Good Morning World!
We have been out every morning at 5am, covering lots of ground, watching trappers mostly, but expecting more firearms wolf hunters for this the first weekend of the wolf hunt. While others laugh and celebrate the deaths of the sacred relative of the Anishinaabe, Maaiingan (wolf) we are crying. But galvanized to continue to document this travesty so that we might expose it to the world. Although we continue to receive death threats, we remain committed to being here and reiterate our mandate of peaceful monitoring and to abide by all laws…however unjust.
“Wisconsin’s annual wolf hunt begins Wednesday, but hunters won’t be the only ones venturing into Wisconsin’s northern forests.
A group of environmental and animal rights activists are protesting the wolf hunt by trailing hunters and investigating potentially illegal kills. Their aim is to spotlight the cruel practices involved in grey wolf hunting, which indigenous groups in the Great Lakes region oppose, and the failure of government agencies to adequately manage wildlife populations…”
Read the rest of the article at Vice News.
We’ve been tracking signs of wolves, keeping an eye on a couple of cattle ranches that are notoriously anti-wolf, scouting areas where wolf traps have been used and hunting dogs have been killed by wolves previously. No signs of hunters yet.
We are finding that we have amazing support in the region, and want to thank all of those that are helping us out with information. There’s 10 of us on the ground right now, including two journalists.
UPDATE: Great Lakes Wolf Patrol have found two wolf trappers and are following them.
(Photos by Spencer Chumbley: Wolf Patrol members navigate forest roads of Douglas County in the early morning hours & wolf print)
On patrol in undisclosed area because we have found fresh wolf tracks and expect this is an area where hunters might come in the morning, or where a wolf trapper could set a trap. Rained through the night, but our spirits are high and we have more crew members arriving through the night. 4am wake up in the morning for opening day…
Article: “Victory for Wolves in Wyoming” (Earthjustice)
The Yellowstone wolves on the eastern side of the Park will benefit from the federal ruling that has suspended the hunt. Now it’s time to put pressure on Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks to do the same for Yellowstone wolves on the Montana side!
THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!
Yellowstone Wolf Patrol will continue to generate attention to the continued hunting of Yellowstone wolves in Montana and will be launching other monitoring efforts in Wisconsin as well.
The ruling in Wyoming was a result of the state failing to biologically ensure the continued recovery of gray wolves in Wyoming. The state wanted to reduce the population to as little as 100 animals, and continued to classify wolves as “vermin” in some parts of the state, meaning you didn’t even need a hunting license to kill one.
Similarly, in Montana there are clear instances of bad wolf policy. The state maintains a similar population of wolves as Wyoming, yet has not placed a ceiling on the annual quota, and allows the killing of five wolves per hunter, which means its legal for people like Jason Maxwell to state: “Once I clean out the Lake Como pack I will be heading to Gardiner to help with the problem there.” (9/16/14) and MFWP endorses it.
It’s also further evidence of bad wolf policy that Montana resident Toby Bridges can run down wolves with his truck, brag about it on Facebook, and again have MFWP endorse it.
And if that wasn’t enough to make MFWP nervous that a federal judge might intervene to stop the hunt in Montana, than perhaps we need to be reminded that the state is actively still trying to remove the Madison Pack and other uncollared wolves, and is also allowing private landowners and ranchers permission to kill upwards of 100 wolves without influencing the recreational hunt quota. Oh that’s right there is no quota…
Let’s end this hunt for Yellowstone wolves in WMU 313/316. It’s the very least Montana can do to demonstrate a responsible commitment to managing public trust wildlife. Until then, Yellowstone Wolf Patrol will be planning a return to Montana, we have film crews interested and we will continue to highlight the reversal of gray wolf recovery until no wolf-kill buffers are in place around all our national parks.
Dear Friends, it’s been a few days now since we left Montana. Everyone who came out with us went above and beyond their expectations, hiking as much as 18 miles in a single day, only to get up at 430am and do it again the following morning. We were received warmly by the National Park Service, and didn’t have angry words with a single hunter or outfitter. Yet, we met our objectives and were within our legal rights to witness this wolf hunt as non-consumptive users of the back country.
We are excited by the support our campaign received, and can’t wait until we return to Montana. We are planning another patrol in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness for early November, when it is expected that the elk will migrate out of the park, and the wolves follow. We will be posting some of our findings from this first exploratory mission to monitor wolf hunts in the United States, and in just a couple of weeks you will see the launching of Great Lakes Wolf Patrol!
(Photo: This is what it looked like when we did interact with hunters…cuppa tea anyone?)
The Yellowstone Wolf Patrol has been receiving some great positive media recently. Check out this article from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Photos and video from the article are posted here.