Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Natural predators help game animals

How refreshing to read in last week's paper two intelligent letters regarding the wolf debate in Idaho. After the bombardment of hysterical discourse from both ends of the spectrum regarding wolves, letters from hunters who actually go out and hunt for deer and elk have shed some well-needed light on the situation as it most likely exists.

Anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding of nature knows that herd animals need a strong predator base for the species to remain healthy. As cruel as it seems to some people, these herds require predators like wolves and mountain lions to cull out the sick and old animals to keep disease from destroying their populations.

The irony of modern hunting is that most hunters want to take the biggest and best animals, which if left alone would be the very males who would pass on the best genes, thereby improving the herd with each generation. How difficult it must be to be a biologist with the Department of Fish and Game knowing these dynamics while having the science overridden by the bureaucrats in the front office who spend every day placating the whiney politicians and some hunters regarding wolves.

The true measure of how completely ridiculous and out of touch Fish and Game executives have gotten is trapping wolves in this day and age, let alone advocating the practice for a revenue stream. It is almost beyond comprehension to any intelligent person that sportsmanship and trapping could be used in the same sentence. To say this practice is barbaric is putting it mildly. My guess is that there are more than enough elk and deer in Idaho but they have been pushed back into a more wild state due in some degree to wolf predation, but more likely it's from the ever-expanding use of ATVs by hunters. These animals are not stupid; when they hear masses of ATVs in use today, they become much more elusive.

I would like to thank the two gentlemen who wrote and shed some real light on the wolf debate.

David C. Wray


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