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Hunters Gear Up for Wolf 'Slaughter'
Congressional budget rider removes animals from endangered list
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2011 2:20 AM CDT
Wolves have split western states into protectors and hunters.   (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, File)

(Newser) – A massive wolf hunt is coming to the Rocky Mountain states now that Congress has quietly passed a budget rider ordering wolves be taken off endangered species lists everywhere but Wyoming. Since wolves were re-introduced to the region in 1994, their numbers have grown to 1,700, angering ranchers and hunters, who blame the wolves for reducing elk populations 20%. The governor of Idaho considered declaring a "wolf emergency" to allow the animals to be hunted, but Congress stepped in instead. "It took everybody a while to realize just how little support wolves had in Congress," said one wildlife activist.

"It's going to be ugly. They're talking about trapping, baiting, snaring, electronic calls," said a conservation group representative. "I'm trying to steel myself for it, figure out how I'm going to handle it. But I'm sitting here feeling like I'm living in a nightmare." But many hunters say their desire to cut down wolf populations is actually about animal welfare. "When I see a cow elk with her guts hanging out, and a little calf that's been hamstrung—I know I'm on the right side. No question about it," one Idaho resident told the Los Angles Times. "These wolves are the most cruel, vicious predators in North America."

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Showing 3 of 48 comments
Apr 26, 2011 12:28 AM CDT
"These wolves are the most cruel, vicious predators in North America." I think you are forgetting a species there, dude. One that walks on two legs and is capable of actual evil, something animals know nothing of.
Apr 25, 2011 11:37 PM CDT
Coyotes kill more domestic pets than wolves by a factor of ten , livestock loss to wolves is insignificant and compensated , and is dwarfed by livestock loss to domestic and feral dogs , natural culling of elk by wolves is beneficial to the health of the elk herds , and part of the natural order , conservative brains have larger fear centers and smaller courage centers than liberal brains ,..... the sun sets in the west and rises in the east ,.... it all adds up dont it ? .... read um an weep you sorry assed ,__________ ________ , you have no place in setting the national agenda for any got dam thing under this sun ,.... you are defective ,....
Apr 25, 2011 11:08 PM CDT
As the owner of a wolf and a person living in Montana, I hope my dog doesn't get out of the yard. I've seen shouting matches erupt over this issue at my university.