More on Wolf Killer and ID Forest Service Employee Josh Bransford: Another Modern Monster

Reblog from multiple sources:

 

 

Wolf Torture and Execution Continues in the Northern Rockies

by James William Gibson – March 28, 2012

 

 

Montana Anti-Trapping Group Gets Death Threat for Releasing Photos
On March 16, a Friday, a US Forest Service employee from Grangeville, Idaho, laid out his wolf traps. The following Monday, using the name “Pinching,” he posted his story and pictures on www.Trapperman.com . “I got a call on Sunday morning from a FS [Forest Service] cop that I know. You got one up here as there was a crowd forming. Several guys had stopped and taken a shot at him already,” wrote Pinching. The big, black male wolf stood in the trap, some 300-350 yards from the road, wounded—the shots left him surrounded by blood-stained snow. Pinching concluded his first post, “Male that went right at 100 pounds. No rub spots on the hide, and he will make me a good wall hanger.”

(The person in this photograph, Josh Bransford is a federal employee and public servant out of the Red River Ranger District on the Nez Perce National Forest in north-central Idaho. As a taxpayer, you have a right to call the Front Desk and complain about his behavior. Call for his resignation and/or ask that he be suspended without pay for a period of time for his actions 208-842-2245.)

All photographs were taken from Trapperman.com website are being reproduced here under Fair Use“Pinching” with the wolf he trapped that he wrote would make him “a good wall hanger.”
The Trapperman website went wild with comments. “That’s a dandy!! Keep at it,” wrote Watarrat. Otterman asked, “All the gray on that muzzle make a guy wonder how old he is or if it is just part of his black coloring.” Pinching’s picture of the wolf’s paw caught in the trap got special attention. “Is that the MB750 stamped ‘wolf’ on the pan?” asked one man. “Looks to be a perfect pad catch. Congratulations! Pinching confirmed the trap model and commented, “Oh an [sic] by the way, a wolf is a heck of a lot of work to put on a stretcher! Man those things hold on to their hide like no other!”

By late March some 117 Idaho wolves had been killed in traps and snares, and another 251 shot. Montana saw 166 killed, for a total of 534 wolves out of an estimated 1150 in the two states. Although Montana’s season ended in February, Idaho is not quite done. Both states have announced plans for increased hunting in the 2012-2013, and discussions are underway among hunting groups and state officials to allow private donations to establish wolf bounties.

Wolf’s paw in trap.
As recently as the spring of 2011, gray wolves in the Northern Rockies received protection from he Endangered Species Act. But in April, 2011 Congress passed a rider on a federal appropriations bill removing them. Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester, facing a 2012 challenge from Republican Congressman Danny Rehberg, wanted to show Democrats hated wolves just as much as Republicans. Conservation groups filed suit in Montana’s federal district court, claiming the delisting represented an unconstitutional infringement by Congress on the judicial branch while it deliberated an ongoing lawsuit over federal wolf protection.
Losing in district court, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Cascadia Wildlands appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit. On March 14, the appeals court rejected their arguments, upholding the Congressional wolf delisting as a lawful amendment. This decision might well mark the endpoint for the conservation movement’s decades-long fundamental strategy of litigating in federal courts to promote wolf recovery in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

A hunter and his dead prey.
Thus wolves, demonized by the far-right in the Rockies as disease-ridden monsters and icons of the federal government (see my Summer 2011 Journal story, “Cry Wolf”), now face a brutal campaign to radically reduce their numbers so far that extermination can not be ruled out. Idaho’s Governor Butch Otter declared in a March 25 news conference that his state faced a “disaster emergency” from wolves. “We don’t want them here.”
Skirmishing on the web escalates. Footloose Montana, an anti-trapping group, posted the trapped wolf’s pictures on its website, drawing over a 1,000 comments within days. Word spread. Nabeki, founder of Howling for Justice, opined that “This wolf will be the face of the cruelty and ugliness that is the Idaho hunt…Our forests are hiding acts of unspeakable horrors that are being perpetuated on innocent animals.” Protesters called Idaho and Montana tourist bureaus, demanding the hunts end. By Monday, March 26, Trapperman learned that its photos now circulated offsite. The group’s administrator demanded that Footloose Montana remove the photographs.
Footloose staff and board members also received an anonymous death threat in their email: “I would like to donate [sic] a gun to your childs [sic] head to make sure you can watch it die slowly so I can have my picture taken with it’s [sic] bleeding dying screaming for mercy body. YOU WILL BE THE TARGET NEXT BITCHES!”
FBI agents and Missoula, Montana police received copies of the threat.
Wolf advocates hope that these pictures will go viral, shaming a nation into facing the torture people inflict on animals and the moral and political failures that promote and legitimize it.
—————————————————————————————————
*** FURTHER ACTION / UPDATE – 03/04/2012 ***
ID Forest Service employee and trapper, Josh Bransford, had nothing better to do than to pose in front of a wolf caught in one of his leghold trap – the wolf had already been shot a couple of times while he was helplessly caught in Bransford’s trap! This brutal and callous behavior, particularly when displayed by an agency employee, whose salary we pay, is unacceptable. For more information, scroll down to read John Adams’ article in the Great Falls Tribune. Thank you for your help! Your friends at Footloose Montana
Please voice your opinion about this tragedy and call or send an e-mail today!
Here is some contact information. Please be respectful:
Nez Perce National Forest: Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell (208) 983-7000 / rbrazell@fs.fed.us
Deputy Forest Supervisor Ralph Rau (208) 983-7017 / rerau@fs.fed.us
Fire Management: Bob Lippincott (208) 983-4066 / blippincott@fs.fed.us
Public Affairs: Laura Smith (208) 983-5143 / lasmith@fs.fed.us
Idaho Fish and Game: Director Virgil Moore: virgil.moore@idfg.idaho.gov
Idaho Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore: (208) 334-3771.
Please sign this petition, which will be sent to:
USDA Office of Ethics Forestry Ethics Branch(Lorraine (Rainee) Luciano, Branch Chief Agency: U.S. Forest Service) and UDSA Forest Service Chief(Tom Tidwell)

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-torture-of-wolves-in-our-forests

Photos of live, trapped wolf prompt threats to Missoula-based group
A photo downloaded from an online trapping forum shows an Idaho trapper posing in front of a wolf that was caught in a foot-hold trap and then allegedly shot at by bystanders. Missoula-based anti-trapping group members say they received death threats after posting the photo on their Facebook page. PHOTO COURTESY EARTH ISLAND JOURNAL.
HELENA — A Missoula-based anti-trapping organization said it received a threatening email this month after the group posted graphic photos on the Internet of a live Idaho wolf caught in a foot-hold trap.
Anja Heister, executive director of Footloose Montana, on March 22 posted a series of photos gleaned from an online trapping forum called Trapperman.com on her personal and Footloose Montana Facebook sites.
Heister said she opened Footloose Montana’s email inbox on Monday and found what she believed to be a death threat directed at family members of the organization:
“I would like to donate (sic) a gun to your childs (sic) head to make sure you can watch it die slowly so I can have my picture taken with it’s (sic) bleeding dying screaming for mercy body. YOU WILL BE THE TARGET NEXT BITCHES!” the message read.
Heister said the email was in response to the group posting photos of a northern Idaho trapper’s March 18 wolf kill, which was detailed on the online trapping forum.
The photos show trapper Josh Bransford, a fire management officer for the Nez Perce National Forest, kneeling and smiling for the camera as a wolf he caught in a foot-hold trap stands behind him in a ring of blood-soaked snow. Another photo shows a close-up of the wolf’s paw caught in the trap. A third photo shows the trapper posing with his catch.
Heister said Footloose Montana, which is actively campaigning to ban trapping in Montana, has received plenty of hostile emails and phone calls since 2007 but never anything that rose to this level.
“It has a cumulative effect on your psyche,” Heister said. “I’m not easily scared, but when I read this I got really concerned.”
Heister said she reported the threatening email to local and federal law enforcement officials. Missoula Police Sgt. Travis Welch confirmed the department received the report of the malicious email and that it was assigned to an investigator, but he declined to comment further.
In an online blog on Earth Island Journal’s website, writer James William Gibson recounted what Bransford — who goes by the handle “Pinching” — wrote about the photos. Bransford’s post has since been removed.
“I got a call on Sunday morning from a FS (Forest Service) cop that I know. You got one up here,” the post said, and then continued, “there was a crowd forming. Several guys had stopped and taken a shot at him already,” the post read, according to Gibson.
According to Bransford the wolf was a 100-pound male with “no rub spots” making an “good wall hanger.”
Bransford did not return calls or emails seeking comment Thursday.
As of late Thursday the photos posted on Footloose Montana’s Facebook page had received nearly 900 comments. Online commenters on both the Earth Island Journal and the Footloose Montana Facebook page expressed outrage over the photos. Many viewers were angry Bransford posed for a portrait with the wounded wolf before killing it.
Dave Linkhart, spokesman for the National Trappers Association, said there’s nothing wrong with a trapper posing with his catch before killing the animal.
“You pose with a successful catch just like you do with a successful hunt,” Linkhart said. “People make the problem of attributing human feelings and emotions to these animals.”
Linkhart claimed trapped animals don’t suffer, so taking the time to shoot a photograph does not cross ethical boundaries.
“If you look at the trap — across the pad of the foot like that — if you were to release the animal it would walk away like nothing happened,” Linkhart said.

 

Editor: Here’s what my former professor had to say about this (and Linkhart’s ridiculous comment above):
Marc Bekoff is a former professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder and fellow of the Animal Behavior Society who has studied the social behavior of wolves and coyotes, among other animals.
“That wolf was suffering immeasurably. Not only physically by having his foot locked in a trap, but also being shot at,” said Bekoff, the author of several books on animal psychology and emotion. “This was not hunting. This was having an animal having its foot smashed in trap and then shooting at it with bullets. This wolf was tortured.”
Linkhart said if the wolf was shot at, that isn’t the trapper’s fault.
“Somebody else came up there and shot that animal first. That is illegal. What the trapper has done here is not,” Linkhart said. “The problem was not the trap. It was the illegal activity of the hunters who shot at that wolf.”
Reach Tribune Capital Bureau Chief John S. Adams at 442-9493, or jadams@greatfallstribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @TribLowdown.

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20120330/NEWS01/203300316/Photos-live-trapped-wolf-prompt-threats-Missoula-based-grou

Editor: I have spoken with Bransford’s USFS Supervisor Ralph Rau.  The concern I expressed has not to do with the legality of trapping the animal but with Bransford’s failure to adhere to ethical trapping practices when he arrived at the trap site.  These call for the immediate and “humane” dispatch of the trapped animal.  I fail to see how posing for a photo opportunity complies with these guidelines.  I’d like Linkhart to explain how it does?  Further, contrary to what Linkhart says, hunters pose with their kills post-mortem.  Why couldn’t bransford have made the least attempt to minimize the massive suffering of this animal?  It is on these grounds that I am requesting that he lose his hunting and trapping privileges and also be subject to prosecution for cruelty to animals.  If you share my views, please contact those people listed above and express your concerns about the actions of a federal employee and how he is treating animals.

 

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164 Responses to More on Wolf Killer and ID Forest Service Employee Josh Bransford: Another Modern Monster

  1. Brendon Ash says:

    How do you think the wolves that have been transplanted to Idaho got onto the plains to be transported? They were trapped by the same means that Josh used, shot by a trank gun collared a small dna sample taken after being muzzled loaded into a crate taken from there pack and everything that was familiar to them flown south 1000 miles with no hope of ever returning to there pack our home range released into unfamiliar terrain and all for an experiment to see if the animal could survive . That to me must have been a horrific experience. If you so called wolf advocates cared about the wolf you should have left them with there pack instead of hiring a trapper to catch and relocate them.Further if you would like to save them start by shooting the collard wolves for it is by telemetry that the usda is able to find the pack and arial gun them without the collared wolf the simply could not afford to just fly around and try to find them they would go broke . It cost $50000.00 dollars to kill 14 wolves in Lolo zone just 2 years ago and that was with the aid of radio collars Just last month they spent $300000.00 to kill 23 more in the same area. Without the collars on the wolves they would be fling blind. By the way they trap the wolves using the exact trap that Josh used to collar the wolves and then release them unharmed. I know I have trapped and collared them for this I do not hate wolves but admire them. My last dog was a hi bred named coda but she was shot by a hunter last April. But people make the mistake of thinking that how she acted is how a wild wolf would act and that scares me I would never let my children around a wild animal let alone a apex predator like a wolf and when i see the pictures on your sights of kids and adults hugging there wolf dogs making a point to show the public how cute and safe wolves are it makes me sick. Wild wolves are a apex predator capable of taking down an adult Yukon moose not a cute puppy you walk in the park.

  2. Bernice says:

    This is done a while back,but it still saddens me. I’m a teenager who had the privelage of seeing these beautiful animals only on tv. Do you feel like a big strong man? Killing an helpless animal and has the guts to smile at the camera. When you kill the animal with your bare hands,without weapons,then you can plaster that savage smile of yours on your face and feel proud!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You are sick, I cannot believe how you can kill those beautiful creatures. Wolves are beautiful majestic creatures. You are so ignorant and stupid, go die in a fire!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I cannot beleive you would do this! Wolves are beautiful and majestic and don’t deserve to die unless they are in pain. You are an ignorant, stupid fool! GO DIE IN A FIRE! LONG LIVE THE WOLVES!

  5. Bailey says:

    I am going to beat your frek’n BUTT! You are a sick, ignorant FOOL, and I loath you! I love wolves! GO DIE IN A FIRE YOU IDIOT!

  6. Bailey says:

    I also agree with Bernice…

  7. Amanda says:

    He may feel important but he actually has miniature genitalia which is the reason for his rage against the world. Josh Bransford, a sad pathetic little excuse of a human. It’s probably ok because I read that genetic malformations of male genitalia result in eventual brain tumors as a result of lowered endocrine output and the development of carcinogenic growth in proximity to gonadal tissue, in other words, ball cancer. Sorry Josh.

  8. Murderface says:

    All yall sayin he a bad guy. He a guy that proudly killed a wolf, and yeahh it wasnt no hand to hand combatt but i gurantee none of you could even walk close to a wolf… Dead or alive. Yall bitchen bout this n imagin how he feel reedin all yallz crybaby shit, he probly feelzlike yall will wen you find yo hippy ass shit on google labled “hippys bitchin’… Again”.

  9. Katie Overman says:

    Jerk I hope he reads all these peoples pots and I hope someone does something about this horrific act of cowardice behavior!!

  10. Rich says:

    Manifest Destiny all over again. I can’t stand it when politicians make choices based on emotions and what they perceive is popular opinion. (More people are injured or killed by bee and dog attacks than by wolves and other predators combined.) To allow hunting of an animal that was listed as being endangered is backward. I don’t mind hunting, but I only for food purposes. This man, posting a picture of himself with a suffering animal in the background, is pathetic. No respect.

  11. admin says:

    Speak for yourself “Murderface”. I’ve spent 30 of the last 46 years with my hands on wolves nearly every day.

  12. admin says:

    Brendon apologies for the belated reply. I appreciate your sensible remarks here but beg to differ on a few key points:

    The make and model of the trap Josh used may be the same as some state agencies use. I can verify that with Carter Niemeyer who is considered one of the most experienced modern day wolf trappers on the planet. Just two weeks ago I was with Russ Morgan, who heads the OR dept of Fish and Wildlife’s wolf program. He actually had one of the traps they use for capture and collaring animals in Oregon, including OR7. I verified with him the key differences that you have failed to mention:

    – ODFW and other state federal agencies use padded traps to minimize damage – Josh did not
    – ODFW and other state and federal use a greater jaw offset than “kill trappers use” because they care very much that the animal is not in the least injured by the trap
    – They check their traps multiple times and day to be sure to immediately find, sedate, collar, evaluate and release the animals as well as to avoid injuring or killing non-targeted animals that have been captured – in Idaho, the trap check times and are an incredibly inhumane 72 hours and there’s no effective way to police this so many animals are left to suffer and die over much greater periods – Josh was trapping on his time away from work (as per documents associated with the case) and this makes it highly, highly unlikely that this animal was quickly discovered and dispatched.
    – As stated above, professional biologists immediately take action to reduce trauma to the animal. In their case this means quick sedation. The trapping guidelines specifically state that animals must be dispatched quickly and humanely or released. I hardly think posing for his grotesque, ghoulish, grinning-idiot photos qualifies, and it’s why this story nearly made the national media.

    Speaking of the reintroduction, I was very well informed about the reintroduction efforts because I was a student of one of the top Wildlife ecologists before the process began, and frankly I disagreed with it for a very simple reason: wolves were already recovering naturally. There is strong evidence from top biologists that wolves had been seen as far south as the Colorado Rockies years before the recovery efforts. The reintroduction was not – as you say, an experiment to see if the animals would survive their, but a complex political and scientific decision meant to deal with the impending arrival of wolves.

    What many people and you seem to be included in this group, fail to understand how the reintroduction has been better for ranchers and hunters than almost any other solution than the complete dismantling of state and federal endangered species protections. Section 10J of the Endangered Species Act refers to wolves as “experimental, non-essential”. This clause was provided to give USFWS broader management tools to deal with the wolf issues they knew were likely to follow. Had the wolves recovered naturally they would not have been given the 10J designation and things such as lethal removal of habitual depredators would have been much more difficult for ranchers to obtain.

    Further, it is only thanks to wildlife advocates and the reintroduction effort that ranchers had originally been entitled to compensation for documented wolf-related losses. Defenders of wildlife has paid out nearly $1.4 million in claims between the years of 1987 and and 2009 that the program was in effect. It was subsequently terminated when states began managing their wolf populations and the state’s took over compensation (that incidentally was not NEARLY as generous as the “Wolf-Lover’s” Defenders Compensation Trust had been).

    By the way did you notice the date when they started paying claims? 1987! Almost a decade before we released a single wolf into the Sawtooth or YNP!

    Of course the telemetry is used to know where the wolves are and of course it’s a double edged sword. The collars betray the locations of the packs, and this can unfortunately be used for lethal removal. However, because we can have a good idea where many of the wolves are, we can also prove that particular wolves did not perform acts of depredation. Given that the number of wolf related depredation events are actually incredibly rare it may actually be in the best interest of most wolves to have documentary evidence that they weren’t in the area when stock was killed or found dead and decomposed/scavenged.

    I agree with you about wolves, wolf dogs and kids. Wolves are some of the most powerful predators on earth and they should be respected for these capabilities. I advocate that people treat all large canines regardless if they are domesticated breeds or not as if they are loaded guns when around children. You may believe that nothing can go wrong but when things do the consequences can be horrific.

    Incidentally, I have had wolves and done wolf-related education for much of the past 30 years and I am well versed in the animal. I know exactly what they are capable of doing as I have been attacked myself (http://www.quora.com/Animal-Behavior-Ethology/Would-a-lone-adult-wolf-be-able-to-take-down-an-unarmed-athletic-adult-human/answer/Oliver-Starr) by the only wild-caught wolf I have ever owned.

    In short, I appreciate your intelligent commentary and while I suppose we deeply disagree on the humanity of trapping we do see eye to eye on some things. I hope you’ll further investigate the information I provided so you can see that not all of us that advocate for wolves are so poorly informed about the science, the politics or the biology of the animals.

    Incidentally – since many anti-wolf folks try to marginalize pro-wolf people by saying they don’t live in wolf country or don’t know about ranching or about wolves, my family had the second largest cattle operation to Monfort in Colorado up through the mid seventies. At times we had 10′s of thousands of head of cattle. I spent a good chunk of my childhood and even into my twenties traveling with my granddad through the NRM as he traded cattle and worked his allotments and then helping wind down the operation after his death.

  13. Laurie Fenner says:

    The difference between an animal and a human being is an animal is INCAPABLE of APPRECIATION. Incidentally, Josh is not only a far less interesting, but also a FAR less attractive animal than the one he’s torturing in that picture.

  14. riparianfrstlvr says:

    I live where we have livestock and wolves do kill sheep, beef, even a horse was in the news. when the wolf kills a sheep or beef, they only eat a little, then they kill another and only eat a little, and kill another… because beef and sheep are full of artificial food and hormones and antibiotics and taste like crap. Wolves will kill wild game too, they cull the herds of the sick, lame and lazy. It is man that kills the biggest buck, biggest bull with the biggest “rack” for their rec-room wall. that is what is screwing up the health of wild and domestic herd animals. And look what man has done to the descendant of the wolf, the dog. the English bull dog exists only due to artificial insemination and c-section. the pug and hairless chihuahua are another example of the hand of man screwing everything up.

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