Don’t Blame Wolves for Elk Deaths by Doris Lin

This article highlights the hypocrisy of blaming wolves for elk population fluctuations.  Elk and wolves have co-existed together for millenia. The elk owes its fleetness of foot to the wolves’ tooth. For selfish humans to deny wolves their right to eat,  is the ultimate in self centeredness.

Many human hunters kill elk and then blame wolves if elk numbers dip. They expect fish and game agencies to keep elk numbers elevated, making it easier to hunt them. Competing with the wolf is  something they won’t tolerate. In turn wolves are persecuted and killed to accommodate  a small group of people, decreasing wildlife advocates ability to view wild wolves. We need a major change in wildlife “management”.  It makes no sense that a minority of hunters should be catered to over the rest of the population.

Wolves cull the weak, sick and old ungulates, that’s how they keep elk and deer herds healthy.  It’s why we have predators. Wolves are opportunists and occasionally kill healthy animals but the norm is to go after the least difficult prey. What would you rather do, battle a bull elk in its prime or chase an old cow elk?

On the other hand, human hunters stalk trophy animals, the big bulls, the best of the herd. They can do this because of superior technology as in  high-powered rifles with scopes. Hardly fair chase. Not even close. Wolves don’t possess guns or high-tech bows, they use their  natural hunting skills they were born with.  An uncanny sense of smell, legendary endurance, ground-eating speed, close cooperation with their packmates, all combined with their remarkable intelligence.  Quite the package.

Wolves hunt to live. Most humans hunt for sport, the meat is secondary IMO.  Hunting is an expensive exercise. You have to buy special clothing, expensive guns and ammo, tags and licenses, own a sound rig with four-wheel drive, you may have to take some time off from work, etc. It’s not a poor man’s sport.

Who does more damage to ungulate herd health, wolf or man? I think we know the answer.

“Last year, Idaho Fish and Game wanted to kill 40-50 wolves in their Lolo zone because of their perceived effects on the elk population, yet they offered 1,492 elk hunting permits for that same zone.”


Don’t Blame Wolves for Elk Deaths

By Doris Lin, Guide   June 1, 2011

A new study confirms what animal advocates have been saying all along: Don’t blame the wolves for killing elk. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game conducted studies on collared elk in 11 study areas, and examined the causes of death. According to the Times-News, “Though statewide numbers have dropped some, claims that wolves are wholly responsible for declining elk populations aren’t holding up . . . Biologists found that wolves killed significant numbers of collared elk in only one area.” What were the other causes of death? Severe weather, bears, cougars, and hunters. In two of the 11 study areas, hunters were the number one elk killers.

Photo: Courtesy Caninest Flickr Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: elk, gray wolves, human hunters,  wolf myths

Published in: on June 29, 2011 at 11:49 pm  Comments (14)  
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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is a great article! Finally, the truth!


  2. Yup, what we have been saying all along. Will you get the hunters to see that? No. They will say that this study is rigged. I have seen at least 2 different sources where bears were the biggest culprit out of 39 collard elk calves. 5 by wolves. 18 to 19 by bears. Hmmm, I’d say that something is going on here. Maybe some kind of payoff to say that the wolves are the biggest culprit.


  3. Finally the truth! we`ve said it for a long time now – are they stupid, the “humans” that believe otherwise????????? No it`s just an excuse to kill and make hunting trophy`s …. I get sick about them!

    Johnny Denmark


  4. Hunters are the reason for the decline in Elk numbers. The hunters go after the stag with the biggest rck of horns for their trophy rooms.
    The wolves go after the sick,weak,lame and old. So by doing this the elk herds are kept healthy.
    So who is the cause of the numbers going low. I betting it is the hunters.


  5. Barbara – fuldstændig eni! Ulvene går kun efter – som jeg også beskrev i et af mine andre indlæg – efter de svage og syge, som alligevel ville dø en ensom og oinefuld død. Jægere skal bare have en syg undskyldningm til deres macho-pis, for at tro de er mænd. SYGE STODDERE!


  6. Barbara – undskuld et par stavefejl – gik ligt hurtigt 🙂 jeg er ENIG og dyrene ville dø en PINEFULD død. God dag alle ulve elskere.


  7. Start sending comments. Don’t know if it will do any good. I hope wolves get relisted.


  8. Not a big surprise that hunters have an effect on Elk. Poachers. That is never mentioned in the newspapers.


  9. The funny thing is, they (anti-wolfers) are always asking us for “facts”. Where I live you answer to this type of things “There’s a roach speaking of hygiene”…

    Oh, yes, hunters are the complete opposite of natural selection. Picking the biggest, healthiest, most beautiful males that are much more likely to reproduce and with the best genes is no good for elk.


  10. Whenever someone says something along the lines of “Save an Elk, Kill a Wolf,” we should tell them “Save an Elk, Stop Killing Them!” After all, hunters kill much more elk than the wolves do, right? And unlike the predators, the hunters kill the strong, healthy elk required to sustain a healthy elk population!


    • Yep you are so right NoonvaleWolf. Humans are the scariest and most destructive predators on earth.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,


  11. Its not true, people are the ones killing the poor Elks and they are blaming the Wolves for it just so they can kill them too!!


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