Photo courtesy of USFWS.
I’ve been sitting and watching the most recent battle unfold of the Great Lakes Wolf War of 2012 for the past week or so now. And quite frankly, it’s become entertaining. In case you’ve fallen behind the pack on this one, an obvious supporter of the “save a wolf, shoot a hunter” mindset published a blog post urging anti's to enter the Minnesota wolf hunting lottery in an attempt to keep licenses from the pockets of hunters.
It’s a bold request indeed, and one that’s been met with pitchforks and blazing torches from both sidelines.
Here’s a thought: How about we all just relax a bit?
Don’t get me wrong—my hackles raise and K9s flare at the mere whiff of a liberal-voting anti—but let’s look at this for what it is: a final, desperate, fleeting gasp of air for a drowning cause. This wolf hunt is going to happen, both in Minnesota and Wisconsin. And 2012 is going to mark the first of many.
In a worst-case scenario, let’s hypothetically assume the ant'is get their hands on a pile of wolf tags—I’ll be “liberal” for the first time in my life and generously guess 20 percent (they’ll be lucky to rally enough support to garner 2 percent) of the 6,000 wolf tags available in Minnesota this fall, totaling 1,200 licenses. It’s still entirely possible for hunters to meet the 400-wolf quota from the remaining 4,800 licenses, which would mean an epic fail on the part of this whole "save a wolf" initiative.
But if hunters come up short of the quota—due to a combination of tag hoarding and the simple fact that wolves are a tremendously cunning quarry—the quota and number of licenses available for the 2013 wolf seasons will surely increase. And remember, this whole tag distribution is a lottery, so there just might be double the number of wolf tags available next year if few are killed this year, and based on luck of the draw, the anti's might only get 2 percent—which means 98 percent of an increased number of wolf tags would go to hunters. This kind of ass-biting irony makes me smile.
Oh, and keep in mind that every license the resident anti's soak up in Minnesota will come to the tune of $30, which, of course, will go to fund future hunting opportunities. It’s awfully generous of them to help fund the longevity of our hunting heritage, isn’t it?
So, as easy as it is to get all worked up by the emotion-driven slander of the anti's, there’s little to worry about because their efforts are futile at this point. Science and sound management for balanced conservation—for wolves and for the prey species they are threatening through excessive predation—will win, and that’s what really matters here. So stick a fork in the anti's seeking to destroy the 2012 Great Lakes wolf hunts, because they’re done. And when I shoot my first wolf, I’ll step up and stick a fork in that, too.
Keep your nose to the wind.