I would like to start off by saying I oppose the wolf hunt, fully and foremost. I have loved these animals my whole life. I am reaching out to inform readers because together we can help stop the wolf hunt from happening. I encourage you to get involved and help stop the wolf hunt by visiting the Howling for Wolves website or their Facebook/Twitter pages. There will be many rallies and protests in Duluth, including a wolf walk in Duluth on Oct. 20. Not even a year after the Minnesota wolf was taken off of the endangered species list, the wolf is being put up for kill in a hunting and trapping season opening with the deer-hunting season on Nov. 3. On the DNR’s website they have a page for the Wolf Management Plan. The plan states, “Minnesota’s Wolf Management Plan will ensure their long-term survival and monitor their population. It also will give owners of livestock and domestic pets more protection from wolf depredation.”
I just can’t come to terms with their thinking. How could they possibly think that enabling a wolf hunting and trapping season would “ensure their long-term survival?” There is no sense to it.
On Sept. 18, a lawsuit was filed against the hunting and trapping of Minnesota wolves by The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves. This lawsuit would ensure that there would be no hunting of wolves for five years. I was lucky enough to talk to Maureen Hackett, the president and founder of Howling for Wolves. This organization was more than happy to accommodate my request to talk to someone about the organization and the wolf hunt. Dr. Hackett was wonderful to speak with.
Howling for Wolves is a non-profit organization that was created on March 22, 2012, in response to the wolf hunt put in place by the Minnesota DNR to be a voice for wolves. On their website (howlingforwolves.org) their purpose states, “It is our mission to educate and motivate the public to speak up and even howl for the Minnesota gray wolf.” Before talking Dr. Hackett, I knew little about the facts surrounding the wolf hunt. She informed me that a push for a wolf hunt in Minnesota was happening before the Legislature even got together last summer. The legislators actually took out the initial five-year wait period that was set for a Minnesota wolf hunt and trapping season – behind closed doors – without media or community comment. This was without Minnesota’s consent or knowing. Now Howling for Wolves and other people and organizations are looking to get the governor to veto this bill. This is a law that needs to be challenged.
Wolves killing livestock seems to be the only argument for the wolf hunt to take place. The people that wanted to kill the wolves in the 1890s are the same people that want to kill the wolves today – the livestock industry. But wolves don’t often hunt livestock either; the warm winter the previous year had made it harder for wolves to catch deer, forcing them to the only alternative. The number of wolf-livestock conflict in Minnesota is extremely low. There were only 88 confirmed incidences in 2011—and yet, 203 wolves died from these incidences. So this hunt set out by the DNR is a slaughter of non-problem wolves. A sport hunt and trapping.
Imagine for a second if the wolf hunt and trapping season were to take place. It would be devastating for wolves. The Minnesota wolves are only at a stable population. They are not thriving. Many wolves in Minnesota starve to death. A number of wolves will also be killed because they lost their protected status and are considered threatening. It is known that wolves live in packs; they are social animals that rely on each other to survive. Killing just one member of a pack, especially one of the alphas, could in turn kill every other wolf in that pack. This hunt would destroy countless wolf packs. This hunt could wipe them out once more.
Needless to say, talking to Maureen Hackett was enlightening. She finished off our interview by wanting to say one thing, “The wolf has been a persecuted, hated animal the entire history of this country. The only reason we have any in Minnesota is because they were deep in the forests and they couldn’t get to them. If we don’t slow down, we’ll kill them all. There just aren’t enough wolves.”
BY JESSICA NOOR firstname.lastname@example.org