Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wolves


Snow kicks up from the bulls hooves as he races across the landscape, his rear legs are torn severely and blood marks the snow with his passing. Behind him and on both sides wolves lope easily in the deep snow, the young bull is in the prime of his life, at four years old and sporting a wide six point rack he would seem an unlikely candidate for an attack by the wolf, after all wolves only attack and kill the weak and sick. Someone forgot to tell the wolves that, near the tree line the bull suddenly turns to fight, with the last of his strength he turns and lowers his massive antlers at an oncoming black wolf. The pack circles him and a big grey female sinks huge teeth into his rear end, effectively ripping his muscle and tendon with one bite. The bull makes wide sweeping attacks on the pack but their constant attacking from and on his rear make it impossible to land a deadly blow. As suddenly as it began the pack calls to one another and ghost into the deep timber leaving the mortally wounded bull to slowly bleed to death on the frozen ground, his exposed entrails freezing solid even while his strong heart still beats. Two days later he finally succumbs to the wounds inflicted by the pack of wolves who were far more interested in the “chase” than in the life giving meat the bulls body would have provided.

This scenario is nothing new, hundreds of creatures are killed by wolves every year simply for the thrill of the chase and kill, some are eaten, most are simply left to die of the wounds inflicted during the onslaught by north America’s super predator the wolf. Wild creatures are not the only thing on the menu, dogs, horses, cows, lamas, sheep, kittens, mules, donkeys, ducks, geese rabbits and even people have fallen victim to the wolf packs in recent years. Environmental activists and supposed animal rights factions would have us think that the wolf is a viable asset to their habitat. They preach that the wild and majestic wolf is essential to the ecosystem and that without the wolf nature could not keep the wild herds of deer, elk etc.. in check. This could not be farther from the truth, I do agree the wild wolf is majestic and is one of the great creatures who share our planet. The wolf however is not interested in sharing anything, they are predators and as a hunter they have no equal, every creature with the exception of the Grizzly is on their menu and if a wolf pack wants something for dinner it usually becomes just that. I love the sound of a wolf calling from some high ridge in the wilderness, yet I cringe when I think of all the elk, deer, moose and bighorn sheep that have been killed in recent years. By the now vast population of these canine killers. The projected number of wolves have gone from around 200 target population to aver 2000..in the lower 48 states in a few short years. Even with selective harvests in some states like Montana and Idaho, wolf populations are expected to increase by over 100 % in two years time. So just for arguments sake lets say 2000 wolves who eat an average of 3.05 elk a month that =72,000 elk a year.. Just considering the elk needed for the packs to survive.. Each pack has at least five surviving pups a year … that means that if unchecked the wolves could in theory, even with the selective harvest in two states, wipe out all elk, bison, moose and bighorn sheep populations in these states in ten years that is not taking into consideration predation for the thrill of the chase and kill and calves aborted by elk cows being chased all winter long.

Alaska opened a wolf season with a huge harvest rate, caribou herds went from 1 calf per 100 cows survival rate in 2006 to 39 calves per 100 in 2008 therefore making stronger herds and also healthier wolf packs who’s litter survival was increased 200%.. The economic benefits of more wolves to hunt and harvest and more caribou to harvest by human hunters helped the state, the wolf, the caribou and the hunters.. Win ,Win situation by allowing greater harvest instead of overpopulation of a super predator.


Montana was forced to reduce antlerless permits by 51% by 04.. And by 96% between 95 and 2005 because of wolf predation. From 93-95 elk number in Montana alone were between 17,000 and 19,000 by 2005 -2007 the herds averaged between 6,700 and 6,300 a 67% decrease. I do not hate the wolf, quite the contrary, I am just trying to shed some light on the facts for those who are blinded by radical propaganda from bios individuals. The complete disregard for other species in any environment for the betterment of another, (the wolf) who’s future will be less than certain if left unchecked is ridiculous. Somehow the wolf has become the preferred creature to fight for by these idiots and in doing so they are in essence killing the very creature they are trying to save. Simply put, without prey to hunt and without enough habitat the wolf will perish. I believe that it is time to wake up and fix this problem before it is too late, oh and by the way, in all likelihood eight elk will be killed by wolves today.. .. So time is of the essence.. Hawk a/ho

10 comments:

Dan Lamoreux said...

Thanks, Hawk. A message long overdue. I pray that it falls on the ears of those who need it most and that it can be taken to heart.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Hawk: It will certainly be a battle to bring the wolf into balance. It makes such a hard fight no matter which side you take.

Mike "Hawk" Huston said...

I can only hope fellow sportsman and women will voice their opinions concerning the fate of the wolf and the ecosystem they inhabit. a silent voice is no voice at all,Hawk

ke7cjw said...

The Wolf is a truly majestic creature. I have seen a few in the wild in Idaho and have heard their calling many times. The sounds of wolves is amazing. I do not want to destroy the wolf population in the lower 48 states, but they must be managed and we must look out for the other wildlife as well. If we leave nature to take its coarse we will see wild swings of populations of all animals. That is the way nature works. By using effective hunting to manage all animal species we will have healthy populations for generations to come. If we do not manage the Wolves now there will be no prey species left in 10 years and the wolves will turn to the populated areas to feed on pets and people.

REF72 said...

great read Hawk if something is not done very soon N. W. Ontario's deer population will be a thing of the past .. and up here we can harvest, but still not keeping the numbers in check

Cory Glauner said...

Coletti and I used to run a lodge here in Idaho and during the winter we would feed the elk at a feed station to keep them out of the fields down below. It was sad to watch the wolves hammer the mature bulls right off the bat. By the end of winter, our pack of 13 wolves had wiped out 90% of the bulls in the herd. It made my heart hurt.

I'm not a wolf hater and do enjoy seeing and hearing them, but common sense has to prevail here.

david said...

well i have a different opinion. the wolf was replaced as top predator by man and these elk killin deer killin big game killin machines. im sick of all the people like PETA and HSUS pretending to know what good management is. i eat meat and as far as i am concerned that wolf is competition. what does a wolf do to its competition? answer that and thats how i feel about wolves.

Marci said...

Hawk, as a fellow writer, I have to say that your writing is beautiful. That said, I'm concerned about the misinformation you provided about wolves. I've worked with and studied wolves and their behavior for 24 years. I try to explain the truth about them to those who want to hear it and I'm sorry, but you are not telling the whole truth. Occasionally, a juvenile, omega or lone wolf becomes a problem. They're rare, but do happen. In most cases, problems arise because of wolves or wolf/dog hybrids who were abandoned by people who thought that they could train them to be pets. (You can't imagine how many of them there are in the wild.) All I ask is that you don't generalize the behavior of wolves in regards to what else the negative circumstances could be.I encourage you to use your intricate prose to edit your article on the observation of a wolf pack's kill. What may look like to us as a healthy animal, the wolves see as a potential threat to the health of that animal's herd. I was involved with a documentary of wolves. We were watching a pack bring down a young female elk, which to us appeared strong and healthy. We slowed the speed of the film down, and viewed in awe what the wolves saw that we couldn't, i.e. she had a deformity in her left rear leg.
Please feel free to respond to me with comments, questions, etc. And keep up the wonderful writing.

Mike "Hawk" Huston said...

Marci! sorry to burst your bubble lady but my facts are spot on.. well documented and I have seen the actual decline in herds myself concerning the wolf and it's poor management! Hawk

Anonymous said...

I agree about your gorgeous prose. Your writing is what keeps me lurking here even though I'm not a hunter. We do, however, share an intimate connection with the natural world around us, and I appreciate the way you illustrate what that means.

That being said, I agree with Marci. You got some things factually correct about wolves, but other things quite wrong. It's one thing to present this as opinion, but to suggest it's fully factual when you present points that are scientifically contentious, is disingenuous and harmful to a species on whom we already heap such vitriol.

For starters, you simply cannot make this critique about wolves without being honest about our behavior as top predators, our misguided herd management strategies, the well-financed hunter interests that pay for some of policies toward wolves, and the sometimes erroneous blame placed on wolves for the damaged created by other animals. Coyotes suffer for some of the same bad press. Often, it's found that packs of wild dogs have wreaked havoc where coyotes have been blamed. And in the end, canine predator hatred prevails and causes an untold amount of suffering for these animals.