Everyone knows of the apocryphal evil that is wolves, hunting our children, killing our livestock, taking the best deer. Having a wolf hunting season seems like a no brainer, right? But what if that’s not how wolves are, what if they are innocent, so to say. Should they be hunted? The short answer is no.
Many wolves were removed from regions where they weren’t even threats to humans or livestock (Klinghammer 446) because wolves, like grizzlies, were perceived as competitors for land and food. Unlike grizzly bears, wolves didn’t survive in the Northern Rocky Mountains because of poisonings, shootings, and bounties for their pelts (Barker 177). These actions caused the extinction of wolves in western states, changing the ecosystems by eliminating a natural predator. The reasons for this genocide, according to David Mech, were “the possible predation by the wolf upon man. .
Until people moved in, wolves were settled. As European settlement expanded to the west, it began to take its toll on the wolves and their habitat. Clearing of the forests came first, which was then accompanied by significant over-hunting in this area (Noceker). Slowly wolves became concentrated into smaller and smaller areas in the west. Finally, they were assumed to be bothers to the ranchers and farmers and maybe a threat to those people who lived in the area.
So are the wolves predators that destroy livestock other wildlife, creating devastating losses for both ranchers and hunters? Or are they prey? Misunderstood, maligned and victimized only for what comes naturally to the species? Do wolves contribute significantly to the spread of parasites to elk and cattle, and can humans get these same parasites? Are the wolves found in the Idaho mountains the same wolves that were here before, or are these wolves truly different from the ones they replaced?
Most of the extermination was because ranchers and farmers lost a good deal of livestock to wolves. Wolves were selected for extermination by the US government untill1976 when the government declared the Mexican gray wolf endangered in the lower 48 states. The trapping and killing of wolves was done by private trappers, hunters, or ranchers. After wolves were declared endangered, several private enterprises sought to give the wolf a chance to come back from almost extinction. One of these groups, P.A.W.S., petitioned, debated, and fought for the reestablishment of the wolf into the southwest and other areas of the country where they once roamed freely.
In the beginning of the book Mowat starts to believe what everyone else did, that wolves were scary, dangerous animals. Little does he know that his first wolf encounter of his trip would be that night. “I do not know what went on in his massive skull, but my head was full of the most disturbing wrong thoughts” (Mowat 54). Since it was his first encounter with a wolf Mowat feels uneasy by the thought of being mauled by an alpha wolf. To his surprise the wolf was just as scared of him as he was of it and ran as fast as he could away.
Also to sell the whole wolf for money or cut off pieces of the wolf like head, ears, paws, and tail as a award for that they killed one. So because of all the stuff that people are doing to kill these wolves are making all them all disappear. There are less ad less. There are not in all 50 states as they use to be, they are reduced down to 7 states and Canada, that is how serious there case is now a day. A lot of people think that humans are the only ones killing Arctic wolves, but that is not the case.
Wolf activists, farmers, and hunters are the main players in the fight for or against wolf reintroduction. Wolves are a vital part of our ecology, the animal kingdom’s food chain, and economy; and as such should be reintroduced to all the areas that the wolf roamed before they were wiped out by European explorers. The ecology, or how living organism interact with their environment, starts from the top, or the predator and goes down to the soil and streams. Before the wolf was introduced to the Yellowstone National Park, elk populations have grown too large for the land to sustain them. Due to the large number of elk eating the grass and trees, the grass has been eaten, and the soil has become loose due to the lack of grass to hold the soil in place (Hannibal 2012).
There is now a greater awareness among people that the killing by wolves of deer and other prey species, which we may want for ourselves, is not a sufficient reason for the extermination of wolves. Sometimes populations of game animals are critically low, so on biological grounds wolf control could be justified; however, control programs are always opposed by ever-increasing urban populations. Proposed wolf culls have become major political issues in many areas in North America. When controls are carried out, they need to be done to meet certain criteria, which are based on sound scientific information and stewardship of wildlife populations. In the wilderness scheme of things wolves play an important role.
Since the early 2000’s, the wolf population in the northern states has become one great debate. Many want wolves to stay because of their history and significant to the Indians. The Indians believed that the wolf meant magic and brought self-reliance, endurance and keen intelligence. While many ranchers and farmers want the wolves gone. They cause their livestock to become stressed and the wolves will also kill many of the younger livestock for food.