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Outdoors blog

Hunting helps wolves long-term, experts say

A gray wolf.   (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
A gray wolf. (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Should hunting be allowed for wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains?

Here’s a summary of the answers given to me in interviews from leading wolf experts:

• “You have to remove the bad apples.”

Doug Smith , Yellowstone National Park wolf project leader

• “Wolves are fully recovered in the Northern Rocky Mountain states. It’s important to let the states manage them, and hunting is one of the tools.”

Ed Bangs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf recovery coordinator for the Northern Rockies

• “I think the wilder we keep the animals, the better it is. One way that’s done is through hunting them.”

David Mech, U.S. Geological Survey wildlife biologist who has worked with wolves for 51 years; founder of the Minnesota-based International Wolf Center

• “Hunting wolves is already allowed in Canada. It’s a negative reinforcement that keeps wolves wild and more respectful of keeping a distance from people.”

Lu Carbyn, a leading Canadian government wolf authority, retired

• “I have been protecting wolves all my life, but we need a realistic system in order to coexist. I’ve written about the need to shoot a few wolves …”

Luigi Boitani, Europe’s leading wolf scientist, based at the University of Rome

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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