Anchorage, Alaska - Over 500 wolves have been killed during the last three years as part of Alaska's state sanctioned aerial hunting program. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game would like to see that total raised by several hundred more. At least one candidate for the legislature wants to see the practice of aerial wolf hunting ended or at least severely limited.
Mike Koy is the democratic candidate for the state legislature House District 32 representing south Anchorage and Turnagain Arm. He firmly believes it is time to put an end to the practice of aerial wolf hunting in Alaska whether it is airborne or same day hunting.
"Using airplanes to shoot and kill wolves is the sort of thing you would expect to find reading articles about the 30's or 40's of the previous century," says Koy. "It's disappointing to see it isn't a practice of a bygone era, but a sanctioned program alive and well here in Alaska. It really is disappointing."
In 1996 and 2000, through a ballot initiative and then by referendum, Alaskans voted to ban the use of same day airborne hunting of wolves. Between 1996 and 2000 the Alaska Legislature weakened and then removed the limitations placed on airborne wolf hunting by voters in 1996 though a poll taken at the time showed 70% of Alaskans were against the legislature taking such action. In response, Alaskans voted again in 2000 to ban the use of same day airborne hunting of wolves. In 2003, the legislature again passed legislation making airborne wolf hunting legal. Since then over 500 wolves have been killed from the air. This is in addition to the 4,500 wolves which have been killed by trapping or other means during the same period. The total wolf population in Alaska is estimated to be 7,000 -11,000.
"The people have made themselves clear on this issue several times," states Koy, "and it is about time someone from within the legislature makes ending airborne hunting of wolves a priority. If elected to the legislature this will be one of my top priorities. I want to see this practice completely eliminated and that's the position I'll start from, but I'd consider leaving some flexibility for extremely, extremely, limited circumstances."
For further information please visit mikekoy.com or contact Mike Koy at 907-250-7169.