It was bad enough to read another damning letter from an anti-wolf extremist asking, “Is the wolf an animal we want protected in our area?” as though it’s our birthright to pick and choose which wildlife species are welcome and which are not—that kind of human arrogance is always unwelcome. But since the letter was full of hyperbole aimed at striking fear into the hearts of sport hunters, by suggesting that wolves are completely wiping out the elk in Montana, someone has to set the record straight.
Having recently lived in Montana, I’ve seen and photographed my share of wolves, but also thousands of elk and mule deer. According to a 2012 Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department survey, there are 141,078 elk in the state, 55% over their “management objective” of 90,910; but rather than allowing wolves to solve their elk “problem,” they want to continue…
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