They are getting smarter

Wolves in Banff National Park have been reported to have approached a park employee and chased him a short distance as he roared off on a snowmobile.


“The snow-making equipment is loud, the ski-doo is loud, so the fact that they didn’t seem to be deterred by that is a concern,” he told Postmedia.

“It could have been curious behaviour, it could have just been an instinctual response to follow something that was moving away, or it could have been more aggressive than that — we don’t know.”

The pack has been involved in several incidents this year that have worried parks officials.

In June two wolves from the pack, including the alpha female, were killed by wildlife officials after they boldly approached campers at the Tunnel Mountain and Two Jack Lake campgrounds.”

Considering that the death penalty is imposed for even approaching humans, they are bold indeed. There are times when I think that the death penalty should be imposed on certain classes of criminal for the same  reason. But that would involve a decision that some anthropoids walking on two legs are not really human, and we will not go there today, if ever.

And on a more serious note, those who feed wolves are condemning innocent creatures to death. Do not do it.

Parks Canada/Postmedia Network
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This is always the result when all hunting or even being able to kill them attacking your livestock is banned. They lose all fear and respect for people. To make matters worse are the relocation of these predators to places they did not exist. The same has happened with Grizzlies, Black Bears, cougars and even coyotes in some cases. It is not a matter of trying to wipe any of them out, which by the way would be impossible. Walt Disney is not Mother Nature.

Bill Elder

DaIwhinnie – be mindful of the fact the Banff packs are real purebread wild wolves, not the dog-crossed hybrids you se in the Ontario bushlands – dog-cross wolves/coyotes have a natural non-fear of humans.

I have spent close to 35 years living, hunting, fishing and trekking the back country in and around Banff, and the way it is managed in both policy and mindset, it is nothing more than a petting zoo with walking trails.

I have a wildlife science education but after 3 years in the wildlife service, I quit to pursue another career – the reason was politics – utopian politics was constantly challenging the hard science of wildlife management in the AENR and park service – it has intensified today.

I first saw this when working with the bear control program in the park, I can tell you horror stories about the insane policies which existed to placate the tourist trade, the enviro-fascists and the old core of park management. The end result of this was increases in maulings/attacks by “marked bears” who were relocated (sometimes hundreds of miles) which found their way back to the “honey grounds” of garbage dump buffet, tourist hand outs and freedom from hunters.

Higher developed wild predators are not stupid, they survive on their adaptation to conditions and situation, they “learn” quickly what works to their advantage or disadvantage – with these wolves a snow machine sound would normally scatter them into the bush associated with hunters, trappers or human activity that can get them shot if they interfere, – sometimes more aggressive alpha males staking out pack status might follow or observe you at a distance and may need a rifle shot in the air to remind them – but the behavior exhibited in both Banff and Yellowstone of the re-established wolf packs displays the type of un-educated behavior of primordial predators – I would be willing to bet that if they come to the sound of and chase a snowmobile, the unstated truth of the matter is that they associate the sound with food as they have been left food by managers using snowmobiles in harsh conditions.

Nothing will be done until the unculled numbers of wolves start to dangerously unbalance local ungulate (deer,moose.elk,caribou) numbers after they suffer a bad winter kill – raiding their calving season – then, maybe managers will act , but it won’t be a hunt cull, they will use live trapping and relocation – just like the bear program.

Utopian concepts rule in wildlife management these days – it’s why bird hunters must ruin their expensive back-bored shotguns with bird-crippling steel shot instead of lead – fel good politics trump the harsh realities of nature every time.


Thank you, Bill, for explaining some of your background. As you contribute often to the comments section, information about yourself is welcome.

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