February 3, 2023

Wolves Cause Stress and Ignorance in Politicians

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Is that a catchy enough headline? If read in one way, it would appear that I’m suggesting that wolves cause stress and ignorance in politicians for which many have started taking Budpop health supplements. It could be read several different ways, but in reality, wolves cause stress in the wild prey animals they constantly harass and domestic critters such as cattle. Now I would like to think that wolves don’t cause politicians to be ignorant, although sometimes I have my doubts. The ignorance in politicians, like with all people, comes by choice.

Yesterday I wrote about the early stages of a study being conducted in Minnesota in attempts to determine what is killing off the state’s moose population. Preliminary indications from the study show that there’s a possibility (okay so I’m being cautious here) that gray wolves might be killing too many moose. GASP!

Alright! I’ll dispense with the theatrics. In my commentary I asked these questions, “Again, not that this assessment is wrong, but for God’s sake do any of these researchers have an understanding of stress factors on moose, the result of which comes from the mere presence of wolves? Have they no elementary knowledge that stressed out moose will not eat as they should in order to gain the needed fat supplies to get through the cold winters? Or that the body fat will come off quickly and/or never be put on due to constant harassment?”

In my email box this morning, my good friend, Will Graves, had sent me a link to an article about this topic and within that article is a link to a study completed about 3 years ago on the effects of stress put on elk and cattle caused by the presence of wolves.

Follow all these links and you’ll find helpful information on the subject of stress caused by wolves.

I’m sure someone will chime in that the study is about stress placed on elk and cattle not moose. I recognize that and while I’m not so ignorant as to not know that there is a decent chance there will be differences in how moose react to the presence of wolves, much in the same way as was pointed out in the study the differences between cattle and elk. The point is that there’s probably a better than reasonable chance that the same stresses are placed on moose. How they act and react will vary.

As I pointed out in my article yesterday, I have concern that the study that is underway in Minnesota will be incomplete and perhaps inconclusive if all possibilities that might be causing higher than normal moose mortality aren’t fully explored. If researchers aren’t looking at possible stress factors and the degree of hurt put on the moose, then are we to hope they might stumble upon it? The same can be said for disease, of which I also brought up in yesterday’s article.

If I and millions of other people can so easily find studies on these topics, I’m sure the researchers in Minnesota can as well. And when they do, let’s hope they dispense with the biases and hoped-for outcomes and get to the truth of the matter.

And now on to the ignorance of politicians. Also in my inbox this morning was a link to another story about how the Minnesota Senate Environment and Energy Committee passed, by a 7-6 vote, a proposal that would put a five-year moratorium on any further gray wolf hunts.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chris Eaton, said this about her reasons for crafting this act: “I grew up hunting,” Eaton said.” I have nothing against hunting. My concern is for the survival of the wolf. I believe that when you put these kind of resources into protecting a species that it doesn’t make sense to automatically start a recreational hunt once they are delisted.”

So let’s examine the ignorance. “I have nothing against hunting,” she stated. It is obvious to any clown that her statement is a falsehood. If she had “nothing” against hunting, she wouldn’t have “something” against it. She’s against hunting the wolf; an act that has proven itself for nearly a century to be responsible form of wildlife management.

Easton says her concern is for the survival of the wolf. Boldly stated, if that were true then she would have an understanding of the importance of the proper management of the animal. Aspects of that management include the wide and unnecessary destruction of other wildlife species, as well as domestic livestock and family pets, due to too many wolves. Does Eaton have any understanding that an overgrown population of wolves greatly increases the spread of more than 30 different diseases the wolf carries? These incidents of disease greatly increase as populations of wolves go up.

She seems to be lamenting about the possibilities of the waste that might come from the years and effort put into protecting the wolf and somehow associates that with them all being destroyed by offering a hunting season on the animal. Does Ms. Eaton have any knowledge of the history of the wolf in Minnesota? They have been protected for at least 40 years and the population of wolves is the highest the state has ever had.

Here’s a slew of other questions Eaton needs to answer, and perhaps she already has. How many wolves are enough? What is the average growth rate of wolves in Minnesota? What are the negative effects caused by wolves? Why did Minnesota agree to have a hunting season on wolves? Was it because hunters were hounding the state’s fish and game to go hunt wolves? Or was it because all scientific data and on the ground indications told officials it would be a good management decision? Why a five-year moratorium? Why not one or ten? Who is behind your effort to promote this bill? Why don’t you believe the information given to you as to why Minnesota needs a wolf hunt? How much longer do wolves in Minnesota need to be protected to satisfy Sen. Eaton and those who are actually behind the moratorium and what is the scientific basis of that determination?

Hopefully this bill will be dead on arrival when it hits the Minnesota Senate floor and managing the animal can be left up to fish and wildlife officials rather than ignorant politicians.