Wolf Song of Alaska News

Caribou Killings

Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / August 3, 2008

To the editor:

I am writing in response to Tim Mowry's article "Caribou carnage."

I am outraged about the reckless lack of regard for wildlife displayed by some of the youths in the North Slope village of Point Hope. Mowry made a serious "typo" when he called these young murderers "hunters." They are the furthest thing from it.

Let's look closely at the chronology of what the troopers believe happened. Mowry wrote that the troopers believe that the caribou were killed between July 4-8 as the herd migrated through the area. He also reported that the troopers were informed of the caribou killings on July 16, yet they waited "a few days" to "visit" the village to investigate. Why wait? So the caribou lay to rot in the July sunshine with their guts still in them for approximately eight to 12 days plus the "few" that the troopers waited to investigate. I hope the troopers didn't try to salvage any of the meat for charity (food poisoning). I don't believe that any real hunter would want to eat meat from any animal left laying for so long. Mowry reported that there were approximately 120 carcasses found. He doesn't make it clear if any of the meat was initially salvaged at all. Also, were the young calves counted toward the death toll?

This type of senseless slaughtering of animals isn't hunting or "subsistence harvesting." It's a total disregard for the wildlife and the well being of the other villagers. This happens at a time when many of us are forced to consider canceling our annual caribou hunting trips due to the drastic increases in fuel prices. What are these young people being taught? Why not drill for oil wherever we need to and monitor the caribou herds more closely if they are just going to be slaughtered by youths who show no respect for the land or their neighbors? How often does this happen and we hear nothing about it? The youths responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

Jason Glenn, North Pole

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