Hank Shelley is in error when he blames four-legged predators for reducing the population of game animals, and killing them off won’t change anything.
When I can walk up the Anglemont fire road and see six deer spinal cords and a moose skeleton laid out at one spot, I know that wolves are not responsible. When I can do it every year, and the whitetails that used to go through my yard are nowhere to be seen, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that as I have never heard a wolf howl in my life, someone dressed in camouflage and carrying some sort of weapon is the cause of it.
When a friend can tell me, “Three years ago, and two as well, everyone at Ootsa Lake got a moose… but last year nobody did… but I guess they could have gone somewhere else, eh?” I bit my tongue to refrain from telling him to check peoples’ refrigerators. But why should I?
When a land which was full of game animals is suddenly empty, why must I point out that wild predators don’t survive when the predator to prey weight ratio is above 0.04, but that humans who are hunting as a hobby do just fine because they can always buy their meat in the local supermarket. I have yet to see a wolf do that.
Killing predators is like climate change denial: It doesn’t address the root cause of the problem, which is too many people doing unsustainable things.