If the wolf has grown to such a large “nuisance” population in Minnesota that it must be managed, then why does it take 6000 hunters to bag 400 pelts?
The fact is that the grey wolf’s preferred prey in this state is deer, not man, his stock, or his pets – taking only a fraction of the deer that Minnesota hunters kill each year. As a benefit, wolves contribute to healthier deer populations by taking the weaker animals, while the same cannot be said of man. Ordinarily shy as well, wolves are also territorial and so it is man’s encroachment that causes conflict.
It is crucial for our species to take a broader view concerning the wolf and see how its demise hurts us all. Do we truly believe that these takings are wise in the long term? How is it possible that we have failed to use rational thought to this extent, and allowed this killing to proceed without the necessary studies and, above all, caution? Do we honestly believe, as it would seem, that our species is the only one that has any relevance; and failed to see that access to wild land, clean air and water by other creatures, as well as man, determines a healthier life for all? The wolf’s survival and its access to wilderness, in essence, protects this resource for all.
For thousands of years Native Americans have understood that no one “owned” the land. They were stewards in the most profound sense and, like the wolf, respected nature’s cycles and maintained a balance with nature and its creatures. We could learn from their teachings, their respect and understanding of the inter-connectedness of man’s well-being with that of the wolf as well.
Is one “gullible” to protest when the wolf, without being a problem truly, is murdered, slaughtered, tortured through trapping, or hunted as vermin and for trophies? Since when did the DNR stop protecting our resources to preserve the rights of the few for this taking? The case against this hunt of our native populations of wolves should be taken up and defended for good reason.
Truth be told, the timber wolf of Minnesota is a treasure. It’s delisting off ESL and this hunt should be protested along with other hunts across the country. Canis lupus stands at a fraction of its original numbers worldwide. Fact. Minnesota has a diverse original wild gene pool that is priceless for future propagation. Fact. The size of that population is crucial. Fact. The DNR did not do the proper due diligence to determine its current numbers before allowing the 2012 hunt. Fact.
The wolf is important and beautiful because it is wild, and a prime indicator species that contributes to the health of this environment. Its populations notoriously disappear with the loss of wilderness. Through fear and historical competition with wolves for food, man had developed and has maintained an adversarial relationship. Times and conditions have changed. Shouldn’t we?
The wolf is a sentinel, a guardian of the wild, these diminishing wellsprings of life as crucial to our survival as that of the wolf. As the wolf goes, so goes the wilderness; and to understand why civilization cannot afford this, one need only review the long history of what has gone before – the facts.
Anita Suzanne Tillemans
December 4, 2012