Whenever a species of animal gets delisted, it’s a big deal. For almost 40 years, the federal Endangered Species Act has protected the gray wolf, and just recently, wolves came off the list in Wisconsin and other parts of the upper Midwest. That means these states can manage wolf kill permits, as well as hunting and trapping.
Wisconsin is one of the states that apparently has been salivating to add wolves to the tag list for hunters. In a Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel article, Paul Smith quotes State Representative Roger Rivard’s response in regard to the upcoming wolf hunting and trapping bills that are presently moving quickly through the legislature: “It might seem fast, but we've been waiting for years to be able to do more to control wolves in Wisconsin. This bill didn't happen overnight."
Of course, the antis oppose all these new hunting, trapping and control measures.
I’m wondering why wolves seem to garner so much attention and strong reactions? Think about coyotes -- they're wild canine predators, typically regarded as nuisances. They can be shot on sight in most places, but are flourishing nonetheless. But they don't get a fraction of the attention that wolves seem to get, and don't seem to stir the emotions of the antis.
Is it because the wolf is more like the family dog? Is it because coyotes are so adaptable that they live virtually everywhere (but aren't native to the East)? Is it because of the whole anthropomorphism thing? You know, where we attribute human charactistics to an object or animal? Think Bambi.
Maybe those folks who want to do that ought to be thinking more along the lines of the granny in Little Red Riding Hood, and the fact that wolves have very few predators.
But again, I ask … why the wolf and not the coyote? What is more noble about a wolf?
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Brian Lovett, Realtree's news blogger, has been an outdoors reporter, writer, magazine editor and book author for 27 years. Spring turkey hunting and autumn waterfowling take up most of his outside time, but he also enjoys fishing, deer hunting and upland-bird hunting. Lovett lives in Oshkosh, Wis., with his wife, Jenny, and their retriever.