The newly created Wisconsin wolf hunt is now several days old and some of the hunters vying for a harvest have been successful. Pictures of wolves killed have already been featured on local television stations and even linked to by our own Wisconsin Outdoor Fun. Which…..has generated some interesting comments.
I spent way to long reading comments on the “Wisconsin Wolf Hunting” Facebook page, that WOF had linked a photograph to. It was a male 73 pound wolf shot near Boyd, Wisconsin. The proud hunter and friend held the wolf up, in an unflattering pose and a photograph was snapped. The hunter had every right to do so-he’d applied for a tag, was selected for a kill permit, hopefully did his scouting homework and killed the game. I’ve gone through the same process many times on deer, game birds and waterfowl, but this image reminded me that we still need to treat all hunted animals with respect.
“One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted…If one were to present the sportsman with the death of the animal as a gift he would refuse it. What he is after is having to win it, to conquer the surly brute through his own effort and skill with all the extras that this carries with it: the immersion in the countryside, the healthfulness of the exercise, the distraction from his job. Jose Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Hunting”
I’m also reminded of an old world tradition, of cleaning up the dead animal and placing a sprig of evergreen in it’s mouth as a sign of thanks and respect to the animal for giving it’s life to the hunter. There should be a moment of mixed joy and remorse at the killing of an animal. I know it always has been for me.
The Facebook picture sure generated a ton of comments-101 “shares” and 371 comments as of this morning.
“Killing just for sport is not cool. Eat that Muther!”
Wisconsin Wolf Hunting: “I agree.The blood should be more centered in frame.”
Wisconsin Wolf Hunting: “You know where the door is, Traci *****. Isn’t reality A BITCH? I hate to break the news to you, but Wolves really aren’t mankind’s last defense against vampires. And unicorns don’t really exist.”
“Wow that was taken not far from my back yard and maybe it will make my cats and dogs a little more safe. Way to go Dennis.”
“hunting is a right and in this instance a necessary evil when there is overpopulation, but I never relish this kind of savage imagery, it would be better for the hunters cause if they must show carnage to show what the wolves do to the domestic animals. Hunting in this case, necessary, yes, images in this case, disgusting yes, and sad and unfortunate all the way around. ”
“When you posted this, you were fully aware a controversial outbreak would result. & DON’T EVEN THINK OF TRYING TO BULLS**T ME HUNNY”
“Indians hunt wolves you moron…. They have always hunted them…. Do you think this is ok? But I am not going to explain anything to animal rights bull *&%#… Use your time to fight for abused animals that need your help…. If you dont like this picture or wolf hunting then dont look at it…”
“you people complain about the wolf hunt but what happens when there is no deer left i have no does or fawn left in my woods and i havent shot one of them here in 8 years because of all the wolfs and bear so what happens when they run out of food your kids and humans and their pets are next so lets control this now congratulations on the kill”
“GOOD JOB ! they should shoot all of them ! the wolves should have never been brought back !! they were gone for a good reason.”
I guess I was saddened by some of the really personal attacks and even racial comments on display by this Facebook page and many of the comments to the photograph. I agree with one writer, that probably the reaction to the image was known and maybe even meant to stir up controversy. I am a hunter, and I’m not against hunting as a population control, but I also believe we shouldn’t treat a big game species as vermin either, respect must come into play.
The wolf hunt law was written hastily, unscientifically and by politicians-a recipe for a poorly executed season. It’s not known what impact even culling a modest number of wolves out of Wisconsin’s packs will do during the five month hunt. If taking specific members of a pack will actually increase wolf depredation cases. This excellent story in the Wisconsin State Journal addresses many of these concerns, and they make sense to me. It’s worth a read.
Perhaps lastly, and I realize this, my opinion is colored by the fact that I held a wolf in my hands this past summer-one captured and radio collared for study-scientific study. It was injured, perhaps by another wolf and I couldn’t help but hope for it’s survival. He still lives and not far from one of my deer hunting areas. I don’t begrudge the wolf of killing deer for food, for we share this thing called nature with them. My hope is that somehow, a well managed and intelligent hunt will evolve, and those who pursue the wolf do so with the respect this animal deserves.