21 Idaho wolves and 7 Montana wolves have been killed in the hunts, that number is going to climb very quickly once the cold weather arrives and forest cover is gone. Trapping in Idaho will lay wolves low. You will see the numbers of dead wolves skyrocket into the hundreds and all this is completely unnecessary.
There is no reason to hunt wolves, it’s a political witch hunt. The livestock industries’ hysteria concerning wolves is pure theater. Here are the cattle loss figures for 2010:
Cattle Losses 2010
Idaho 86, 900
Total Non-Predation: 198,800 cows
Wolf Predation (USFWS)
Total wolf predation: 188 cows
Even though the hunts are in full swing, Wildlife Services is still killing wolves, paid for by the American people. Remember the recent aerial gunning of 3 wolves on the Peavey Flat Top Ranch in Idaho?
The livestock wolf paradigm is a fairy tale, told to justify the quest for a predator free landscape. Yet almost every media report concerning wolves concentrates on ranchers and cattle losses.
Coyotes are the number one predator of cattle, namely calves but even the little “song dog” does very little damage. Please stop listening to this drivel and arm yourself with facts. This wolf hunt is Salem, Massachusetts all over again.
Myth drives these political hunts. One of the most repeated is, “wolves are decimating game herds” , another over the top accusation. Did you know there are almost 400,000 elk in the three wolf states?
Montana 150,000 elk
Idaho 103,000 elk
(up from 101,000 in 2010)
Wyoming 120,000 elk.
That is a huge number of elk. The fish and game agencies are turning our forests into giant game farms. Are wildlife advocates expected to sit idly by while predators are decimated to placate hunters and ranchers?
On the PBS special, “Cowboys vs. Gray Wolves: Predator Once Again Prey”, wolf biologist, Doug Smith, gave this statement:
Doug Smith: The short answer is yes. Wolves are tough to live with. they need tolerance from humans. Wolves aren’t going to get that unless problems can be solved. It appears, there’s not really hard studies on this, that social tolerance increases with wolf hunting.
Interviewer: You heard right. Doug Smith, the wolfman of Yellowstone. is OK with wolf hunting. within limits.”
So if there are no hard studies on the hypothesis that social tolerance of wolves increases with wolf hunting, why make that statement? In fact there is plenty of evidence that supports the opposite view. No matter how many wolves are killed it will never be enough for some. It’s convenient to have a voiceless, scapegoat to blame for an unhappy life.
All one has to do is visit FB and read the vitriol, view the tortured bodies of dead wolves, to know hunting wolves will never placate these people. They hate without reason. It’s a repeat of the same attitudes that were present 100 years ago. It’s the very reason wolves need the protection of the ESA.
Pick up a newspaper and read the endless whining from ranchers about wolves. They are asking us to believe that losing 75 cows to wolves, compared to 80,000 from non-predation, is a wolf crisis? Totally ridiculous. Is this tolerance?
In sixteen years, ranchers have not developed a “social tolerance” for wolves that I can observe. There may be ranchers who don’t hold anti-wolf views but their voices are few and far between.
Hunters had their chance to hunt wolves in 2009 and the ugly rhetoric and demonizing of wolves has only increased in my opinion. Idaho has a no quota hunt in most of the state, targeting 850 wolves. Wyoming is planning a shoot-on-sight-plan, that would allow hunters or anyone to literally kill a wolf anytime, day or night, in any way possible. No limits. Wolves are facing a blood bath of epic proportions in Idaho. When the state takes their wolf population down to 150 animals will there then be tolerance? Do the majority of wolves have to die in the Northern Rockies before they are “accepted”?
This is the sad state of wolf politics.
Please visit Howl Across America. Channel your disillusionment and disgust by organizing a protest or join an existing one. Think outside the box. You could plan a “run for wolves” if you’re a runner, a “bike for wolves” if you bike, a “motorcycle ride for wolves” if you’re a biker. Wolf advocate, Ann S., suggested a “dog walk for wolves”. Whatever fits your comfort zone. The point is DO SOMETHING!! Think what a force we could be.
HOWL ACROSS AMERICA
For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.
Top Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bottom Photo: Courtesy Howl Across America
Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: Idaho wolf hunt, Montana wolf hunt, wolf slaughter, wolf intolerance, wolf persecution