Urgent alert! Act now to prevent trophy hunting of gray wolves

By on May 8, 2019 with 18 Comments

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

Time is running out for America’s gray wolves. The opportunity to weigh in on a proposed federal rule that would prematurely strip Endangered Species Act protections for the wolves in the lower 48 states ends soon, and it is important that you comment before May 12. These animals are still in a fragile state of recovery after years of persecution, and delisting them could have disastrous consequences for their future and for the well-being of the ecosystems in which they live.

The rule has no basis in science, as 100 scientists and scholars attested yesterday in a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. In strong opposition to the rule, the scientists pointed out that the Endangered Species Act requires that a species be recovered throughout a larger portion of its historic range before it is delisted — a goal that has not been achieved yet for wolves.

In reality, this rule is simply a handout from the Department of the Interior to trophy hunters, trappers and the agribusiness lobby — the latest in more than 100 attacks on wolves and the ESA that we have seen in recent years. Congress and state and federal wildlife management agencies, under pressure from trophy hunting interests, have been pursuing this wolf-delisting agenda for decades, and have been spreading irrational fears and myths about wolves that have no basis in reality.

In a recent report, HSUS researchers debunked U.S. Department of Agriculture data on livestock killed by wolves that state and federal lawmakers have advanced to justify opening up a season on wolves. When our researchers compared livestock losses data released by state agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they found that the USDA data was highly exaggerated and that wolves accounted for less than 1% of cattle and sheep losses in the states where they live.

We can say for certain that if wolves lose their federal protections, these highly sentient, family-oriented animals will face an onslaught of cruelty, including death by trapping, poisoning, baiting and hounding. Consider their plight in Wyoming and Idaho, where they are already hunted. Wyoming considers 83% of the state a “predator zone” where trophy hunters and trappers can employ the most unspeakably cruel methods to kill or capture wolves with zero restraint. In Idaho, wildlife officials permitted trophy hunters, trappers and predator control agents to eradicate its population from nearly 1,000 wolves to 150. Idaho even allows hunters to kill multiple wolves, including at the den in springtime when whole families are vulnerable.

In the Great Lakes region, wolves will face all of those perils and more, because Wisconsin will resume a drastic and unscientific wolf population reduction program and Michigan will open a hunting and trapping season that was soundly rejected by the state’s own voters in the 2014 general election.

Most Americans do not support trophy hunting wolves, and some states have also taken a stand against delisting. Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Walz came out with a strong statement that he supports legislation banning the hunting of wolves and the California Fish and Game Commission recently voted to oppose it. We’ve seen an outpouring of opposition to the proposed rule in recent public hearings in Colorado, California and Oregon.

The wolves need your support too, and they need you to act fast. Please comment at the link below before close of business on May 12, and let the Department of the Interior know you oppose this cruel delisting.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Protect gray wolves

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. maria monch says:

    The Grey wolf has to be protected ,Please

  2. pat rose says:

    Please do not remove gray wolves form the endangered species list.

  3. Karla Flay says:

    I urge the Department of the Interior not to remove federal protection from gray wolves.
    If individual U.S. states seem determined to decimate their unique and precious wildlife heritage, the federal government must act to preserve and protect it.
    The inhumanity and environmentally unsound policy of mass slaughter must be contested and reversed at every possible level.
    Thank you for considering this plea from Greece.

  4. Cindy A Kreiman says:

    Why are people so afraid of wolves that they need to destroy these beautiful beings that have a right to life freedom their homes family and friends. To delist these wolves and kill them is a disservice to all other living beings and the environment. Biodiversity is what makes this Earth’s Heart continue to beat. Without our compassion without our interconnectedness….life ceases to exist…as all our relations we need to see the reflection of our images in their eyes…we too are animals believe it or not……thank you🐾🐾

    • Anonymous Turtle says:

      But I’m sure it’s fine when they keep deer hunters trapped in their tree stands. Wolves like to stay in groups and when there’s one there’s at least two or three more nearby and it’s you or them. If it’s legal to hunt them there will be regulations but they’re multiplying and moving south. Would you rather have them run free and reek havoc on deer, turkey, and rabbit populations or take a few and save several defenseless little fawns?

      • Chris vd Griend says:

        Wolves kill to survive.People kill because they like to kill.Do you know how much money trophy hunters pay to kill?And do you know how many tags some states sell to trophy hunters.For people it s all about money and a sickening need to murder.Stop killing wolves and start respecting them.At the time I write this they already lost federal protection.A disaster for wolf populations in America.And animal cruelty.Would you trap or shoot your dog?!No of course not.So stop murdering wolves.

  5. D Stone says:

    I ask anyone who will listen !! Protect our wolves. Let the natural order be maintained without interference.

  6. Lisa Dirks says:

    Wolves are an important part of a healthy ecosystem and we can not afford to lose them. Please do not allow them to be killed!

  7. Pat Rose says:

    Ban trophy hunting

  8. Barbara Baggs says:


  9. Erika Brunson says:

    Outrageous !

  10. aldo roosevelt says:

    You have to excuse me, but I have to correct some misinformation in this article.

    “We can say for certain that if wolves lose their federal protections, these highly sentient, family-oriented animals will face an onslaught of cruelty, including death by trapping, poisoning, baiting and hounding.”

    Poisoning wolves will not be legal if federal protections are lifted from wolves and I don’t believe anyone in the lower 48 or Alaska hunts wolves by “hounding”.

    If federal protections are lifted from wolves, they will be controlled based on biologist’s recommendations. They won’t try to kill every wolf on the landscape. Why would they try to hunt wolves to the brink of extinction after all the money that was spent to help recover this species?

  11. Aldo Roosevelt says:

    While I love wolves and want to see them succeed, I have a few concerns about the wolf population growing unchecked.

    Wolves kill dogs. It’s a simple fact that was overlooked in the wolf reintroduction
    scheme, but it’s become heartbreakingly too familiar to many ranchers, pet owners, and hound hunters in the region.
    Wolves consider dogs a territorial threat and may attack and kill them.
    Wolf attacks on dogs have been documented in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming,
    Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Alaska.

    Wolves were introduced into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995/1996. In the 1990’s the West Yellowstone elk herd was estimated at 19,000 head and had plummeted to ~4,900 in 2015. Idaho’s Lolo elk herd was ~13,000 head in 1994, and was reduced to ~1,945 by 2016.

    “Idaho’s Rangeland Resource Commission says wolf attacks on livestock in Idaho hit a record over the past year, and they’re anticipating more this summer. From January to June of 2018, state and federal authorities documented 61 confirmed wolf-livestock kills, the commission said Tuesday, and over the fiscal year that ended in June confirmed wolf-livestock kills on a record 113 different Idaho cattle or sheep ranches.” Idaho Press – July 24, 2018

    Officials with the Montana Department of Livestock believe that, for every “verified” wolf kill, most of which must be verified by a DNA lab if any remains are found, another seven head of livestock killed by wolves go unreported.

    Again, I love wolves and believe they’re absolutely majestic and beautiful creatures, however, I believe we have to use common sense with our approach to wildlife management and take other factors into consideration. I want to see the wolf succeed and I want to see other wildlife such as deer, elk, bears, moose, coyotes, etc. succeed. I also want to see people’s pet dogs protected as well as rancher’s livestock.


  12. Marcus Mcclinton says:

    Elk, Deer aren’t just killed by Wolves they are being killed by humans as well as cougars grizzlies an brown bears to… So don’t just blame the wolves, they where here before us.. when u put live stock in predators territory u got be prepared to loose them.. That’s what predatory animals do is hunt..

  13. Janet Cowan says:

    Leave the wolves alone.

  14. unonumous says:

    Wolves are a chain link in the food chain. If they go all die, even more species will die, and soon our end will come.

  15. unanimous says:

    Wolves are not gangsters nor killers. Don’t listen to the European myths-they aren’t true. so stop killing them because of false stories.

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