Monday, August 31, 2009

Dire Wolf

The wolf came in, I got my cards
We sat down for a game
I cut my deck to the Queen of Spades
but the cards were all the same
Don't murder me
I beg of you don't murder me
Please don't murder me

Dire Wolf
The Grateful Dead

Today is a pivotal day for the wolves of the Northern Rockies. As I write this, a court hearing in Missoula to determine whether or not the wolf hunts scheduled to begin tomorrow in Idaho and Sept. 15 in Montana can go on has just finished, and Judge Donald Molloy did not issue an immediate ruling. Thus, barring a last-minute opinion from him, tomorrow it's open season on the wolves of Idaho.

Over 9000 tags have been sold to shoot 220 wolves. Reports are that the summer woods, usually the province of hikers on a last calm, peaceful stroll before returning to school or enjoying the last days of the summer, are instead filled with hunters scouting for wolves, gleefully anticipating the chance to kill.

Standing in the pouring rain

All alone in a world that's changed

Running scared, now forced to hide

In a land where he once stood with pride

Will The Wolf Survive
Los Lobos

The rhetoric over the pending slaughter has been painful, frightening, and immensely frustrating. Those who seek to kill wolves are not driven by a desire to put food on the table, a need to commune with nature, or any of the other rationalizations that are often used to justify hunting. Instead, the statements point to an atavistic, bloodthirsty, revenge-filled lust, a murderous impulse driven by fear, loathing, hate and retribution.
In Idaho, the elk herds in a number of regions have already been pulled down by nearly 30-percent - thanks entirely to wolf depredation. And sickened by the carnage of wildlife populations that took so long to rebuild, some sportsmen have tired of all the governmental foot dragging...and they've taken the matter back into their own hands. Dead wolves are beginning to show up with some regularity.
LOBO WATCH salutes those of you with the passion for our outdoors and the drive to maintain healthy deer and elk numbers to actually take charge of this situation, and who have the ability to...Shoot...Shovel...And Shut Up!
From "Lobo Watch," an anti-wolf website

[T]he wilds of Idaho are being "patrolled" by one of the largest and meanest wolf sub species in the world. Additional photos and live video support claims that these huge predators are not food chain balancers as some contend but vicious, pathological killers.
Article in the Idaho Observer

Sorry, folks- it isn't the wolves who are the vicious, pathological killers.

As I write this now, the clock inches towards midnight. Tomorrow, many wolves will die, and many people whose ethics and rationality have been subsumed by blood lust will celebrate their deaths.

And it will all be in vain. Wolf hunting won't prevent livestock depredation; it may well increase it. Remove a territorial pair that haven't touched sheep and the newcomers may not be so conservative. Kill the breeding female and her starving pups may turn to lambs. Canids also have a built-in response to control- they have more pups. And more pups to feed means more likelihood of livestock depredation.

And then, of course, we have the incredibly hypocritical argument:
Questioner: Why do deer and elk need to be hunted?
Hunter: Because if we don't control their populations, there will be too many of them.
Questioner: And why do you want to kill wolves?
Hunter: Because they reduce deer and elk populations!

How dare the wolves kill deer and elk to survive! They should be the sole property of hunters! That is certainly what the hunters seem to think...

Get off this damned "Political Correctness" and start taking care of our herds. I guess I would like to think that the "new" wolf hunting season is a start to eradicating wolves completely, but I have NO confidence in IDF&G of that happening. Wouldn't want to piss anybody off. You've seen the bumper stickers that read "Save 100 Elk Kill a Wolf". Well the new bumper stickers are going to read "Gut Shoot A Wolf".

Get rid of these sport-killing vicious killers.
Save Elk

In the mountains and forests of Idaho, families are gathering tonight, under the nearly-full moon, in joyous celebrations with their half-grown children, truly in touch with the land around them. After decade upon decade of persecution by poison, trap, dog and gun, they enjoyed, for a while, a modicum of solitude and peace.

Tomorrow, the war begins again. Tomorrow, we show, as a species, that we have yet to learn tolerance or acceptance. Tomorrow, wolves will die.

We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes - something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.
"Thinking like a Mountain"
Aldo Leopold

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