Wolf Advocates…Play Offense not Defense

October  28,2014

I’ve been going through my archives looking for timely pieces to repost.

This is just as relevant today as it was in 2010, maybe more, considering the challenges wolves and wolf advocates face are so much greater!

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Feb 16, 2010

When gray wolves are discussed the inevitable dialog commences concerning their effect on ungulates or livestock, which puts wolf advocates perpetually on defense. We feel compelled to defend the wolf.  Many of the posts on this blog are in defensive mode. Wolves are continually portrayed in a bad light, so I feel obligated to defend them, it’s a natural reaction.

I’m an avid football fan and I know a great defense is the backbone of any team but the best defense is a good offense.  If we’re constantly talking about deer, elk and livestock then we’re not talking about wolves.  I believe this is the strategy of the anti wolf-crowd, to take the focus off wolf issues. It’s a tactic as old as time and it works.  If you want to deflect attention from an issue, change the subject.

I challenge wolf advocates to stop playing defense.  The motives that drive wolf persecution are political and cultural.  It’s not about livestock depredation, elk numbers or “wolf management.”

From Wolves A Cosmopolitan World View:

“Wolves (have) persisted quite well alongside humanity for over a hundred thousand years, all without the “benefit” of wildlife management. It should be clear, then, that humanity’s troubled relationship with wolves has little to do with sound science in the sense of empirical data, quantitative models, or management techniques. Instead, our trouble with wolves is a deeply rooted ethical conflict over whether to coexist with wolves and other large predators. Resolving this conflict is a question of values, not facts and wolf recovery depends on a culture of tolerance for other life forms and their ways-of-life, not a science of wildlife management.”

As for elk and deer, wolves have been coexisting with their prey for thousands of years without the need to be managed.  The elk owes it’s fleetness of foot to the wolf.  It wasn’t until Europeans set foot on this continent that the wolf suddenly became the enemy.  Europe had purged itself of most large carnivores. European farmers and ranchers transplanted that idea to America and the war against the wolf began, almost four hundred years ago. The last hundred years included an aggressive poisoning, trapping and shooting campaign led by the federal government.  Not only were wolves mercilessly killed but other predators and animals were targeted. It’s believed more than two million wolves were eradicated from the lower forty-eight, that’s a grim figure.

To learn more about the extermination of wolves in the West and to understand the mindset that believed any wildlife that couldn’t be controlled should be eliminated, I recommend reading Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and The Transformation of the West, by Michael Robinson.

In a Nova Online interview, given ten years ago, Ed Bangs (Wolf Recovery Coordinator, US Fish and Wildlife Service) put it this way:

“Well, we deliberately got rid of them, as a society. A hundred years ago, our society placed very low value on all wildlife. We got rid of all the deer, the elk, the bison, the turkeys, you know, everything, in deference to other social objectives, primarily agriculture and settlement. And you can imagine being a grizzly bear or a black bear or a wolf or a coyote—when there was nothing else to eat but livestock, that’s what you ate.  As a consequence settlers really hated wolves, grizzly bears and other predatory animals and they deliberately tried to get rid of them all. The federal government actually sent out trappers who spent years hunting down the last wolf and killing it. The last wolves were actually killed by the U.S. Biological Survey, which is the agency that transformed itself into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that is now responsible for wolf restoration!” 

He goes on to describe how wolves were killed:

Poison, and a lot of them were shot. The dens were found, the pups were hit over the head. And then the adults were shot around the den. But poison is probably what did away with most of the wolves. The old stories go that there wasn’t a cowboy in the west worth his salt that wouldn’t see a carcass and lace it with strychnine in the attempt to kill everything, I mean the foxes, the coyotes, the eagles, the wolves, the bears, everything. And this poisoning campaign, surprisingly, went on until the ’70s. There were poison baits placed throughout the western United States—even on public lands by federal agencies.”

This mindset is still prevalent today, especially in the West.  Many people holding these views occupy political office, populate state game agencies and have the power to make life and death decisions concerning wolves and other predators.  Even though wildlife belongs to all Americans, elected officials and bureaucrats who are grounded in outdated, arcane thinking,  exert tremendous control over wildlife “management”.  Think of  Wildlife Services and the damage they do every year. Yet they continue to operate with abandon.

Did you ever wonder if wolves are blamed for livestock kills committed by another predator, their very close cousins, the dog?  There was a recent study done in Basque that addressed this issue:

“Two researchers of the Euskadi Wolf Group at the Doñana Biological Station” examined the feces of wild wolves and dogs, which were identified by their DNA and examined the contents of their scat.  Their findings:

When compared the remains of prey identified in both wolf and dog feces, they saw each feces contained only a single prey item. Among the prey items identified in 30 wolf feces (the remains in one wolf fecal sample were unknown), 22 contained wild prey (17 roe deer, three wild boar, one Eurasian badger and one European hare) and eight contained domestic animals (four horses, three cattle and one sheep). Wild species represented 73% of all prey identified in wolf feces and sheep only 3%.

Of the 39 prey items they be able to identify in dog feces, 14 (36%) contained remains of sheep and seven (18%) contained remains of either horses or cattle. Domestic animals represented 54% of all prey identified in dog feces.

When suspected wolf livestock kills are reported, do you believe after reading the Basque study, that “wildlife managers”  sometimes get it wrong? That wolves may be blamed for more than they actually kill?  Or wolves may show up after a kill is made by another predator and be blamed for it?  This happened to the Mexican gray wolves that were under death warrants if they killed more than three livestock per year, even though cattle made up just 4% of their diet.  The three strikes rule was rescinded last year but before SOP 13 (Standard Operating procedure) was rejected, endangered Mexican gray wolves were eliminated for feeding on dead cows even if the cows died of natural causes.  The ranchers were not removing dead carcasses, even though it’s their responsiblity to do so as tenants on public land. The outrageous fact is the Mexican gray wolves Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area is all public land. The wolves should have dominion here, not ranchers, who are leasing the land.  That land belongs to the American people, yet we have zero input on what happens to the animals that inhabit it.

The Mexican wolves now number just 42 animals, down from 52 wolves counted at the end of 2008. Two Mexican wolves were conclusively shot and the remainder of the deaths are being investigated but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the dead wolves, including four pups, were probably killed by poachers.

The reason I bring up the Basque study and Mexican wolves is they provide two examples of wolves blamed for livestock deaths they may not have committed.  It’s akin to the half-truths and outright lies that are repeated about wolves decimating elk.  The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation declared elk numbers not only stable but rising in 23 states, in their 2009 Spring press release. The elk population grew 44% from 1984 to 2009 yet  I’ve actually had hunters write to me asking where I get my numbers on elk, when it’s their own RMEF stats.  Unbelievable but it shows what happens when people want to believe myths about wolves.  Which brings me back to taking the offense when it comes to wolves. Don’t be sucked into endless discussions about ranching and elk.  Wolves need our help. If we waste our time engaging in counter productive arguments defending wolves against rumor and myth,  then the anti wolf crowd has won.  They want to change the subject.  They want to talk about anything but wolves.

Our goal,  as I see it, is to emphasize the positives. Wolves and all apex predators improve the health of our ecosystems.  We can point out the admirable qualities wolves possess,  that we can all aspire to.  To quote Ed Bangs once more:

“A wolf’s territory represents the place where their family lives and where they’re safe. If you’re in your pack’s territory, you have a family to help defend you, to care for you, to share food with you. Wolves are the parents, the mothers, the fathers, the brothers and sisters that we always hoped we could be. I mean there’s extreme loyalty among family members, it’s everything to them.”

This is what the world needs to know about wolves.

You won’t see negative comments or arguments about wolves on this blog. I’m not going to perpetuate the same tired dogma that’s been ingrained in the thinking of so many people who should know better. If we can stand against the rumors, myths and prejudice that haunt wolves to this day, we can truly make a difference for them and other top line predators.

Let’s stop playing defense by allowing wolf haters to control the tone and content of the conversation. It  doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work to dispel rumors but more of our time could be wisely spent devoted to helping wolves achieve the peace they deserve by spreading the word about the good qualities they possess.

It’s a tough job battling hundreds of years of persecution.  Even our language is rife with “bad wolf karma”  that we may not be aware of.  Phrases such as “Thrown to the wolves”,  “Wolves at the door” or “The Big, Bad Wolf”, imparts the idea that wolves are menacing and bad.  Or the way in which wolves are portrayed  in movies and literature.  Werewolves are almost always evil,  the idea of a human (usually a man) transformed into a wolf,  that kills humans with abandon, conveys the belief wolves are inherently evil, which is so far from the truth.

Wolf advocates it’s time for us to play offense and keep the conversation centered on wolf issues and their welfare. Education is the key, especially for young people,  so they don’t grow up believing the same lies and half-truths many seem to hold so dearly.  Maybe it’s time to write new fairy tales about wolves, instead of the “The Big Bad Wolf” eating grandma.  How about wolves saved aspen and willow trees?  Or having wolves on the landscape helps the Pronghorn antelope fawns?

We are their voice, wolves can’t speak for themselves, so it’s our job to speak for them.   Speak out for wolves and you control the conversation.

Remember:

“Perhaps it was the eyes of the wolf, measured, calm, knowing.
Perhaps it was the intense sense of family.
After all, wolves mate for life, are loyal partners, create hunting communities
and demonstrate affectionate patience in pup rearing.
Perhaps it was the rigid hierarchy of the packs.
Each wolf had a place in the whole and yet retained his individual personality.
Perhaps it was their great, romping, ridiculous sense of fun.
Perhaps it was some celestial link with the winter night skies
that prompted the wolf to lay his song on the icy air.
For the native people who lived with the wolves,
and the wolves once ranged from the Arctic to the sub-tropics,
there was much to learn from them.
Is it any wonder that the myths of many tribes characterise the wolves
not as killers but as teachers?”
~ Unknown

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 Wolf Photo: Courtesy SigmaEye Flickr

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, biodiversity,  Howling For Justice

Tags:  canis lupus, play offense not defense, wolf research, Mexican gray wolves, wolves or livestock

Gray Wolves in the Crosshairs

Mt_Emily_male_wolf_brown_odfw

Mt. Emily male wolf/odfw

September 9, 2014

Howling for Justice turns five on September 16 and “Gray Wolves In The Crosshairs” was my first post.

It’s hard to believe all that’s happened  to wolves in the past  five years, much of it bad. We had such high hopes of prevailing in the courts, because we were winning! After the initial delisting in the Spring of 2009 and sadly losing 500 wolves the first year, Judge Molloy relisted wolves on August 5, 2010. But the victory was short-lived, the anti-wolf forces knew they were losing so they turned to Congress to trump the ESA and delist wolves. And Congress listened.  In the Spring of 2011 the US Senate  betrayed wolves. Apparently they valued holding onto their Senate majority more than the lives of wolves. The wolf delisting rider, attached to a must pass budget bill, will forever live in infamy as a part of each Senator’s legacy who voted yes.

For the next few days I’ll be revisiting my earlier posts, written in 2009, to take us back five years and help us remember what a hard-fought battle we’ve waged for wolves.  Just remember, wolf blood continues to flow, as another year of hunting wolves spans six states. Even wolves who remain “protected” are not safe, as the accidentally/on purpose killing of  Washington’s  Huckleberry Pack alpha female clearly shows.  That’s why we cannot stop fighting for wolves!

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabeki

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Gray Wolves In The Crosshairs

gray wolf in snow wallpaper

September 16, 2009

The gray wolf stands at a crossroads in the lower 48.  Stripped of their Endangered Species status by the Obama administration, they are left unprotected from the guns in Montana and Idaho. The first federally sanctioned wolf hunts in the Continental US are taking place as I write this.  Thanks Ken Salazar for allowing the de-listing of wolves to stand.  I thought a Democratic administration would be different, apparently it’s business as usual in wolf country.

Idaho’s hunt started on September 1st, with a quota of 220 wolves from a population of 875.  That’s one-fourth of Idaho’s wolves.  Montana’s hunt began Sept 15, 75 wolves are slated for execution. How did it come to this?

The purpose of this blog is to explore that question and try to understand why this magnificent apex predator is so misunderstood and hated, merely because they exist. I welcome your comments and opinions wolf lovers.

Meanwhile a federal judge in Missoula, Montana holds the fate of gray wolves in his hands. Thirteen environmental groups filed a lawsuit opposing the de-listing and asked Judge Molloy to grant an injunction to stop the wolf hunts, while the lawsuit was pending.

The judge issued a partial ruling on September 8th denying the injunction to stop the hunts but stated the plaintiffs opposing the de-listing were likely to prevail on the merits of the case. Small comfort for the wolf as it’s being hunted. Male, female wolves and pups of the year can be taken. Yes, apparently it’s OK to hunt PUPPIES!!

The war against wolves continues unabated.

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Photo: wolf wallpaper

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Howling for Justice

Tags: gray wolf/canis lupus, Montana wolves, Idaho wolves, wolf intolerance, wolf myths

Gunning For Four Wolf Packs In Montana….What About The Pups?

August 1, 2014

This was first posted in 2010. Wildlife Services continued to kill wolves even though 500 wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009,  due to the first wolf hunts held in Montana and Idaho after the Obama admin. stripped them of their ESA protections. Along with poaching and Wildlife Services, wolves continued to die in 2010 after the hunts were over. This is just a fraction of the damage Montana and Idaho have inflicted on wolves  over the last five years. Read it and weep, then get active. There’s  a time to write about tragedy and a time to do something about it.  How many more years will I have to report about dead wolves?  It’s burning a hole in my soul.

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May 5, 2010

Wolf killing season continues even though the “legal hunts” are over.

Wildlife Services and Montana FWP are gunning for four wolf packs. The Trapper Peak Pack, Miner Lakes Pack, Bender Pack and any remaining wolves from the Battlefield Pack.

Do any of these packs have pups? It’s pup season and babies are just weeks old, totally dependent on their mothers to survive. Is this how Montana FWP  intends to further reduce the wolf population by wiping out wolf pups when they kill their parents?  The situation is disgusting to say the least. What happens to these pups when their parents are killed. They are BABIES!  Do they leave them for dead, kill them along with the other members of the pack?  When is this going to end?

The Montana Wildlife Services wolf extermination squad continue  to go after wolves for livestock depredation even though wolf predation is a tiny figure in overall cattle deaths. Let’s ask ranchers how many cows they lose to disease, weather, theft and reproductive issues? They don’t want to talk about that because they don’t get reimbursed for cows killed by lighting.

People are outraged by the continued wolf killing. And the ranchers just sit back and let the feds take care of “the problem” for them. Why do Montanans owe the ranchers anything? It’s their cattle. Hire range riders, use electrified fladry, herders, guard dogs, what ever you have to do but why are federal tax dollars being used to kill wolves for agribusiness? It’s a subsidy for ranching  pure and simple.

Yes, Montana Wildlife Services has been very busy and it’s only four months into the 2010.  Read it and weep.

Stats From Montana FWP Weekly Wolf Reports:

Horse Prairie Pack….12/31 and 1/5 two wolves killed,  3/31 WS authorized to remove entire pack, 4/1, WS authorized to remove remaining two wolves,  4/21 collared female killed. (breeding pair at  end of 2009)
 
Miner Lakes Pack 1/8 two wolves killed, 2/15 authorized to remove entire pack.
 
Bender Pack 1/14 one wolf killed, 1/20 one wolf killed, 3/11 WS  gunning for last wolf in this pack
 
Fishtrap Pack 2/8 authorized to remove 1/2 the pack (up to four wolves), 4/22 WS killed wolf NW221F who was the last collared wolf remaining (was breeding pair end of 2009)
 
Camas Prairie Pack 2/4 two  wolves killed, 2/17 one wolf killed, 4/21 one wolf killed, 4/22 killed remaining collared wolf

Candy Mountain Pack 4/1 Authorized to kill two wolves  (breeding pair end of 2009)

Dry Forks Pack 4/6 Removing wolves and collaring wolves, 4/7  one wolf killed, possibly two. (breeding pair end of 2009)

Ninemile Pack 3/23  one wolf shot from helicopter (breeding pair end of 2009)

Silcox Pack 3/ 5 one pup killed (breeding pair end of 2009)

Superior Pack 4/20 two wolves killed, 4/21 alpha male killed which removed the entire pack ( six wolves killed in total)  (was breeding pair end of 2009)

Cedar Creek Pack  4/22 WS services given permission to kill five wolves from this pack, WS has killed three of those wolves

Trapper Peak Pack:  alpha male and another wolf killed 2009,  4/13 (aprox date) yearling  wolf shot by rancher, 4/23 WS authorized to kill entire pack

 3/8 one wolf killed 

3/23 three wolves killed

 4/9 Gunning for entire wolf pack near Wisdom 

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From Ralph Maughin’s Website: From April 22, 2010

March Idaho Wolf Management Progress Report released

April 22, 2010 — Ken Cole 
 28 wolves killed in control since the beginning of the year 

The Idaho Wolf Management Progress Report has been released by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. So far the report says there have been 28 wolves killed for 14 livestock animals taken. This doesn’t make sense when you consider that last month’s depredation numbers were the same as this month’s yet they report that 8 calves were taken and 10 wolves killed this month. Something didn’t get updated properly. 

It also notes that “Additional capture efforts are planned through April.” This is noteworthy since wolves den in April. Does this mean that they have been capturing pregnant females just before denning? Usually ground trapping doesn’t occur when there is a chance of freezing temperatures due to the possibility of injury to the wolves’ feet so presumably capturing refers to aerial darting of wolves.

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This was not the purpose of the reintroduction. 

Nobody envisioned wolves would be continually killed by the state for agribusiness. Why would you reintroduce wolves in the West only to send them down the road to extinction, once again? This is slaughter pure and simple and it’s WRONG.

And again, what about the newly born pups? They are doomed along with their parents!

Wildlife officials target 3 wolf packs for attacks on stock in Big Hole Valley

 By the Associated Press | Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 9:47 pm
 

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_2fb6262e-4f54-11df-85a6-001cc4c03286.html

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State decides to kill Trapper Peak wolf pack

 Ravalli Republic | Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 12:00 am

http://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_436e6a62-57df-11df-8321-001cc4c03286.html

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Bitteroot Wolf Pack To Be Eliminated

Posted: Apr 28, 2010 4:09 PM
By Mark Holyoak

http://www.kpax.com/news/bitterroot-wolf-pack-to-be-eliminated/

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Montana, Idaho and Wyoming Wolf Policies Foreshadow Extinction

The federal authorization for each state to reduce wolves to 100-150 animals puts northern Rockies wolves on a spiral toward extinction.

By Michael J. Robinson, Guest Writer, 4-21-10

 http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/montana_idaho_and_wyoming_wolf_policies_foreshadow_extinction/C559/L559/

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Please write to Carolyn Sime and the rest of the wolf team to express your outrage over the continued killing of wolves for agribusiness:

Carolyn Sime, Helena

Montana Statewide Wolf Coordinator
(406) 444-3242 (work)
(406) 461-0587 (cell)

Click Here To Email Her:

Click Here To Contact Montana Wolf Team:

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Write to Montana’s Office of Tourism and tell them you want Montana to stop killing wolves or you won’t spend tourist dollars in the state:

Montana Office of Tourism

Mailing Address
Montana Office of Tourism
PO Box 200533
Helena MT 59620-0501

Email
mt-webmaster@visitmt.com

Phone/FAX
Phone: 406.841.2870
Fax: 406.841.2871

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Lastly, please stop eating beef!!  It’s a cruel industry and will help save wolves.  Watch Earthlings and Food, Inc. to see how much ranchers care about their cows and sheep.  It will make you sick!

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Helicopter Photo: Courtesy AGRO, James Balog

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Howling For Justice

Tags: wolf pups,  wolf slaughter, wolf persecution, killing wolves for agribusiness

 

The Killing Game by Joy Williams

Dr. Denise Albert was able to remove a snare from around a wolf’s neck and treat the animal with antibiotics. NPS photo

Warning Graphic Photos and Videos

July 16, 2014

This is Joy Williams timeless essay on hunting,  which exposes the brutality of the “sport”. It’s as true today as when she wrote it 24 years ago.

I post this every year or so to remind people what we’re up against and how humans contribute to animal suffering for sport.

I highlighted the paragraphs she devotes to wolves and their reintroduction, which was still years away when this essay was written. Peering into the future she predicted the terrible fate awaiting them.

What killing snares do. Imagine the pain this wolf suffered.

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The Killing Game

by Joy Williams

October  1990, Esquire Magazine

Death and suffering are a big part of hunting.  A big part. Not that you’d ever know it by hearing hunters talk. They tend to downplay the killing part. To kill is to put to death, extinguish, nullify, cancel, destroy. But from the hunter’s point of view, it’s just a tiny part of the experience. The kill is the least important part of the hunt, they often say, or, killing involves only a split second of the innumerable hours we spend surrounded by and observing nature…For the animal, of course, the killing part is of considerable more importance. José Ortega y Gasset,In Meditations on Hunting, wrote, Death is a sign of reality in hunting. One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrarary, one kills in order to have huntedThis is sort of intellectual blather that the “thinking” hunter holds dear. The conservation editor of Field & Stream, George Reiger, recently paraphrased this sentiment by saying, We kill to hunt, and not the other way around, thereby making it truly fatuous. A hunter in West Virginia, one Mr. Bill Neal, blazed through this philosophical fog by explaining why he blows the toes off tree raccoons so that they will fall down and be torn apart by his dogs. That’s the best part of it. It’s not any fun just shooting them.

There is a formula to this in literature—someone the protagonist loves has just died, so he goes out and kills an animal. This makes him feel better. But it’s kind of a sad feeling-better. He gets to relate to Death and Nature in this way. Somewhat. But not really. Death is still a mystery. Well it’s hard to explain. It’s sort of a semireligious thing… Killing and affirming, affirming and killing, it’s just the cross the “good” hunter must bear. The bad hunter just has to deal with postkill letdown.  

Many are the hunter’s specious arguments. Less semi-religious but a long-standing favorite with them is the vegetarian approach: you eat meat, don’t you? If you say no, they feel they’ve got you—you’re just a vegetarian attempting to impose your weird views on others. If you say yes, they accuse you for being hypocritical, of allowing your genial A&P butcher to stand between you and reality. The fact is, the chief attraction of hunting is the pursuit and murder of animals—the meat eating aspect of it is trivial. If the hunter chooses to be ethical about it, he might cook his kill, but the meat of most animals is discarded. Dead bear can even be dangerous! A bear’s heavy hide must be skinned at once to prevent meat spoilage. With effort, a hunter can make okay chili, something to keep in mind, a sports rag says, if you take two skinny spring bears.

As for subsistence hunting, please… Granted that there might be one “good” hunter out there who conducts the kill as spiritual exercise and two others who are atavistic enough to want to supplement their Chicken McNuggets with venison, most hunters hunt for the hell of it.

For hunters, hunting is fun. Recreation is play. Hunting is recreation. Hunters kill for play, for entertainment. They kill for the thrill of it, to make an animal “theirs”. (The Gandhian doctrine of nonpossesion has never been a big hit with hunters.) The animal becomes the property of the hunter by its death. Alive, the beast belongs only to itself. This is unacceptable to the hunter. He’s yours…He’s mine…I decided to…I decided not to…I debated shooting it, then I decided to let it live… Hunters like beautiful creatures. A “beautiful” deer, elk, bear, cougar, bighorn sheep. A “beautiful” goose or mallard. Of course, they don’t stay “beautiful” for long, particularly the birds. Keep shooting till they drop! Hunters get a thrill out of seeing a plummeting bird, out of seeing it crumple and fall. The big pheasant folded in classic fashion. They get a kick out of “collecting” new species. Why not add a unique harlequin duck to your collection? Swan hunting is satisfying. I let loose a three-inch Magnum. The large bird only flinched with my first shot and began to gain altitude. I frantically ejected the round, chambered another, and dropped the swan with my second shot. After retrieving the bird I was amazed by its size. The swan’s six-foot wingspan, huge body, and long neck made it an impressive trophy. Hunters like big animals, trophy animals. A “trophy” usually means that the hunter doesn’t design to eat it. Maybe he skins it or mounts it. Maybe he takes a picture. We took pictures, we took pictures. Maybe he just looks at it for a while. The disposition of the “experience” is up to the hunter. He’s entitled to do whatever he wishes with the damn thing. It’s dead.

Hunters like categories they can tailor to their needs. There are the “good” animals—deer, elk, bear, moose—which are allowed to exist for the hunter’s pleasure. Then there are the “bad” animals, the vermin, varmints, and “nuisance” animals, the rabbits and raccoons and coyotes and beavers and badgers, which are disencouraged to exist. The hunter can have fun killing them, but the pleasure is diminished because the animals aren’t “magnificent”.

Then there are the predators. These can be killed any time, because, hunters argue, they’re predators, for godsakes.

Many people in South Dakota want to exterminate the red fox because it preys upon some of the ducks and pheasant they want to hunt and kill each year. They found that after they killed the wolves and coyotes, they had more foxes than they wanted. The ring-necked pheasant is South Dakota’s state bird. No matter that it was imported from Asia specifically to be harvested for sport, it’s South Dakota’s state bird and they are proud of it. A group called Pheasants Unlimited gave some tips on how to hunt foxes. Place a small amount of larvicide [a grain fumigant] on a rag and chuck it down the hole… The first pup generally comes out in fifteen minutes… Use a .22 to dispatch him… Remove each pup shot from the hole. Following gassing, set traps for the old fox who will return later in the evening…Poisoning, shooting, trapping—they make up a sort of sportsman’s triathlon.

In the hunting magazines, hunters freely admit the pleasure of killing

to one another. Undeniable pleasure radiated from her smile. The excitement of shooting the bear had Barb talking a mile a minute. But in public, most hunters are becoming a little wary about raving on as to how much fun it is to kill things. Hunters have a tendency to call large animal by cute names—“bruins” and “muleys”, “berry-fed blackies” and “handsome cusses” and “big guys”, thereby implying a balanced jolly game of mutual satisfaction between the hunter and the hunted—Bam, bam, bam, I get to shoot you and you get to be dead. More often, though, when dealing with the nonhunting public, a drier, businesslike tone is employed. Animal become a “resource” that must be “utilized”. Hunting becomes “a legitimate use of the resource”. Animals become a product like wool or lumber or a crop like fruit or corn that must be “collected” or “taken” or “harvested”. Hunters love to use the word legitimate. (Oddly, Tolstoy referred to hunting as “evil legitimized”.) a legitimate use, a legitimate form of recreation, a legitimate escape, a legitimate pursuit. It’s a word they trust will slam the door on discourse. Hunters are increasingly relying upon their spokesmen and supporters, state and federal game managers and wildlife officials, to employ the drone of a solemn bureaucratic language and toss around a lot of questionable statistics to assure the nonhunting public (93 percent!) that there’s nothing to worry about. The pogrom is under control. The mass murder and manipulation of wild animals is just another business. Hunters are a tiny minority, and it’s crucial to them that the millions of people who don’t hunt not be awakened from their long sleep and become antihunting. Nonhunters are okay. Dweeby, probably, but okay. A hunter can respect the rights of a nonhunter. It’s the “antis” he despises, those misguided, emotional, not-in –possession-of –the-facts, uninformed zealots who don’t understand nature… Those dime-store ecologists cloaked in ignorance and spurred by emotion… Those doggy-woggy types, who under the guise of being environmentalists and conservationists are working to deprive him of his precious right to kill. (Sometimes it’s just a right; sometimes it’s a god-given right.) Antis can be scorned, but nonhunters must be pacified, and this is where the number crunching of wildlife biologists and the scripts of professional resource managers come in. leave it to the professionals. They know what numbers are the good numbers. Utah determined that there were six hundred sandhill cranes in the state, so permits were issued to shoot one hundred of them. Don’t want to have too many sandhill cranes. California wildlife officials reported “sufficient numbers” of mountain lions to “justify” renewed hunting, even though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know the animal is extremely rare. (It’s always a dark day for hunters when an animal is adjudged rare. How can its numbers be “controlled” through hunting if it scarcely exists?) a recent citizens’ referendum prohibits the hunting of the mountain lion in perpetuity—not that the lions aren’t killed anyway, in California and all over the West, hundreds of them annually by the government as part of the scandalous Animal Damage Control Program. (Wildlife Services old name) Oh, to be the lucky hunter who gets to be an official government hunter and can legitimately kill animals his buddies aren’t supposed to! Montana officials, led by K. L. Cool, that state’s wildlife director, have definite ideas of the number of buffalo they feel can be tolerated. Zero is the number. Yellowstone National Park is the only place in America where bison exist, having been annihilated everywhere else. In the winter of 1988, nearly six hundred buffalo wandered out of the north boundary of the park and into Montana, where they were immediately shot at point-blank range by lottery-winning hunters. It was easy. And it was obvious from a video taken on one of the blow-away-the-bison days that the hunters had a heck of a good time. The buffalo, Cool says, threaten ranchers’ livelihoods by doing damage to property—by which he means, I guess, that they eat the grass. Montana wants zero buffalo; it also wants zero wolves.

Large predators—including grizzlies, cougars, and wolves are often the most “beautiful”, the smartest and wildest animals of all. The gray wolf is both a supreme predator and an endangered species, and since the Supreme Court recently affirmed that ranchers have no constitutional right to kill endangered predators—apparently some God-given rights are not constitutional ones—this makes the wolf a more or less lucky dog. But not for long. A small population of gray wolves has recently established itself in northwestern Montana, primarily in Glacier National Park, and there is a plan, long a dream of conservationists, to “reintroduce” the wolf to Yellowstone. But to please ranchers and hunters, part of the plan would involve immediately removing the wolf from the endangered-species list. Beyond the park’s boundaries, he could be hunted as a “game animal” or exterminated as a “pest”. (Hunters kill to hunt, remember, except when they’re hunting to kill.) the area of Yellowstone where the wolf would be restored is the same mountain and high-plateau country that is abandoned in winter by most animals, including the aforementioned luckless bison. Part of the plan, too, is compensation to ranchers if any of their far-ranging livestock is killed by a wolf. It’s a real industry out there, apparently, killing and controlling and getting compensated for losing something under the Big Sky.

Wolves gotta eat—a fact that disturbs hunters. Jack Atcheson, an outfitter in Butte, said, Some wolves are fine if there is control. But there never will be control. The wolf-control plan provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service speaks only of protecting domestic livestock. There is no plan to protect wildlife… There are no surplus deer or elk in Montana… Their numbers are carefully managed. With uncontrolled wolf populations, a lot of people will have to give up hunting just to feed wolves. Will you give up your elk permit for a wolf?”

It won’t be long before hunters start demanding compensation for animals they aren’t able to shoot.

Hunters believe that wild animals exist only to satisfy their wish to kill them. And it’s so easy to kill them! The weaponry available is staggering, and the equipment and gear limitless. The demand for big boomers has never been greater than right now, Outdoor Life crows, and the makers of rifles and cartridges are responding to the craze with a variety of light artillery that is virtually unprecedented in the history of sporting arms… Hunters use grossly overpowered shotguns and rifles and compound bows. They rely on four-wheel-drive vehicles and three-wheel ATVs and airplanes… He was interesting, the only moving, living creature on that limitless white expanse. I slipped a cartridge into the barrel of my rifle and threw the safety off… They use snowmobiles to run down elk, and dogs to run down and tree cougars. It’s easy to shoot an animal out of a tree. It’s virtually impossible to miss a moose, a conspicuous and placid animal of steady habits… I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger. The bull dropped. I looked at my watch: 8:22. The big guy was early. Mike started whooping and hollering and I joined him. I never realized how big a moose was until this one was on the ground. We took pictures… hunters shoot animals when they are restingMike selected a deer, settled down to a steady rest, and fired. The buck was hit when he squeezed the trigger. John decided to take the other buck, which had jumped up to its feet. The deer hadn’t seen us and was confused by the shot echoing about in the valley. John took careful aim, fired, and took the buck. The hunt was over… And they shoot them when they are eating… The bruin ambled up the stream, checking gravel bars and backwaters for fish. Finally he plopped down on the bank to eat. Quickly, I tiptoed into the range… They use decoys and calls… The six-point gave me a cold-eyed glare from ninety steps away. I hit him with a 130-grain Sierra boat-tail handload. The bull went down hard. Our hunt was over… They use sex lures… The big buck raised its nose to the air, curled back its lips, and tested the scent of the doe’s urine. I held my breath, fought back the shivers, and jerked off a shot. The 180-grain spire-point bullet caught the buck high on the back behind the shoulder and put it down. It didn’t get up…They use walkie-talkies, binoculars, scopes… With my 308 Browning BLR, I steadied the 9X cross hairs on the front of the bear’s massive shoulders and squeezed. The bear cartwheeled backward for fifty yards… The second Federal Premium 165-grain bullet found its mark. Another shot anchored the bear for good… They bait deer with corn. They spread popcorn on golf courses for Canada geese and they douse meat baits with fry grease and honey for bears…Make the baiting site redolent of inner-city doughnut shops. They use blinds and tree stands and mobile stands. They go out in groups, in gangs, and employ “pushes” and “drives”. So many methods are effective. So few rules apply. It’s fun!… We kept on repelling the swarms of birds as they came in looking for shelter from that big ocean wind, emptying our shell belts… species can, in the vernacular, be pressured by hunting (which means that killing them has decimated them), but that just increases the fun, the challenge. There is practically no criticism of conduct within the ranks… It’s mostly a matter of opinion and how hunters have been brought up to hunt… Although a recent editorial in Ducks Unlimited magazine did venture to primly suggest that one should not fall victim to greed-induced stress through piggish competition with others.

But hunters are piggy. They just can’t seem to help it. They’re over equipped… insatiable, malevolent, and vain. They maim and mutilate and despoil. And for the most part, they’re inept. Grossly inept.

Camouflaged toilet paper is a must for the modern hunter, along with his Bronco and his beer. Too many hunters taking a dump in the woods with their roll of Charmin beside them were mistaken for white-tailed deer and shot. Hunters get excited. They’ll shoot anything—the pallid ass of another sportsman or even themselves. A Long Island man died last year when his shotgun went off as he clubbed a wounded deer with the butt. Hunters get mad. They get restless and want to fire! They want to use those assault rifles and see foamy blood on the ferns. Wounded animals can travel for miles in fear and pain before they collapse. Countless gut-shot deer—if you hear a sudden, squashy thump, the animal has probably been hit in the abdomenare “lost” each year. “Poorly placed shots” are frequent, and injured animal are seldom tracked, because most hunters never learned how to track. The majority of hunters will shoot at anything with four legs during deer season and anything with wings during duck season. Hunters try to nail running animals and distant birds. They become so overeager, so arousedthat they misidentify and misjudge, spraying their “game” with shots but failing to bring them down.

“Imagine Dying This Way” from Have Mercy On Our Wildlife

The fact is, hunters’ lack of skill is a big, big problem. And nowhere is the problem worse than in the new glamor recreation, bow hunting. These guys are elitists. They doll themselves up in camouflage, paint their faces black, and climb up into tree stands from which they attempt the penetration of deer, elk, and turkeys with modern, multiblade, broadhead arrows shot from sophisticated, easy-to-draw compound bows. This “primitive” way of hunting appeals to many, and even the nonhunter may feel that it’s a “fairer” method, requiring more strength and skill, but bow hunting is the cruelest, most wanton form of wildlife disposal of all. Studies conducted by state fish and wildlife departments repeatedly show that bow hunters wound and fail to retrieve as many animals as they kill. An animal that flees, wounded by an arrow, will most assuredly die of the wound, but it will be days before he does. Even with a “good” hit, the time elapsed between the strike and death is exceedingly long.

Nine month old puppy shot with arrow in it’s own yard and later goes into cardiac arrest and dies

What the hunter does as he hangs around waiting for his animal to finish with its terrified running and dying hasn’t been studied—maybe he puts on more makeup, maybe he has a highball.

Wildlife agencies promote and encourage bow hunting by permitting earlier and longer seasons, even though they are well aware that, in their words, crippling is a by-product of the sportmaking archers pretty sloppy for elitists. The broadhead arrow is a very inefficient killing tool. Bow hunters are trying to deal with this problem with the suggestion that they use poison pods. These poisoned arrows are illegal in all states except Mississippi ( Ah’m gonna get ma deer even if ah just nick the little bastard), but they are widely used anyway. You wouldn’t want that deer to suffer, would you?

Baby Elk cries for mom after being shot by bowhunter 3 times as mother watches helplessly

The mystique of the efficiency and decency of the bow hunter is as much as illusion as the perception that a waterfowler is a refined and thoughtful fellow, a romantic aestheteas Vance Bourjaily put it, equipped with his faithful Labs and a love for solitude and wild places. More sentimental drivel has been written about bird shooting than any other type of hunting. It’s a soul-wrenching pursuit, apparently, the execution of birds in flight. Ducks Unlimited—an organization that has managed to put a spin on the word conservation for years—works hard to project the idea that duck hunters are blue bloods and that duck stamps with their pretty pictures are responsible for saving all the saved puddles in North America. Sportsman’s conservation is a contradiction in terms (We protect things now so that we can kill them later) and is broadly interpreted (Don’t kill them all, just kill most of them). A hunter is a conservationist in the same way a farmer or a rancher is: he’s not. Like the rancher who kills everything that’s not stock on his (and the public’s) land, and the farmer who scorns wildlife because “they don’t pay their freight”, the hunter uses nature by destroying its parts, mastering it by simplifying it through death.

George (“We kill to hunt and not the other way around”) Reiger, the conservationist-hunter’s spokesman (he’s the best they’ve got, apparently)said the “dedicated” waterfowler will shoot other game “of course”, but we do so much in the same spirit of the lyrics, that when we’re not near the girl we love, we love the girl we’re near. (Duck hunters practice tough love). The fact is, far from being a “romantic aesthete” the waterfowler is the most avaricious of all hunters… That’s when Scott suggested the friendly wager on who would take the most birds…and the most resistant to minimum ecological decency. Millions of birds that managed to elude shotgun blasts were dying each year from ingesting the lead shot that rained down in the wetlands. Year after year, birds perished from feeding on spent lead, but hunters were “reluctant” to switch to steel. They worried that it would impair their shooting, and ammunition manufacturers said a changeover would be “expensive”. State and federal officials had to weigh the poisoning against these considerations. It took forever, this weighing, but now steel-shot loads are required almost everywhere, having been judged “more than adequate” to bring down the birds. This is not to say, of course, that most duck hunters use steel-shot almost everywhere. They’re traditionalists and don’t care for all the new, pesky rules. Oh, for the golden age of waterfowling, when a man could measure a good day’s shooting by the pickup load. But those days are gone. Fall is a melancholy time, all right.

Spectacular abuses occur wherever geese congregate, Shooting Sportsman notes quietly, something that the more cultivated Ducks Unlimited would hesitate to admit. Waterfowl populations are plummeting and waterfowl hunters are out of control. “Supervised” hunts are hardly distinguished from unsupervised ones. A biologist with the Department of the Interior who observed a hunt at Sand Lake in South Dakota said, Hunters repeatedly shot over the line at incoming flights where there was no possible chance of retrieving. Time and time again I was at the behaviour of hunters. I heard them laugh at the plight of dazed cripples that stumbled about. I saw them striking the heads of retrieved cripples against fence posts. In the South, wood ducks return to their roosts after sunset when shooting hours are closed. Hunters find this an excellent time to shoot them. Dennis Anderson, an outdoors writer, said, Roost shooters just fire at the birds as fast as they can, trying to drop as many as they can. Then they grab what birds they can find. The birds they can’t find in the dark, they leave behind.

Carnage and waste are the rules in bird hunting, even during legal seasons and open hours. Thousands of wounded ducks and geese are not retrieved, left to rot in the marshes and fields… When I asked Wanda where hers had fallen, she wasn’t sure. Cripples, and there are many cripples made in this pastime, are still able to run and hide, eluding the hunter even if he’s willing to spend time searching for them, which he usually isn’t… It’s one thing to run down a cripple in a picked bean field or a pasture, and quite another to watch a wing-tipped bird drop into a huge block of switch grass. Oh nasty, nasty switch grass. A downed bird becomes invisible on the ground and is practically unfindable without a good dog, and few “waterfowlers” have them these days. They’re hard to train—usually a professional has to do it—and most hunters can’t be bothered. Words are easy to tumble…Canada geese—blues and snows—can all take a good amount of shot. Brant are easily called and decoyed and come down easily. Roughed grouse are hard to hit but easy to kill. Shark tails are harder to kill but easier to hit… It’s just a nuisance to recover them. But its fun, fun, fun swatting them down… There’s distinct pleasure in watching a flock work to a good friend’s gun.

Teal, the smallest of common ducks, are really easy to kill. Hunters in the South use to practice on Teal in September, prior to the “serious” waterfowl season. But the birds were so diminutive and the limits so low (for a day) that many hunters felt it hardly worth going out and getting bit by mosquitoes to kill them. Enough did however, brave the bugs and manage to “harvest” 165,000 of the little migrating birds in Louisiana in 1987 alone. Shooting is usually best on opening day. By the second day you can sometimes detect a decline in local Teal numbers. Areas may deteriorate to virtually no action by the third day… The area deteriorates. When a flock is wiped out, the skies are empty. No action.

Teal declined more sharply than any duck species except mallard last year; this baffles hunters. Hunters and their procurers—wildlife agencies—will never admit that hunting is responsible for the decimation of a species. John Turner, head of the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, delivers the familiar and litanic line. Hunting is not the problem. Pollutionis the problem. Pesticides, urbanization, deforestation, hazardous waste, and wetland destruction are the problem. And drought! There’s been a big drought! Antis should devote their energies to solving these problems if they care about wildlife and leave the hunters alone. While the Fish and Wildlife Service is busily conducting experiments in cause and effect, like releasing Mallard ducklings on a wetland sprayed with the insecticides ethyl parathion (they died—it was known they would, but you can never have enough studies that show guns aren’t a duck’s only problem), hunters are killing some 200 million birds and animals each year. But these deaths are incidental to the problems, according to Turner. A factor, perhaps, but a minor one. Ducks Unlimited says the problem isn’t hunting,  Ducks Unlimited says the problem isn’t hunting, it’s low recruitment on the part of the birds. To the hunter, birth in the animal kingdom is recruitment. They wouldn’t want use an emotional, sentimental word like birth. The black duck, a very “popular” duck in the North East, so “popular” in fact, that game agencies felt that hunters couldn’t be asked to refrain from shooting it, is scarce and scarcer. Nevertheless, it’s still being hunted. A number of studies are currently underway in an attempt to discover why black ducks are disappearing, Sports Afield reports. Black ducks are disappearing because they’ve been shot out, their elimination being dreadful example of game management, and managers who are loath to “displease” hunters. The skiesflyways—of America have been divided into four administrative regions, and the states, advised by a federal government coordinator, have to agree on policies.

There’s always a lot of squabbling that goes on in flyway meetings—lots of complaints about short-stopping, for example. Short-stopping is the deliberate holding of birds in a state, often by feeding them in wildlife refuges, so that their southern migration is slowed or stopped. Hunters in the North get to kill more than hunters in the South. This isn’t fair. Hunters demand equity in opportunities to kill.

Wildlife managers hate closing the season on anything. Closing the season on species would indicate a certain amount of mismanagement and misjudgment at the very least—a certain reliance on overly optimistic winter counts, a certain over appeasement of hunters who would be “upset” if they couldn’t kill their favorite thing. And worse, closing a season would be considered victory for the antis. Bird-hunting “rules” are very complicated, but they all encourage killing. There are shortened seasons and split seasons and special seasons for “underutilized” birds. (Teals were very recently considered “underutilized”). The limit on coots is fifteen a day—shooting them, it’s easy! They don’t fly high—giving the hunter something to do while he waits in the blind. Some species are “protected”, but bear in mind that hunters begin blasting away one half hour before sunrise and that most hunters can’t identify a bird in the air even in broad daylight. Some of them can’t identify birds in hand either, and even if they can (they are likely to bury unpopular or “trash” ducks so that they can continue to hunt the ones they “love”.

Game “professionals”, in thrall to hunters’ “needs”, will not stop managing bird population until they’ve doled out the final duck (I didn’t get my limit but I begged the last one, by golly…). The Fish and Wildlife Service services legal hunters as busily as any madam, but it is powerless in tempering the lusts of the illegal ones. Illegal kill is a monumental problem in the not-so-wonderful world of waterfowl. Excesses has always pervaded the “sport”, and bird shooters have historically been the slobs and profligates of huntingDoing away with hunting would do away with a vital cultural and historical aspect of American life, John Turner claims. So do away with it. Do away with those who have already done away with so much. Do away with them before the birds they have pursued so relentlessly and for so long drop into extinction, sink, in the poet Wallace Stevens’s words, “downward to darkness on extended wings”.

“Quality” hunting is as rare as the Florida panther. What you’ve got is a bunch of guys driving over the plains, up the mountains, and through the woods with their stupid tag that cost them a couple of bucks and immense coolers full of beer and body parts. There’s a price tag on the right to destroy living creatures for play, but it’s not much. A big game hunting license is the greatest deal going since the Homestead Act, Ted Kerasote writes in Sports AfieldIn many states residents can hunt big game for more than a month for about $20. It’s cheaper than taking a little woman out for lunch. It’s cheap all right, and it’s because killing animals is considered recreation and is underwritten by state and federal funds. In Florida, state moneys are routinely spent on “youth hunts”, in which kids are guided to shoot deer from stands in wildlife-management areas. The organizers of these events say that these staged hunts help youth to understand man’s role in the ecosystem. (Drop a doe and take your place in the ecological community, son…)

Hunters claim (they don’t actually believe it but they’ve learned to say it) that they’re doing nonhunters a favor, for if they didn’t use wild animals, wild animals would be useless. They believe that they’re just helping Mother Nature control populations (you wouldn’t want those deer to die of starvation, would you?). They claim that their tiny fees provide all Americans with wild lands and animals. (People who don’t hunt get to enjoy animals all year round while hunters get to enjoy them only during hunting season…) Ducks Unlimited feels that it, in particular, is a selfless provider and environmental champion. Although members spend most of their money lobbying for hunters and raising ducks in pens to release later over shooting fields, they do save some wetlands, mostly by persuading farmers not to fill them in. See that little pothole there the ducks like? Well, I’m gonna plant more soybeans there if you don’t pay me not to… Hunters claim many nonsensical things, but the most nonsensical of all is that they pay their own way. They do not pay their own way. They do pay into a perverse wildlife-management system that manipulates “stocks” and “herds” and “flocks” for hunters’ killing pleasure, but these fees in no way cover the cost of highly questionable ecological practices. For some spare changethe greatest deal going hunter can hunt on public land—national parks, state forests—preserves for hunters!—which the nonhunting and antihunting public pay for. (Access to private lands is becoming increasingly difficult for them, as experience has taught people who hunt are obnoxious.) Hunters kill on millions of acres of land all over America that are maintained with general taxpayer revenue, but the most shocking, really twisted subsidization takes place on national wildlife refuges. Nowhere is the arrogance and the insidiousness of this small, aggressive minority more clearly demonstrated. Nowhere is the murder of animals. The manipulation of language, and the distortion of public intent more flagrant. The public perceives national wildlife refuges as safe havens, as sanctuaries for animals. And why wouldn’t they? The word refuge of course means shelter from danger and distress. But the dweeby nonhunting public—they tend to be so literal. The word has been reinterpreted by management over time and now hunters are invited into more than half of the country’s more than 440 wildlife “sanctuaries” each year to bang them up and kill more than half a million animals. This is called wildlife-oriented recreation. Hunters think of this as being no less than their due, claiming that refuge lands were purchased with duck stamps (…our duck stamps paid for it …our duck stamps paid for it …). Hunters equate those stupid stamps with the mystic, multiplying power of the Lord’s loaves and fishes, nut of 90 million acres in the wildlife Refuge System, only 3 million were bought with hunting-stamp revenue. Most wildlife “restoration” programs in the states are translated into clearing land to increase deer habitats (so that too many deer will require hunting…you wouldn’t want them to die of starvation, would you?) and trapping animals for restocking and study (so hunters can shoot more of them). Fish and game agencies hustle hunting—instead of conserving wildlife, they’re killing it. It’s time for them to get in the business of protecting and preserving wildlife and creating balanced ecological systems instead of pimping for hunter who want their deer/duck/pheasant/turkey—animals stocked to be shot.

Hunters’ self-serving arguments and lies are becoming more preposterous as nonhunters awake from their long, albeit troubled, sleep. Sport hunting is immoral; it should be made illegal. Hunters are persecutors of nature who should be prosecuted. They wield a disruptive power out of all proportion to their numbers, and pandering to their interests—the special interests of a group that just wants to kill things—is mad. It’s preposterous that every yealess than 7 percent of the population turns the skies into shooting galleries and the woods and fields into abattoirs. It’s time to stop actively supporting and passively allowing hunting, and time to stigmatize it. It’s time to stop being conned and cowed by hunter, time to stop pampering and coddling them, time to get them off the government’s duck-and-deer dole, time to stop thinking of wild animals as “resources” and “game,” and start thinking of them as sentient beings that deserve our wonder and respect, time to stop allowing hunting to be creditable by calling it “sport” and “recreation.” Hunters make wildlife dead, dead, dead. It’s time to wake up to this indisputable fact. As for the hunters, it’s long past check-out time.

Williams, Joy. “The Killing Game,” Esquire Magazine, 1990.

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How To Handle A Gut Shot

By Dr. Dave Samuel

Bowsitedotom

Another factor is critical to recovering wounded animals … knowing where the animal was hit.  I’ve used yellow and/or white feathers for 50 years and the reason is a simple one.  They allow me to better follow the flight of the arrow and determine where I hit.

On my most recent elk hunt, a big coyote came to water right at dark.  The shot was 29 yards or so, and even in the dim light, I knew right where my arrow struck that coyote.  In that case it didn’t affect the quick recovery.  But for deer, elk, moose, etc., knowing exactly where you hit might determine how and when you follow the animal.

All the above seems fairly basic. Then again, bowhunting is about basics.  I’ve paunch shot several deer over the years, and I thank Len Cardinale from New Jersey for his lesson taught those many years ago.  Up till then I figured you had to follow paunched animals right away if there was rain.  Not so.  Up till then I figured you need only wait two hours on a paunched animal.  Not so. Six hours is better (of course if it is very, very hot, and there is a lot of open country allowing little shade, then you might go a bit earlier to prevent spoilage … but usually 6 hours is it).

True, the animals don’t always go by the book.  But follow these basic principles and your recovery rate on paunch animals will rise dramatically.  The deer are doing it out there right now, so it’s time to hit the woods.

http://bowsite.com/BOWSITE/features/articles/deer/gutshot/

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Videos: Courtesy You Tube

Top Photo: Courtesy NPS

Middle Photos: Wolf Hunting 101, All Creatures, Have Mercy On Our Wildlife

Posted in: Animal Rights, Howling for Justice, Wolf Wars

Tags: evils of hunting, Joy Williams, The Killing Game

Apathy, Cowardice, and Ignorance are the Deadliest Weapons of All (Wolf Song Of Alaska)

February 12, 2013

I thought this would be a timely re-post considering the apathy, cowardice and ignorance that continues to surround wolves.

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May 24, 2010

This one of the best articles I’ve read on wolf persecution and it’s root causes. The author, Edwin Wollert/Wolf Song of Alaska/Education Coordinator, puts it all in perspective. 

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Apathy, Cowardice, and Ignorance are the Deadliest Weapons of All

by Edwin Wollert/Wolf Song of Alaska/Education Coordinator.

“Previous versions of this article have appeared on the Wolf Song of Alaska web site, and also been submitted to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

I tell my philosophy students on the first day of each semester in every course I teach that my job consists of helping them to become better thinkers. And in my studies of philosophy, I am often returning to the ancient Greeks, the creators of the first systematic rational philosophies as well as of the world’s earliest known democratic society, and there are some basic considerations in that part of history which are really the topic of this latest summary about wolf and wildlife education.

Democracy does not merely thrive and benefit from participation. It actually requires participation. And it must be active and ongoing. Apathy is precisely what kills a democratic organization, far more effectively than a hostile competitor or differing ideology could ever hope for. And this applies to all aspects of a democratic group: politics, policies, beliefs, and economics.

On the topic of economic interests, consider this: eleven years ago I went on a wildlife safari to the equatorial African nation of Kenya. Now I will not compare that ecosystem to Alaska’s, nor its wildlife to Alaska’s: vastly different climates, topographies, and species occupy each region. But what really stuck out, as we eagerly took to the field twice a day to look for the larger creatures, was the fact that during that trip I learned about a policy of the KWS, the Kenyan Wildlife Service, which is that country’s national agency for protecting and managing wildlife.

Field agents of the KWS are allowed to shoot poachers: on sight, without offering any warning. And when they shoot, it is not to scare or intimidate, but to kill. It is actually humans hunting other humans, legally. Poachers and rangers alike have been slain since Kenya first put its wildlife under such protection. The KWS would prefer to arrest and prosecute poachers, and frequently does, though more extreme measures have been deemed justifiable on some occasions.

How could a policy like this possibly be justified? you might wonder. This strong policy is based on Kenyans reaching a simple realization, in two parts: first, that Kenyan elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, wildebeests, warthogs, rhinoceri, buffalo, hippopotami, various species of antelopes, and other “game” species are literally worth more, financially, alive than dead, and second, that the reason they are worth more is because people from other countries are willing to pay to visit Kenya for the specific purpose of seeing these creatures in their own habitats, bringing much needed wealth into the country by doing so.

Thus, there is no more legal trade in that nation in animal pelts, or horns, or, in the case of the elephants, in ivory. When the poaching policy was first instituted, the KWS invited CNN, the BBC, and the other major international news media to broadcast a live burning of millions of dollars worth of elephant tusks, to show that the organization was serious. That ivory could have been sold through illicit markets. It could have been turned into a hard currency, like dollars or euros or yen, which might have gone quite a long way in a country which is considered part of the “third world.”

So why would I share such a story with those of you who have already indicated at least a passing interest in Alaska’s wolves? I am not actually recommending that Alaska adopt a similar no-holds-barred approach to poaching intervention (although one might imagine that poaching would dry up rather quickly if we did, and yes, poaching does occur in Alaska). The reason for such an extreme measure is that a nation like Kenya is rather financially poor, and it needs the hard currencies brought in by visitors who are able to spare their disposable income on wildlife interests, while Alaska is instead part of the world’s wealthiest nation.

Rather, I relate the background of the KWS to point out one key detail: in Alaska, “our” wildlife is likewise worth more alive than dead. And this means all of it, not just the bears, or the moose, or the caribou, or the marine mammals, or the eagles and fish, but the wolves as well. With that in mind, there is an essential principle at work here which must be reiterated, since it keeps being ignored or glossed over by politics and the taking of sides, and which is non-economic even though it has economic considerations. The principle is this: an ecosystem must have predators.”

To read the rest of this excellent article CLICK HERE

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Photo: wolf wallpaper

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, Alaska wolves, Howling For Justice, Wolf Wars, wolf intolerance

Tags: aerial gunning of wolves, wolf persecution, wolves in the crossfire, Alaska wolves, Wolf Song Of Alaska

Raul Grijalva For Interior Secretary

Tell President Obama: Appoint Raúl Grijalva US Interior Secretary

Tell President Obama: Appoint Raul Grijalva US Interior Secretary

A Champion For Our Public Lands. Protecting Our National Treasures. A Bold Leader.

For Secretary of Interior, the choice is clear. President Obama should appoint Rep. Raul Grijalva. He’s a bold leader and a champion of our public lands who will protect our natural treasures, including American wild horses and burros, for generations to come.

Dear President Obama,

Your choice for the next Secretary of the Interior will determine the future of our public lands and their natural resources, including wild horses and burros.The individual you appoint must reflect the ideals that you campaigned upon and that so many of us supported.

The person best qualified to represent these ideals and move the Interior Department forward is Rep. Raul Grijalva, Congressman from Arizona’s Third Congressional District.

Rep. Grijalva has spent his entire career standing up to special interests and for American taxpayers and the preservation of our natural resources. As the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands since 2007, he has been an outspoken advocate for conservation. He has also been a leader in the fight to reform the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) costly and inhumane wild horse and burro program.

As Interior Secretary, Rep. Grijalva will hold the BLM accountable, and he will stop the government giveaway of public resources to commercial interests that exploit our public lands.

Please nominate Rep. Raul Grijalva as the 51st Secretary of the Interior. He is clearly the best choice to protect and preserve our public lands and our natural heritage, including America’s treasured wild horses and burros.

Sincerely,

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PLEASE ClICK HERE TO SIGN PETITION

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Petition credit given to: www.wildhorsepreservation.org

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Howling For Justice

Tags: Wild Horse Preservation dot org, Appoint Raul Grijalva, Secretary of the Interior, biodiversity, gray wolves, wild horses, President Obama

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum…

September 5, 2012

For over a decade the USFWS  has said no to Wyoming’s brutal wolf slaughter plan, designed to exterminate wolves without mercy,  treating them as vermin, to be shot-on-sight in most of the state.

In 2009 the Obama administration delisted wolves in the Northern Rockies but Wyoming wolves were excluded because the USFWS would not accept their “wolf management/slaughter plan”.  Wyoming wolves remained under the protection of the ESA.

In response to the delisting a legal challenge was mounted by environmental groups and on August 5, 2010 Judge Donald Molloy  relisted wolves  in the Northern Rockies.  He stated the USFWS  could not  separate wolves by state for delisting. Either they strip wolves in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho of their ESA protections or they keep them all listed. Read his decision here.

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Judge orders protections reinstated for wolf

By MATT VOLZ, AP, Idaho Statesman, 08/05/10 [here]

A federal judge has ordered endangered species protections reinstated for the gray wolf in Montana and Idaho.

The federal government last year removed protections for wolves in those two states but not Wyoming. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy says in his ruling Thursday the government’s decision was a political solution and does not comply with the federal Endangered Species Act.

Molloy says the entire Rocky Mountain wolf population must be either listed or removed as an endangered species, but the protections can’t be separated by state. (Wildlife and People)

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But now, as Idaho and Montana are busy slaughtering wolves, while  USFWS watches, the agency has decided Wyoming’s shoot-on-site wolf plan is just perfect after all.  The approx. 270 wolves who live outside Yellowstone can now be used for target practice, killed anytime of the day or night, without a permit. They can be run over by snowmobiles or ATV’s, hung from a tree, torn apart, set on fire or anything a sick mind can come up with. That’s the fate of Wyoming wolves.  The cruel irony is one of the excuses given for killing so many wolves is Wyoming hunters  accused wolves of decimating elk herds in the state but that’s been proven to be false.  It was recently reported that many of Wyoming’s  elk herds have grown so large extra licenses will be handed out to hunters to kill more elk.  The hypocrites and their lies have been exposed!

From the Wildlife News: 

Wyoming elk herds have grown too large

by  on SEPTEMBER 4, 2012 

Wyoming Game and Fish Department offers extra elk licenses

Now that Wyoming has gained the authority to manage wolves and will soon have a wolf hunt, the much lamented lack of elk due to those “insatiable packs of killing machines” — wolves — has suddenly turned around and there are said to be too many elk . . . just like that.

 Brian Nesvik, chief of the wildlife division for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says “in many areas of the state, those herds have simply grown too large.”  Therefore, the state has made an emergency order providing for an extra, reduced-price cow elk and elk calf license in some of the areas with too many elk.  In fact, Game and Fish is trying so hard to get more hunting in the larger elk herds that they are offering special elk hunts on private lands. They are even encouraging elk hunters to buy three elk tags in some parts of the state.

READ MORE:

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/09/04/wyoming-elk-herds-have-grown-too-large/

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Wyoming Game and Fish Department offers extra elk licenses

 September 03, 2012 10:00 am  •  By CHRISTINE PETERSON Star-Tribune staff writer

 Graceful and majestic, elk are one of Wyoming’s icons. Large herds draw hunters, photographers and viewers from around the globe hoping to catch a glimpse of a bull’s huge rack and hear its roaring bugle.

But in many areas of the state, those herds have simply grown too large, said Brian Nesvik, chief of the wildlife division for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Game and Fish officials have tried recently to encourage hunting in the larger herds, even offering special elk hunts on private lands monitored by biologists. Department officials are going one step further this hunting season. Hunters can now buy three elk licenses in some areas.

Until this year, Wyoming state statute mandated each hunter could only hold two elk licenses. The Wyoming Legislature gave Game and Fish the ability to control elk license numbers during its last session. Wildlife officials made an emergency order in August offering an extra reduced-price cow and calf license in some of those overpopulated areas, Nesvik said.

http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming-game-and-fish-department-offers-extra-elk-licenses/article_7e73f58d-ae37-526d-9715-67c2f43f2086.html?comment_form=true

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We know the excuses for killing wolves in Wyoming and other states for that matter, are a sham.  There is no reason to slaughter wolves.  The propaganda campaign waged by the livestock and hunting cabals is just that, propaganda. It’s Kabuki Theater played out to justify the unjustifiable.

So what’s changed at USFWS and their 180 turn on the long sought after Wyoming wolf killing plan? Absolutely nothing except the appointment of Dan Ashe as head of USFWS.

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This was reported by the Wildlife News on July 1, 2011

“Career professional in agency to assume duties immediately after a long series of Republican “holds” on his nomination

The Fish and Wildlife Service has been led since January 2009 Acting Director Rowan Gould.

“Holds” in the U.S. Senate on bills and nominations have become a kind of one-person filibuster. It is becoming difficult for any President to get anyone approved after his first round of major nominations. Ashe was held up not because of any controversy over his person, but over efforts by Republications to extract policy changes in exchange for allowing a vote.

As “Cody Coyote” wrote in a recent comment in this forum, one of the holds was by a Wyoming U.S. Senator John Barrasso trying to assure that the Service would delist the wolf in Wyoming.”

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Draw your own conclusions on why Ashe’s appointment was “held up”? Was it a quid pro quo to ensure Wyoming wolves would be delisted?

There is something very ugly going on @ USFWS  concerning the delisting of gray wolves. Animals recently off the Endangered Species List are now being hunted, tortured, persecuted and slaughtered all with the approval of USFWS. Idaho and Montana have  started their hunt/killing spree.  Beginning October 1, 2012, Wyoming wolves lives will be worth nothing.  I expect lawsuits to be filed against this  horrific policy but that’s not the point. The fact USFWS would sign on to this after  fighting it for years makes absolutely no sense.  But nothing about ” wolf management” (a euphemism for wolf slaughter) passes the smell test.  Everyday there is a  new scheme to kill wolves. It’s  never-ending.  It’s mind numbing. It’s a repeat of the past. It’s sadistic.

Hard to believe this was all made possible by Obama, his rancher Interior Secretary and US Senate Democrats, who pushed through a delisting rider on the back of a must-pass budget bill.  All those sanctimonious Democrats who bill themselves as “environmentally” friendly, had no problem throwing wolves in the Northern Rockies under the bus to help Senator Tester D-MT  hold onto  his Senate seat, as he panders to the wolf hating crowd back home in Montana.

Now the Great Lakes wolf population is under siege after they were unceremoniously  delisted last year. Almost immediately Wisconsin and Minnesota came up with wolf hunt plans. Wisconsin wanted to chase wolves with dogs.  Judge Peter C. Anderson put a stop to that, slapping a temporary injunction on the plan, preventing wolf  hunters from using dogs. His ruling was in response to a legal challenge brought  by several environmental groups under the premise that the state of Wisconsin was promoting dog fighting.  Hopefully the judge’s injunction will stop the  Wisconsin wolf hunts this season but the DNR is scrambling to make it happen anyway, minus the dogs.

Minnesota, the oh so pragmatic and fair state, is just as bad. For years their policy was a  5 years moratorium on wolf hunts if wolves were ever delisted in the state.

“Minnesota’s initial plans for the species included a five-year moratorium on a hunting season. However that provision was removed by the legislature.” (Twin Cities/Daily Planet)

But lo and behold the Minnesota legislature changed that pretty quickly last year when wolf delisting was imminent.  So much for tolerant Minnesota. Turns out they’re not so tolerant.

Michigan Rep. Huuki-R recently introduced a wolf hunt bill into the state House of Representatives, it looks like wolves will be given no quarter any where they call home.

If we don’t speak out now and turn the tide we’ll lose wolves once again in the lower 48. I’m not sure how many ways I can say this.  I’ve written over seven hundred posts, in the last three years, on this tragedy. What will it take for citizens to finally wake up and realize we’re losing the iconic wolf, the very symbol of wildness and freedom we claim to hold so dear?  How incredibly lucky we are to have  intact ecosystems in the Northern Rockies with all apex predators represented. It’s one of the last vestiges of wildness remaining in the lower 48, yet we’re willing to let it slip away because a tiny majority of hateful people have decided the West and our wildlife belong to them, to dispose of as they see fit?  Wake up America, we’re losing our heritage!!! Are we willing to let the inmates run the asylum? Or will we finally unite for a common purpose to save the gray wolf from the grimmest of fates? You decide!

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Wolves in Wyoming Go from Endangered to Hunted

(NEW YORK) — Federal and state officials are celebrating the successful return of once-endangered wolves to Wyoming — by declaring open season on the animals.

Beginning Oct. 1, gray wolves will be removed from the rolls of the Endangered Species Act and classified as predators, allowing Wyoming hunters to shoot the animals on sight at any time, for any reason, in about 85 percent of the state.

“Our primary goal, and that of the states, is to ensure that gray wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains remain healthy, giving future generations of Americans the chance to hear its howl echo across the area,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe in a prepared statement.

Environmental groups that have gone to court over previous measures to de-list the wolves plan to fight the most recent change in the law, said Connie Wilbert, a field organizer for the Wyoming chapter of the Sierra Club.

Once killed nearly to extinction, in 1978 all species of the gray wolf in the lower 48 states were declared endangered and protected from hunting under federal law.

In the years since they received federal protection, wolf populations have returned across the West. As their numbers swelled, ranchers complained the animals routinely killed their livestock and petitioned the government for permission to kill them.

Removing wolves from the list would give ranchers in much of the state the right to kill wolves on sight. In other areas, wolves will be designated “trophy game” and subject to hunting during seasons regulated by the state.

READ MORE:

http://www.masoncountydailynews.com/news/national-news/38301-wolves-in-wyoming-go-from-endangered-to-hunted

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Photo: Black wolf wallpaper

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wyoming wolves, Animal cruelty, Howling for Justice

Tags: USFWS about-face, Wyoming wolves, shoot-on-sight, Minnesota wolves, Idaho wolves, Montana wolves, Wisconsin wolves, biodiversity, wolf wars,  wolf slaughter, back to the brutal past

Think Of Wolves Over This Holiday Weekend!!

Bella, a husky that lost one of its hind legs in a snare meant for wolves, was a featured to help illustrate the argument of wolf supporters. (SHAWN GUST/Press}

A great pro-wolf  rally was held in Coeur d’ alene yesterday. It brought a huge crowd of dedicated wolf activists. Thanks to my friends Ann Sydow, Brett Havestick, Dr. Catherine, Nancy Taylor and so many others who worked  hard to make the rally a success.  Thanks to Bella the husky, who was a star of the rally.  Bella lost one of her legs due to a disgusting snare. She is a hero to all of us.

If the the wolf hating crowd thinks we are going away they are sadly mistaken. Yet today Wyoming wolves were officially delisted. This will  allow wolves to be shot on sight in 90% of the state.  Thanks to the Obama administration we now have wolf hunts in 5 states and Michigan just introduced a wolf hunt bill in their state House of Representatives.

Thinks may look bleak for wolves but this is only temporary. We will fight until our last breath to see their ESA protections restored. Take heart wolf advocates.

I will be off and on the computer until after the Labor day weekend. Think of the wolves in Montana who will be shot with arrows, dying gruesome, painful deaths.  Wolf bow hunting season starts in Montana tomorrow and runs into October. Pups are not off limits.  Think about Idaho wolves who are being hunted as I type this. Think about the wolves in the Great Lakes who will suffer the same fate.

We live to fight on. Do not lose hope. we are working behind the scenes to effect change for wolves!

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabeki

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Howling mad

About 70 rally in protest of Idaho wolf hunt

Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 9:22 am, Fri Aug 31, 2012.

By BILL BULEY/Staff writer | 18 comments

COEUR d’ALENE - Idaho’s wolf management plan, said Dr. Catherine Feher-Elston, is not working.

That’s because, she said, “it’s not management.”

“It’s killing, it’s slaughter,” said Feher-Elston, a naturalist and wolf advocate who spoke at what was both a pro-wolf rally and protest of Idaho’s year-round hunting season on wolves Thursday at City Park.

“We have to fight to stop this,” she said.

About 70 people attended the gathering that included speakers, songs, a dog that lost a leg to a trap, and a presentation of how to release pets from traps. There were signs that read “Stop the Slaughter” and “Wolves Belong,” while many wore shirts with pictures of wolves.

And while folks, literally, were howling at times, the meeting was mostly calm, but for a few moments when a man who supported wolf management arrived and began recording some of the speakers.

http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_7a30dfb8-42ea-5820-8007-c34b66502851.html

Published in: on August 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm  Comments (24)  

Putting Out Brush Fires…

Wolf advocacy has been reduced to putting out brush fires. Every day there’s a new crisis or  new campaign to persecute wolves. It goes on and on, draining energy, sending me into dark moods, constantly on the defensive.

I cut back on posting for the last several months for precisely this reason.  It doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the bad stuff but I want to concentrate on solving this crisis, to come up with solutions.

I’m a passionate person, I guess I don’t have to tell you that. When I care about something, I throw myself into it wholeheartedly, as I did this blog, which has  given me a forum to share my passion with you, to give wolf advocates a home where your beliefs aren’t called into question every second, a place where you don’t have to defend your positions and explain why wolves are worth caring about.  I would love to bring you good news every day. To say wolves are doing just fine, that the persecution has stopped and the fairy tale ending has come true. That’s what I wish I could tell you. Unfortunately that’s not the case.

This year has been especially difficult because wolf advocates have had to watch the systematic slaughter of innocent wolves,  while feeling powerless to stop it. That is not a good way to feel. It’s a bad way to feel. And it keeps us grounded in sorrow.  The hunts took a toll on all of us. Gruesome picture after gruesome picture of dead wolves littered the Internet and still do.  The worst is knowing wolves are suffering, the horrors of the past have come home to roost.  Many wolves are tortured to death before they finally subcumb.  Where’s the “code of ethics” hunters say they live by?  Shame on all who torture and kill animals for blood lust.

I don’t want to see one more picture of a dead wolf, I don’t want to hear one more word about elk, I don’t want to hear one more word about cows. I’m sick of it. I’m so sick of it that it makes me sick.

I’m  going to focus on what we can do, not what we can’t do.   I want to feel energized again, as I did when I started this blog. Letting others dictate how I should feel about wolves or why this battle is lost or no matter what we do we can’t change things, that’s not going to be part of my thinking.

I can’t just  hope things will change I want to be part of that change.  Is there too much hoping going on and not enough doing?  I know many people like to rely on hope but doesn’t that somehow free you from having to do anything about the situation?  If you just hope things will change but don’t participate in ways to effect change,  isn’t that a cop-out?

If you love and care about wolves then you’ll want to do something about it. No amount of bad news is going to stop you. I’m not going to give up because MT FWP received a $50,000 dollar donation from the RMEF to help kill wolves. I’m not going to stop standing up for wolves because the anti-wolf crowd was successful in removing their ESA protections.

We’re in a difficult battle that’s not going very well at the moment but it doesn’t mean we should give up and go hide somewhere, pretending it’s not happening.  Let ostriches do that.

I guess what I’m trying to say is we all have a part to play. Things are bad for wolves right now but lamenting over every bit of  bad news keeps us paralyzed.  The best we can do with the bad news is to spread it around  so the uninformed can become informed and join our fight.  Those of us in the trenches already know the sad truth and that’s what gives us strength to keep moving forward in these dark times.  I know the wolf hating crowd is hoping we’ll give up and accept that wolves will be killed by the hundreds every year until they are all gone or their population will be so small and beleaguered only their shadows will remain. Well that’s not going to happen!!

So I’m moving forward. I don’t want to keep begging people in power to give me something. Nobody gives up power willingly. Dealing with the states and their wolf hating mania seems futile to me.  I believe the only way to save wolves is to bypass the states and go directly to the  feds and demand they  right the wrong of wolf delisting, which was rammed through riding on a budget bill.

But none of this will mean anything without the participation of everyday Americans, most of whom are unaware of  the wolves’ plight because the MSM won’t cover it. They’re too in love with Obama to make him look bad, so they’ve chosen to ignore it.  If it wasn’t for the Internet the story would have been completely buried.

We need to concentrate on the big picture and not get bogged down in the minutia of wolf hating policies the states are deluging us with. They’ve proved without any doubt they are incapable of caring for wolves and only want to see their numbers driven to absolute minimums based on an outdated, politically motivated, unscientific “wolf plan”  that’s 17 years old.

So put down the fire hoses, we have work to do.

RELIST GRAY WOLVES!!

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Beyond Hope

by Derrick Jensen

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/170/

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Top Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Bottom photo: Courtesy LA Times

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Activism, Howling for Justice

Tags: relist gray wolves, wolf persecution, scapegoating, fear mongering, America’s wolves

Earth Island Journal: Trappergate Update by James William Gibson

Trapperman.com Josh Bransford with the black wolf he trapped. (Earth Island Journal)

Blog: The EnvironmentaList

Idaho Fish and Game Report Says Trapped Black Wolf Not Shot, “Just Nicked”

BY JAMES WILLIAM GIBSON – APRIL 13, 2012

Trappergate Update: Conservation Activists Encouraged. “Our Moment is Coming,” They Say

Why me, Bill” asked “Elizabeth.”. “Why should anyone care about what I think the Bransford photos accomplished?” I’m just a wee, grubby misfit. I don’t even have one fancy title to my name.” Elizabeth (not her real name) lives in northern Idaho. She grasped that the www.Trapperman.com photos showing smiling hunter Josh Bransford with a trapped black wolf standing in blood-drenched snow in the background would soon disappear. She saved the images and through the North Idaho Wolf Alliance network, got the photographs to Earth Island Journal in late March (Read the original story, Wolf Torture and Execution Continues in the Northern Rockies).

A light has been released, a light beyond my expectations,” Elizabeth says. “We have many new eyes peering into the gap between the ethical treatment of wildlife and legality in the state of Idaho… Josh Bransford is the face of but one man being used to render wolves functionally extinct region-wide, and since his disturbing actions are legal, officials won’t budge unless we the people demand change.”

Despite the worldwide publicity, the Bransford pictures got little attention in the  Idaho news media for the first two weeks after the story’s release. Bill Ross, a wolf handler at the Wolf People sanctuary in Cocolalla, Idaho, observed, “I don’t think the story’s really gotten off the ground yet. It’s not circulated among the general public here.” Ross fears that Bransford and the black wolf are “today’s news” and that “a week from now it won’t be news anymore.” Still, Ross soldiers on. “It can be discouraging, but if we don’t continue to fight, obviously there won’t be a fight,” he explains.

But Ross and the other Northern Rocky advocates got unexpected help on April 12, when the Idaho Fish and Game Service released its official report on Bransford’s “Wolf Trapping in the Red River area.”  (Bransford is a Nez Perce National Forest employee.)

photo of a man in the foreground kneeling, behind him a wolf is chained by a trap, a circle of bloodstained snow beneath
The photo in question. (Earth Island Journal)

While the photograph clearly shows the black wolf standing in a large blood-stained pool of snow, fish and game officials concluded the blood came from “nicks,” not bullets. Moreover, the report says: “the Forest Service officer and the deputy did not observe anyone shoot at the wolf and did not receive any indication that any of the individuals they contacted shot at the wolf.” Thus, since no law enforcement officer saw the wolf shot, and no one confessed to the shooting, then the wolf simply suffered “nicks” to its lower hind legs, and the nicks bled.

The report ignores Bransford’s own blog account about the incident on Trapperman: “I got a call on Sunday morning from a FS [Forrest Service] cop that I know. He said that You got one and you better get up here as there was a crowd forming. Several guys had stopped and taken a shot at him already! Lucky they were not real good shots.”   Bransford, writing under the name “Pinching,” explains that once on the scene he talked to the boys who fired: “I was not mad, and when the boys told me the story I kind of chuckled… I would have done the same I think. They also did go out of there (sic) way to make sure I was called, and they didn’t hide from what they were doing.”

There’s also a serious problem between the report’s conclusion and the pictures of the black wolf. Gary MacFarlane, Ecosystem Defense Director, of northern Idaho’s Friends of the Clearwater, contends that only two possible circumstances could lead to a wolf’s losing so much blood. One, the wolf could be shot. Second, the wolf could have tried to chew off its trapped leg.  But look at the photo of the wolf’s paw caught in Bransford’s trap. “It doesn’t look like the animal is trying to chew off its leg,” he says. “Somebody is lying. There’s a contradiction in the accounts.

Read More:

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/idaho_fish_and_game_report_says_trapped_black_wolf_not_s/

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Photos: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho Wolves, Animal Cruelty, Howling for Justice

Tags: Earth Island Journal,  Bill Gibson,  IDFG, trapped and tortured wolf,  Trappergate

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