December 17, 2012
A few people have contacted me today asking what the difference is between a fishing derby and a wolf-kill contest. Why is it ok to offer prize money to kill the biggest fish but not a wolf? Personally, I am not a fan of killing any animal for prize money but I do hunt and fish for subsistence. Here follows some more food for thought.
First off, the vast majority of people that fish do it for food or practice catch and release. If someone happens to get a big salmon and win the derby, that person is most likely going to bring it home and enjoy it with friends and family. The days of mounting a big fish on the wall are pretty much over. Fishing is also highly regulated with clear limits of possession for each species. There are also seasonal limits, size limits and gear requirements, in addition to special license tags being required for species of conservation concern. There are also mandatory reporting requirements, conservation areas closed to fishing and a host of other legally enforced regulations.
Now, make no mistake you’re not catching me stating that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is some kind of model agency when it comes to fish management in B.C., but compare a few of these regulations to how our provincial government manages wolves.
Wolf hunting in this province is right out of the stone age. Few, if any, of the management policies and laws that I have briefly described with the recreational fishery are enjoyed by wolves. For starters, no one eats wolf meat so hunting them is considered a “non-consumptive recreational sport.” Killing a wolf is done purely for an individual’s personal pleasure or for a trophy – or in the case of this wolf-kill contest – for prize money.
B.C. residents do not need a special license to kill a wolf. In fact, for many large regions of the province killing an entire pack of wolves, including pups, is legal and does not require mandatory reporting or inspection. However, if I want to hunt a deer, a moose or a duck I have to apply and pay for a special license or tag. In large parts of B.C. there is also no limit to the amount of wolves that an individual can kill. Baiting wolves in deep snow and then running them down to exhaustion with high powered snow mobiles just before they are shot is also legal here in B.C.. In fact, some guide-outfitters in the north advertise this sport.
Clearly this is a slaughter of intelligent and highly social animals with
no ethical, scientific or conservation justification.
There is still time to make your voice heard. If you live in B.C., request a meeting with your elected representative. Contact your local media and express your views about wolves. Get in touch with Pacific Wild.
PACIFIC WILD – Wolf Action page: http://www.pacificwild.org/site/take_action/wolf-action.html