Event Location: Map Location
Speaker: Joe Englehart
At Poco Diablo Resort
Co-existence Presentation: Personal experience in co-existing with apex predators.
About Joe Engelhart, Ranch manager, and lover of wild things.
Growing up on a small family-run cattle ranch in the interior of British Columbia I learned at a young age that cattle and predators do and have to live together at times.
After graduating from high school, and going out on my own I worked on many ranches where the owners did not have the same views. This resulting in having to shoot numerous predators. I always knew there had to be a better way, but it wasn't until about 17 years ago that I was given the latitude to try some methods that have been successful, such as: upping human presence around the cattle; learning where the wolves are in conjunction with where you are putting cattle; knowing where den sites are, and rendezvous sites are. I also deal with Grizzly bears and have found that bears and wolves use the same home ranges. There is also the wild ungulate overlap that happens year round. Throwing all of these together makes for busy times.
One of the biggest problems I face as far as cattle losses are poison weed (larkspur). It is very
toxic from about mid-May until mid to late July, so when I have dead cattle I have bears and
wolves scavenging. Most of the areas that I put cattle make it impossible to remove carcasses,
but when I can I do remove them. I have a pack of wolves that use the ranch I manage as part of
there home range along with an elk herd of approximately 400, and five to eight Grizzly bears.
One of my challenges with wolves is trying to keep a pack that is predictable. Every year there are
wolves shot, trapped, or snared. This can result in pack dynamics changing, and not always for
the better. Through all of this I have learned that you are better off letting the wolves be wolves,
but take the cow off their opportunity list.
Summing this all up I think that if ranchers, environmental groups, and government could all
come to the same table and work together we would be in a better place.
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