Cowboys take in a gray wolf on “Round Up” in Wyoming. 1887 photograph by John Grabill.
Is it the wild west all over again? Wolf hating fever seems to be on the rise, AGAIN. Over 25,000 wolf tags were sold in Montana and Idaho for a chance to kill 295 wolves in the two states. Those are scary numbers. Call it trophy hunting, blood lust, a political statement or sticking it to the conservationists, the wolf has become a political football. It’s all about who’s in charge in the West, it’s all about control.
“Approximately 100,000 hunters are expected to spread across public and private lands in the state to go after elk, deer, and the new addition of wolves. As a result local hunting supply stores saw some big lines over the weekend.
Officials say the elk and deer populations in the area remain strong, and there will be plenty of game available to go around.”
Yet hunters continue to repeat the same tired old line, “wolves are killing all the elk” when that claim has been de-bunked, by none other then the Rocky Mountain Elk foundation, certainly no friend to the wolf. According to the RMEF, elk numbers are higher then they were twenty five years ago, yet you wouldn’t know it by all the complaining.
Likewise rancher’s are ” crying wolf” stating wolves are killing all their livestock but 2006 figures, from the USDA themselves, state wolves killed a total of only 4400 cattle nationally compared to DOMESTIC DOGS, which killed over 21,900 cows and coyotes 97,000. Even so, that’s only a tiny percentage of cattle deaths, 0.18%.
“In comparison, livestock producers lost 3.9 million head of cattle (3.69%) to all sorts of maladies, weather, or theft, respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving, unknown, other, disease, lameness, metabolic problems, poison (USDA, 2006)”
But the same tired rhetoric is repeated over and over. Also not taken into consideration is the tremendous pressure wolves are under from Wildlife Services, who kill hundreds of gray wolves annually for livestock depredation, even though wolves kill very few livestock compared to other factors.
It’s time for new voices to be heard. You would think only ranchers, outfitters and hunters live in the West. They seem to be the only voices that are listened to, maybe because they’re making the most noise. It’s time wolf advocates voices are heard. This statement can’t be repeated enough.
“If the wolf is to survive, the wolf haters must be outnumbered. They must be outshouted, out financed, and out voted. Their narrow and biased attitude must be outweighed by an attitude based on an understanding of natural processes.” -L. David Mech
WAKE UP WOLF SUPPORTERS!!
Please click on the link below to Defenders of Wildlife’s website, which states:
“Please sign our petition to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, urging him to withdraw his flawed delisting rule that prematurely removed vital protections for wolves in the northern Rockies region — before a lasting wolf recovery slips from our grasp.”
Wolves in hunters’ sights as Montana big-game season opens
The general big-game season opens in Montana on Sunday and wolves across the state will be one of the species targeted. This adult male is from the Superior pack along the lower Clark Fork River west of Missoula. Photo by Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Categories posted in: Montana wolf hunt, Idaho wolf hunt, wolf myths, wolf wars, wolves under fire
Tags: Montana wolf hunt, wolf myths, wolf intolerance, ken salazar delists wolves