You may not know this, but I don’t find much wrong with hunting. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for the majority of my life and have numerous friends and family that are avid hunters. I believe in the 2nd Amendment, and thoroughly enjoy the taste of wild game. I believe the animal shot should still be respected, and every attempt should be made to consume the animal. I also believe that animals that are predators should only be hunter if they are proven to be a legitimate threat.
All that being aside, I am against the hunting of Wolves. Living near Wolf Haven, and having friends who are biologists has given me the chance to become educated on the reintroduction of wolves. Reintroducing wolves has been filled with controversy, but returning a near extinct animal to its natural habitat is the very least we can do. Wolves are great hunters and help control populations of other animals, making elk, deer and bison that much healthier in the long run.
Sure, a wolf may occasionally kill a calf or a cow, maybe even a goat or sheep. I get that. I also understand that ranchers and farmers aren’t making a lot of money and losing livestock makes life harder for them. This killing of livestock has put the US Fish and Game against the wolves and on the side of ranchers. While understandable, the actions of both the ranchers and the US Fish and Game are horrid, ugly and inexcusable.
In September of 2012, one man in Eastern Washington complained of a few calves being killed by wolves. He threaten to kill the wolves unless the Government did something about it. (Ironically, this man also believes in small government) He gathered his rancher friends from around the state to get in touch with their congress people and demand action. Because of this one man, an entire wolf pack was murdered, killed from a helicopter by so called sharp shooters. The Wedge Pack near Spokane was easily found, thanks to a GPS collar on the Alpha male and shot from the air for killing a few cows.
(A few Cattle for a pack of Wolves? Sounds Fair…. Long live the Wedge Pack http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/28/14139127-wolf-pack-that-killed-cattle-taken-out-by-sharpshooters?lite)
You may think this is well deserved. You may agree with the hunting and killing of all wolves, but I personally do not agree with this. I do not say that wolves should not be hunted and controlled in numbers. Obviously, if there are too many wolves and they grow away from their food source, they will start killing livestock. I strongly believe in game management. However, I do not believe that wild animals are ever going to be able to live next to humans without a few instances of death to live stock. I have heard of Bull Elk killing dogs, bears entering chicken coops and even raccoons chasing and attacking runners in parks (http://www.king5.com/news/local/Seattle-woman-spends-four-days-in-hospital-after-raccoon-attack-69574342.html). Wild animals are wild, but typically stick to themselves.
However, some people have taken this a step further. They believe wolves should be killed so humans can be safe. Movies have been mad about this, stories have been written and fear has been spread. Wolves have been targeted as evil for thousands of years as a threat to our safety. Not just animal safety, but our own. In the entire history of settlement of North America there have been 68 documented cases of wolf attacks on people. 68 total real cases and that is according to Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_humans) This is laughable for one reason alone. Just search Google for “Elk attacks on Humans” and tell me what you find. Elk attack more people per year than wolves have in the last 300 years in America. Why are we not killing all elk and writing stories about their devious deeds?
I guess I have reached the point of snapping as of late because of the news from outside of Yellowstone National Park. Hunting wolves has been made legal, and while I have stated I agree with hunting, I disagree with the hunters in this instance. Instead of taking any wolf, they are passing up shots of wolves whose pelts could net them almost $2000 and aiming for the ones who have GPS radio trackers on them. These collars actually destroy the pelt; making is useless for selling or stuffing the wolf. This isn’t a hunt. This is a war on wolves from uneducated rednecks who don’t understand nature. My friends who hunt disagree with this, as I hope you do as well. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/science/earth/famous-wolf-is-killed-outside-yellowstone.html)
Because of the most recent hunt in Washington and Wyoming, wolves that have become world famous have now been brutally shot by fear mongers hillbillies. I know my words are rough, but having seen these beautiful creatures just one month before their death, I feel connected to them, as I feel connected to nature everywhere.
Please comment and tell me why you agree with me or hate me. Also, no matter what you believe, contact your Congressman, both federally and locally. DO IT! (http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml)