Other voices: the debate on wolf hunting from both sides

  • A wolf in Yellowstone National Park, newly released and collared, crashes through the snow during the winter of 1996.

    NPS via Wikipedia

"Overall, they're making it too easy to kill wolves. (It's) persecution of wolves on a huge level. ... I think we're on the road to re-listing wolves in the Rocky Mountains."
-- Marc Cooke, president of Wolves of the Rockies

"The hunting has put such intense pressure on the packs, they're dispersing, they're disrupted; the packs have been broken apart. There's a lot of younger, less-experienced animals out there, and you're not allowing the wolves to maintain a healthy equilibrium with their habitat."
-- Suzanne Stone, Defenders of Wildlife

"Wolves in the region need to be hunted to sustain deer and elk populations. ... We're not advocating an annihilation of predators … but we certainly are on the high end of the scale in terms of numbers."
-- David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president

"Unfortunately, many hunters also demonstrate an ignorance of wolf-ungulate ecology. There is growing evidence that wolves -- by removing weak and sick animals -- improve the overall health of prey species. … Some tantalizing new research suggests that wolf predation can increase elk numbers. Certainly, the fact that most Western states report elk-management units at or above objectives suggests that wolf predation isn't causing a huge decline in ungulates across these states."
-- George Wuerthner, Montana ecologist and former hunting guide

"The (wolf) numbers are down a little bit, but I don't think that's too much of a surprise. Wolves get wise fast, and I think they realized that being around humans was probably not a good idea. ... The smarter ones survive, the more naive ones tend not to."
-- Mike Keckler, Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman

"Bring Wolves Running! The Wolf Pack Calling System includes the Alpha Howler and the distemper predator distress calls. The Alpha Howler was built from the ground up to produce the deep, eerie howls of a wolf. It is also the first Wolf Howler to include an adjustable tone selector allowing you to create every sound a wolf can make including howls, barks, yips and whines."
-- An ad for a $43.95 electronic hunting device

Excerpted from stories by the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, The Wildlife News blog, The Sportsman Channel, and www.HuntWolves.com

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In the field with a Montana couple hunting wolves
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