sky rocket out of control these trained assassins are going to ruin it for the nature lover, hunter, hiker, rancher and the list continues. THEY WILL KILL EVERYTHING. We need to make a stand together to protect our livelihood and the game population that is being decimated. -McGowan Ranch, Drummond, Mt.
Helle Livestock, Dillon
Montana's livestock producers are trying to provide the public with healthy, affordable, locally grown food and fiber. The currant level of wolf population is having a huge impact on our ability to do so. The Rebish and Helle families have been raising sheep and cattle in Southwest Montana for 4 generations. During this time we have dealt with a variety of predators, mostly coyotes, bears, and mountain lions. These kills, while certainly not welcome, are done for the purpose of survival. Usually, only one animal is killed at a time and the carcass completely consumed. A wolf attack is completely different! Never before have we seen the type of senseless killing that a pack of wolves is capable of. Wolves leave behind a unbelievable trail of carnage. Rarely do they completely consume even one carcass; rather, they appear to kill for the sport of it, maiming and chewing up as many animals as they can. In a wolf attack you will find the sheep and cattle still alive with massive chunks of their bodies torn away. Such livestock obviously have to be euthanized. These are obvious losses but harder to see and measure are the costs of stress to the animals that survive - low weight gain, lowered conception rates, general spookiness and illness. We use guarding dogs and herders to protect our livestock. In addition to the livestock losses we have lost several guard dogs. While the dogs are very effective against coyotes, bears, and mountain lions, they are completely defenseless against wolves. They put up a heroic fight protecting their animals but they are no match for wolves and are found dead, usually torn to pieces and then finished off with their throat ripped out. Our sheep herders are very fearful of a wolf encounter while out watching the sheep knowing that they will probably lose a trusted and faithful companion putting their life on the line for them.
Seiben Ranch, Wolf Creek
Sieben Ranch has used guard dogs and herders for over 10 years as non-leathal deterants to predators. Five guard dogs fighting against four wolves did not stop the savage killing of Duke. The wolves were not detered by the guard dogs or the presence of the herder. Statistics recorded by Wildlife Services and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks shows a continued increase in the population of wolves throughout Montana. Subsequently there has also been an increased predation by wolves on livestock and domestic pets. The presense of wolves also causes a very substantial monetary loss to livestock producers. Livestock stressed by the presense and harassment of wolves have a lower conception rate, abort their pregnancy, and show reduced weight gain. Wolves can be a part of the eco system but should not be allowed to destroy Montana. Since their reintroduction they have not only had a very serious effect upon livestock throughout western Montana, but they have had a very devistation effect on Montana's wildlife. If the wolf population is not controled Montana's livestock producers will loose. But Montana's wildlife will be decimated. John and Nina Baucus, Wolf Creek
Boomer Ranch, Hall
Boomer Ranch: January 2008 - January 2009 wolf death loss or "joy killing" and animals that were ripped up so bad that they had to be put down. 5 ewes joy killed. 6 ewes had their guts ripped out and were still alive and had to be put down. 1 (600lb.) yearling steer torn up so bad in the hind quarters that had to put down due to infection and blood loss. My son's 650 lb. Yearling steer joy killed and the wolves never came back to feed.. 25+ lambs killed and never found. All of this brought tears to my eyes. I had to look at my ewes that had their guts torn out and lying on the ground still alive and tell them there was nothing I could do. We live right 100 yards off Highway 1. These attacks occurred within 1/4 mile of our house. We had 6 confirmed wolf kills on sheep including a 450.00 registered ram. 2 confirmed 650 lb. Yearling steer kills.
This is a family owned ranch. We are a fourth generation operation with sheep and cattle. We have been using all non-lethal methods available in an attempt to keep the wolves away from our sheep. At this time the wolves seem to be more aggressive, due to the growing wolf population. All of this results in an increased expense for the rancher causing a real financial burden. The wolf kills started in the spring of 2004 and the kills are getting more frequent every year as the population of wolves increases. It is bad enough we have to feed these wolves that we didn't want or need, but the sad part is they eat very little of the livestock they kill. It seems they just kill for the fun of it. We run cows and calves on forest and BLM lands during the summer months and we always come in a few head of calves short every fall so I am sure we are feeding wolves.
Unless something is done to Control the wolf population they will continue to increase at an alarming rate. It will be hard for the Montana rancher to stay in business because of the predation by the wolves. Due to this predation wildlife have also changed their habits to try and survive. Instead of being in their natural habitat elk, deer and other herbivores are congregating in large numbers for protection. Thus impacting private property of ranchers or land owners. At this rate the wolf harvest of wildlife will result in the near total elimination of the animals we have all learned to admire and hunt.
Hansen Livestock Dillon, MT.