Forever Crying Wolf
According to Idaho's Department of Fish &
Game, the State of Idaho is home to 846 wolves. That's about one wolf
for each 100 square miles, or one wolf for every 64,000 acres. You can
see that wolves have become a major problem for Idaho's bureaucratic
The Idaho wolf population includes 50 packs of
wolves, and ten percent of those 846 wild wolves wear radio transmitters
attached to their collars.
Wolves were once an endangered species in
Idaho, but as of May 1, 2009, they are fair game to Idaho's hunters.
The hunting season begins today. During last Monday's official licensing
day, some 4,000 permits were sold to hunt Idaho wolves. State residents
pay $11.50 while out-of-staters pay $186 for the 2009 Idaho wolf
hunting license. Once 220 wolves are reported killed, the hunt
Which got me to wondering...
Who thought up
those absurd numbers?
Is a wolf a
I did not think so until I called the State of Idaho's Fish
and game department's toll-free number:
seeking information on Idaho's proposed wolf hunt which is to begin today
(September 1, 2009).
"Thank you for calling the
Idaho Fish & Game Wolf Harvest Line..."
are harvested. Rutabegas are harvested. Are wolves a crop? If so, that's
a big load of crop to me.
I found Farley Mowat's "Never Cry Wolf" ten
years after it had been written. It was on the assigned reading list
for a comparative animal behavior class I was taking. The year was 1973,
and I was still in college. Never Cry Wolf had an intense affect on me,
and I trace my interest in environmental issues back to that
introduction to Mowat's work. Ten years later, Mowat's book became a
popular Disney movie.
Farley Mowat was the man who introduced me to
the injustice of animal abuse. Wolves are the most humane of non-human
mammals and live in loving well developed family groups. Read 'Never Cry
Wolf' and I guarantee that you will share my profound appreciation of
these gentle intelligent creatures.
Canadian authorities once
suspected that wolves were destroying caribou herds. Mowat taught them
something they did not want to know. Man was the mass murderer, not wolf.
Hunters with guns, not wolves with sharp teeth. Sure, they ate an
occasional caribou. Native Inuit Canadians respect the wolves. They thin
out the herd by eating the sick and infirm. In that regard, wolves keep
the herd strong. Mowat observed that the major food source for wolves in
the Canadian wilderness was field mice, not caribou.
wolf hunters be required to wear little red riding hoods to camouflage
their bad intentions?