The decision of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to institute a closure to the wolf hunting season in areas surrounding Yellowstone National Park was a welcome intervention to what has gained international attention as a tragedy in the making. We applaud their moderate decision as not only the right thing to do, but as a first step toward the conversation that needs to take place in our state about this contentious issue of wolf management. I write this letter to encourage FWP to stand by their decision and restore the closure as soon as possible, before the end of the season. I also urge FWP to consider making a permanent buffer zone around Yellowstone for future seasons, so the damage to our states image and to the Yellowstone population of wolves is stopped.
I am against hunting or trapping of wolves and other predators except in cases of problem animals. I am also a hunter. I believe that non-lethal means of co-existence between Montanans and our predators needs to be promoted further in our state, and that revenue brought to our state by people who wish to view all animals in their natural environment needs to be acknowledged as the sustainable revenue resource that it is.
It has been speculated that Yellowstone wolves were deliberately targeted. There is no proof of that, but many people are very disturbed that individuals would lie in wait just over the border of the park and kill or trap the first wolf that happened to set foot over an invisible boundary. I applaud the hunters who have made the ethical choice to not do this! Targeting a Yellowstone wolf is like shooting the neighborhood dog. Yellowstone wolves are accustomed to seeing humans –not running away from them.
There is no sport in this. No ethics at all!