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.
Wolves in the Wall Street Journal
When the federal government delisted wolves last year, it opened the doors for states to manage new hunting seasons and of course, for anti-hunters to protest these hunts.
Minnesota will be holding its first wolf-hunting season this coming fall and winter. Wisconsin and Michigan have followed suit and also will hold wolf hunts. Minnesota has the largest population of wolves in the lower 48.
The "Wall Street Journal" jumps into the fray and reports on the strife associated with hunting wolves – mostly because of the methods: night and dog-related. In an article titled “Wolf Hunt Stirs Passions in the Midwest,” Joe Barrett writes, “There are about 3,000 wolves in Minnesota, 800 in Wisconsin and 700 in Michigan—far above the federal goals for sustainable populations of 1,400 in Minnesota and 100 in Wisconsin and Michigan combined.” He adds, “But defenders of the wolves counter that since the delisting, farmers have gotten enough flexibility to kill wolves that threaten livestock and pets—and that the predators should be allowed to play their role keeping deer and other animals in check.”
Did you read that last line? “Predators should be allowed to play their role keeping deer and other animals in check.”
Barrett quotes Howard Goldman, director of the HSUS in Minnesota, "We believe there's no biological reason to hunt wolves in either state. The hunts are basically recreational killing.”
Goldman’s philosophy repudiates the work of biologists who have conducted surveys to estimate populations of wolves, and it also insults hunters. Again, we see that the HSUS asserts that biologists and wildlife departments cannot be right. Barrett writes, “The animal-welfare group successfully reversed the removal of wolves from protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act twice in recent years and is considering another lawsuit since they were delisted for the third time in January.” If you are wondering what happens with this back-and-forth maneuver, please read this 2010 Realtree news item, regarding wolves in the West.
Frankly, I’m tired of reading that the HSUS is an “animal welfare” group. Red flag on that play. The wolf numbers in the aforementioned three states are well above federal goals for sustainable populations. So, it seems that as long as the feds were protecting high numbers of wolves, the HSUS had no problem. But, introduce hunting to reduce those numbers, and the HSUS is all over it – again. And why? Same old song: the HSUS wants to kill hunting in this country. Period.
Are you going wolf hunting this year? Are you watching the HSUS and what it is doing behind the scenes and once again, in the courts, in your regions?