Letter: Facts about wolves
I read Mr. Wockner’s guest opinion in total disgust at how biased he is and how little he knows about the ranching and outfitting business. After reading his short bio (environmental activist) it is clear that Mr. Wockner has an ax to grind.
I do not have a Ph.D. in anything, but I do have 28 years of hands-on experience in the outfitting business, in Colorado, Wyoming and British Columbia. In all these years, I have never witnessed hunters sitting around a hayfield waiting for deer or elk to come in for breakfast. As a matter of fact, the ranchers need to get their hay baled and stored for winter feeding operations.
I have leased private and public lands all these years, and I have had to pay for that usage. If I misuse or destroy these lands, I would lose the leases. As with the cattle industry, the hunting and fishing business brings in millions of dollars to our economy — through licenses, hotel rooms, buying food, gas and equipment. Enough said about the benefits of the ranching and outfitting business.
Mr. Wockner suggests that deer and elk are fat and lazy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Deer and elk are constantly on the move without having wolves to chase them. He also claims that wherever wolves have been reintroduced, there are healthier landscapes, more songbirds and more wildlife. Where were these studies done?
Another myth he says is true: Wolves only kill the sick and old animals. After outfitting in British Columbia for five years, I know firsthand the damage a pack of wolves can do. In the mid-1990s in the Dease Lake area of BC, stone sheep hunting was stopped because of wolves nearly killing all the rams. In my area, wolves either killed or chased all the moose out of a river drainage.
Wolves are like mountain lions. They hunt and kill to improve their skills, not just to eat.
I have nothing against returning wolves to the mountains of Colorado. I’ve had the privilege to hear wolves howling in the middle of the night, and it’s a beautiful sound.
With all the death and destruction going on in the world by Islamic jihad, it is a disgrace for Mr. Wockner to use the word jihad to explain what he thinks is destroying our public lands across the West.
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