Everyone knows of the apocryphal evil that is wolves, hunting our children, killing our livestock, taking the best deer. Having a wolf hunting season seems like a no brainer, right? But what if that’s not how wolves are, what if they are innocent, so to say. Should they be hunted? The short answer is no. There should not be a wolf hunting season because many of the thoughts on wolves are incorrect; hunting would compromise wolf studies, and the population is already suffering.
We have all heard of the Big Bad Wolf, stalking children and spreading fear and chaos. It commits heinous crimes and deserves to be destroyed. This is a misdemeanor. Wolves hunt deer, rabbits, moose, and other animals (“Wolf”). Because most of the animals they hunt are in fact larger than them, the sickly, inferior, or downright small are targeted since wolves track then kill prey up to ten times their size with their teeth(“All about Wolves”). This makes the hunted animals population stronger. While wolf hunting habits are a prime example of natural selection, human hunters are the opposite. They hunt the bigger and stronger deer, giving the weak a chance to reproduce. What about the problem of the decreasing deer population? They have been over-populated for many years, and while good for hunters, this is a problem for the wilderness areas of Wisconsin. Without the wolves to hunt the deer, they overpopulated rather quickly.
Wolf attacks on humans are exceedingly rare to nonexistent. There are more deadly dog attacks than wolf attacks (“Wolf”). It’s the truth. When a wolf does attack, it’s national, sometimes even international news. Attacks on dogs are much more common, yet still not as common as we are led to believe. Many of these attacks are by coyotes or even other dogs. Wolves usually attack hunting dogs that are tracking too close to a rendezvous site, where the puppies stay. This happens because baying dogs appear as an attacker to wolves, causing them to go on the defense. The best solution would be not to use hunting dogs, but this option is exceedingly undesirable.
Multiple decades and thousands of dollars have been invested into the research of wolves and their behavior. One of the most successful ongoing studies takes place every winter on Isle Royale. They collar and track the wolves, studying their hunting habits and interactions with other packs. While visiting Isle Royale this summer, one of the Park Rangers said to me, “Wolves make great family members, but awful neighbors. Kind of like the Mafia.” While this may seem strange, what she meant was this; wolves are especially munificent towards their pack mates. They are loyal and some of the best parents, especially the fathers. However, they have been known to assassinate neighboring pack members at times (“All About Wolves”). Isle Royale is a prime example of this; limited space and resources cause constant fighting between the packs.
While on the mainland wolves don’t fight over territory as...