To Fish or to Kill Wolves? That is the Question.

Ian McAllister

December 17, 2012

A few people have contacted me today asking what the difference is between a fishing derby and a wolf-kill contest.  Why is it ok to offer prize money to kill the biggest fish but not a wolf? Personally, I am not a fan of killing any animal for prize money but I do hunt and fish for subsistence.  Here follows some more food for thought.

First off, the vast majority of people that fish do it for food or practice catch and release.  If someone happens to get a big salmon and win the derby, that person is most likely going to bring it home and enjoy it with friends and family. The days of mounting a big fish on the wall are pretty much over.  Fishing is also highly regulated with clear limits of possession for each species.  There are  also seasonal limits, size limits and gear requirements, in addition to special license tags being required for species of conservation concern.  There are also mandatory reporting requirements, conservation areas closed to fishing and a host of other legally enforced regulations.

Now, make no mistake you’re not catching me stating that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is some kind of model agency when it comes to fish management in B.C., but compare a few of these regulations to how our provincial government manages wolves.

Wolf hunting in this province is right out of the stone age.   Few, if any, of the management policies and laws that I have briefly described with the recreational fishery are enjoyed by wolves. For starters, no one eats wolf meat so hunting them is considered a “non-consumptive recreational sport.” Killing a wolf is done purely for an individual’s personal pleasure or for a trophy – or in the case of this wolf-kill contest – for prize money.

B.C. residents do not need a special license to kill a wolf. In fact, for many large regions of the province killing an entire pack of wolves, including pups, is legal and does not require mandatory reporting or inspection.  However, if I want to hunt a deer, a moose or a duck I have to apply and pay for a special license or tag.   In large parts of B.C. there is also no limit to the amount of wolves that an individual can kill. Baiting wolves in deep snow and then running them down to exhaustion with high powered snow mobiles just before they are shot is also legal here in B.C..  In fact, some guide-outfitters in the north advertise this sport.

Clearly this is a slaughter of intelligent and highly social animals with
no ethical, scientific or conservation justification.

There is still time to make your voice heard. If you live in B.C., request a meeting with your elected representative.  Contact your local media and express your views about wolves.  Get in touch with Pacific Wild.

Ian McAllister

PACIFIC WILD – Wolf Action page: http://www.pacificwild.org/site/take_action/wolf-action.htmlWolf in Rain

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  1. #1 by Wolf eater on December 20, 2012 - 12:38 pm

    I like eating wolves…….your article is not true

    • #2 by greatbearblog on December 28, 2012 - 7:34 pm

      I find that hard to believe. All accounts of eating wolf I’ve ever come across have been from desperate need of sustenance rather than choice. The meat is considered edible, but very tough and low in nutritional content.

  2. #3 by John E Marriott on December 21, 2012 - 12:00 am

    Brilliant entry, Ian, though once again sad that we even have to be spending time on this issue in this day and age.

    • #4 by greatbearblog on December 28, 2012 - 7:34 pm

      Thank you for the kudos, John.

    • #5 by Tony Bynum on February 17, 2013 - 6:35 pm

      We are talking about managing our resources, not our minds or our personal values. Or are we? Why is that that people who want to boycott hunters are the one’s who have to get inside our heads and tell us morally what’s right and what’s wrong? The truth is a dead fish is a dead fish, they dont really care why they died, there’re dead. Now, it’s also true that in resource management, getting caught up in the emotions and trying to manage wildlife with our personal values most often leads us toward unwise choices. I think people should stay out of each other’s heads, what difference does it make if i kill a fish, a deer or a wolf for food or if i kill it for a trophy? Why should we manage wildlife by what’s in side one’s head? R u the morality police? If so, this is not about managing our resources, it’s about telling other people what and why to think. That’s okay too, but dont hind behind you throne, just come out and say it, you dont like people who kill unless they kill for the right reasons, and even then you’re going to be skeptical . . .

  3. #6 by Bailie on December 22, 2012 - 11:24 am

    Hello Ian, first off I would like to say that you are really wasting your time. Second I would like to say that there are quite a few holes in your story. A) the reason why fish have so many laws that wolves do not it quite simply because many fish suffer from being endangered. They dwindle in numbers in certain areas especially salmon. They die from many causes including predators like bears, birds and larger fish and therefore they need more protection than wolves which have no natural predators except for humans. B) The reason why wolves have very little protection is because they are over populated. There are too many and they are becoming dangerous. Don’t go telling me some stupid story about how no one has ever died from a wolf attack because quite frankly that does not make me feel any safer about the pack residing in my area. Don’t tell me that they only attack livestock when they are hungry because that is a lie they will kill an animal eat a piece of it and leave it to rot. Don’t tell me that the best way to ensure that children remain safe is to tell them not to run from them. Our children shouldn’t have to worry about being attacked by a pack of wolves. C) I read your recent article about the wolf kill contest being illegal and I laugh at you. What a pathetic argument. It is not illegal and you are not going to get it stopped and even if it is illegal next year the organizers will simply get a license. Also in this article you say how the wolves are baited, that we do not need special licenses and that when a pack of wolves runs out we go ballistic on them. Well I am sorry but in order to hunt wolves first you need to pass CORE. Not an easy feat it’s not something you just take and pass. It needs to be studied. Then PAL in order to purchase rifles and ammunition. Another course that needs to be taken and studied and passed and then one needs to educate themselves on wolves because they do not simply run out to be shot. You make us sound like barbaric animals with no laws so let me tell you some of our laws. We cannot shoot within 100 metres of a church,school building, school yard, playground,regional district park, dwelling house, or farm or ranch building that is occupied by persons or domestic animals. It is unlawful to discharge a firearm across or to discharge a firearm or hunt within the road allowances of all numbered highways and any two lane or greater public road in BC that is maintained by the Ministry of Transportation (or their Contractors), the federal government or another province or territory. It is unlawful too to intentionally feed or attempt to feed dangerous wildlife (cougar, coyote, wolf and bear) except when lawfully engaged in hunting or trapping where baiting is authorized. Wolves have a bag limit of 3 so you lie about them not being protected they are somewhat governed and hopefully next year that limit will be raised or lifted. It is also unlawful to to use poison for the hunting, trapping, taking or killing of any wildlife. Just so that all the pro wolf people are aware it is also unlawful to to interfere with or obstruct a person licensed or permitted to hunt, guide or trap while that person is lawfully so engaged. This is for your own safety so please don’t step in front of the barrel. In case you don’t know what the barrel is that is where the bullet comes out. Hopefully this is a little food for thought for you! I know that you probably think you know everything so I am looking forward to seeing your comment.

  4. #7 by Bailie on December 22, 2012 - 11:24 am

    and of course my comment is awaiting moderation because you just like John Marriott will be scared of letting other people talk.

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