Wolves Are Getting it From the Left and the Right

Since 2011, when Congress stripped wolves of their Endangered Species status, an estimated 1,084 wolves have been killed in the Northern Rockies. Again, that’s ONE THOUSAND AND EIGHTY-FOUR living, breathing, social, intelligent wolves killed by scornful, fearful, vengeful and boastful humans, often in the most hideous ways imaginable.

Of course, that number might not seem so shocking if you consider that 5,450 wolves were killed in the Montana Territory in 1884, after a bounty on wolves was first instated there. Clearly, there were a lot more wolves in the country then as compared to now, but that didn’t stop the Obama Administration from declaring the species “recovered” in 2011 and handing them over to eagerly awaiting hostile, hateful anti-wolf states to “manage” as they see fit.

Now, under a plan supported by the federal government, the state of Wyoming is opening even more wolf habitat to unlimited killing. As of today, March 1st, until at least October, wolves can be slain there at will. How many will survive such an onslaught is anyone’s guess, but I can guarantee the number of “recovered” Wyoming wolves will be in the dozens or very low hundreds, not the thousands.

Doubtless, a few will survive…for a while. The famed “Custer wolf” eluded hunters and trappers for over ten years and over 2600 square miles along the Wyoming-South Dakota border, even though he had a $500.00 bounty on his head. The crafty fugitive was aided in out-witting the best hunters in the country by a pair of coyotes who flanked him on both sides, serving as sentinels. Finally a government hunter was assigned to track down the Custer wolf. He first shot the two coyotes, and six months later, in October 1920, he caught up with and killed the wolf, making him one of the last of his kind to live and die in the region for nearly a century.

Anyone (well, anyone with a conscience) should be ashamed to read about the gruesome war on wolves carried out in this country during the 1800s which resulted in the extinction of the species over most of the Lower 48. Common “extermination” practices used by “wolfers” included killing pups in their dens.

But where is the national outrage today as hunters and trappers in bloody red states like Wyoming, Idaho and Montana wipe out entire packs, including fathers, mothers and their pups?  Wyoming’s expanded wolf-killing season is all the more tragic given that spring is the time of year that wolves are denning.

From the group, Defenders of Wildlife: “This expanded hunt puts the most vulnerable population of wolves – pups and pregnant or nursing mothers – in greater danger of being shot on sight. This kill-at-will approach is exactly the kind of flawed policy we knew would happen if wolves prematurely lost their Endangered Species Act protection – this is why Defenders is suing the U.S. Department of Interior to restore Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for wolves in Wyoming.”

It’s not like the administration didn’t know what might happen when the fate of the wolves was turned over to states with extreme anti-wolf plans already in place. In just two years over 1,000 wolves have been ruthlessly murdered by hunters and trappers eager to relive the gory glory days of the 1800s.

Obviously some people have a different reaction when they read their history books than those of us with a conscience.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Obama: “Ryan is a Decent Man”

In his first remarks on Paul Ryan, President Barack Obama said, “I know him. I welcome him to the race. Congressman Ryan is a decent man,” but has “wrong vision for America” (especially for our wildlife, I would add).

When I read that Obama gave Ryan the dubious distinction of being “a decent man,” I had to wonder if our Commander in Chief has been reading my blog—in particular, a post I made back in early June, entitled…

He Was a “Decent” Man

Posted on June 9, 2012

Nobody is all good or all bad all of the time. Like the universe, people are multi-dimensional. Some of the most “decent” people I know are hunters. [well, not including bowhunters].These folks, who are inarguably unkind to animals during hunting season, are often as friendly and neighborly as you please to their fellow people. I have to assume there was some major peer pressure involved in their decision to start hunting as kids. And they must be doing some heavy compartmentalizing to keep it up as adults.

One of the most memorable and symbolic scenes in the movie, The Silence of the Lambs, is when Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster’s character) tells Hannibal Lecter of a traumatic experience she had while staying at a relative’s sheep ranch in Montana. She was awakened before dawn by the screaming of the lambs her uncle was slaughtering. When Lecter questioned the rancher’s morality, she quickly replied, “He was a very decent man.” No doubt the sheep would not agree. Somehow people who are capable of extreme cruelty can also have a convincingly “decent” side.

Ordinarily well-thought-of people can turn ugly and unkind when taking part in unnaturally cruel activities, where cruelty is the norm rather than the exception. One of the known coping mechanisms for workers in slaughterhouses is to objectify and demean animals as unworthy of consideration. Not only can people in these situations become indifferent towards “lowly” animals, they frequently turn sadistic. They can come to be obsessed with cruelty, taking pleasure in causing animals increased suffering.

Ten years before Jack the Ripper, nineteenth century French serial killer, Eusebius Pieydagnelle, developed such an obsession while growing up across the street from a butcher shop. He told police, “The smell of fresh blood, and appetizing meat, the bloody lumps–all this fascinated me and I began to envy the butcher’s assistant, because he could work at the block, with his sleeves rolled-up and bloody hands.” [Interestingly, Paul Ryan boasted, “I butcher my own deer, grind the meat, stuff it in casings and then smoke it”—not to get high of course, that rush must come from the killing.]

In spite of his respectable parents’ opposition, young Eusebius became an apprentice at the butcher shop where he wounded cattle and drank their blood. But the greatest excitement for him came when he was allowed to kill an animal himself: “…the sweetest sensation is when you feel the animal trembling under your knife. The animal’s departing life creeps along the blade right up to your hand. The mighty blow that felled the bullocks sounded like sweet music to my ears.” Shocking words from someone who was always thought of as a “decent man.” …

The media depicts Paul Ryan’s chosen hobby, bowhunting, as “quaint,” “folksey” or “outdoorsy,” but if the animals—whose bodies his arrows tear in to—had anything to say about it, they’d ask him: “Where’s your sense of decency?”

Wildlife Photograhy Copyright Jim Robertson