wildschweinMarch 8, 2011 at 5:15 amPost count: 581
Well the latest issue of TBM came in the mail today, and as always I went straight to the Editor’s Note. Now usually I agree completely with the opinions expressed in this department, but this issues topic concerning Wolves has me trying to sort out some mixed feelings.
As mentioned in a previous thread dealing with a similar topic, I made a choice two years back to only kill what I intend to consume. I didn’t make the change to attain some holier than though status among my peers, I just started to feel too damn guilty. I don’t feel any kinship with other predators as expressed by some, and I don’t think they are vermin as said by others. I just could no longer live with killing a critter for doing what it has to do.
And yet I have seen some disturbing trends in the last two years or so. As is happening south of the border, Wolf and Coyote populations are on the rise in Alberta. Ungulate populations are taking a hit, and for the first time that I can remember people have been killed. And there have been incidents that have hit close to home as well. Coyotes recently attacked and injured my Mother-in-law’s dog, and my Grandfathers German Shepard (a well-loved friend of eight years), was killed by Wolves last year.
But what has made me most apprehensive is an encounter that took place while hunting Whitetails near Manning this November. It started out as nothing more spectacular than just another Wolf sighting. I stumbled upon him bedded in my neighbour’s field while walking to my blind that morning. Now every Wolf or group of Wolves I had encountered thus far, had all took to running the moment they realised what I was. But even though I was barely a hundred yards from the Wolf when we noticed each other, it never ran away. Instead it got up and actually come forward a few steps. Figuring the Deer likely wouldn’t be around anyway, I decided to holler at so it would know for sure what I was and high tail it. But it still didn’t move. Made a fella feel pretty small. So I turned around (keeping a close eye behind me) and went to hunt another field. The Wolf never moved while I had it in sight. Never have I seen one so brave before.
So what is a person to do? If I could eat them I could better justify in my mind the decision to hunt Wolves and Coyotes. But a recent article by Dr. Valerius Geist suggests this can be dangerous due to the prevalent Hydatid parasite found in wild canines. And yet I can’t help but feel as though the situation if left as is might well get out of hand.
So should a person step back and let nature run her course, or does one take on the role of nature’s warden and take matters into their own hands?
brucMemberMarch 8, 2011 at 1:30 pmPost count: 476
We do play a role in Natures cycle for sure ! No question !
If we had a healthy fur industry, as of 20 years ago, the problem would be pretty much non-existant. The easy answer is to shoot the wolf or coyote and sell the hide.
Problem is the hide is almost worhtless! I trap as a hobby. The coyotes I get are taken to a local individual that skins, stretches and prepares the hide. He charges $10.00 per animal which is very reasonable. The last ones I sold averaged $30.00. Not very profitable but good exercise and lots of fun, and also very humbling or challenging whichever way you look at it. It also provides the reason that Wildeshein talks about.
Mark TurtonMarch 8, 2011 at 1:35 pmPost count: 759
I guess if we were to look back in time animals have evolved and become extinct as environment and population’s change we tend to look at these things over a lifetime as opposed to historic time so it’s little wonder that our intervention is often unwarranted and ill judged.
Canines in Africa and Australia can become a real problem around towns and villages where they scavenge and become used to the sounds, smell and sight of humans combine this with their natural curiosity and I suppose the reaction that Wildschwein got is not to be unexpected.
As nice as it is to see wolves I don’t think I want them in my backyard, add to this if I had livestock or a young family I might be out with a rifle.
In Hungary they tried playing recordings of territorial howling to stop wolves coming onto farm land with some degree of success.
David PetersenMemberMarch 8, 2011 at 4:32 pmPost count: 2749
Wild — I have a friend who lives in deep-bush AK, purely subsistence. This past winter he had to kill two wolves, one big and one small, both male and both black, that were harassing his sled dogs every night. He says they taste fine. Similarly, I’ve talked to people in Canada who claim to eat and enjoy coyote and jackrabbit. Guess it depends how hungry a guy is. If I felt directly threatened by an animal, and it was legal, I would not hesitate to break my own “kill only what you will eat” rule to take care of the problem. This is hardly the same as killing “varments” from 500 yards with a .223 purely for the fun of watching them explode. But gee, I wish we had at least a little of your wolf problem down here in CO, where the DOW complains year after year that hunters aren’t able to “make the kill” and the herds continue to explod, and now the DOW director is saying we need to let ATVs run rampant in the backcountry in order to “get the hunters to where the elk are.” Well, the elk are there primarily because ATVs are not. I’d prefer wolves. And in Rocky Mountain NP they are using sharpshooters to exterminate elk by the hundreds, which are overpopulated to the point they are destroying their own habitat, as per Lamar Valley pre-wolves and Leopold’s “Round River.” Life is one big slippery slope, ain’t it? Dave
FUBARMemberMarch 8, 2011 at 8:47 pmPost count: 252
You have too many elk?:shock: Where do I sign up?
I know what you mean about not wanting to shoot the coyotes and wolfs because you don’t want to eat them. Years ago, I was bear hunting in the U.P. of MI when a pack of coyotes came upon me. Besides my bow, I had a .44 in a shoulder holster. Even after dropping one and shooting at others, they continued to circle me and try to get behind me. Luckily two other hunters with rifles happened along and shot two more. I have never trusted coyotes since then and will try for them when opportunity presents itself. I always think “What would have happened if one of my daughters walked into that pack?” I make exceptions for the “Don’t kill if not going to eat” phylosophy my father taught me
aeronutMemberMarch 9, 2011 at 3:02 amPost count: 258
Here in SE Kansas we have always had an abundant supply of coyotes. Being raised around the farms (grandparents and aunts & uncles) I know first hand what a coyote pack is capable of doing to livestock and wildlife. And no, they don’t just kill what they can eat.
Since the fur prices have dropped (10-15 years ago) the coyote population has exploded around here and they show less wariness toward humans. Seeing road killed coyotes used to be a rare event here but with the high population it is now common.
In most circumstances, if I’m not going to eat it I won’t kill it. With coyotes however, it is a different story. I will shot at every coyote I see if I can get a clear shot at it. No guilt feelings at all.
I made a statement on a thread once (I believe it was the LW) that the coyotes were getting brazen and getting too close to my house and I saw them as a threat to my family and pets. I was asked, rather snidely, what I considered too close. On several occasions I have left for work and found coyote crap in my driveway. Too close? Any closer and they will be on my porch.
I like to hear the coyotes during their nightly sing-alongs (at least five packs within earshot) but they will get no pardon from me.
Dpowers311March 9, 2011 at 11:22 pmPost count: 43
Would you feel better if you used the fur for something.
Most people hunt for enjoyment not that they have to feed there families, I said most some do. I would be money ahead if i just bought beef. lol
I have seen both sides of this discussion taken to excess. By not controlling the population of predators the kill all the deer, turkey, quail and rabbits. They will also come up by houses and catch pets. I have also heard people discuss how you have to throw the small fish on the bank so your bait will get down to the “big” fish.
I have problems and I have been teaching my son to not kill something unless you are going to eat it. I think I might have to modify this teaching some.
As for eating “dog”, my dad was in the Air Force and was in Morocco. He was walking in the open market and went to a both selling meat on a stick. Who doesn’t love meat on a stick, well one of his buddies walk over to dad and asked how the food was dad said it was good. The man then asked if he knew what it was he was eating, dad said no so the guy told him. It was wonderful until dad found out what it was. I still get a laugh out of that story.
Don ThomasMemberMarch 12, 2011 at 4:20 pmPost count: 334
My editorial was primarily meant to address the complex politics of wolf management and not the individual decision to shoot wild canids (or not). I respect all the varied opinions expressed herein. Personally, I have killed foxes and jackals with my bow, tanned the hides, and felt just fine about it… but that’s quite different from deliberately attacking any large predator population by means other than fair chase simply to reduce their numbers. A couple of important points apply to wolves in the Northern Rockies. 1. There are currently too many wolves, approaching 10 times the original USFWS recovery goal. 2. “Letting nature take its course” is no longer as logical as it sounds, simply because the entire ecosystem has changed so dramatically as a result of human development in the last century that it no longer resembles its original state. Ergo, wolves, like all species, are going to require a certain amount of deliberate management. The trick is to do it right. Don
SteveMcDMemberMarch 12, 2011 at 6:15 pmPost count: 870
Hmmm.. and so the discussion (debate 😛 ) lives on. I feel somewhat responsible since I started a major thread on this topic. But, I do need to make a few thingss clear.
For me it is just a matter of upbringing, I was taught by my Dad to take only what I would eat, and never take more than you need ( regardless of creel or bag limit).
Yes I do feel a kinship to all animals as we are all connected. Just the naturalists in me.
I also would not hesitate to kill any animal that threatened me. Truth is, your experience with the Wolf in the field, I would not have eased out, I would have assumed something not right with the animal and shot it anyway. Yes.. Shooot, Shovel and Shut up!
Lastly, all predators need to be managed and I encourage and am happy for those that do. It just is not inherently in myself, to do so.
rayborbonMarch 13, 2011 at 4:04 pmPost count: 298
I’d eat a wolf. A slow cooker can make almost anything more enjoyable. Plus the hide would make a fantastic rug. The skull would fit next to my other predator skulls too.
Fact is, wolves can be problematic and dangerous. I suspect they’ll be off the so called ES list in the lower 48 by 2016. I don’t get how they are on the ES list when they are not endangered. Well, I do get it, it’s politics from Defenders.org and other organizations like it who have rabble-roused the politicians to do their bidding. The same kind of people who want to outlaw hunting and they see introduction of wolves as a tool to move that direction. They state it openly…
WICannerMarch 15, 2011 at 1:05 amPost count: 136
I have no wolves near me, at least not with any regularity, as sightings are quite rare. But I have lots of coyotes; lots and lots of coyotes. So if one gets too close to my pheasant pen, or my dogs, it will be singing with the angels. I show no quarter with coyotes, as they show no quarter for me and mine.
Each person needs to evaluate their own situation. We are all mini wildlife biologists in our own neck of the woods. Evaluate, then act. But be at peace with the decision.
wildschweinMarch 16, 2011 at 3:46 pmPost count: 581
Thank you all for your thoughts so far. Always good to get different perspectives.
As far as eating Wolves go, I would do it in second if it were not for the possibility of contracting a sometimes fatal parasite (please see first post). But if I were to utilise the hide, claws, and skull, then I suppose I could justify the kill, to myself at any rate.
Next time I’m up North I’ll look into the Wolf situation again. With a treestand, some meat scraps, and a predator call, I’m pretty sure I could get one within 30 yards. We’ll see how it goes.
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