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Popular Science Calls Wyoming ‘A Lunatic State’ for Hunting Wolves

doublejwebers, Flickr

“Stop Shooting Wolves, You Maniacs.”

That’s the message and title of an article published on Popular Science’s website on Monday afternoon.

It’s certainly no surprise that there are opponents to Wyoming’s wolf management plan, which allows the hunting of wolves in certain parts of the state. Three lawsuits have been filed already.

However this may be the first time Wyoming has been called “a lunatic state” for taking over the management plan for wolves within its borders. While the hunting of any animal can be an emotional issue that sparks passionate debate from both sides, the ranting in this piece of writing is a bit much to take:

The only honest argument you could make is “I like to shoot wolves for fun,” which is kind of psychotic, so shut the hell up about livestock or elk herds or danger to humans. And don’t get angry when us sensible folks listen to scientists and make your insane compulsion illegal.

While author Dan Nosowitz calls the fact that wolves kill livestock a stupid reason for them to be hunted, it is a very legitimate concern in Wyoming according to Eric Keszler with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“When wolves were on the Endangered Species List there were over 1,000 removed from the population because they got into conflicts with livestock,” Keszler tells KOWB. “It’s just one of the realities of managing wolves in this modern landscape. Hunting is a tool that allows us to be able to keep the population at a manageable level where we can help reduce conflict with livestock and provide some recreational opportunities.”

Nosowitz also got some facts wrong in his article, claiming that 87 wolves have been killed in Wyoming since the wolf hunt began. The total is actually 58 wolves, with 39 of them being harvested in the Trophy Game Management Area which borders Yellowstone. Under Wyoming’s wolf management plan, the trophy area is divided into 12 separate hunt areas that each have their own wolf quota. The season is open from October 1 to December 31 in most areas, but is closed once quota is reached.

“There hasn’t been a mass slaughter of wolves like some people were afraid or were talking about.” says Keszler. “We’ve seen our wolf harvest spread really evenly over the trophy game management area of northwest Wyoming, which is where most of our wolves are. Hunters have been very cooperative in reporting their wolf harvest and bringing their animals in for us to be able to take biological and genetic samples. So from our perspective it’s been going very smoothly.”

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