Saturday, October 6, 2012

October 6, 2012 Wolves: To hunt or not to hunt, that is the question.

This is a hot button topic these days in Minnesota.  If they asked me....and they didn't, I would say that hunting the wolves in Minnesota is the best thing that could ever happen to them.  Why?  Let me tell you.  Back in the 1970s when it was legal, I trapped wolves.....and every thing else that was legal. Do you know what, most wolves were pretty dang smart about staying away from traps and people back then.  They aren't any more.  Whether it be the hiker, logger, hunter....don't matter....they will walk up to you for a better look.  And if you have a dog with you, they are thinking about their next meal.  If we start shooting a few wolves again, they may get back their former fear/respect of people.  I am assuming, here, that a few people anyway, are going to miss.  Now, being shot at even, is just another sound they have gotten used to because it has been against the law for so long to kill one.   Just a few years after it was no longer legal to trap wolves, or kill them, I had to even quit trapping fox one winter.  There was a big wolf pack hanging around and no matter what I did, they would steal the bait and dig up the traps that were too small to hold them.  There was yellow snow everywhere.  It looked like a wolf barn yard.  I could hardly believe what I was seeing, such a short time after the protection was started at that.  They are not dumb animals.
Since protection, I have walked up to and been walked up on .....wolves. Usually one or two wolves....sometimes 12 or 13 wolves.....when the big packs have been around.  When you are out deer hunting, as I was one time....just having come out on a rock outcrop....see movement, stop see 13 wolves file by, that is quite a sight to see.
One other day, I was out prowling .... with a rifle ......deer season....I walked right up on a large wolf laying on a rock outcrop.  I was sooo close to it, even I couldn't believe it.  It saw up, looked at me like "what the heck!"  It walked off a few steps, turned around, and looked again with that how did you manage that look.  It never, ever, once acted nervous or did it run.  It just walked off.  Of course, armed with a rifle, I didn't need to be nervous either.  But, that isn't always the case.  I have had some up close and personal stories  concerning our magnificent wolves that made even me pretty nervous.  However, so far, I am still here to talk about it.
Those are stories for another day.  I will tell you some of them some time.
My latest incident was in July of this year.  I was out for my early morning walk with Toby, on the county road we live on, and I met the whole pack that is hanging out here coming down the road at me.  It is July.....summer.....when they used to be back  away from the people for the season, and here they of those few "oh shit" moments I have had in my life.  When you have your dog and see them all coming, it isn't a nice feeling.  However, just before they got in range of my Smith and Wesson I carry for that reason, they filed off into the woods without incident.  Boy, did I breathe a sigh of relief about then.
So, yes.....ask some of the people that live among them, lose dogs or other pets to their yards....ask them what they think.  A bit of shooting at the wolves again for their education and safety would be a good thing.  In the long run, it will help a lot more of them live longer. 

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