UPDATE: November 11, 2012
357 wolves dead in combined hunts.
November 9, 2012
I don’t have to tell you how bad things are for wolves, the hunt-death toll says it all. 341 wolves wiped out in just 73 days. Wolves are under an unprecedented attack, five wolf hunts in progress with Michigan chomping at the bit to join the fray.
Three and a half years ago wolves were delisted by the Obama administration and his pal, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. It’s been downhill ever since. Our only victory came in August 2010 when Judge Molloy relisted wolves in the Northern Rockies.
It would be easy to quit, to ask why am I bothering to fight when we’re losing so badly? The answer is clear, for the wolves. We’re all they have, their only voice. We can’t allow the injustice perpetrated against them to go unanswered.
We’ve lost many battles but with strategy, perseverance and lots of hard work we can prevail. I can’t predict how long it will take or when it will happen but I believe strongly we’ll win this fight.
The only way to stay sane and keep battling is to focus on the big picture. Wolves must be relisted and regain their ESA protections. That should be our over-arching goal, everything else is secondary. Please don’t spend your time arguing with wolf haters on FB or hunting forums. It saps energy, its demoralizing and it’s time lost you could be spending helping wolves. The wolf haters feed on it, they love to argue and spew their hate against wolves and wolf advocates. Don’t take the bait. I’ve received thousands of hateful comments on this blog, here’s one posted today:
you are a bunch of fuckin idiots. stay in california
Needless to say it went straight to the spam folder. You won’t see these comments unless I decide to post them just to show the ignorance and hate we’re up against and believe me its legion.
I don’t have the time or inclination to argue that wolves deserve to exist. Don’t get caught in that trap. Be aware of what the other side is doing but engaging them in endless arguments is pointless.
If we want to focus on the negative there’s plenty to look at. Wolves are being decimated in Idaho and Montana. With the third wolf hunt, the brutality has escalated exponentially. There are no quotas and for the first time Montana will allow wolf trapping. Wolves can run from guns and maybe even arrows but they can’t escape leg-hold traps and snares.
Idaho started trapping wolves last year and has expanded the wolf hunt year round. The Lolo and Selway zones are open for hunting 10 months of the year, ending June 30, right through breeding, denning and pupping season. Last year, as soon as the Lolo/Selway horror ended, Idaho opened a wolf hunt in the Panhandle on private land, while wolves were trying to raise their pups. Is this the sound management the states promised? Absolutely not. And who do we have to blame? The US Senate, who rammed through the delisting of wolves in the Northern Rockies on a budget/wolf rider, with President Obama signing the bill into law.
In their first wolf hunt, Wisconsin planned to use up to six dogs per hunter to chase wolves to their deaths but a judge issued a temporary injunction to stop the use of dogs, after a court challenge. BUT a hearing is scheduled on December 20th to re-visit the issue.
Wyoming finally got their way and can now kill wolves 365 days a year in the “predator zone” which encompasses over 85% of the state. No license needed, any killing method is allowed, including poison. The only requirement is to report a wolf death within ten days, do you think the majority of people who kill wolves for fun will even bother to report the death? At the same time Wyoming is conducting a trophy hunt with a quota of 52 wolves, right outside the borders of Yellowstone. Montana’s hunt encompasses Yellowstone’s northern border. Yellowstone wolves, already hit hard by mange, are now virtually living on an island, with wolf hunts wiping out wolves who could have provided park wolves with much need genetic diversity.
Minnesota hunters have killed 91 wolves in ONE WEEK.
Untold suffering is being perpetrated against wolves who are highly social animals. Hunting and killing them is fracturing bonds and wrecking havoc among wolf families. Where are the biologists to decry this slaughter? All we’re getting from them is this:
Ed Bangs (former Wolf Recovery Coordinator) in a 2000 Nova Online interview, characterized the strong bonds wolf families share.
“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.”
Wolf hunters and state game agencies don’t care anything about that. A wolf’s life is cheap now, sold for the price of a hunting tag. It’s pointless to try and reason or bargain with the states that are killing wolves, it’s a win/win situation for them. They keep their customers happy (hunters) and fill their state coffers with wolf tag money.
I know it’s hard to go on when you see the carnage building, the endless photos of smiling, grinning trophy hunters posing with their wolf corpses.
I’ve been grieving since the first wolf hunts began in the fall of 2009 BUT instead of turning that grief inward I use it as a motivator to fight for the animals I love. I’m working on a project with other wolf advocates we believe will make a difference for wolves.
No matter what, we have to keep battling for these amazing animals. Whatever you can do in your own life to improve the situation for wolves, please do it. I’ve discussed the poor organization of the grass-roots wolf movement many times, that has to change. The opposition is well-organized and flush with cash. Expressing your outrage but doing nothing is not helping wolves. You have to commit to making a difference. Whether it’s organizing a protest, handing out fliers, writing op-eds, utilizing social media or connecting with other wolf advocates, be creative.
Many times people have told me they can’t make a protest rally because it’s too far away. That shouldn’t stop you, organize one in your home town. Create a wolf advocacy group, there’s power in numbers. We are the majority, remember that. Wolves have been hijacked by a small, vocal minority. Hunters are just 12% of the population and they have no right to kill America’s wolves for sport. Wildlife watchers voices go unheard. We’ve been pushed to the sidelines while millions of our native wildlife are slaughtered in the name of “sport”. Killing defenseless wildlife, who can’t fight back and have no idea what’s coming, isn’t sport.
“Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides should know they’re in the game.”….Paul Rodriquez
Sometimes things have to get really bad before they get better. Being a wolf advocate will not win you any awards, you will go to bed most nights with a heavy heart but we are making a difference. So hold your head high and never give in. Focus on the big picture and don’t allow yourself to be dragged down.
We will win this for the wolves!!
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn”….Harriet Beecher Stowe
A View To A Kill
How Safari Club Int’l Works To Weaken ESA Protections
By Michael Satchell
The Humane Society of the United States
Hunting: Wasteful, cruel and definitely not a sport
BY EMILY ACHENBAUM
Diamond in the Rough
Published February 19, 2001
Why Sport Hunting Is Cruel and Unnecessary
Photo: (OR-11, Photo Credit ODFW)
Video: Courtesy YouTube
Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: Wolf Warriors, wolf relisting, never backing down, adversity, wolf persecution, evils of trophy hunting, wolves vital to ecosystem
© 2009-2012 Howling For Justice