Killing Wolves For Fun And The War On Wolves….

~~~
As 2011 draws to a close I’ll be revisiting a few of my early posts from 2009, when the first wolf hunts were taking place in Montana and Idaho, after the Obama administration delisted them in the Spring of that year. This was the first time wolves were hunted in the lower 48 since the last wolves were wiped out in the 1940′s.

Since 2009 the state sponsored  hunts have gotten bolder and more brutal,  with the inclusion of traps and snares, even bringing Alaskan trappers to kill wolves in Idaho’s Lolo and Selway zones, with the addition of aerial gunning.  All to harass and kill wolves who’ve done nothing wrong except try to exist.

In 2009,  wolf advocates were awaiting Judge Molloy’s decision, would he relist wolves?  The ruling came  in August 2010. Wolves were relisted in the Northern Rockies!! But the victory was short-lived.  Thanks to Jon Tester D-MT,  who inserted a wolf delisting rider into the Senate budget bill, wolves were delisted  and the bill was signed into law by President Obama. Wolves are now paying with their lives for that betrayal.

===

Killing Wolves For Fun & The War On Wolves

November 9, 2009

yellowstone wolf runnintg

Wolves have been accused of it but the predator with the reputation for killing for sport isn’t the wolf, it’s man.

I’ve often asked myself why people trophy hunt, this is especially relevant since wolves are firmly in the cross fire, with ongoing wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho.

Wolves aren’t being hunted for food. Hunters are making a personal decision to go out and kill a wolf just because it’s there.

Over 26,000 wolf tags were sold in Idaho alone to kill 220 wolves and Montana sold thousands to kill 75 wolves.  A little over kill, don’t ya think?  Add to that the hatred some people feel for wolves, it makes for an even scarier and mean-spirited climate.

alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

Alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

Even before the wolf hunts began the air was charged with anti-wolf bias. The governors of Montana and Idaho inserted themselves into the negative wolf rhetoric.  Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana made a questionable statement about federal Judge Molloy, who is presiding over a lawsuit brought by environmental groups to reverse the recent wolf delisting.  The plaintiffs were asking for an injunction, to stop the wolf hunts, while the merits of the case were being decided.  Governor Schweitzer stated: ”If some old judge says we can’t (hunt wolves), we’ll take it back to another judge.”  That was a totally indefensible remark for the Gov to make. Gov “Butch” Otter of Idaho went one better. Back in 2007, before wolves were even delisted, he stated in front of a rally of camouflage wearing hunters, he was prepared to manage the wolf population down to just 100 animals. He went even further stating “. “I’m prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself.”

Should the executive officers of Montana and Idaho, use the wolf as a political football by posturing to ranching and hunting interests?  What chance does the wolf have to be treated fairly when the governors  make those kinds of statements?

The “management” or killing of wolves is sanctioned by the states of Montana and Idaho but exactly who is this benefiting?  Certainly not over the ninety percent of the non-hunting public.  Wolves and other predators are being “managed” for the benefit of a few interest groups, mainly elk hunters, ranchers and outfitters. The rest of us, who want to view wildlife in their natural state, which means “not dead”, don’t seem to count.  Our wildlife is being slaughtered for the benefit of a few. That is inherently wrong but it continues because hunting and ranching interests have powerful lobbies that seek to influence policy and it works! Unless and until the politics of the usual are replaced with the policies of change, America’s predators will suffer.

hayden pack wolves

wolf photo: SigmaEye Flicker

Montana and Idaho have decided which wildlife they consider important and which are disposable.  Predator management is just a euphemism for killing them.  Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on tracking, collaring and lethally controlling predators and other wildlife by cruel means, IE, poisoning with 1080 compound, M44s, denning and trapping.  Most of the killing is done by Wildlife Services, which is an arm of the USDA.  The lethal control of wolves is not supported by the majority of Americans but we have little input in the decision-making process. Why does the non-hunting consumer have so little influence on  how our wildlife is managed?

Although predators control ungulate populations, the states aren’t comfortable with that because they cater to the hunting and ranching lobbies, who bring millions into state coffers. This creates a conflict of interest.  Wolves compete with hunters for the same prey.  The budget of state game agencies depend on hunter licensing fees.  Is it any wonder we are having wolf hunts and wolf “management”?

As soon as predators, like the wolf, start to increase in number, the call rings out for them to be managed.   “In 2008, wolves are known to have killed fewer than 200 cattle and sheep in Montana, and 100 wolves were hunted down in response.” 

How can anyone defend that kind ”managment”? Yet Montana and Idaho contend their wildlife management practices are grounded in science.  I would like to see the science that backs wiping out 100 wolves for the death of 200 livestock?

In January 2008, before the current delisting took place, FWP issued new revised rules concerning the “management” of  gray wolves, who had been reintroduced to Central Idaho and Greater Yellowstone in 1995-96.  The new rules state the feds and tribes can kill more wolves if they become a “threat” to game animals and private property.  So once again FWP is “managing” for the benefit of the few ignoring the wants of the many.

Have you ever visited Yellowstone National Park and watched the Druid Peak Pack?  They were literally the super stars of Yellowstone, sadly the pack is plagued by mange, their numbers declining, yet we are caught up in wolf hunts, which threatens them and other wild wolves in the park.  Already the famed Alpha female, 527F, of Yellowstone’s Cottonwood Pack, was gunned down a mile outside of the park, along with the Alpha male and her daughter, when the Montana hunt began.  This decimated the Cottonwood Pack and halted important research into some of Yellowstone’s most famous and studied collared wolves.

Trophy hunting of wolves only inflames passions and hatred of wolves. I won’t call trophy hunting a sport.  It’s an unfair game where the hunted aren’t acquainted with the rules. The only way it could be considered fair is if you placed the “hunter” in the woods without their high-powered rifles or high-tech bows and have them run up against a wolf with their bare hands, you know, Mano y Mano. How many “brave” hunters would be out there killing wolves for fun in that scenario?  I say the number would be ZERO.  Killing for sport is a cowardly exercise that features an uneven playing field between hunters and the hunted,  just to get a cheap thrill and rush of testosterone (yes most hunters are men).  How skillful and brave is it to kill an animal, hundreds of yards away, that has no fighting chance against you, with a scope and high-powered rifle? Trophy hunting gives all hunting a bad name!!  It’s blood lust pure and simple. Wolves shouldn’t be subjected to this in the 21st Century. We’ve already exterminated them in the West once, are we aiming for round two?

286_lobo_wolf-wars

Lobo wolf wars (Photo: Nature Online)

The most encouraging words come from Richard Baldes, a Shoshone and former Fish and Wildlife Service biologist on the Wind River Indian Reservation, inhabited by the Arapahoe and Shoshone tribes.  They’re managing to coexist very well with wolves and welcome Canis Lupus.  He explained the tribe’s views to High Country News in 2008:

“The tribes’ management plans are pretty simple. “The Wind River Reservation is somewhat of a sanctuary,” Baldes tells me from his porch at the foot of the Wind River Mountains. Much as they do with the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, which was instrumental in the original reintroduction, wolves play an important role in the lore and religion of Shoshone and Arapahoe people. Wolves represent a social role model, for starters: “They take care of the family,” Baldes says. “The aunts and uncles take care of the young, and they also take care of the old.”

The obvious parallels between government efforts to eradicate wolves and past efforts to eradicate Indians aren’t lost on Baldes. In fact, the resurgence of wolves is a powerful metaphor on the reservation. “The Creator put them here for a reason,” Baldes says. He chuckles to himself about the raging controversy. “People have made the issue with wolves much more complicated than it needs to be,” he says. “It’s just a nice feeling to know that these animals are back and that they’re going to be here to stay. I don’t see any reason why they won’t be here forever.”

====

Why State Fish and Game Agencies Can’t Manage Predators

 By George Wuerthner, 4-17-09
  
minn gray wolf
http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/why_state_fish_and_game_agencies_cant_manage_predators/C564/L564
===
Top Photo: kewl wallpapers
Bottom and Middle Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: trophy hunting wolves, wolves in the crossfire, Wildlife Services, Obama administration de-listing, Druid Peak Pack
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Hunters kill 20 wolves in first Swedish hunt in 45 years

More bad news, this time from Sweden.  For the first time in forty-five years, Swedish wolves are being hunted. Hunters killed 20 wolves out of the 27 wolf quota, on the first day of the hunt.  How incredibly sad. To my fellow wolf supporters in Sweden, my heart goes out to you.

Sweden’s wolves number a little over 200 animals. Yet this tiny wolf population is being hunted.  20 wolves are gone.  For what? 

Wolf persecution is global!!

We have just begun to fight…….John Paul Jones

=================

“Hunter Sune Johansson weights a female wolf after it was shot”

Hunters kill 20 wolves in first Swedish hunt in 45 years

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.227e6a4e11ba39c08630e5729d693330.a81&show_article=1

Posted in: Swedish wolves

Tags: Swedish wolf hunt, gray wolf/canis lupus, trophy hunting wolves

Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 11:51 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , ,

HOWLING FOR JUSTICE ALERT: Predator Derby

December 21, 2009

SFW-IDAHO PREDATOR DERBIES ARE OVER FOR THIS YEAR. THAT IS WELCOME NEWS.

 

SAY NO TO PREDATOR DERBIES. THEY DO NOT REFLECT ETHICAL HUNTING PRACTICES, THEY SHOW A BLATANT DISREGARD FOR WILDLIFE AND GIVE HUNTING A BLACK EYE!!

SFW-Idaho is planning their fifth annual predator derby.  The derby is a contest that assigns two points each to coyotes, bobcats and foxes, 3 points to wolves (sadly wolves have been added this year.)  The team that collects the most points by hunting and killing those specific animals, wins.  There are prizes awarded to the winning team and proceeds from the hunt are donated to the wolf litigation fund.

I thought hunters were responsible stewards of the land? How then can a group of hunters go out into the woods, with the sole purpose of competing to see who kills more animals than the other and then get prizes for it? How can this be considered responsible hunting stewardship?

I hope hunters and everyone that finds this practice unsavory and disgusting will speak out about it.  I have friends that are hunters and have never heard of any of them participating in an event such as this.  All the sponsors of this event are listed here.

The next derby is scheduled for January 8th-9th, Twin Falls, Idaho

If you want to voice your concern please use the contacts list posted on the Idaho wolf  hunt extension alert or contact the sponsors directly.

Sponsors:

NIKON has dropped out of the SFW-Idaho Derby sponsorship

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/nikon-pull-ad-from-sfw-idaho-predator-derby/

BUT They Still Sponsor:

Predator Masters….Hunting the Hunters

http://www.predatormastersforums.com/sponsors.php

NIKON Sells Coyote Scopes:

http://www.nikonhunting.com/riflescopes-coyote-special.html?source=predatormaster

They are listed on the sponsor page:

http://www.predatormastersforums.com/sponsors.php

Nikon Inc.

Nikon Inc.
1300 Walt Whitman Road
Melville, NY 11747-3064, U.S.A.

Corporate Inquiries:
631-547-4200

 Nikon’s corporate media relations person: (thanks Rich!)
Tara Naughton
tnaughton@mww.com

======================

CABELA’S

Cabela’s has decided to continue sponsoring this “derby”

Contact them

customer.service@cabelas.com

308-254-5505  corporate headquarters

===================

Sportsman’s Warehouse 

Contact them

=================================

Grubbin’ BBQ

Sean Cluff Owner

Contact Click Here

==================================

ACTION ALERT 2:    From www.ProjectCoyote.org

UPDATE ON THE MAINE COYOTE KILLING CONTEST:

From projectcoyote.com

Governor Baldacci publicly announced that they are calling for an end to this hunt in response to our efforts and called the killing tournaments “inhumane.”

Wildlife Coalition Condemns Coyote Killing Tournament
as Ethically and Ecologically Indefensible:

Killing tournaments, disguised as either recreation or wildlife management, are a very poor commentary on those who partake in them,” said Daryl DeJoy, executive director of the Wildlife Alliance of Maine. “We would like to see Governor Baldacci to emulate the late, great Governor Percival Baxter who felt that Maine’s wildlife’s should not be wantonly destroyed for recreation or entertainment.”

“These events exhibit a blatant disregard for wildlife and the integrity of ecosystems by encouraging mass killing for prizes,” said Andrew Page, senior director of the Wildlife Abuse Campaign at The Humane Society of the United States. “Killing coyotes will do nothing to increase the white-tailed deer density or decrease coyote numbers — it will only advance an archaic idea that the value of animals is their dead weight.“

Derby’s or contests held solely to kill as many predators as possible in a certain time period, IMO,  is wrong and disgusting.  This gives hunting a bad name. 

SPEAK OUT AGAINST COYOTE KILLING ‘TOURNAMENT’ IN MAINE

Right now in Northern Maine (Jackman), predator hunters are killing coyotes as part of a contest “tournament.” Sponsored by the Jackman-Moose River Region Chamber of Commerce, the “kill” runs from December 16th through January 30, 2010. Prizes are awarded for those hunters who kill both the most coyotes and the largest individuals. Ethics aside, random coyote killing will do nothing to protect Maine’s deer herds, as tournament sponsors contend. A copious and growing body of literature shows that coyote population reduction efforts through lethal control are futile, given the species’ resiliency and ability to biologically rebound.

A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter [or Wildlife Manager] ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact.”   Aldo Leopold

Photo: Courtesy Nature

Posted in: Predator Derby,  Idaho wolf hunt

Tags: trophy hunting wolves, wolves in the crossfire

Published in: on November 21, 2009 at 1:13 am  Comments (11)  
Tags: ,

Idaho Closes Another Wolf Hunt Zone But Is Considering Extending the Season

Idaho closed Dworshak-Elk City wolf kill zone.  This is the third zone to be closed after the quota of  18 dead wolves had been reached, the other zones closed are the Upper Snake and McCall-Weiser.  108 wolves have been slain in Idaho since the wolf hunt began on September 1, 2009.  

Even though Idaho has now closed three of it’s twelve wolf hunt zones they are considering extending the hunts past the December 31st, 2009 deadline.  They already have a seven month long wolf hunting season in the Sawtooth and Lolo zones, which extend to March 31, 2010, right through wolf mating season.  Now they’re thinking of extending other hunting zones.  This is ridiculous. The rules have already been set, what other hunted animal have they extended the season for?  When the deadline is reached the hunts should be over.  Just more bad news for wolves in Idaho!

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Categories posted in: Idaho wolf hunt, wolves under fire

Tags: Idaho wolf hunt, trophy hunting wolves, wolves in the crossfire

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 1:54 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , ,

Killing Wolves For Fun & The War On Wolves

 

yellowstone wolf runnintg

Wolves have been accused of it but the predator with the reputation for killing for sport isn’t the wolf, it’s man.

I’ve often asked myself why people trophy hunt, this is especially relevant since wolves are firmly in the cross fire, with the ongoing wolf hunts in Montanaand Idaho.

Wolves aren’t being hunted for food.  Hunters are making a personal decision to go out and kill a wolf just because it’s there.

Over 26,000 wolf tags were sold in Idaho alone to kill 220 wolves and Montana sold thousands to kill 75 wolves.  A little over kill, don’t ya think?  Add to that the hatred some people feel for wolves,  it makes for an even scarier and mean spirited climate.

alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

Alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

Even before the wolf hunts began the air was charged with anti-wolf bias. The governors of Montana and Idaho inserted themselves into the negative wolf rhetoric.  Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana made a questionable statement about federal Judge Molloy, who is presiding over a lawsuit brought by environmental groups to reverse the recent wolf delisting.  The plaintiffs were asking for an injunction, to stop the wolf hunts, while the merits of the case were being decided.  Governor Schweitzer stated:  “If some old judge says we can’t (hunt wolves), we’ll take it back to another judge.”  That was a totally indefensible remark for the Gov to make. Gov “Butch” Otter of Idaho went one better.  Back in 2007, before wolves were even delisted, he stated in front of a rally of camouflage wearing hunters, he was prepared to manage the wolf population down to just 100 animals. He went even further stating “. “I’m prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself.”

Should the executive officers of Montana and Idaho, use the wolf as a political football by posturing to ranching and hunting interests?  What chance does the wolf have to be treated fairly when even the governors  make those kinds of statements?

The “management” or killing of wolves is sanctioned by the states of Montana and Idaho but exactly who is this benefiting?  Certainly not the ninety percent of the non-hunting public.   Wolves and other predators are being “managed” for the benefit of a few interest groups, mainly elk hunters, ranchers and outfitters.  The rest of us, who want to view wildlife in their natural state, which means “not dead”, don’t seem to count.  Our wildlife is being slaughtered for the benefit of a few. That is inherently wrong but it continues because hunting and ranching interests have powerful lobbies that seek to influence policy and it works! Unless and until the politics of the usual are replaced with the policies of change, America’s predators will suffer.

hayden pack wolves

wolf photo: SigmaEye Flicker

Montana and Idaho and others have decided which wildlife they consider important and which are disposable.  Predator management is just a euphemism for killing them.  Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on tracking, collaring and lethally controlling predators and other wildlife by cruel means, IE, poisoning with 1080 compound, M44s, denning and trapping.  Most of the killing is done by Wildlife Services, which is an arm of the USDA.  The lethal control of wolves is not supported by the majority of Americans but we have little input in the decision making process.  Why does the non-hunting consumer have so little input into how our wildlife is managed?

Although predators can control ungulate populations, the states aren’t comfortable with that because they cater to hunting and ranching lobbies, who bring millions into state coffers.  creating a conflict of interest for state game agencies who manage predators like the wolf.  Wolves compete with hunters for the same prey.  The budget of state game agencies depend on hunter licensing fees.  Is it any wonder we are having wolf hunts and wolf “management”?

As soon as predators, like the wolf, start to increase in number, the call rings out for them to be managed.   “In 2008, wolves are known to have killed fewer than 200 cattle and sheep in Montana, and 100 wolves were hunted down in response.” 

How can anyone defend that kind “managment”? Yet Montana and Idaho contend their wildlife management practices are grounded in science.  I would like to see the science that backs wiping out 100 wolves for the death of 200 livestock?

In January 2008, before the current delisting took place, FWP issued new revised rules concerning the “management” of  gray wolves, who had been reintroduced to Central Idaho and Greater Yellowstone.  The new rules state the feds and tribes can kill more wolves if they become a “threat” to game animals and private property.  So once again FWP is “managing” for the benefit of the few ignoring the wants of the many.  How shocking.

Have you ever visited Yellowstone National Park and watched the Druid Peak Pack?  They were literally the super stars of Yellowstone, sadly the pack is plagued by mange, their numbers dcclining, yet we are caught up in wolf hunts, which threatens them and other wild wolves in the park.  Already the famed Alpha female, 527F, of the park’s Cottonwood Pack, was gunned down a mile outside of Yellowstone, along with the Alpha male and her daughter, when the Montana hunt began.  This basically decimated the Cottonwood Pack and halted important research into some of  Yellowstone’s famous, studied, collared wolves.

Trophy hunting of wolves only inflames passions and hatred of wolves in some quarters.   I won’t call trophy hunting a sport.  It’s an unfair game where the hunted aren’t acquainted with the rules. The only way it could be considered fair is if you placed the “hunter” in the woods without their high powered rifle or bow and have them run up against a wolf with their bare hands, you know, Mano y Mano. How many “brave” hunters would be out there killing wolves for fun in that scenario?  I say the number would be ZERO.  Killing for sport is a cowardly exercise that features an uneven playing field between hunters and the hunted,  just to get a cheap thrill and rush of testosterone (yes most hunters are men).  How skillful and brave is it to kill an animal, hundreds of yards away, that has no fighting chance against you, with a scope and high powered rifle? Trophy hunting gives all hunting a bad name!!   It’s blood lust pure and simple.  Wolves shouldn’t be subjected to this in the 21st Century.  We’ve already exterminated them in the West once, are we aiming for round two?

286_lobo_wolf-wars

Lobo wolf wars

The most encouraging words come from Richard Baldes, a Shoshone and former Fish and Wildlife Service biologist on the Wind River Indian Reservation, inhabited by Arapahoe and Shoshone tribes.  They are managing to coexist very well with the wolf and welcome Canis Lupus.  He explained the tribe’s views to High Country News in 2008:

“The tribes’ management plans are pretty simple. “The Wind River Reservation is somewhat of a sanctuary,” Baldes tells me from his porch at the foot of the Wind River Mountains. Much as they do with the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, which was instrumental in the original reintroduction, wolves play an important role in the lore and religion of Shoshone and Arapahoe people. Wolves represent a social role model, for starters: “They take care of the family,” Baldes says. “The aunts and uncles take care of the young, and they also take care of the old.”
 
The obvious parallels between government efforts to eradicate wolves and past efforts to eradicate Indians aren’t lost on Baldes. In fact, the resurgence of wolves is a powerful metaphor on the reservation. “The Creator put them here for a reason,” Baldes says. He chuckles to himself about the raging controversy. “People have made the issue with wolves much more complicated than it needs to be,” he says. “It’s just a nice feeling to know that these animals are back and that they’re going to be here to stay. I don’t see any reason why they won’t be here forever.”
 
running wolf
 
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
================== 
Why State Fish and Game Agencies Can’t Manage Predators
 
By George Wuerthner, 4-17-09
  
minn gray wolf
 http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/why_state_fish_and_game_agencies_cant_manage_predators/C564/L564/
 
Photos: Courtesy Wiki Commons, Sigma Eye and James Balog 
Categories posted in: Wolf wars, wolves under fire, 
  
Tags: trophy hunting wolves, wolves in the crossfire, Wildlife Services, obama administration de-listing, Druid Peak Pack
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