Heart of a Poet ~ Eyes of an Artist


Welcome to the website of River Maria Urke and River Wind Designs



Saturday, May 7, 2016

Opinion: Don’t Hunt My Brother!




My people believe there was a time we walked side by side our four footed brothers and sisters. We traveled the world together speaking the same language. Then one day, we began walking separate paths carrying bundles of respect for each other. We lived different life’s as times changed people came while space filled wolves lost out. The people were enemies of our relatives. They hunted the wolves for trophy, hide, and livestock revenge. They slaughtered in waves through time nearly wiping them out. Breaking the hearts of our ancestors.
Some cultures have a long history of hunting wolves. especially Europeans while others regard wolves as relatives like my people, the Ojibwe. In 1973, Wolves became listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the lower 48 States. They began reintroducing them into Yellowstone in 1995. Wolf tracks found their way into Big Sky country, the Rockies and the Upper Midwest. Their numbers grew bringing then down to the Threatened List in 2003. Although, it sparked old thoughts in those dreaming of the blood of Wolves once more.
Those groups consistently pushed for the next five years to have Wolves removed from protection and be state managed eventually to be hunted. Wolves were delisted in March of 2009 in the Rockies (Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and parts of northeastern Washington) and upper Yellowstone. By September Idaho had an open season on wolves. Montana was next and today Minnesota with Wisconsin soon to follow…Why?

(***)  I ask for what reason are they hunting the wolf? Are they dangerous to us or are people conditioned to be afraid? Are they hunting wolves to manage numbers or is it some long standing arrogance intermixed with sport hunting? It is said wolves compared to other carnivorous animals are among the least threatening predator of size and potential. Dr. Ralph Maughan states, “There are many more fatal and non-fatal attacks on people by horses, cattle, deer, elk, moose, bears, cougars, coyotes and especially domestic dogs. The idea of a wolf attack seems more feared, however, because of cultural conditioning during childhood and in other places (should be a subject of study).”
There have been no cases of wolf attack deaths in the lower 48 states in North America. The few cases where death occurred elsewhere in North America, Alaska or Canada, were in remote wilderness areas with other factors involved like starvation, sickness, or threat. Instead, it has been documented wolves have abandoned kills when a human is approaching. They choose to stay away from us the best they can under the crowded circumstances. I grew up in Northern Minnesota and it is rare to hear their unforgettable howl let alone actually lay eyes on one. I have little fear of wolves but on the hand Coyotes are a different matter. I have had a camp surrounded by a pack of Coyotes when I lived in the National Forrest below Yellowstone in Wyoming. They were after my 110 pound dog at the time who was smart and stood her ground. Coyotes are known for coxing domestic dogs away from yards to kill them. Actually, Wolves are mistaken for Coyotes quite often from sightings to livestock kills.
That leads me to the livestock debate. First off I have to say what right do humans have to let a herd of cattle roam in the wilderness without protection of some kind. Crap if I was a predator (Cat, Coyote, or Wolf) what a buffet to find in the middle of nowhere. It’s insane to think they would not do the natural thing. Although, the reality is cattle go missing five times more often because of humans then Wolves. Then add in Coyote kills. I have to say IMHO, I’m shocked the wolves don’t take the easy opportunity for diner more often.
Then there is the hunters that feel the wolves are harvesting all the Deer. I have no idea why they feel this way. Wolves barely dent the numbers of Deer harvested by people or killed by car. Here are some stats I found on the Wisconsin facts about Wolves. “Each wolf kills about 20 deer per year. Multiply this by the number of wolves found in Wisconsin in recent years (800), and approximately 16,000 deer may be consumed by wolves annually. This compares to about 27,000 deer hit by cars each year, and about 340,000 deer shot annually by hunters statewide.” Umm…..
How much has to do with the misrepresentation of the Wolf in fairy tales and the media as the “bad guy”? How much is it the mentality of being the top dog? Only after wiping out who they consider competition. How much is ignorance? Why are they hunting my brother? Why oh why do so many people think they are above Nature?