Bowhunting for Wolves in Montana

Wolf puppies are legally arrowed to death in Montana: How arrows slowly kill

September 6, 2011

This season, hunters are allowed to kill 220 wolves — nearly triple the 2009 quota of 75.

Even if you agree with hunting, do you agree with the legal shooting of pups? This week in Montana, hunters are even allowed to shoot wolf puppies. Yes, puppies. And they can shoot them in the most agonizingly cruel way of all, using bow and arrow. And it’s all ‘legal’.

Worse, Mark Gamblin, spokesperson for Idaho Fish and Game, is already trying to justify bringing wolf-puppy season to his  own state next spring:

   “OK, I’ll try again. As I noted in my last post – in two (actually three – Lolo, Selway and Middlefork) wolf management zones, the 2011-2012 wolf hunting season extends until June 1 when new born pups will be technically legal to harvest/kill/take by wolf hunters. I think your point is: that is an example of how wolves are NOT managed like lions or bears. Without looking at all other hunting seasons I can’t say with certainty, but I can’t think of a routine hunting season that overlaps the birthing period of a wildlife species. With that said, if you or jon suggest that constitutes a violation of wildlife mangement or other priciples, please explain how. In those wolf management zones, the sesaon was extended to enhance the likelihood that the management prescription to reduce wolf numbers sufficiently to achieve elk population recovery objectives. That certainly is a high priority for the Lolo, Selway and Middlefork wolf management zones. Would a wolf hunter use a wolf tag on a new born pup, IF that hunter had the opportunity? What do you think? I’ll go first – Nope. Again, this is(drum roll)….. a red herring issue of very little consequence that gets some folks lathered up, but has little or no relevance to meaningful considerations for this wildlife management issue.

And finally, the old “what constitutes a meaningful trophy for the Idaho wolf hunter” discussion that you and I have engaged with since 2009.

You have a high level of certainty that you understand the desires, values and criteria for a “trophy” of thousands of Idaho hunters when it comes to ….. a wolf pelt. If you mean to say that hunters will not, cannot value the pelt of a 5 month or older wolf as a trophy or to use for other legitimate purposes – well I have to tell you that you are wrong. The legitimate value of a “trophy” to thousands of individual Idaho hunters cannot be described or catagorized by your personal values or preferences nor by mine of by any fixed set of criteria. It is enough that each hunter is given the choice to harvest/kill/take a wolf during the hunting season that runs from August 30 to March 1 in the majority of the state and until June 1 in the remaining 3 wolf management zones. The hunters who participate in this wolf hunting season will make their own decisions and if legal those decision will be entirely legitimate and ethical within the bounds established by the Idaho governmental electoral process. And yes, absolutely, one important objective of this hunting season is to significantly reduce the Idaho wolf population to achieve a broader balance of public wildlife and personal property benefits than can be achieved with the current Idaho wolf population. Hopefully, we will be able to report success after all of the data are collected and analyzed at the end of this hunting/trapping season. “

Whether you agree with arguments that support hunting for sport or so-called ‘management’ or not, most so-called ‘ethical’ hunters would agree a clean, fast kill is the goal – no matter what species is in the cross-hairs, and only in a ‘sportsmanlike way’ that gives the hunted animal a fair chance of escape.

While we won’t discuss the ethics of hunting per se, I do offer this video to consider – especially for those of strong Christian faith. Whatever your personal take on hunting, what is ‘sportsmanlike’ in arrowing puppies? Is it OK to kill babies using one of the slowest and most painful of hunting methods?

Dying from an archery wound can take – up to two WEEKS, according to Benke, and then only as a result of massive infection.

Does a puppy deserve to die this way? For that matter, does a deer, elk or any animal deserve to be sentenced to a long, agonizing death for the purposes of human ‘sport’?

Since the controversial politically-motivated delisting of endangered grey wolves resulted in open-season on wolves in several US states, including bow-hunting season beginning Sept. 3 in Montana, wolves have intentionally – and legally – been shot and killed  – Although the actual statistcs and the numbers reported keep changing.

Bowhunting season is considered legal and is permitted – although perhaps not for much longer now that this video has been released. And yes, unfortunately, certain backwards states are legalizing – even encouraging – the hunting of newborn wolf puppies as ‘trophies’. Even if you think it’s OK to hunt and kill truly helpless baby animals -puppies- for sport, is it OK to torture them first?

For some reason the general public seems to feel that bow-hunting is somehow more noble, more challenging, fair or more humane than hunting with firearms.

In this video a veteranarian describes the actual, prolonged and agonizing death these bow-shot animals actually experience.

Warning – This is graphic video. It was taken over the shoulder of a hunter – documenting his legal kill using a bow and arrow.

How many feel this kind of death is justifiable in the pursuit of ‘pleasure’? And what about for baby animals?

Should bow hunting remain legal?

For more information on open-season on wolves and the legal killing of puppies, click here.

For additional insights into why people seem to love to hunt, please see this recent study.

15 thoughts on “Bowhunting for Wolves in Montana

  1. Archery and trapping and even most rifle hunting are inherently cruel “sports” and should not be justified or rationalized as “sports” or subsistence or as food for the freezer or as commercial arguments. Wolves and other predators are good for the ecology of wildlife and except for an occasional problem wolf or other predator problem should be left alone. They will regulate their own numbers in relation to available prey. Sport killing of wildlife is not good for the wildlife ecology and is excessive and additive. In the instances of any segment of wildlife decline hunters should be suspected as the major culprit or weather/climate; predators should not be the first to be scapegoated or “managed”. Hunting is not good the games herds, as it has negative cascading effects; versus the cascading trophic effects of predators. MT FWP and other wolf massacre states, WY-ID-MT-WI nor the USFWS, do not listen to the public at all, just the extreme minority of hunters, ranchers and trappers. FWP-Hunters-Trappers-MT State Legislature are backward regressives. Hunting nationally only represents 6 % of the population. Trappers are even a much more extreme minority. Hunting is inherently cruel and disruptive of ecology. Archers injure close to 50% of the time. The hunter-trapper-rancher groups are rather right minded, not open to facts or science and imagining hordes of conservationists and environmentalists against them, making up their own lies, folklore and myths as they go. They are paranoid and delusional. Something is missing at the core of many (Humaneness).


    -The Hidden Life of Wolves Jim and Jamie Dutcher
    -The Wolf Almanac, Robert Busch
    -Exposing the Big Game, Jim Robertson

  2. It is sad commentary on the enlightenment of our government, but our government’s history, state and federal, of treating wolves in a wholesale slaughtering way is consistent with its history.
    The U.S. Park Service was at first part of the U.S. Army, which set out to eradicate wolves in Yellowstone and did. There was a first wolf bounty 30 days after the Mayflower landed. At first wolfers killed wolves for bounty and could make a very good living killing wolves, and then the U.S. government took over with a vengeance. Many of the wolfers also had, representing the sentiments of many Americans, a pathological hatred of wolves and took pleasure in sadistically killing them, often torturing them in horrendous ways and dragging out the death of a wolf to maximize the torture.
    The settlers brought to America the old world fear and folklore and hysterical loathing of wolves, a sense of manifest destiny, and an intention to settle this country, which meant clearing it of predators, especially the wolf, and other wildlife, clearing it for ranching and farming and settlement. The Judeo-Christian religions set man apart from nature. The ideas of manifest destiny, setting man apart from nature, and fear and loathing of wolves are our heritage.
    The last vestiges of this hatred and fear are represented by present-day ranchers, hunters, trappers and a large minority of the public. The horrendous things we see hunters do and hear about are an American tradition. But the times are changing, we hope.

  3. Need to drive wolf numbers down to save elk, livestock based on myth November 7, 2013 Missoulian

    Wolf Myths: The wolf numbers have to be driven down
    Wolf slaughter is very American and very Canadian and very European. We, Americans, brought with us from the old worlds hysteria about wolves and posted the first bounty around 1630. Wolf massacre has continued since and is obviously still going on, especially in the wolf massacre states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Wisconsin.
    State and federal wildlife agencies from the beginning to the present have sided with hunters and ranchers and bought into the lies, myths and folklore reasons (stock predation and ungulate predation) for marginalizing or wiping out the wolf and other predator populations. It is like the concept of ecology is beyond them, that wolves and the other predators are good for wilderness ecology but not man, and that it would be better for all if we had a prevalent concept and practice of living with the predators instead of against them. But no, the wildlife agencies think they have to drive down the wolf numbers (not true, not proven) for the hunters and ranchers so that the hunters can engage in more sports killing (recreational opportunities), and the exaggerated lie of stock predation can be validated.
    “The Hidden Lives of Wolves”
    “The Wolf Almanac”

  4. I am sorry — I can’t watch. I am already so haunted that I can’t sleep at times. I tell everyone who will listen about these posts and issues but I just can’t watch. I will be decimated and I already am. I can’t thank you enough for posting and spreading the word. Bowhunting pups. This is truly beyond psychotic.

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