Wolf Hunting In North America; Facts and Figures

Wolf Hunting In North America; Facts and Figures

Overview

Wolf Hunting In North AmericaWolf hunting is mainly done to protect livestock, for sport, and for their skins. However, the main reason why they are hunted is to protect domestic animals. In 2011, the Obama administration lifted the endangered species protection act for wolves. This affected eight states in the great lakes and northern Rockies. Since then more than 500 wolves have been killed by trappers and hunters in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. This hunting was allowed in order to manage the population of wolves.

Origin of Wolf Hunting In North America

The move to control the numbers of wolves in North America started when private owners of land started trapping and baiting wolves. Back then wolf baiting was both for livestock protection and a form of sporting activity. In the Yellowstone national park, hunting and baiting wolves had slowly become a profession that was considered very lucrative. The value of their hides was in high demand which led to an almost extinction.

Wolf Extermination Programs Sanctioned By The Government

Wolf Hunting In North AmericaAs the 19th century approached, there was an increased demand for wider grazing areas by the wealthy livestock owners. With their influence, the government gave in to their demands and exterminated almost all wolves across the lower 48 states. Since then, there have been considerable increase in the wolf populations which has created panic among farmers.

It is considered illegal to shoot a wolf in Alaska using rim fire rifle since they are considered as big game. In 2007, state biologists set up a goal to kill around 600 wolves which was to be conducted by volunteer hunters. With the end of the predator control season, that target was not achieved due to poor flying conditions and high fuel prices.

Despite the trapping and hunting that occurs every year in Alaska, there is still a high occurrence of wolves in their natural habitat. Currently, there are five wolf control programs in Alaska covering about 10% of the land area owned by the state. There is also a control program that is closely controlled that allows the use of airborne or aerial methods for hunting down wolves and removing them in designated areas. In these areas, the numbers of wolves are temporarily reduced, but not a permanent elimination.

The North America wolf populations are sustained at 20 to 40% natural mortality rates. Despite this, there is no observed drastic decline in the numbers yearly. In 2007, Sarah Palin gave permission for shooting bears and wolves when airborne to ensure property protection. It is estimated that 15% of the 7000 wolves in Alaska and Canada are harvested every year. In Ontario, the wolf bounty system was ceased in 1972 but the harvest season for wolves was retained at an all year round. However, there are some wolf bounties offered by some local governments especially in Alberta. In 2010, Lake County offered over C$300 per every adult wolf hunted down. During that phase, 290 wolves were hunted down and killed up to the year 2012.

Wolf Hunting In North AmericaThe number of wolves that have been hunted by wildlife service agents due to their threat to livestock is not clear. The number of wolves that have died still remains significantly high after those that have been killed by diseases, poachers or other means. Many human beings fear wolves but it is extremely rare for them to attack humans although they are known to attack and maim livestock.

With the close of the hunting season, it is estimated that hunters in Idaho killed 259 wolves while 225 wolves were killed by hunters in Montana. In Wyoming, 42 wolves were killed during the controlled trophy hunting area that was carried out in Grand Teton national park and near Yellowstone. According to Eric Kezler, from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, another 32 wolves were killed in other parts of the state. These are areas where it is permitted to shoot gray wolves whenever they appear on site. This was done in an attempt to maintain a healthy wolf population.

According to reports detailing the latest wolf populations, the wolf population in areas of where it had been hunted intentionally has recovered to the previous numbers, especially in the northern Rockies region. Towards the end of that year, the wolves were estimated 1774 spread across 274 packs.

Conclusion

Although wolves are considered to be a threat to human beings and livestock, their hunting should be done in a controlled way. The increased hunting and government sponsored programs might make the wolves move out of their natural habitats which would create an imbalance in the ecosystem.

Stop The Unjustified Killing And Hunting of Montana’s Wolves

Stop The Unjustified Killing And Hunting of Montana’s Wolves

Overview

According to the Great Falls Tribune, the number of wolves in Montana is around 554. This is a sharp contrast to 2013 when the number was around 627. The trend is that wolves in Montana are on the decline. Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Commission approved a controversial proposal to allow hunting if upto five wolves for every hunter. Previously, one was allowed upto three wolves.In this light, there is an urgent need to stand up for the wolves before they become extint.

Unjustified Killing and Hunting of Montana Wolves

Stop The Unjustified Killing And Hunting of Montana’s WolvesThe commission has stated its intention to continue allowing the utility of traps and snares not only in recreational facilities but also public areas. In connection to this, out of state hunting charges have been reduced and the requirements are now more lax. Such factors act as a perfect incentive to more rigorous hunting trips.

In particular, pregnant wolves are going to be threatened due to their lower survival tactics. This is because the mating season for wolves starts in around February and goes to March. Thus, any extension of the hunting season has a direct impact of affecting the pregnant wolves.

Conservationists termed it as an unjustified and unwarranted hostile assault to the steps that have been made in the conservation of wolves.

The unjustified killing and hunting of wolves means that the ecological benefits that wolves bring cease to exist. For example, wolves play an important role in controlling the population of deer and other wildlife. The fact is that wolves reduces their population and thus contributes to the overall management of the ecosystem. In addition to that, reducing the population of wildlife also plays a critical role in controlling some diseases, the Chronic Wasting Disease for instance.

The public needs to understand that there are two main activities that are happening in Montana in relation to the wolves. First, there is the constant removal of gray wolves from the areas under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Second, EPA gives individual states the power t make decisions related to species. For instance, determination of which species is endangered and which one is not.

Other activities threatening the wolves in Montana include the following: poisoning, trapping, bounty programs, aerial shooting, and some sport activities.

Notable Examples

Stop The Unjustified Killing And Hunting of Montana’s WolvesOne of the main voices in defense of the wolves is Mary Rossi. She has had a very vocal voice in stating the case for the wolves. Her greatest advantage is that she has spent a significant amount of time doing comprehensive research about the pack animals. In fact, she has made a number of publications including in a peer-reviewed journal.

Rossi, unlike quite a number of other agencies, employs science and empirical data in order to defend the wolves. In this regard, she has visited FWP many times in order to explain to the officials about better ways of acquiring data concerning the wolves in order to ensure accuracy. She has severally questioned the FWP’s methodology of data collection and the eventual analysis thereof. In addition to that, she has voiced concern about the number of the wolves that die in public hunts. She hopes that her efforts will not go unrewarded despite the challenges.

Jay Mallonee, an independent biologist, ran a spirited campaign to collect signatures for a petition that advocated for more protection of the wolves. Similarly, he has ran a donation campaign in order to fund activities that advance the protection of the wolves. He says that Montana authorities do not use any established protocols in “counting the wolves.”If that is the case then, Jay concludes that any policy that is born out of flawed data is itself a flawed policy. He takes a radical position and calls the unjustified and unwarranted killing and hunting of wolves in Montana as genocide.

Conclusion

Montana authorities states that the state has exceeded the standard conservation and recovery goals.However, if the facts on the ground are anything to go by, there is a lot that need to be done. If Montana is to retain its wolf population, the established state management plans and administrative regulations must be applied to the letter. Similarly, authorities should be careful not to exaggerate the adoption of targeted wolf depredation response. Perhaps, rethinking the controversial proposal of allowing more hunting of the wolves in Montana is not a bad way to start.

Can I Hunt Big Game With an Air Rifle?

Can I Hunt Big Game With an Air Rifle?

Overview

There is a growing interest in hunting with air guns. It is among the few sections of the hunting industry that has recorded growth and there are good reasons behind that. Air guns are quieter and safer than most firearms. Ammo is available readily, they are not expensive to shoot, and they can be readily used in many places that normal firearms are not allowed.

Top grade accurate air guns, are currently considered some of the most accurate in the whole world. Adult air rifles that are of high quality come with enough power with the ability to kill take out any animal. This has not gone unnoticed by game agencies. They have updated their laws regarding the use of hunting game with air rifles.

Can I Hunt Big Game With an Air RifleNon powder guns have been designed to discharge pellets at high intensity and force. Therefore, they should not be likened to toy guns. Regulations relating to the use of air rifles are mainly overseen by the consumer product safety commission. As such, air guns are subject to statutory limitations that are generalized. Most of the existing laws relating to the use of air guns have mainly been put in place to protect young children.

It is every hunter’s responsibility to understand the local laws that regulate the use of air guns. However, these laws keep on changing and the hunter has to remain updated on the most recent jurisdictions and laws pertaining to the use of pellet guns. Most of the states require the hunter to possess a valid hunting license as a basic requirement.

Air rifle laws by state

Can I Hunt Big Game With an Air RifleVarious localities and states have different regulations and laws with the use of pellet guns that are commonly known as air guns. The federal government does not have a blanket regulation covering all states. Air rifles and air pistols are normally regarded as non-powder guns.

Arizona

Arizona is among the few states that have set clear laws relating to the use air rifles as equipment for hunting. In 2014, changes to these regulations were implemented to allow hunting of big game with air rifles. Species that can be hunted with air rifles include mule deer, white tail, bear, mountain lion, and javalina. These animals can be hunted with air rifles with a .357 caliber or even larger. This has made the state to be a popular destination for hunters who use air rifles.

Michigan

Any game in this state, big and small may be hunted with the use of a crossbow, bow, fire arm, or even slingshots. According to the laws in this state, a fire arm is defined as any equipment or weapon that can propel a dangerous projectile through the use of gas, air or explosive. Therefore, air rifles apart from the smooth bores and have been specifically manufactured for propelling by gas, air or spring can be used.

California

Air rifles should not be sold to persons below the age of 18 years in California. The law also prohibits selling or furnishing air guns to parents or guardians who have children below the age of 18 years under their care. An air gun should also not be brandished in public. When it comes to hunting with air guns, the state only allows use of air rifles to hunt small game such as rabbits, quail, turkey, and squirrels.

Virginia

A few years back, this state expanded their laws to allow hunting of big game animals as well as small game with air guns. Apart from the typical animals such as squirrels and rabbits, air rifles can also be used to hunt deers and black bears. It is one of the best hunting destinations with its relaxed and well thought out laws regarding use of air rifles.

Texas

The laws in Texas tend to be different from most of the other states. Hunting of game animals with air rifles is totally prohibited. However, the state allows hunting of non-game animals whether big game or small game with air rifles. What this means is that coyotes, feral hogs, axis deers and rams can be hunted among other species that are considered indigenous.

Conclusion

The states have been randomly selected to look at the state of regulations regarding the use of air rifles in the country. The prospective air gun hunter will have a good idea of what might be expected. States like Virginia, Arizona, and California have clearly stated laws regarding the use of air guns. However, hunters in other zones need to do their homework well in order to have proper clarification.

Is It Legal to Hunt Wolves With a Crossbow?

Is It Legal to Hunt Wolves With a Crossbow?

Overview

Crossbow hunting is a trend that is growing rapidly across the country. The relaxation of regulations regarding crossbows has come with their share of controversy. However, those who advocate for the use of crossbows are making inroads and winning the war slowly. As a result more people are now joining this hobby and heading to the woods with this hunting equipment. There are several advantages that come with using a crossbow, however, there are things to consider and the regulations that apply to determine whether hunting wolves with crossbows is legal or not.

Regulations regarding crossbow hunting per season

People who intend to hunt wolves with a crossbow must possess a license. Crossbows can be used to hunt wolves in the state of Alaska; it is illegal to use crossbows in areas that have been designated for normal bows only. However, crossbows can be legally used bows and guns are legal weapons. During the archery season, it is legal for handicapped hunters to use crossbows as long as they stick to approved means and methods.

Is It Legal to Hunt Wolves With a CrossbowIn California, hunters can use crossbows to hunt wolves during the gun seasons. In 2004, the California Game Commission amended laws that regulate hunting with crossbows to include the following. Any person who is disabled and the disability prevents them from effectively using a bow in a firing position is allowed to use a crossbow or any device that helps them to draw the string during hunting. However, the hunter must provide their full personal details and their medical records detailing the same.

Idaho

It is legal to use crossbows in Idaho during the hunting season when all weapons are allowed. This can be done without requiring seeking any other permit apart from the normal hunting permit or license. Crossbows are also allowed to be used by handicapped hunters during the archery season. However, hunters must possess an up to date hunting license, hunting tag and archery permit.

Illinois

A hunter who possesses an archery permit can use a crossbow to hunt wolves from the second Monday after thanksgiving, until the end of the archery hunting season. Persons who are 62 years old and above and who have a valid photo ID can also hunt with a crossbow. Such individuals are permitted to hunt wolves with crossbows when there are seasons that allow the use of archery related equipment. However, all crossbows used during hunting must meet the set criteria and standards.

Nevada

In this state, crossbows can only be used during any legal weapon hunt. It is illegal to use crossbows for archery hunts. The crossbows used must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and a draw length minimum of 14 inches. Arrows must have a broad head and a minimum of 16 inches.

Wolf hunting tips with a crossbow

Protect the string

Is It Legal to Hunt Wolves With a CrossbowOne of the most vital parts of a crossbow is the string and therefore it should be given the protection that is necessary. The string should be regularly inspected for wear and tear. Dirt produces friction which turns to wear and tear. So it is good to ensure that the strings and cables are clean after the hunting session is over. The crossbow should be transported in its case in order to minimize the buildup of dirt and dust. Friction still occurs under normal usage but it can be reduced through lubricating the rail and waxing the string.

Use proper optics

Any sighting system can be mounted on the crossbow but it is advisable to use one that has been specifically designed for crossbows. Scopes come with three horizontal cross hairs and are typically multi-reticle or three dots. The top reticle can be sighted for 20 yards. A three dot can be used appropriately with most crossbows. For crossbows that are faster and have higher speeds, a cross hair scope will be the best to be used.

Use a cocking device always

Majority of crossbow hunters use cocking devices but it still falls back to personal preference and convenience. It is challenging to pull 150 pounds of draw weight even to the strongest hunters. Slighter hunters will find it even more challenging. A cocking device maintains accuracy and gives the hunter enough draw back power.

Conclusion

As much as many people consider it a sport or hobby, crossbow hunting has to be regulated by laws. If used haphazardly, they can result to injuries and irresponsible hunting. However, different states in the U.S have different laws regarding the legality of hunting wolves with a crossbow.