Tuesday, July 22, 2008

They cannot shoot wolves...

They cannot shoot wolves, for now.

A federal judge recently reinstated endangered species list protections for wolves, preventing the hunting of wolves in the Northern Rockies…for now. It means the 500 wolves they intended to massacre—one-fourth of the estimated 2,000 wolves in the area—will live to roam wild and free. Well, free within certain boundaries. They can be legally shot if they are found in the vicinity of a dead calf.

How many motorists are shot after running into a cow crossing the road at the wrong moment? None, of course, silly question. But calves die all the time, from disease, the traumas of birth, lightening strikes and bad weather, to name just a few threats to a calf born on the open range. Ah, but let a wolf be found in the area of a dead calf, maybe eating the remains of calf that died of other natural causes, and the wolf can then be legally killed.

Another rationale for hunting wolves, culling they call it euphemistically, is that the wild game wolves prey on, like deer and elk, should be saved for the so-called sportsmen. Why shouldn’t it be the other way around? The deer and elk not killed by wolves may then be allotted to the sport hunter.

Most of this takes place on public land. Our land, belonging to us, the public. Land leased in many cases for a few cents an acre. We are subsidizing grazing cattle and the hunting of deer, elk, and small game. That is the way things are, but if we must hunt, why not the wolf?


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