The Shooting Shack

Notes from the Shooting Shack

Gerry Lavigne

Notes from the Shooting Shack
by Gerry Lavigne
Of Coyotes and Parrots
Coyotes by the Numbers – I Think We’re Gaining on ’Em
Biology of the Eastern Coyote in Maine
Taking a Shine to Coyotes
Dim and Dimmer – What Happens When You Exceed Your Equipment’s Capability?

A FOOT IN THE DOOR – Katahdin Woods and Waters National Park
by Gerry Lavigne

Resources for Home Preserving Venison

SAM’s testimony in opposition to The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s proposed rule regulating the feeding of deer.
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

The Case for Predation Management for Improving Deer Survival
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

SAM’s Deer Recovery Kickoff!
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

SAM Launches a Major New Deer Initiative
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

Winter Feeding of Maine Deer — Does It Help or Hurt Them?
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

LMF Funding to Restore Deer Population
By: David Trahan and Gerry Lavigne
Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

Proposed Rule Change on Youth Day Doe Hunting
From: David Trahan, Executive Director, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine


Canada_lynx_by_Michael_ZahraWhich Canine Predator For Maine?
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

Maine’s Newest Deer Hunter
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

Coyotes, Deer, and Hunters ……………
By Gerry Lavigne, Wildlife Biologist

Tips and Tactics For Successful Coyote Hunting
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

Keeping It Legal, Ethical, and Safe — Coyote Hunting In Maine
By: Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

Are Gray Wolves Coming to the Northeast?
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

Canada Lynx Update
By Gerry Lavigne, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

Coyote kills fawn in Jonesport.
By Gerry Lavigne

Butcher It Right!
By Gerry Lavigne

Surplus Killing by Mammalian Predators
By Gerry Lavigne

The Saga of Henry The Eighth
By Gerry Lavigne

Experimental Wildlife Seed Mix Now Available Through SAM
By Gerry Lavigne

Seeding Instructions for SAM’s Wildlife Mix

[Retired in 2005 after 30 years as DIFWs deer biologist, Gerry Lavigne now leads SAM’s Deer Management Network and serves on SAM’s Board of Directors.]


Federal officials confirm gray wolf taken in Kentucky
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Coyote bites, drags 2-year-old Long Beach girl through cemetery
By The Associated Press

Coyotes attack man near Niwot;
wildlife officials kill two of three involved


Wolves pay for death of Idaho sheep Fed hunters nearly wipe out Pine Creek Pack after about 175 sheep die.

By Mike Koshmrl, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
August 21, 2013

A wolf pack that roams the south end of Teton Valley, Idaho, has been all but wiped out after a bizarre sheep stampede that’s been blamed on the wild canines.
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials have killed 13 wolves from the Pine Creek Pack, which occasionally ventures into western Wyoming in the area of Teton Pass, said Todd Grimm, Idaho director of the federal Wildlife Services program, which kills predators that cause damage.
“We had already removed 12 by the time this incident had taken place,” Grimm said. “And we’ve got another one since then.”
“I can’t believe how many wolves we’ve got in there,” he said.
Of the 13 trapped and euthanized wolves, four were adults or sub-adults, Grimm said. Nine of the wolves killed were pups, he said.
The pack’s demise was already underway when two wolves thought to be Pine Creek members ventured into a 2,400-head sheep herd early Saturday morning. The herd, owned by the Siddoway Sheep Company of St. Anthony, Idaho, was bedding down on Caribou-Targhee National Forest land between Pole Canyon and Fogg Hill, about 5 miles south of Victor.
Running downhill in a panic, about 165 sheep from the Siddoway herd were killed, trampled and smothered in their terror. Two wolves, which were witnessed by a herder at the scene, killed about another dozen sheep. The final tally: 119 lambs and 57 ewes dead. Price tag: $20,000.
In the weeks leading to the sheep pileup, the Pine Creek Pack had been actively preying on the Siddoway sheep, Grimm said.
“We’ve confirmed 10 other kills in that area this year,” Grimm said.
“They’ve had a huge amount of problems over the years,” he said of the Siddoway Sheep Company. “It looks like about 15 to 20 depredations since 2006 that are confirmed.”
A press release sent out by company following last weekend’s fatal wolf encounter alleges much higher losses to predators.
“Siddoway Sheep Company has lost about 250 head of livestock to wolf, bear and coyote depredation since June,” the release said, adding that Great Pyrenees guard dogs and horses also have been killed.
At least one Idaho conservation group argues that the Siddoway Sheep Company should not be grazing in the Caribou-Targhee in such a predator-dense area.
“The problem is not the wolves, but subsidized domestic sheep grazing,” said Travis Bruner, public lands director for the Western Watersheds Project.
“It costs less than one penny per sheep per day to graze public land,” Bruner said.
The Caribou-Targhee’s Burbank allotment, where the sheep crush occurred, cost the Siddoway Sheep Company $866.70 for a three-month grazing permit, for example.
Ranchers are more willing to take risks with predators, Bruner said, because the government is “almost giving away public forage to wealthy ranchers.”
The loss of federal Endangered Species Act protections also indirectly helps ranchers graze livestock on predator-heavy public allotments, he said. Suspected livestock eaters now can be removed with a phone call.
“Given the de-listing of wolves, [public lands grazing] poses more of a threat to wolves today because there’s much less regulation over when wolves can be killed in response to depredation,” Bruner said.
According to the latest Idaho Wolf Monitoring Progress report, 73 wolves were killed in Idaho last year either by “agency removal” or from livestock producers who held legal take permits. Those wolves were suspected of killing 73 cattle, 312 sheep and two dogs.
Depredation and removal numbers are lower in Wyoming, where the wolf population is about half of Idaho’s.
Last year, 43 Equality State wolves were killed in response to killing 44 cattle, 112 sheep, three dogs and a horse. So far in 2013 another 14 wolves have been killed in response to the loss of 33 livestock.
The extreme loss of sheep last weekend was the largest livestock loss from one incident in Grimm’s 22 years on the job.
The “pileup” phenomenon is not a new one to sheep ranchers, said Stan Boyd, executive director of the Idaho Woolgrowers Association.
“It’s the first time I’ve heard of wolves causing it,” Boyd said. “Every two, three, four years, it’ll happen from black bears.”
The answer to controlling livestock depredation on public lands grazing allotments, he said, is managing the predators.
“The wolves are here to stay,” Boyd said. “What we hope is that we can manage these populations.
“When you get severe depredation like that, the wolves need to be removed,” he said, “and by removed, I mean killed. You got to take them out.”
In the case of the Pine Creek pack, wildlife officials did just that.
The Pine Creek Pack numbered six adult animals at the end of 2012, according to Idaho’s wolf monitoring report.
With nine pups and four of the six Pine Creek adults eliminated, the pack’s future is in question. That leaves two adult wolves — potentially enough to form a new pack — still standing.


Bob EngelhardtBob Engelhardt, SAM Life Member and past board member with his deer in Texas.