Killing a wolf is a crime against nature—and the motive depends on the kind of perpetrator. To a trophy hunter, a dead wolf is something to mount on a wall and brag about. By literally possessing the animal, they can relive their kill over and over, remorselessly boosting their flagging self-esteem every time they vacuously gaze at their victim’s lifeless body. For a fur trapper, a dead wolf is just a hide and a chance to play modern-day frontiersman. Although there’s no real frontier left, they consciously choose to revive a bloody, destructive lifestyle—partly for money, but mostly for a sense of identity.
But to a “wolfer,” the kind of person whose central preoccupation is hiring on to rid an area of each and every last wolf he can, a prime sense of greed is the motivating factor.
Sure, a guy like that, such as the wolfer contracted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to snuff out the Golden Creek and Monumental Creek packs in Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness Area, must get an ego boost from being known as a “professional” wolf killer. He no doubt experiences some kind of perverse thrill every time he finds an animal desperately trying to free him-or-herself from one of his leg crushing traps. And he probably even gets off on hearing that his actions are upsetting a lot of empathetic wolf advocates who desperately want him to stop his atrocities. But the main reason the wolfer does the job he does is greed, pure and simple: a selfish lust for power, control and of course, money.
That may not seem like a lot to accuse him of in a country built on the spoils of selfishness and greed. Yes, he is surely evil incarnate, soulless and sick to the core, but as long as someone is paying him to “get the job done”… And who the hell pressed the state into hiring a hit man to eliminate established packs, tormenting individual wolves and disrupting nature’s time-tested order? Ask the Idaho trophy elk hunting syndicate.*
The wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness area weren’t after anyone’s cows or frightening school kids at bus stops, they were just doing what comes naturally to wolves. Killing off apex predators to make it easier for sport hunters has got to be the height of human arrogance.
*syn-di-cate (noun) 5) an association of gangsters that controls an area of organized crime