Wolf Song of Alaska News

Wolf Bounty

Discuss: Wolf Hunting / Anchorage Daily News / March 22, 2007


Sigh...yet again into the foray to correct SDP's little comment on how with the new bounty they won't have to use aircraft as much. The whole idea behind the bounty is to act as a state subsidy to the avgas costs which these yahoos have been whining about. If you had carefully read the statements by Bruce Bartley, a spokesman for F&G, you would have seen where he says the $150 is to help with fuel costs.
Of course, we're all waiting for your documented cases of wolves killing humans in the New World. (I make that distinction between the Old and New World because there is so much confusion in the histories of the Old World cases that no one can really deny or support the claims. Along with stories of races of humans with their heads in their bellies or races that have one large leg they go about on are included stories of wolves devouring humans. In the New World the documentation is a bit cleaner in that respect and shows no...I repeat...no unprovoked attacks by healthy wild wolves on humans that are reliable reports.)
As to Caress' definition of slaughter, if we turn to the New Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus of the English Language, 1992 edition, we find on page 933 the following:

"slaughter...the killing of animals for food || a massacre; 2. to kill mercilessly || to kill in large numbers,,,"

If you want to play at the semantics game, Marty, I've got all day and a home library full of lexicons with which to engage you.

Then, we have the pseudo-bambi types who regale us with sob stories of how a moose calf sounds as it is being killed by a wolf. Of course, these gentle souls omit what a wolf sounds like as it chews its leg off to free itself from a snare as was photographed in the 1994 state-sponsored wolf kill in GMU 20E. They also omit what a wolf sounds like slowly strangling to death in a steel wire snare left out after the trapping season is over as happened with the Headquarter Pack at Denali around 2001 or so. Such folks don't tell what it sounds like when a cow moose hoof backed up by a 200-lb. leg crunches into the rib cage of a wolf or cracks their jaw in half. Nor do they tell us what a caribou sounds like as some wannabee Leatherstocking gutshoots it then leaves it to wander off and die as F&G reported happened all too often during the early '70's in the Taylor Highway slaughters (thank you for that word, Marty). I was hunting along the highway then and saw scenes that were straight out of Dante's "Inferno". Campfires with 5, 6, 8 gutted caribou carcasses hanging nearby. (We were allowed 3 caribou a person then.) A small splinter herd would appear and it would sound like something out of a Schwarzeneggar movie with guns going off as fast as rounds could be shucked and new ones chambered. There were gutpiles and gutpiles and gutpiles, along the roads, along the trails; anywhere you stopped, it seemed. Some of the F&G personnel on the scene to check tags and licenses later described these hunts as massacres with hunters shooting willy-nilly into herds, not tracking wounded caribou, firing at distances impossible to gauge accurately, etc. And after a few years of this when the 40 Mile Herd splintered and began avoiding the highway, was it these nimrods who were blamed? Nope. The "mcaress"'s and "SDP151"'s of Alaska immediately started screaming how the wolves had wiped out the caribou. The herd went into decline because it was no longer able to use its usual migratory areas and so had to make do with lesser quality forage along with harder winters and deeper snows. Poaching continued (F&G estimates in some rural areas poaching amounts to 30 to 40% of the reported take). And the brains at the AOC and elsewhere decided it was time to wipe out the wolves....

A moment for anecdotal testimony, btw. In '98 I attended a public testimony session of the BOG. A fellow from Tolovana gave testimony noting how he had lived there 40 years and had been out walking the mountains the previous fall when he came across two wolves eating a Dall ram. His next statement was, "We've got to get rid of the wolves around there because they are killing off the caribou and sheep!" From that one observation he made that astounding leap of logic(?). Mind you, he had no idea if the wolves had killed the ram. He didn't know if the ram had been fatally ill or injured in a fall (lumpy jaw and bone fractures are common killers in the Dall sheep pop). All he knew was he saw two wolves at the carcass and it was time to wipe'em out! By his thinking if I saw a Ford truck crunch a Toyota sedan from that point on I would be justified in thinking every crunched Toyota was the result of a Ford collision. Yet, our dear BOG took that testimony as worthy of action, discerning souls that they are.

BTW, if you have lanky sled dogs better lock 'em up. F&G has no really good way of telling a dog leg from a wolf leg. Genetically, they are indistinguishable (hence, the problem with prosecuting Wolf Country for wolf hybrid sales). It might be easier for your local wolf hater to "cull" one of your favorite skijoring huskies some night and get that $150. When bounties were being paid for pairs of wolf ears in the Lower '48 it later turned out many of those bringing them in were just whacking them off dogs they had killed.

Art Greenwalt / Fairbanks AK

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