July 26, 2017

By Funding Trophy Wolf Hunts, We’re Destroying Real Game Hunts

wolfutah*Editor’s Note* – This post first appeared on this website on October 8, 2014. It was requested of me to republish it as a means of updating the importance of the article as a prediction of the future.

It seems just a short while ago that wolf (re)introduction happened – 1995 and 1996. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and as the water moved downstream, it has blended in with a lot of other water, not becoming lost but perhaps unrecognizable.

As most of you know, I’m writing a book about wolves. Actually it’s really not about wolves other than to point out the obvious behaviors of the animal. The book is more about the corruption. However, in working to put all this information together, I’ve come across some things that I had written about in which I had actually forgotten.

It really began in early 2009, when there was a glimmer of hope that wolves might come off the Endangered list and residents in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming could begin killing the animal to get it back down to 100 wolves as promised in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. What? Had you forgotten?

Around about that same time, I began reading about the plans Idaho was going to begin formulating in preparation for wolf hunts. I said then that utilizing a season for “trophy” wolf hunting would not work.

I wrote a five-part series that I know some of you have read, perhaps more than once, called “To Catch a Wolf” – an historical account of the extreme difficulty people had throughout history trying to control wolves to stop them from killing livestock and attacking people.

The real joke was when Idaho officials, in a fraudulent attempt to convince anyone who would blindly listen, that trophy hunting wolves, was going to protect the elk, deer and moose herds. This did not happen. As a matter of fact, it so much did not happen, that Idaho Fish and Game took to helicopters to gun down wolves in the Lolo Region because officials were willing to admit there was a wolf problem….or maybe they were just placating the sportsmen. They killed 5 wolves and yet somehow they want sportsmen to believe that a trophy hunting season will protect the game herds?

The myth here is that increasing or decreasing wolf tags will grow or shrink elk, deer and moose herds. Sorry, but controlling elk, deer and moose tags controls elk, deer and moose herds. Select-harvesting a handful of wolves does nothing to protect game herds.

Why, then, are Idaho sportsmen continuing to fund a fraudulent trophy wolf hunting season that may actually be causing the further destruction of the elk, deer and moose they so much wish to protect and grow?

On November 30, 2012, I wrote and published the following article. I took the liberty to embolden some statements I wish to now more fully draw your attention to.

Trophy Hunting Season on Wolves Destroying More Elk, Moose and Deer?

Recently I read a comment made by Bob Ream, chairman of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) Commission, state that:

We [MFWP] have implemented more and more aggressive wolf harvests. We also increased lion harvests considerably this year.

The word aggressive is certainly an overused adjective used much in the same fashion as say a male peacock when he displays his tail feathers. In the context used in the quote above, I’m assuming Mr. Ream intended his use of the word aggressive to mean something to be proud of, a feat of accomplishment or something related. But when talking about wolves, killing, attacks, predation, hunting, trapping, disease and every aspect associated with gray wolves, “implementing[ed] more and more aggressive wolf harvests” kind of rings a bit hollow.

In its simplest form, wolves, at least under the existing conditions in most of Montana, Idaho and Wildlife, grow and expand at a rate of anywhere between 20% and 30%, I am told and have read as well. Estimates of wolf populations mean little except in political and emotional battles because nobody knows how many there are and they are lying if they tell you otherwise. For the sake of argument, I have read that the tri-state region of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have at least 6,000 wolves. On the top end I’ve heard 15,000 but I’m going to guess that might be high but then again I don’t live there and spend time in the woods.

If there were 6,000 wolves then math tells us that 1200 – 1800 wolves should be killed each year just to sustain the population at 6,000; and states like Montana, who according to Bob Ream, are aggressively killing more wolves.

But now the question has been brought up that perhaps states offering hunting and trapping seasons, based on the principle of “trophy” and “big game” hunting and trapping, might be causing even more game animals, like elk, moose and deer, to be killed. Is this possible?

It was nearly 4 years ago that I wrote a series, “To Catch a Wolf“. Much of the purpose of that series and other related articles, was to explain how difficult it is to kill a wolf; historically and globally. It’s one of the hardest things to do over a prolonged period of time and that’s why I chuckle at comments like Bob Ream’s when he describes the MFWP actions toward killing wolves as aggressive. There is NOTHING aggressive about trophy hunting wolves.

The process was long and mostly wrought with illegal actions and corruption, but eventually, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming got the infamous and controversial gray wolf removed from protections of the Endangered Species Act and trophy hunting seasons commenced; after all, wasn’t that the target goals of each of the states’ fish and game departments?

And so how’s that “aggressive” hunting and trapping going to reduce wolf populations?

If any of this isn’t complicated and wrought with emotion and irrational thinking enough already, in an email exchange I received today, the idea was presented that hunting a token number of wolves, in other words, managing them as a game species and classified as a trophy animal, might actually be only amounting to breeding a healthier, less stressful wolf that will eat more elk, deer and moose and become an even larger creature than it already is, further capable of killing more and bigger prey.

This idea is based in science, although those who don’t like the science disregard it. The science is the topic of wolf size. Most people are of the thought that a wolf’s size is determined by the species or subspecies the wolf comes from. I’m not going to pretend I have a full grasp of this science but will pass on that the essence of wolf size is determined mostly by food supply.

Consider then this premise to manage wolves as a big game species, which is what is being done in Montana and Idaho. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which includes managing game for surplus harvest, has worked marvelously well over the years, producing in places too many of certain game species. We certainly don’t want that for wolves as the proportion of wolves to prey/game species will soon get all out of whack. Our only hope then, is that the fish and game departments will fail as miserably managing wolves as they have elk, moose and mule/whitetail deer.

There is a reason why honest wildlife managers classify bona fide game animals as such and coyotes (and it should be also wolves) varmints to be shot and killed on site. It’s the only way to keep them at bay. This would be considered an aggressive move toward wolf control. Anything, short of an all out organized program to extirpate the wolf, would work just dandy and would never danger the future existence of this animal.
End

In the years that I have written about wolves, wolf “management” and the political nonsense that goes hand in hand with it, it certainly appears to me that there has become quite an effort among sportsmen to protect THEIR “trophy” wolf hunts. Is that in the best interest of actually regaining a vibrant elk, deer and moose population, that is supposed to be managed for surplus harvest, according to Idaho code?

In its most basic form, at least ask yourself how that “aggressive” trophy wolf hunting is effecting the elk, deer and moose herds? At the same time, what has become and continues to become of those elk tags? There just aren’t enough “trophy” wolf hunters to be effective and supporting the farce perpetuated by Idaho Fish and Game isn’t helping. It’s the same as buying a fifth of gin for a gin-soaked homeless fool.

As was relayed to me today, it seems the, “participants are in a race for the final bull elk or big buck in various units.” That’s the direction it seems we are headed.

Here’s a mini refresher course in promised wolf management. When the Final Environmental Impact Statement was approved, leading to the Final Rule on Wolf Reintroduction, the citizens of the Northern Rocky Mountain Region, where wolves were to be (re)introduced, were promised several things. First, we were promised that wolves would be “recovered,” a viable, self-sustaining population, when 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves existed in three separate wolf management zones for three consecutive years. Those numbers were achieved by 2003. What happened? Nothing but lawsuits and wolves didn’t finally get delisted until 2011 due to legislative action.

All promises made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were based on 30 breeding pairs and 300 wolves. They lied!

Second, citizens of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming were promised that wolves would have no measurable impact on wild game herds. The only thing that might possibly be needed was a slight 10% or less reduction in cow elk tags should the occasion arise for the need to boost elk production in exceptional cases.

So, I ask. How many elk tags have been lost since those promises were made? As a matter of fact, all promises made were reneged on. There is no reason to believe or support anything promised us by government. Stop giving government money to run their con game. At this rate game animals will all be gone soon enough and no hunting opportunities will prevail….except possibly trophy wolf tags.

What will it be. As the old saying goes, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

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Will Michigan Make The Same Mistake and Designate Wolves as a “Game” Species?

It appears that, despite the Courts blocking of all efforts to implement management of wolves in Michigan, the state rule makers are moving forward bills that would designate the wolf as a game species, setting the stage for a controlled wolf hunt, should the Federal Government ever decide to remove the gray wolf from the list of Endangered Species.

Wolves are a predator and mass killer and need to be controlled, not hunted or trapped as a game species.

More information can be found here.

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Wolf hunters deployed to French Alps

A team of wolf hunters is operating in a region of the French Alps to kill wolves that are seen as a threat to livestock.The teams were supplied by the state after pressure from shepherds and farmers.In defiance of EU law, the French government has also relaxed the hunting rules to help farmers defend stocks.

Source: Wolf hunters deployed to French Alps – BBC News

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Norway imprisons five men for hunting wolves – UPI.com

Norway on Tuesday handed down prison sentences to five men accused of hunting wolves last year, the first such case to be prosecuted in the Scandinavian country, where wolf populations are drastically low.

The case at the South Oesterdal District Court in eastern Norway ended with the main defendant receiving a one-year, eight-month sentence, while four others were given sentences between six months and a year, as well as hunting bans of various lengths. A sixth defendant was not charged.

Source: Norway imprisons five men for hunting wolves – UPI.com

For copy of wolf necropsy report in this case.

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Obama Says Kill Wolves?

The 2016 presidential election, which also combines with elections in Congress, is not that far away… that is if you watch the array of idiots vying for a hand-up on the others for the nomination. For this reason it is probably why the Obama Administration, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is saying that they are in agreement with Michigan and Wisconsin that hunters should be able to “sport hunt” wolves. Sport hunt, eh?

A citified and Obama-appointed federal district judge in the District of Columbia, created her own interpretation of the Endangered Species Act(ESA) (nothing new here) and ordered that wolves in the Great Lakes Region (Distinct Population Segment) be returned to protection under the ESA. The USFWS is contemplating whether to appeal that decision, but don’t hold your breath. They won’t appeal it. They don’t WANT to appeal it. Their buddies in the several environmental regimes, which are nothing more a branch of their own corrupt form of totalitarian rule, accomplished what the USFWS and thus, the Obama Administration, really wanted. With those assurances in place, frees up the Obama Administration to make statements that they support the hunters. Absolute BS! BUT DON’T GO LOOK! (This tactic is as old as the hills. It is much like the Vatican stating they oppose abortion and yet behind the scenes they are responsible for the perpetuation of the act.)

While this dog and pony show goes on, Kabuki Theater is being staged somewhere in the halls of Congress to vote on a bill that would force the USFWS to reinstate the Final Rule for wolf delisting, while at the same time prohibiting Howell and others from “judicial review”. (Do you have a definition for that?)

TIME OUT: Judicial Rule – The principle by which courts can declare acts of either the executive branch or the legislative branch unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has exercised this power, for example, to revoke state laws that denied civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Rep. Ribble’s bill, H.R. 884, states that the Final Rule will be reissued and “Such reissuance shall not be subject to judicial review.”

So, does that mean environmental groups cannot file suit to stop the delisting? Or is this meaning to prevent environmental groups from challenging the constitutionality of H.R. 884?

TIME IN:

However, the Obama Administration, according to the article linked to above, thinks that, “The science clearly shows that wolves are recovered in the Great Lakes region.” Technically, this isn’t exactly what Howell said in her ruling. So pay attention.

Howell’s ruling stated that the reason she couldn’t let the Final Rule stand was because it is her belief that wolves must be recovered throughout all the Lower 48 States. That makes it easier for Obama to state that hunters ought to be able to “sport hunt” wolves but does NOTHING to address Howell’s ruling.

And this brings me back to “sport hunting” wolves. Please, Mr. Obama, define sport hunting. Here’s an idea. Why doesn’t his government just get the hell out of the way and let the state governments decide what’s best. Isn’t this allowed in the Corporation and/or the corporation? Obama once made an effort to define “Significant Portion of it’s Range” and that amounted to nothing and never will. The Courts are in command and they will do as they are instructed to do in their rulings, mostly because nobody understands the real laws and powers that govern them.

In short, this is a work of smoke and mirrors and more than likely is driven by deception aimed at swaying public opinion and thus padding the ballot box in 2016. Don’t fall for any of it. NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

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Ecoterrorists Enter Woods in Attempt to Stop Montana Wolf Hunt

Expect this will catch on and be the new normal, anti hunting/environmentalist/ anti wolf management people will be following hunters around on public lands. Nothing good will come of this, unless escalating the division and angst between consumptive users managing wild carnivores for the preservation of consumptive use and people that are simply anti hunting/anti wolf or wild carnivore management is a good thing. Civil war..

It’s come to this;

“Friends of the Wolf, I am asking for your support to get my team of wolf defenders in the field September 15th, for the opening weekend of Montana’s wolf hunting season. Our objective is to prevent the death of the six wolves from Yellowstone National Park that can legally be trapped or shot by sport hunters. With your support, I pledge to dedicate my efforts throughout the Fall to publicizing and exposing the travesty that is wolf management in Montana, Wisconsin and Minnesota.” —Convicted Eco Terrorist Rodney Coronado

News Release

Activist Teams Enter Yellowstone Backcountry To Document And Protest Montana Wolf Hunt
Contact (satellite phone) 881-631-613-954.

Sept 14, 2014: Americans outraged with the killing of wolves from Yellowstone National Park (YNP) have organized the Yellowstone Wolf Patrol, whose members have entered the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness to monitor and document Montana’s wolf hunt which begins September 15th.

Nine members of the Wolf Patrol are currently trailing hunters, who in the last two years, have killed wolves belonging to packs originating from YNP where hunting is prohibited. Wolf Patrol members are opposed to the sport hunting of wolves in Wolf Management Units (WMU) 313 and 316, and are asking Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) to immediately stop the hunt before more wolves are killed.

Yellowstone wolves cross over from the park into WMU 313/316 where since 2012, twelve have been killed by hunters. At least three of the wolves shot in the 2012/2013 season were of high social rank (alpha female or beta male), thus negatively affecting reproduction, hunting behavior, and territorial defense of these unique packs. 7 of 10 (70%) packs living primarily in YNP had at least one wolf killed by hunters.

Wolf hunting in WMU’s 313 & 316, negatively impacts the local economy, including wildlife guide companies, hotels, restaurants, park tourism, and other wildlife-observation-based industries.

Yellowstone National Park is one of the few places left in the world where wolves can not only be studied, but also provide tourists from all over the world an opportunity to see a wild wolf. The recreational
killing of apex predators is negatively impacting important predator research while also robbing wildlife watchers of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Yellowstone Wolf Patrol supports the growing economy in wolf tourism, and believes that MFWP is catering to a few special sport hunting interests, all at the expense of one of our nation’s most pristine
ecosystems.

“In allowing the killing of Yellowstone wolves, MFWP is not just shooting wolves, but also itself in the foot, because this hunt is giving the entire tourism industry a black eye.” says Patrol member, Julie Henry, “We are not opposed to Montana residents filling their freezers with elk, but the wolves were here first, and deserve protection from recreational killing.”

9:28 p.m., Sunday Sept. 14

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Who are wolf hunters in Yakutia, Russia’s Siberia?

As you might remember, in the early January of 2013, the President of Russia’s Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Yegor Borisov announced the state of emergency in the Siberian region with regard to the increased number of wolves. He ordered the goverment to take measures and decrease the populatation at amount of 3000 wolves in the following year.

Since that moment, I have started receiving many questions and even international calls about wolves in Yakutia from varies people, news agencies, TV production companies and documentalists, who wished to come and make a film.

Further, find answers to questions describing who wolf hunters are and why they hunt wolves.<<<Read More>>>

Related: Hundreds of wolves shot in east Siberia during hunting season

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Wolf Management(?) Nonsense

In this short article sent to me out of Wisconsin, little in it makes sense. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has decided, per recommendation from some Wolf Advisory Committee, to reduce the number of permits that will be available for the upcoming fall wolf hunt. Why? “the proposed harvest aims to reduce the state’s overall wolf population, but not by as much as this past year…”

That must mean that too many wolves were killed which resulted in placing the wolf population at or below the desired management population goals. Wrong! “The state had an estimated 650 wolves at the end of this winter, down 19 percent from a year ago. The original management goal is around 350.”

And then we learn that the DNR/Wolf Committee want no more than 156 wolves harvested during the hunt and so only 91 permits will be issued to actual hunters. Huh? “only 91 animals would be hunted since the state’s Chippewa tribes are entitled to half of the permits and they oppose hunting wolves.”

Such brilliance! So long as wildlife, including game animals, are managed due to pressure from anti hunting and animal rights groups and what the social demands are, it is hopeless. Either the Wisconsin DNR are not very bright people or they are just knuckling under to the demands of the environmentalists that overpower the Wolf Committee. They then attempt to present media reports that make no sense at all.

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230 Fewer Wolves in Montana

From the Great Falls Tribune:

“Montana’s wolf hunting season came to a close Saturday, with hunters and trappers taking 230 wolves.

That’s only five more wolves than the prior year’s wolf harvest despite extending the rifle season by a month and a half, lifting the quotas on the animals across most of the state and implementing a higher bag limit for individual hunters.”

Idiots will say that the reason more wolves weren’t killed is because hunters and trappers have killed off all the wolves. Knowledgeable and rational people understand that it’s difficult to kill wolves with limited tools at your disposal.

However, the wolf pimps, using their own logic, should know that an end of season meeting is planned among the stakeholders of the wolf packs in which the wolves will assess their losses and issue demands for the reproduction of more wolves, especially in those areas hard hit by hunters and trappers.

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Idaho Wolf Management a Proven Failure

It was January 21, 2009 when I wrote: “….for hunting wolves, should the day ever come to pass, will be inadequate to control wolf populations.” I was no prophet at that time. My conclusions were based on scores of studies, real life accounts, books, research and common sense.

It first must be said that many, if not all, of the problems Idaho has had and continue to have with wolf management, can be easily attributed to the fact that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) officials, along with their partners in crime at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), ignored warnings from those who knew what the future would hold with introduced wolves. They ignored historical facts.

Aside from some far fetched dream of bringing those who introduced wolves to justice, that fact that wolves were dumped into the Northern Rockies is history and little can be done now to change that. How to manage those wolves, as predicted, is becoming a problem……well, becoming a problem to those that have to deal with the varmints. I guess the question should be asked if IDFG is in the middle of a learning curve on wolf management or are they playing wolf protection games in attempts to play both sides of the aisle?

Idaho citizens were told that wolves would be considered “recovered” as a species when the state had about 100-150 wolves, depending on the number of breeding pairs. Once that milestone was reached, another failed promise was that wolf “management” would be turned over to the state. One thousand wolves later, the state is still trying to gain authority to take over management.

It was part of my article that I wrote in 2009, that I explained that the IDFG had decided to go ahead with plans on how to conduct a wolf hunt, if and when the day ever came they could do that. In that same article I wrote in depth about efforts by George Dovel, editor of the Outdoorsman, to stop the runaway IDFG who, according to his information, had illegally devised wolf management plans, including the plans to formulate a hunting season without Idaho legislative approval as is mandated in Idaho Code.

The illegal activities have continued, unchecked, and IDFG made their plans and laid out guidelines to administer a wolf hunt. The rules of the hunt were simple: sell as many tags as they could (a money-making scheme) and then restrict hunters to a rifle, a bow or a muzzleloader, nothing else.

Anyone with any knowledge of wolves would know that such a hunt would do nothing to “manage” the overgrown wolf packs. Again, one must ask the question as to whether IDFG knew this kind of hunt would do nothing to control wolf population numbers, were they protecting the wolves in their own way by pretending to placate the sportsmen, or is IDFG ignorant of facts and are innocently in the midst of a learning experience? One in which it seems they were not willing to listen to knowledgeable people about wolves and wolf habits.

Me and many others knew this kind of wolf hunt would be a waste of time, at least as it pertained to wolf population reductions or even population maintenance.

Will N. Graves, author of Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages, learned through his research in Russia about wolves, that every method imaginable to control wolf populations were ineffective, in part because Russian authorities refused or did not have the resources to sustain a continuous wolf control program.

C. Gordon Hewitt wrote over 100 years ago in The Conservation of Wildlife in Canada:

The most successful method of destroying coyotes, wolves and other predatory animals is by the organization of systematic hunting by paid hunters, receiving no bounties and working under government control. This policy is giving excellent results in the United States, as will be shown presently.

Any rational system of wild-life protection must take into account the control of the predatory species of mammals and birds. And while the complete extermination of such predatory species is not possible, desirable, or necessary, a degree of control must be exercised to prevent such an increase in numbers as would affect the abundance of the non-predatory species. In the treatment of predatory animals it is necessary to determine whether the species concerned are responsible for more harm than good in a particular region.

Some might argue about the effectiveness of a bounty system but that’s another debate.

During the times of this debate about effective ways to control wolf population, I spent several hours researching historic documents in hopes of finding accounts of how wolves were dealt with worldwide. When I say “dealt with” I’m referring to the need of people to reduce wolf populations for reasons of lessening livestock depredation, protecting people and property from attacks and spreading of diseases. The result of my research culminated in a multi-part series, To Catch a Wolf. For your convenience I took the time to put the parts together into one downloadable publication.

It shouldn’t take anyone very long to discover that wolves cannot be managed as a big game species. IDFG and Governor Otter, lay claim that Idaho will manage gray wolves just like any other big game species. And therein lies a huge problem. Every historic account about wolves laments the need to control wolves and they have shared their frustrations and the difficulties they encountered in order to do that. The notion that a person would have to pay the government money to help in undertaking predator control is absurd.

Initially, IDFG, sent their sportsmen into the field with a rifle, or a bow, or a muzzleloader, to control wolves. I and many others knew two things: 1.) The rules of the hunt were such that too few wolves would be taken to amount to anything that would resemble wolf control, and 2.) The first year would probably see the best results for a couple of reasons; initial excitement of killing wolves and wolves had not yet learned to stay away from humans with guns and bows. This would result in a continued growth of wolves and a reduction, over time, of wolf harvest.

In time, IDFG was willing to concede that they were not providing the sportsmen with enough tools to harvest more wolves. They loosened their grip and in time even allowed for trapping. Both hunting and trapping, still being conducted with the ignorant notion that wolves can be treated as a big game species, still were not getting the results needed.

In some areas, like the Lolo area, wolves had reduced the elk herd there from 16,000 to 2,000. Efforts to get wolf hunters and trappers into that region provided no desirable results. Believe it or not, IDFG was forced to hire aircraft to fly into that region and shoot wolves to save the elk population. Isn’t this insanity?

So, what is IDFG doing about reducing wolf numbers necessary to save elk, moose, deer and other species of prey that helps to make for a healthy ecosystem? Statistics seem to be showing that not enough is being done and the present plans, illegal or not, are not working.

Below are some graphs that show the last three seasons of wolf hunting and trapping in Idaho. The charts were sent to me by Scott Rockholm of Rockholm Media and Save Western Wildlife. What I see that is very telling is that over the last 3 wolf hunting/trapping seasons, the total take of wolves has shrunk. When it is considered that restrictions for hunting wolves have been eased and trapping added, any hope of reducing wolf populations has vanished. This is a failure of a plan and needs to be changed.

WolfHarvestCharts

Trend chart prepared by Todd Hoffman (These numbers can be verified at the IDFG website.)

Rockholm provided this comment in his email:

Tom,

The attached graphic illustrates the failed notion, that we will ever “Manage” wolf populations. This visual aid will show that not only are we paying department personnel to know this, but we are paying them in spite of their incompetence. We have calculated that successful wolf hunters/trappers have spent at least $1000.00 in expenses, and an enormous amount of time, just to hunt/trap one wolf. The current narrative, from game agencies, to hunting organizations, is that we as hunters and trappers can continue doing business as usual. We couldn’t be more opposed to this thinking. Wolf populations are growing exponentially, and at the current rate, and diminishing interests of hunters/trappers, we believe that we will never stop the decimation of our wildlife. We need to do something different, and we need to do it now. Wolf hunting and trapping need to be continuous, with open season year around for both hunting and trapping, with the addition of other measures, such as aerial gunning, bounties, and poisons specifically targeted to Canids. Canada has proven these methods to be the only means to control wolf populations.

I can add nothing to this.

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