U.S. states are trying to step up wolf killings

Billings, Montana. (AP)

Payment of dead wolves. Unlimited hunting of animals. Shoot the wolf from the sky.

In some states, wolf hunting policies are becoming more aggressive as Republican lawmakers and conservative hunting groups are holding back and proposing tactics that are shunned by many wildlife managers. ..

In Montana, MPs are taking steps to allow parliamentarians to shoot wolves at night, paying hunters reminiscent of the widespread extinction of the species in the last century. Idaho law allows hunters to shoot them from motorized parachutes, ATVs, or snowmobiles all year round, without restrictions in most areas.

And in Wisconsin, just weeks after President Donald Trump’s administration lifted protection for wolves in the Great Lakes region, hunters with hunting dogs and captives exceeded the state’s harvest targets, almost double the plan. Killed a number.

Wisconsin’s hunting timing soared after a proceeding that raised concerns that President Joe Biden’s administration would intervene to restore protection for gray wolves. The groups behind the proceedings are influential donors the Koch brothers and prominent Trump supporters, former US Senator candidate Kris Kobach in Kansas, and Ted New defending rock star and gun rights. It is closely related to the Republican political world, such as Gent.

Opposition to wolves that killed livestock and big names dates back to the early 1800s settlement in the western United States, and reignited after wolf populations recovered under federal protection. According to former wildlife officials and supporters, what is currently emerging is different. An increasingly politicized campaign to reduce the number of wolves who may also use the Anathema law in North American hunting traditions.

“It’s not a scientific approach to wildlife management, it’s revenge-based management,” said Dunbar Million, a former president of the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission. Vermilion et al. Raise political anger by wolves, just as the Second Amendment’s gun rights were used in recent elections to raise concerns about the Democratic Party limiting firearms. Said it was used for.

The balance is a decades-long initiative that has brought back thousands of wolves in the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, and the Great Lakes region. The return of predators, considered a major conservation success by scientists and conservationists, is attacking livestock by wolves and hunters who are considering competing for herds of wolves in search of elks, deer and other big names. It’s still a painful point for the rancher who may be.

In Montana and Idaho, the number of wolves has exploded after being reintroduced from Canada in the 1990s. Federal protection was lifted 10 years ago. Since then, the state has been hunting annually, and wildlife authorities have cited stable population levels as evidence of responsible wolf management.

Republicans of hunting and livestock groups and their parliaments claim that 1,500 wolves in Idaho and 1,200 wolves in Montana are damaging the lives of big-name trinkets and cattle and sheep producers. Allies are not happy.

“There are too many wolves,” Republican Senator Bob Brown said of the mountainous region of northwestern Montana. He sponsors a bounty-like program similar to Idaho, which repays hunting and capture costs through private funding.

The use of food and night-vision scopes is permitted in a different way than Brown. Another proposal allows snares that critics say they can indiscriminately catch pets and other animals inadvertently.

Brown said their negative effects cannot be ignored in response to concerns that wolf treatment will drive away tourists who want to catch a glimpse of wolves in places like Glacier National Park in Montana.

“I’m sure some people will come to see the wolf,” he said. “But we are also hitting the clothing industry.”

Critics, including Democratic senator Patflowers, who oversees the former state’s Wildlife Service, warned that the wolf population in Montana would be seriously damaged. Also Democratic Senator Jill Cohenour said the proposal “brings us back to the list” as an endangered species.

Wolves lost federal protection in the western Great Lakes in 2011, but were re-imposed by court order three years later.

The Tuck administration lifted protection again five days before the November elections when Secretary of the Interior David Byrne visited Minnesota and announced his move.

On the first day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the White House said it would consider the wolf’s decision.

Wisconsin officials had already planned hunting in November when Hunter Nation, founded in 2018, appealed to immediately force hunting. The group cited the possibility of the Biden administration returning protection.

Hunter Nation is proud to be headed by “America’s Greatest Hunters and Patriots” on its website, including praise for Trump. Its leader, Luke Hilgemann, is a conservative advocacy group backed by industrialist Charles Koch and his late brother David, who spent tens of millions of dollars on Republican candidates. Was a former CEO of.

Hunters and trappers killed at least 216 of Wisconsin’s 1,100 wolves in three days, nearly doubling the state’s target of 119 animals, forcing an early closure of the season.

Hilgemann attended and said in an interview that he chased the wolf with his dog 60 miles (96 km) but did not catch it. He said it was up to the state to decide what tactics they would use while hunternations would fight attempts to stop hunting. He said the group had grown rapidly to 20,000 members but refused to reveal its financial backers.

“The conservative and traditional American values ​​of God, family and nation-that’s what we’re trying to focus on,” said Hilgemann. “We need to stay ahead of predator populations, including wolves. They quickly expand their range. They breed quickly and spell other wild game, livestock, and pets. Causes problems. “

Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor specializing in gun policy, said the group’s message appears to be aimed at mobilizing hunters to put off conservative objectives.

“It’s no surprise to see hunting groups dressed in patriotic cloaks,” Winkler said. “Patriotism has become the watchword of rights.”

Former federal wildlife agent Carterney Meyer, who killed a wolf that preyed on cattle in the northern Rocky Mountains and was later involved in recovery efforts, said the wolf was too resilient to be easily eradicated. But he warned that the tactics used would keep most of the masses away from hunting and capture.

“They are hunting them down with the hounds,” he said. “It’s a wolf killing. It’s not a wolf catch or a wolf hunt.”

U.S. states are trying to step up wolf killings

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