Right now the DNR has opened up a period for people to apply for an opportunity to hunt wolves. I usually have a pretty good idea on where I stand with most issues, but this one has me torn.
Let me just say, that I am not anti-hunting. I personally do not hunt, but I'm all for the tradition of it and the fact that for many folks, this sport provides a source of food. Most of my friends are deer hunters and many hunt birds, but the idea of shooting a wolf, well...it just hits me wrong.
I have seen several wolves throughout my years living in the Northwoods. They are usually crossing a road or running through a field when I spot them. I'm always in awe when this happens. To me they represent the total wildness of northern Wisconsin; an animal so wrapped in mystic and beauty that to glimpse one is unforgettable.
The fortitutde and resilency of this animal is also truly remarkable. At one time they were actually extirpated from the state due to unrelentless killing from bounty hunters. When they started filtering back into Wisconsin from Minnesota, they became protected and their numbers grew fast. Now experts say there are more than 800 wolves in Wisconsin. The original goal was 200.
And so here is where the dilemma occurs. To put it in a nutshell more wolves mean more damage to livestock and hunting dogs. More predation on animals like deer and other wildlife...so their numbers must be reduced and the most efficient and cost effective way of doing that is to hunt them.
If someone gave me the opportunity to shoot a wolf on a hunting outing, I doubt I could. I would feel like I was shooting a dog. On the other hand, if one happened to come into my yard and prey on my own dog Homey or even my chickens, I know I would have no problem putting a bullet in one.
So my dilemma continues. I clearly see both sides of the issue and yet I can honestly say I don't know where I stand. But that's just another mysterious component about wolves. While their beauty and wildness are admirable indeed, they have, throughout time, caused much controversy amoung mankind. And I don't see that stopping anytime soon whether they are hunted or not.