Those of us who are involved in the outdoors, especially hunting, are
probably aware of the public battles being fought across North America
pitting hunters against canine predators, the government and animal rights
activists/anti-hunters. Wolves and Coyotes have been the target of scrutiny
among hunters and government factions. Hunters fighting for their ability
to successfully attain allotments, governments trying to control
populations of predators and activists fighting for the lives of wildlife.
Since the beginning of time man has fought and competed with other
predators for quarry. Whether we were running across the savanna in a loin
cloth with a spear thousands of years ago, or you were poised in a tree
stand, silent, with all the latest gear, competition for game has always
Some may argue that our modern age has civilized us, that there is no need
to partake in this age old practice. Activists/Anti's say there is no need
to visit this if we just purchased our food at the store. We as hunters,
have our own opinion of this of course.
The stance of some hunters is that they want their opportunity at game
without being pressured by or competing against wolves and coyotes. In some
areas, wolves were decimated and virtually wiped off the landscape.
Government stepped in and introduced them back to the ecosystem and now the
fight/competition is on. Some hunters have had the experience of hunting
during times of plenty on both sides....lots of game, lots of predators.
However, some hunters have never experienced the ebb and flow of
populations due to high or low numbers on both sides. The wolf and coyote
are easy targets for blame due to the simple fact that they are our direct
and natural competition. Wolf/Coyote hunts, tags, limits and seasons have
been opened, imposed and changed to try and curb populations on the
The opinion of the anti hunters and activists is that they just don't want
us killing wolves and coyotes for any reason. Simple as that.
The government is caught in the middle trying to balance it all. Hunter's
have their right or privilege to hunt depending on how the individual looks
at it. Outfitters have their livelihood to look at. Insurance lobbyists
have their own opinion of it all and then there's the general public,
anti's and activists. Each group feeling slighted if the numbers don't sway
in their direction.
With all the variables involved in this, this argument will not go away
quickly or quietly. Someone will lose out somewhere and feel jaded.
We'll close out this article with a little food for thought. These
predators have vast home ranges, hundreds of square miles/kilometers at
times. One day they are there, the next day they're gone. If you think that
since you've seen a wolf/coyote, that you will never see a deer in that
area again then you are sadly mistaken. They will move on, following their
quarry as we do. I'm not saying that we do not need to control the
populations of these predators, but wiping them from the planet is not the
Personally, I have hunted amongst them both all my life. I've taken
wildlife within eyesight of them, ear shot of them and have blamed them for
not having success. Regardless, I hunt on, push through. Think of it this
way, for thousands of years we've competed with predators for our prey. We
weren't always outnumbering them. Do you honestly think we would be here if
we weren't successful?