Forever Crying Wolf

According to Idaho's Department of Fish & Game, the State of Idaho is home to 846 wolves. That's about one wolf for each 100 square miles, or one wolf for every 64,000 acres. You can see that wolves have become a major problem for Idaho's bureaucratic potato heads.

The Idaho wolf population includes 50 packs of  wolves, and ten percent of those 846 wild wolves wear radio transmitters attached to their collars.

Wolves were once an endangered species in Idaho, but as of May 1, 2009, they are fair game to Idaho's hunters. The hunting season begins today. During last Monday's official licensing day, some 4,000 permits were sold to hunt Idaho wolves. State residents pay $11.50 while out-of-staters pay $186 for the 2009 Idaho wolf hunting license. Once 220 wolves are reported killed, the hunt immediately ends.

Which got me to wondering...

Who thought up those absurd numbers?

Is a wolf a potato?
I did not think so until I called the State of Idaho's Fish and game department's toll-free number:


I was seeking information on Idaho's proposed wolf hunt which is to begin today (September 1, 2009).

The message:

"Thank you for calling the Idaho Fish & Game Wolf Harvest Line..."


Potatoes are harvested. Rutabegas are harvested. Are wolves a crop? If so, that's a big load of crop to me.

I found Farley Mowat's "Never Cry Wolf" ten years after it had been written. It was on the assigned reading list for a comparative animal behavior class I was taking. The year was 1973, and I was still in college. Never Cry Wolf had an intense affect on me, and I trace my interest in environmental issues back to that introduction to Mowat's work. Ten years later, Mowat's book became a popular Disney movie.

Farley Mowat was the man who introduced me to the injustice of animal abuse. Wolves are the most humane of non-human mammals and live in loving well developed family groups. Read 'Never Cry Wolf' and I guarantee that you will share my profound appreciation of these gentle intelligent creatures.

Canadian authorities once suspected that wolves were destroying caribou herds. Mowat taught them something they did not want to know. Man was the mass murderer, not wolf. Hunters with guns, not wolves with sharp teeth. Sure, they ate an occasional caribou. Native Inuit Canadians respect the wolves. They thin out the herd by eating the sick and infirm. In that regard, wolves keep the herd strong. Mowat observed that the major food source for wolves in the Canadian wilderness was field mice, not caribou.

Will Idaho wolf hunters be required to wear little red riding hoods to camouflage their bad intentions?

Robert Cohen
http://www.notmilk. com

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