The endless whining and demonizing of wolves is so mind numbing it could actually rival the drug Ambien as an effective sleep aid. The same talking points are repeated over and over ad nauseam. That’s why it was so refreshing to read reporter Nick Geovck’s piece in the Mt.Standard. A round of applause to him for having the courage and conviction to speak out about this modern-day witch hunt, directed at wolves and other predators.
He drives his point home by quoting from Aldo Leopold’s famous writing, Thinking Like a Mountain, from a Sand County Almanac. Leopold, who was once a wolf hunter himself, had an epiphany:
“Leopold realizes that killing a predator wolf carries serious implications for the rest of the ecosystem.”
Please take the time to thank Nick Ge0vck by leaving a comment under his excellent article.
Hatred of predators reaches ridiculous fervor
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:15 am
“Conserva-tion is a state of harmony between men and land. By land is meant all of the things on, over, or in the earth. Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators.”
– Aldo Leopold
Let’s kill every wolf in Montana.
Sounds like a popular idea these days among hunters.
While we’re at it, let’s kill every grizzly bear, every black bear and every mountain lion. Throw in golden eagles, bald eagles, rattlesnakes and coyotes.
We’d be left with a hunter’s paradise – a state teeming with game animals and hunting opportunity, right?
That’s the sentiment I heard recently at a meeting on the hunting season setting proposals in Butte, where an oft-angry group of sportsmen called for large-scale killing of predators to increase the number of deer, elk and other game species. The suggestions ranged from having government trappers shoot wolves from helicopters to creating a season on eagles so they don’t kill mountain goats.
What state are these people living in?
Here are a few facts about Montana’s wildlife populations and hunting over the past two decades, covering the period during which the much-maligned western gray wolf has been on the landscape.
In 1992, three years before wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks official estimate of the elk herd was 89,000 elk in Montana. Today we have a statewide estimate of 150,000 elk.
In 2003, the state Legislature passed a bill that required FWP biologists bring elk numbers down to the targeted objective populations laid out in the statewide elk plan. They were responding to complaints from ranchers about too many elk on their private land.
Ironically, some of the same lawmakers who supported that bill are among the most vocal wolf bashers. That hypocrisy begs the question: are there too many elk or too many wolves in Montana?
Anyway, the Legislature in recent years has given FWP several tools to kill more elk, including giving hunters the chance to kill two elk per year.
And since then, Montana has on three occasions extended the general elk season to give hunters two additional weeks to kill elk in years when the harvest was slow.
Second elk tags, extended seasons and liberal regulations allowing more cow elk hunting: where’s the loss of hunting opportunity?
In truth, elk hunters have had more opportunity than in decades and now we’ve seen the effects of that.
Over the past couple years we’ve brought elk back down closer to the target populations or in some cases dropped it below those objective numbers. Accordingly, FWP biologists have gone from liberal to more conservative seasons, allowing fewer cow elk to be killed in many areas and reducing the second tags.
It proves that two-legged predators with high-powered rifles can be extremely effective at killing elk.
Photo: Courtesy goukaboutdotcom
Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: wolf persecution, wolf hysteria, Mt. Standard, Nick Gevock , war on predators