Minnesota's wolves needed for ecological balance

  • Article by: Maureen Hackett
  • Updated: September 8, 2013 - 9:27 PM

A recreational hunt doesn’t follow the DNR’s stated management plans.

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puckster55picsSep. 8, 1310:23 PM

Very well stated Dr. Hackett, but I would like to add that no animal should be hunted if that hunt is Not based on science or population numbers but solely on hate & the desire for the eradication of the species. I have in my own research viewed more hate filled facebook pages & websites dedicated to the senseless torture & eradication of the gray wolf. They boast openly of poaching & encourage the practice to others. They boastfully post horrid photos of tortured & blooied dead wolves and make snide,callous remarks cheering the poster on for his kill. For ANY government agency to sell licenses to kill to those who actively desire the eradication of the wolf is madness and a violation of true conservation principles. If there are problem wolves take out the offenders or target ONLY those areas that have higher densities-this is madness & irresponsible

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lordhawhaw1Sep. 8, 1310:23 PM

"(only 2 percent of the Minnesota farms in wolf country have experienced wolf problems with livestock)." Wrong minus ten. Most ranchers know the hoops the government bureaucrats require them to jump through is not worth the time or the paltry reimbursement the government pays back for cattle lost to wolves. That is if the government even approves the claim which the rancher applies for. Often the rancher will not find the cattle carcass lost to wolves for months and the decomposition is more than ample time for the government bureaucrat to claim the rancher cannot prove it was a wolf. But who cares about ranchers anyway? Shoot, shovel and shut up.

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blueskydaySep. 8, 1311:41 PM

Thank you to the STRIB for printing the opinion shared by 79% of Minnesotans: don't hunt our wolves! Simply no reason to hunt wolves and every reason not to. BTW, to lordhawkhaw1 re: ranchers. A recreational hunt does not help the cattlemen. Recreational hunt was never intended to address depredation issues and in fact random killing of pack animals may well exacerbate livestock conflict. Historical hatred of the wolf -as evidenced by the endorsement of SSS- remains a driving force in this campaign to kill this keystone predator. The more cattlemen rage against the wolf, the more consumers and taxpayers will pay closer attention to how much of a burden taxpayers, wilderness and wildlife are being asked to pay for their private business.

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lowtechSep. 8, 1311:49 PM

Why do we allow a small number of people to dictate wolf policy, a policy that runs counter to the views of the majority of Minnesotans? These special interests control the DNR and successfully lobbied the legislature for a recreational wolf hunt. Now it's time for the rest of us to fix this. No more trophy killing of wolves in Minnesota.

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elind56Sep. 9, 13 7:26 AM

Livestock owners have been shooting and trapping wolves 'illegally' in MN for a long time. It's just part and parcel of the lifestyle in areas where wolf predation on livestock occurs and is accompanied by a strict 'code of silence'. Much less expensive and more effective than dealing with the maddening bureacracy surrounding reimbursement.

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twspt7Sep. 9, 13 9:24 AM

I'll bet not a single one of the posters here is a cattle rancher in northern Minnesota. I am not either, but I am personally acquainted with several in the areas where I hunt deer and grouse. Wolf predation is a real problem for these people, and I am told it is very hard to get any compensation from the government. Think about it, we manage the main food source for wolves, the deer population, so, in effect, we are forcing the wolves to alter their natural feeding pattern to compensate for decreased deer herd size. It is certainly understandable that the wolf then would turn to any cattle in the area. A wolf hunt will not eradicate this problem, but it will keep their numbers more in balance with the deer herd. No one is advocating the elimination of the wolf in Minnesota, and I think the anti-wolf hunting need to reexamine their motivation will a little sympathy for the rancher and an eye to the big picture of wildlife resource management in this state.

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odinmanSep. 9, 13 9:34 AM

I don't think anyone is advocating the erradication of wolves in MN...especially sportsmen and women. On the contrary, I enjoy hearing their howls at night and even seeing them on those rare occasions...and I deer hunt in prime wolf country. I know they are an important indicator on the health of the ecosystem and recognize that having a top predator in the food chain is a good thing. I also know that having a very limited hunting season of wolves will not do harm to the overall population. There is a reasonable approach to managing wolves and I think the DNR is on the right track.

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natedejSep. 9, 13 9:53 AM

In response to twspt7: A single wolf will take maybe 20 deer/year this is fact look it up. If there are at most 3000 wolves that is only 60k deer/yr total! How many deer are in MN, close to 1,000,000 and hunters take close to 250,000... Hunters the deer are still there, you just need to try harder.

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wolftracksSep. 9, 1310:07 AM

It is hard for me to understand how wolves can go from "endangered" to a hunt being established. I get hunting if you eat what you shoot but this is shooting an animal you have no intention of eating. Killing for sport is something I don't understand.

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davehougSep. 9, 1310:39 AM

The rare and first Minnesota wolf-human attack aside, the wolves that will be killed in another hunting season are random and not necessarily causing problems. - - - and most only occasional think your pet or toddler are tasty (said with sarcasm).

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