A hunter’s group in Montana is offering a payment of $100 and membership in their organization, for each documented wolf kill in their home state. Interested hunters must photograph wolves they take down, not just for proof to win the money, but also so the hunter’s group can post the photos on their website if they choose. There is an additional prize for the best photo, though no criteria are published as guidance on what makes the best deceased wolf photo.
A spokesperson for the group said, “You have to encourage people to do it. You can’t eat a wolf.
There’s no food value.” (Source: Missoulian.com)
There might be other reasons people don’t want to shoot wolves – chiefly that they don’t see wild wolves in Montana or any other state as a pressing problem, and are content to let them live. This year’s Montana wolf hunt allows 220 to be killed, but as of early December just about 105 had been taken. The state’s department of fish and game extended the hunt to February 2012 to allow more wolf hunting.
A representative of the National Wolf Watchers Coalition is against paying people to shoot wolves,
“It just perpetuates the hatred that people have toward wolves. That money could be used better if given to a food bank to feed people who are having a difficult time right now. I just think it’s the wrong way.” (Source: Missoulian.com)
Wolves in nearby Idaho are going to be shot from helicopters, so there are extreme views on wolves in both states, yet they don’t seem to be the best practices.
Human-wolf conflict could be a growing trend, mainly coming from some humans, if wolves eventually also make their way into California. It has been reported a wild wolf from Oregon was just about thirty miles from the California border a short time ago, and could be roaming into the Golden State soon. If wolves eventually begin to repopulate in wild areas of northern California it will be curious to see if local people there respond the same ways as residents of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming have so far.
Image Credit: Doug Smith, National Park Service