Eden of wildlife is fleeting in Idaho
A travesty of epic proportions is playing out in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming of vanishing big game herds that mainstream media refuses to highlight. Sure you’ll see and read publications about the successful introduction of Canadian wolf populations out West but nothing about the destruction they have caused to get there.
To find the realities of wolf introduction look no further than asking locals living within this disastrous experiment and each one of them has a sad story tell.
I spoke with Dean Geouge from Kooskia, Idaho, a town in northeastern Idaho known as the “Gateway to the Wilderness.” He recalls like many what the American Camelot of western big game once was before wolves.
Dean is originally from North Carolina and grew up loving the outdoors, he visited Idaho once for a hunting trip and commented, “I realized what kind of paradise Idaho was for wildlife and hunting,” and he knew somehow he was going to return and live there. It didn’t take long after that, and at the age of 47, he and his wife moved to Kooskia Idaho in 1986 where he worked for the Forest Service for 14 years.
Like many Dean has had front row seats to Canadian wolves decimating wildlife, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities that many from around the world travel to view, experience, and move to.
Photos were taken 1987-1994 near Elk Summit by Hoodoo Lake Campground, Idaho
Dean showed me several photos he cherishes as a reminder of what used to be of the abundant moose herds in Idaho. Dean took these pictures in northeastern Idaho at a place called Elk Summit. He commented, “I counted 49 head of moose once from Elk Summit Cabin to Hoodoo Lake Campground a distance of 600 feet.” And recalls “the hunting was absolutely unbelievable for moose and elk until the wolves were introduced in 1996.”
Before the wolves, the moose populations gave every sportsmen and wildlife enthusiast the opportunity to view and harvest one. Dean, his wife and brother all harvested moose the first day they went hunting when they drew out for tags. He said with frustration, “my son went hunting several years ago and hunted hard for six weeks without seeing a single moose, something needs to be done! I won’t live long enough to see them again even if you took the wolves out today.”
Dean isn’t alone, he describes that the whole community is up in arms about the destruction wolves have caused to wildlife and hunting opportunities, especially since their local economy is so heavily dependent upon its wildlife. “The towns around here are all upset about it, there’s maybe one out of every 500 who is sympathetic to wolves,” he commented.
Dean recalled tactics used by radical environmentalist groups when working for the Forest Service to implement their wolf agenda. Describing how they would cause trouble with professional paid protesters brought in from out-of-town during wolf introduction efforts to show support for wolves to pressure elected officials and Idaho Fish and game to be more sympathetic with wolves.
Sadly what wildlife remains is being pushed to local communities to escape the abundance of predators in the mountains above. Dean has come across many deer and elk carcasses from wolves killing them only a few hundred yards behind his house. The sad part is, “my grandchildren and great grandchildren are not going to have the opportunity of viewing, enjoying and hunting wildlife as I have. Its sad wildlife around here has been completely decimated.”
Stories like these need to be told and highlighted from people on the ground and on the front lines with wolves. Now more than ever States need to have responsible predator management to save our moose herds without the endless lawsuits and litigation from powerful anti-hunting groups. Together as united sportsmen, we can and need to protect and restore moose populations now before its too late.