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Aerial wolf control effort begins

December 14, 2005 | Wolves
by TIM MOWRY, published in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Despite howls of protest from Outside animal-rights groups and a grass-roots campaign to outlaw same-day airborne hunting of wolves, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is going ahead with its controversial effort to produce more moose and caribou for hunters.

The state would like 400 wolves killed this winter, the third year in a row that hunters armed with special permits can shoot wolves from the air or land.

So far, only six wolves have been killed this winter in areas targeted for lethal wolf control, but that number will climb as more pilots take to the air and the amount of daylight and snow increases to make tracking wolves easier, Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms said.

The state recently issued more than 100 permits to pilots who applied to participate in the program. Pilots, most of whom have "gunners" flying with them, must be approved by the state.

Alaska is home to the largest remaining population of gray wolves in the United States. State biologists estimate some 7,000 to 11,000 wolves roam the state.

More than 400 wolves have been killed since the state began issuing permits to aerial shooters two years ago to reduce wolf populations in specific "intensive management" areas, including a reported harvest of 277 wolves last year...

Priscilla Feral, executive director of Friends of Animals, the animal-rights organization based in Darien, Conn., that has protested Alaska's predator control program by promoting a tourism boycott, is still fighting to stop the state from killing wolves.

While the group is not organizing the "howl-ins" the way it has the past two years, Feral said the group has a suit pending against the state to get the program stopped based on lack of information.

"We're hoping to have the program declared illegal and halted," Feral said. "We're just waiting to hear the judge's ruling to see whether or not we have a trial. We really think this is going to be decided in court."

There's a chance it could be decided by Alaska voters at the ballot box, too.

To read the full article, click here.

Comments

People fear what they don't not understand, that's why they continue to hunt wolves. And it's not fair to them, WHEN THEY DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!

out north in the u.p.there was wolf -farm and they were studied and taken gook care of them inn fenced in area,i believe a private individual,or commity,bought the wolfs but the owner said if his wolfs he will with them,and now they live imay be wrong so i think they all are in canada,location may be wrong it was years ago they left,they are for studing purposes only so i say let the wolfs be in their own enviroment,and they live with people,

It seems that some people are forgetting what this forum is about. It is not about hunting. It's about needlessly killing hundreds of wolves. If your argument is that hunting is restoring populations to healthy levels, then you cannot plausibly argue that wolves are destroying the herds. They are the natural hunters that keep the herd sizes in check. And if the herds are that large, clearly there is no danger of them becoming too scarce for people to hunt for food. So why do you need to kill the wolves? If the herds are large enough that hunters need to come in and thin the herds, then what danger to the wolves pose? What this is about is not the hunting for food...it is the unneccessary annhilation of hundreds of wolves. The wolves are not going to damage the herds enough to make the people in danger of not having food. What they are endangering is the government's revenue on hunters who come in and pay to hunt for sport. THAT is why they are being killed. And I would much appreciate it if people would stop making generalizations. I love wolves and have studied them and their effects on the ecosystem. I am also a political scientist and know how economics, government, and all that stuff works. I am not a fanatic, and have had no association with animal rights groups before today. Just because people have an opinion other than your own does not mean they are uneducated and don't know what they are talking about. You all want to defend hunting, but not one of you has commented on the killing of wolves. Why? You have no argument. You have no plausible reason as to why those wolves should be killed. Because there is none. They are not hurting anyone, even the hunters, by being out there.

TO THE HUNTER:All this killing of wolves has got to stop! If you kill theme your killing yourself!! Look into thr eyes of a wolf and you will see the world and everything and eveyone on it. Hunters are idiots, if they were real men they would know how to survive off the kill insead of taking there anger and over-sized eagos out on animals.Let me ask these so-called hunters a question.. If i came after you with a gun and skined you and then ate you don't you think you'd be pissed at me!!!OR how about EVEN BETTER, If i hunted down your wife and kids FOR THE FUN OF IT, I'd be lock up but you psycos run around free! The next time you see an animal in a gun site think of your own family on the other end!!! And to all those who LOVE the animals as much as me please lets get everyone we know aware of the wolves and the life threating curcumstance!!!!!!!!

Sure parents may teach their kids to hunt. But when a hunting alliance goes to kids classrooms to teach hunting to children seems pretty desperate to me. I'm sure all of these animals that get killed by hunters are left to die and not eaten. Its all to give the hunters something to hunt and thats the bottom line. Shame on you all who do it!

It seems to me that the Government is just going to show the People that it will do just what it wants to do and every body that does not like it can jump in the lake and as for as the hunters if the Gov. did not let them do what they want they won't come back . It is all in a nut shell they are bowing to the Hunter. The Wolves are a very Beautiful Creation that God made and it should not be killed just for the fun of it.If the people need food let them pay for it just like I do . One day if all the wolves are killed ,your grand children are your great grand children are going to see some pictures of a Wolf and they are going to ask " what are they and where and can we go see them " then you are going to have to do your best to lie to them without them finding out that you had a hand in killing them off. We the people that loves the Wolves are going to have to think about the day when they are no more and be saddened about the loss that we will all feel when they are gone.We can remember that our Government that is supposed to be for the people are just out to fill their own Pockets and they are the ones that allowed it to happen and May God forgive them . Robert

... I also want to know why animal rights groups are so against hunting, I would think that most people would want an animal killed fairly quickly without suffering for weeks or months starving to death because there are more animals in an area than what that area can support food wise. I guess some people want to see 100 deer, for example, starve to death over a period of 2 months insted of seeing 20 shot and, dying within minutes in most cases if not immediately, so that the population can be brought to a more manageable level that the land can support. . I consider myself a conservationist more than a hunter, I only take game I intend to use for food and I use as much of the animal as possible. Contrary to the beliefs of some , most hunters aren't out there just to kill something, but to provide food for their family. In the case of the wolf hunts in Alaska the hunters will be helping secure an adequate moose and caribou population for the natives who depend on these animals for not only food but also clothing during the winter months. I would rather see a few wolves killed than see a family starve because the wolves ate the moose or caribou that might have fed the family for a month or more. Let's get real people how about we worry more about our fellow man and less about the wild animals, Although the animals do need to be respected, like the native Americans and native Alaskans do. When most people in these groups harvest an animal they give thanks to the animal's spirit for providing them with the nourishment the animal's flesh will provide.

As someone who lived in Fairbanks for ten years, I believe I can way in this subject.First of all let me say that I think wolves are incredible animals.But if you live in the interior of Alaska you don't have a supermarket to go to and the hunting of moose and caribou are essential to these peoples way of life.Native Alaskans,for thousands of years have culled wolf pups in there dens to control populations.Wolves,though incredible,are animals that kill prey to live.I have spoken to folks who have seen caribou who were stuck in snow drifts and were easy prey for the pack.They did not kill to satisfy thier immediate hunger.They did what they do and that was to kill twelve caribou because they could.I wish there was a easy solution to this problem.I wish all the posters on this board could go and experience a year in Alaska.I think you may have different outlook on this subject Blog editors' note: Fundamentally, wolves kill other animals because they are carnivores, with digestive systems designed for fitting into the ecology of cold climates. You seem to be saying that human beings should not make moral decisions that a wolf is unable to make, or perhaps that killing is somehow a natural thing to do; thus, we ought to get up into the air and chase them to exhaustion and then shoot them. Is that what you are arguing? We have a number of people posting on this board who have lived in the interior of Alaska for significantly longer than a year. Not all agree with that view. Oil has come out of Alaska and food has gone into Alaska for quite some time. Even in the remotest areas, obviously there are aircraft -- that's why we're having this discussion.

I've recently taken a biodiversity class at my college and been on a trip to Yellowstone National Park. All my life I've studied the reintroduction program and recently I've learned about man's threat to global biodiversity. I agree with many of the above posts: wolves were here, in the United States, before any of us or our hunting rifles. The native peoples coexisted peacefully with wolves without hunting them down brutally because of so-called "competition" for food. There's plenty of protein out there, guys! You don't have to rely only on wild game. We need to strive to keep biodiversity intact, and that means preserving all species and encouranging the growth of animals like the wolf.

I would like to know who made humans "God". Instead of living in peace and taking care of the gift we have been given, much of mankind - and I would be remiss to say all, because there are plenty who do care - has slowly but surely destroying the natural world for its own purposes. Nature has been taking care of its own for millions of years before we came along. The killing of wolves proves nothing more than that, once more, man is putting himself first. If people are so concerned about the welfare of those in the Alaskan wilderness, let's find other ways to take care of them. We have other ways of finding food. Wolves do not.

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