Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Howling about wolves

The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association on Friday sent a notice to its members taking exception with the actions of the environmental group Howling for Wolves, which has suddenly shown up on the scene in an attempt to stop the wolf hunting and trapping season set to begin this fall in Minnesota.

The group Howling for Wolves posted this photo on its website showing one of the billboards it is running in the Twin Cities metro area.

According to Dave Orrick of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the group has issued a Data Practices Act request, “asking for all communications between the Department of Natural Resources and lawmakers and others, including the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.”
Here, verbatim, is the MDHA’s response:

“So who benefits? Wolves, citizens, or the bank accounts of the anti-hunting organization Howling for Wolves?

“Pro-wolf, anti-hunting interests are using legal channels in an attempt to stop the wolf hunting & trapping seasons. Where were these folks during the legislative session when the wolf season was being publicly discussed? What is their interest? Where is their money coming from? Why are they attempting to cause DNR so much grief and expense? The answer is money! Fighting to keep the wolf fully and forever protected from hunting and harvest means big money from donations. Forget the science or management, these folks are only focusing upon money to forward their cause! Help MDHA fight them by contacting your legislators for legislative action this winter. With the election pending, make sure your local candidates support wolf management via hunting and trapping.

“Howling for Wolves was absent during the months of public testimony at the Mn Legislature and still appears clueless of the facts. Vertually (sic) every leading wolf researcher, scientist and manager agrees that Minnesota’s wolf population will not be in jeopardy from the hunting and trapping seasons proposed. 6,000 licenses will be sold this fall, but only a maximum harvest of 400 wolves will be allowed. Due to the incredible difficulty involved in hunting wolves, estimates are that hunters and trappers will be lucky to harvest half of the quota. Additionally, Howling’s contention that DNR abdicated their legal responsiblities by proposing a hunt less than 5 years after delisting is bunk. Wolves were first delisted in MN/WI/MI in 2007 and remained so for 18 months.

“After being relisted due to a legal technicality they were delisted again in 2009, then relisted again due to another legal technicality. The MN Legislature reviewed the facts and passed a law in 2011 recinding the 5 year requirement. the view was that since the first delisting was in 2007, 5 years would be done if wolves were finally delisted in 2012 or thereafter, ie. “time served.” Wolves were never extirpated from Minnesota. We have always had the largest wolf population of any of the lower 48 states. Even when listed as endangered in 1974, MN still had several hundred in the wolf range of NE MN. Today, the conservative estimate is 3,000. The wolf season is not designed to “wipe out” wolves. To the contrary, it is a management tool to ensure a healthy future for wolves in MN and it is approved by the Federal Government. USFWS is mandated to monitor MN’s wolf management for 5 years after delisting to ensure that wolf numbers do not fall below designated thresholds. Wolves are here to stay. The wolf season will not endanger nor extirpate them. Trust the science, not the emotional rants of Howling.”

To read Orrick’s blog post about Howling for Wolves’ actions, click here:

Check out the Howling for Wolves website here:


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