Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in outdoor and travel markets. A former small-town newspaper editor and reporter, she constantly hunts for news headlines you need to read. Barbara also publishes Women’s Outdoor News online and pens columns for the National Wild Turkey Federation and Shooting Sports USA. Hailing from the Ozarks of Missouri, this avid hunter is now mentoring the second generation of hunters - her own little bevy of Realtree-wearing grandchildren.
Anti-Wolf-Hunting Groups Bark Up the Wrong Tree
It’s not always true that the best and most important parts of the news are at the top of the article. Take, for example, Doug Smith’s recent piece in the StarTribune Outdoors regarding Minnesota’s inaugural wolf hunt, set to start in November during its deer rifle season. The Department of Natural Resources asked for input from people, and as a result of that input, extended the second season for 25 days. It was supposed to end on Jan. 6, but now will end on Jan. 31 – unless the quotas are reached in the three zones earlier.
The total harvest number is set at 400 with 6,000 licenses available by lottery for hunters and 600 available for trappers. According to Smith, 79 percent of public comments opposed a wolf hunting and trapping season. But, 42 percent of the comments came from people who live outside of Minnesota. People from 42 other states, the District of Columbia and even foreign countries weighed in. This is why democracy doesn’t always work, folks. It’s Minnesota’s land. And even then, there comes a time when you must trust your wildlife ecologists and biologists, or hire new ones. Futhermore, as Smith stated, "DNR officials said the survey wasn't a scientific poll, nor was it to be used to decide whether to hold a wolf hunt, because the Legislature had already mandated that." It is estimated that Minnesota is home to 3,000 wolves.
Smith then adds that anti-wolf-hunting groups comprised 2,000 responses, and the biggest number – 1,747 – came from howlingforwolves.org.
Kudos to the DNR for looking at what really matters: conservation, not popularity.