Why would anyone want to hunt Wolves?
Well, we have some ideas………
This section is divided into four sub-sections for now:
Why Hunt Wolves? , a general oversight of the purpose and logic behind population reduction in Wolves.
Wolves and Livestock Predation, Articles and facts on livestock losses, incl domestic animals (pets).
Wolves and Surplus Killing, dispelling the fantasy that Wolves only eat the sick and weak, and don’t waste food, and
Wolves and Humans , the latter detailing documented attacks on humans. This last page is to dispel the long-held myth that all Wolves fear humans, and that there are no documented maulings or killings on record. Those misconception are simply not true.
I wrote the article below as a general opinion piece hoping to bring us all to the same table, Chris.
Why Hunt Wolves?
I follow the hunting websites and hunting-related forum threads fairly closely, and like to think I have a feel for which way the wind blows with the hunting community. I really don’t see where anyone gets that opinion on the “Kill ’em All” attitude, as it pops up relatively rarely, and even then it’s quite often tongue-in-cheek. Even then, posts like that are generally not seriously responded to because they’re ridiculous. You look at the VAST majority of polls on wolf threads (Including my very well responded-to database threads that lead to this website) and you’ll see that.
WHY?A) Most people have never killed a Wolf, and MANY have never SEEN one. B) VERY FEW hunters dedicate any time, energy and resources to targeting Wolves, so VERY FEW are taken by hunters, and fewer still by trappers. Most hunters get a very limited time off work to pursue their species of choice with a view to putting organic game meat in the freezer. They simply don’t have the time or know-how to pursue Wolves. This site intends to help the willing with the “How” part. The time to do it is left to the individual. C) Virtually no-one is in favor of “Wiping Wolves out”. I know this from talking to hundreds of hunters and ranchers. I personally know two ranchers, one has recently lost 15 cattle, one has lost 8, plus more ‘undetermined’, and neither one of those men that have faced significant losses have asked that they be wiped out, simply driven away from man, livestock, and have fear of humans driven into them again. In many areas, Wolves seem to be genuinely losing fear of man, and that’s a problem for humans and livestock alike. We as a race have altered the balance, as many have said, with crops for ungulate wintering, logging and mining roads, Skidoo (Snowmachine) trails and pipelines, gaslines and hydro lines for easier access, large open slashes made by logging for making it easier to kill moose and deer, fences, highways and culverts where there used to be migration routes, and creeks, subdivisions and roads in former wintering grounds and migration routes……the list goes on. WE, that is human, settlement and development, brought Moose and Whitetailed Deer to most of the province, and WE started fire suppression and clear-cutting. There IS no natural balance as far as Wolves and most prey species are concerned in most of BC. By starting to take ourselves “Out of Nature” as some see it, we have altered the balance that existed. Therefore balance must be maintained. If it tips too far in one way or another, be it helping Mountain Caribou or Van Isle Marmots, black footed ferrets or burrowing owls when numbers are in severe decline, or helping farmers and ranchers by harvesting elk or deer from their property when they’re tearing up the hay bales and breaking downfences when numbers are large, or when they live on farms to avoid the Wolves in the hills howling at night. We directly influence prey populations and predation inadvertently.
When wolves eat endangered species, (e.g. Mountain Caribou), when they get acclimated to living off livestock, when they chase pregnant stock and cause them to abort next years farming income, or when they simply surplus kill because of an abundance of targets, they must be knocked back somewhat, and WE are the ones to do that. Nothing else will. The biggest killer of Wolves is Wolves. Second is man. A lot of people don’t know that. With no fear of man or farm, no fear of livestock or ungulate wintering grounds, and very little inclination from people to almost literally drive the Wolves from our door, hunting and ranching in BC will see a severe negative impact, both in my personal opinion, and the opinions of many other informed and educated scholars and stakeholders. Some may be against all hunting of predators, and some against all hunting completely, and while I respect your opinion, I don’t share it, as I really don’t think you’re looking at this without a considerable amount of bias, mostly based on unwillingness to learn the ugly truth, and a tendency to only read and accept studies and listen to opinions that support a pre-conceived notion. Wolves are firstly incredibly hard to hunt, and we have no desire anyway to exterminate them even if we could.
If there are any Anti’s trolling this website, please read that carefully, as that’s how over 97% of us think.
They are part of nature, but we believe that we still are as well. For those that don’t hunt, but are here to ask questions and participate with an open mind, welcome. I hope we can all help and educate one another.
A good read on over-predation by Wolves. Also leads you to the Surplus Killing arena: Wolves and Hunting
Excerpt: A point which should be stressed is “wolves kill for the sake of killing,” not just to survive. Many are convinced wolves kill only what they need to eat. That simply isn’t true.
Remember the moose with brain worm the wolves didn’t eat? In the same area, the same winter and only a couple of months later, the same Conservation Officer followed two wolves after a spring snow storm and found the wolves had killed 21 deer. Only two were partially eaten.
The snow gave the wolves the advantage. These deer were autopsied and many were found to be pregnant. The total number of deer killed in 2 days by these 2 wolves was 36.
Such incidents of surplus killing are common. For example, Canadian biologists came upon an area where a pack of wolves have killed 34 caribou calves in one area. Another example came from Alaska. In the Wrangell Mountains, a pack of five wolves came upon 20 Dall rams crossing a snow-covered plateau. All 20 rams were killed by the wolves. Only six were partially eaten by the wolves.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________ From a high of 19,000 Elk in 1994, there remain less than 4000 now.
That’s a decline of almost 80%.
Yellowstone elk herd numbers decline
Posted: Mar 6, 2013 4:22 PM by MTN News
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – An aerial survey of the northern Yellowstone elk population conducted last month found elk numbers continuing to decline.
The count of 3,915 elk was six percent lower than the 2012 winter count of 4,714.
Looking back further, between the winters of 2007 and end of winter 2011, elk numbers ranged from 4,635 to 7,109.
Full story HERE