"When the protection of one species outweighs conservation of all others, people are forced to choose."
- Boone and Crockett Club
... if only caribou, elk, and deer had a say! I truly believe that these predators (wolves, foxes, coyotes) need to managed like any other wild game species. They prey, not only on the weak and young, but also mature and healthy non-predatory animals that are in their prime for breeding. Many of the anti-hunting, animal rights activists see a fluffy, dog-like animal who is only trying to survive. Well, the animals they are feeding on are also trying to survive, but their numbers are decreasing because these predators are overprotected.
The most recent debate, the gray wolf was delisted from the endangered species list by Oregon Fish and Wildlife this month. Even after the findings from the state's biologists recommended the delisting based off the fact that the wolves had met their goal of four breeding pairs of wolves, for three years; with known numbers of at least 81 wolves in the area. With the wolves growing numbers, this also means they will begin expanding their territories. This was still not 'good enough' for the anti hunting community. "State law requires a panel of independent scientists to review any decision to delist an endangered species. The state solicited "courtesy reviews" from four outside scientists after conservationists warned them that failing to obtain a review could be illegal." -OregonLive.com
When asked by an anti hunter, "What do you have against wolves or coyotes? They need to survive too! They need to stay on the endangered species list forever!"
This is my reply: I grew up in the country, our family raised horses and cattle. Every night, we'd hear the coyotes; sometimes it sounded like they were in our yard. A few times I remember looking out with a spotlight and seeing them right at our fence line! One night, they had been carrying on for hours. We could hear them moving through the fields, we could also hear the cows and horses running. Then all the noise came to a stop, when the coyotes started fighting because whatever animal they had caught up to, they were now tearing it apart. There was nothing we could do, until wait for morning. It was the scariest, most eerie event. Because this fighting, the loud screams and cries from within this pack went on for about 10 minutes... then it all stopped. It was like someone snapped their fingers and SILENCE! And it remained that way for the rest of the night.
I remember going out and counting the horses/foals (babies) and the same with the cows/calves. This is something I also ask these antis "Have you ever heard these predators ripping apart another animal and praying it wan't your baby horse?" They usually come back with some snippy answer, most likely, they realize that they have never considered that a wolf or coyote would kill a foal or calf! Thankfully, all our livestock was accounted for. We walked out, into the field where the ruckus took place, but there was nothing. No fur, no bones, no leftover bits. Nothing.
That's why I'm sharing my story in this article, to get people thinking. When does protecting one species become more important than protecting another? Where's the line?