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 with Rob Miskosky

Wolf Matters... Not Really

Anybody that spends time in Alberta’s outdoors, be it in the wilderness areas of the province or even in the open areas of Alberta’s southern foothills or ranchlands, knows that Alberta is home to a healthy and growing population of wolves. Estimates put Canis lupus at around 7000 individuals in wild rose country.

Too many groups use the wolf and other predators for financial gain.

In 1991, when Alberta’s wolf management plan was released, it was estimated that Alberta’s wolf population ranged from a late-winter low of 3500 to an early summer high of 5500. Since then, that population has more than doubled. Seven thousand wolves is a big number considering Alberta’s wolf management plan, albeit an outdated management plan, suggests the perfect number of wolves running around the province should be at or around 4000 individuals. Alberta Environment and Parks are currently working on a new wolf management plan that should be released in the near future.

So, when I see groups operating in Alberta like Wolf Matters ( screaming that “wolves are running for their lives” and “persecuted for years, the war on wolves in this province continues”, I can only shake my head in sadness. Not sadness for the wolf, rather, sadness for those that buy into the propaganda coming from these groups that sport big “Donate” buttons on their web and social media sites.

I wrote a few years ago in this space that “if it’s a war on wolves, as some suggest, the wolf is winning.” In that same column, I also wrote, “Like it or not, Alberta’s wolf population needs to be controlled, not left alone to sort itself out, as being suggested by individuals and groups that offer nothing in the way of solutions. It’s easy to sit on a pedestal and make absurd claims about the techniques being used by hunters and trappers while asking for donations from uneducated urbanites to further line their pockets.”

Wolf Matters state on their website, “An aggressive campaign to kill Alberta’s wolves by snaring, trapping and shooting is being carried out in secret, neither regulated nor monitored by our Provincial Government. Inhumane practices that would never be tolerated for other animals are routinely used against wolves. Hunting clubs, trapping organizations, municipal bounties and private bounties pay to encourage wolf killing, often by secretly advertising predator killing contests.” And then they go on about how many wolves our provincial government have killed “under the guise of a provincial caribou recovery plan.”

So, just who is Wolf Matters? Well, it would be nice to know. According to their website, they are “comprised of dedicated board members with various backgrounds.” Yet, nowhere on their website can you find a single person’s name, let alone an entire board. And when you search to find out whom their website is registered to, you get a big fat nothing, as they have paid a fee to keep that information private. I wonder why?

Some believe this group is made up of a couple of menopausal women with nothing better to do. And perhaps that is true because as soon as a thread is created on the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum that has anything to do with hunting or trapping wolves, it suddenly shows up as a screenshot on their web and social media sites. Which may very well be illegal, I’ll have to check on that. One thing we do know for sure is that somebody has some time on their hands.

And you would think they would be appreciative of Alberta Outdoorsmen for providing them with content for their sites but apparently not, they blocked our twitter account from following theirs a while back. Which is fine, I tired or reading their nonsense and requests for donations anyway.

It must be difficult being this group. How do you manage to gather enough “donations” trying to save an animal that seriously doesn’t need saving from anything? We might as well try to save the coyote too... oh, wait, there’s already a group out there trying to do that... and they also have a big “donate” button. Which is most likely what this is all about, the monopolization of the wolf.

For previous Outdoor Pursuits click here.

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