Best thing that ever happened to Idaho and Montana and I'm praying this helps open the door for the Great Lakes Region and every other state that wolves inhabit. I am not a wolf hater, I am a conservationist. I do not want the wolves wiped out, nor can we allow the wolves to wipe out other species. The Federal Government should have 0 say in how individual states manage there wildlife and every state should manage there wildlife with the best interest of endangered species in mind in numbers that the habitat and local food chains can support. For the wolves to survive, we must hunt them because if they are left uncontrolled the natural food chain will collapse and all will be lost.
Places like Idaho and Montana have paid a heavy price in the name of saving the wolf. Life styles have changed, ranchers have paid, hunters have paid, and the state has taken a big hit in much needed conservation revenue, money that the anti hunters and pro wolf people will not replace. At $19 per wolf tag, 2600 tags wont replace what's been lost in big game money to wolves, but it's a sudden change heading in the right dirrection. 2600 hunters in Montana buying tags, bullets, gas and gear is much better than 2600 hunters staying home skipping elk and deer season all together. Fewer wolves, more elk and deer tags for the future. Win Win.
The immediate impact may not be much, but it's the difference that changes red to black. A state can not manage wildlife with out the ability to manage the predators and all the wildlife as a whole so balance can be achieved. Each species is a valuable renewable resource and should be managed for maximum benefit of the habitat to provide the best economy for the state.
What many people fail to realize is the wolves are not endangered. What is endangered is the entire natural food chain. Wisconsin for example, today's natural big game food chain consists of Humans, 40,000 black bears, 1200 wolves, coyote, bobcat and a hand full of cougars about sums up the predators. To feed these predators we have about 5 deer per square mile, 150 elk, 20 bison hidden behind fences in a DNR pasture, and a good turkey, Crane and waterfowl population that Wisconsin worked real hard to bring back. Not being able to control the wolves will lead to wiping out the deer in some areas. Missing from the food chain here in Wisconsin are the herbivores that the large predators were meant to feed upon. Bison, Moose, Elk, Caribou, antelope. Our forests can not provide enough deer to replace all that's missing. Our DNR tried to manage by numbers, made big errors in deer numbers, bear numbers and most likely wolf numbers too and is only a matter of time before the wolves and bears discover America's Dairy-land now only a few miles away.
This is a big victory for sportsmen in Idaho and Montana and a glimmer of hope for the rest of us. Ben, I see at the bottom of the story that "13 environmental groups have requested that the season be shutdown." Can you identify the 13 groups and post there contact info? I'm thinking the Center for Biological diversity is one and the Humane Society of the United States in another? It's time to know who the enemy is and educate there supporters.
American by birth, hunter by choice.