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Thread: The Truth About Sarah Palin and Wolf Hunting (Political GDG)

  1. #1
    Senior Member AmiableLabs's Avatar
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    Default The Truth About Sarah Palin and Wolf Hunting (Political GDG)

    The Other Side of the Wolf Hunt

    As much as I'd like to believe Sarah Palin herself Army-crawls across the tundra in white, fur-lined skirt-suits to catch wild wolves between her teeth in mid-air without mussing her hair or lipstick, I had to look into the actual facts surrounding the animal-rights group's anti-Palin spot, linked by John.

    Aren't liberals the ones who are supposed to love stories about subsistence hunters struggling to live sustainable lives in tiny carbon footprints, as Gaia intended? That's part of the justification for Alaska's aerial hunting of wolves, according to a Washington Post piece from 2003, the year the current law allowing it was signed by former Gov. Frank Murkowski.

    Willie Petruska came home from his annual hunt last year without a moose, for the first time ever. For Petruska, whose family depends on the meat a moose provides for the winter, it is no small matter that restrictions on hunting gray wolves have led to a sharp decline in the moose population.

    "I've seen a lot of wolves killing the calves," said Petruska, 64, who lives in Nikolai, about 200 miles from here, and has been hunting in this part of central Alaska for much of his life. "A lot of people never got their moose last September."

    Predator control is a pretty big issue in a state with a bigger population of big game, big-game hunters, and the big predators who threaten both than most of us get to experience in the lower 48. Strategies for dealing with the wolf/bear threat to both human and moose populations have evolved, from poisoning in the early part of the century, to unregulated aerial hunting for sport, to a banning of sport aerial hunting in 1972, to aerial hunting by government officials only, and to the current law, which allows private citizens to hunt wolves from the air in five designated rural areas of the country.

    Opponents of the practice got an initiative on an August ballot that would have limited the practice to instances when the commissioner of the "Alaska Department of Fish and Game finds that a 'biological emergency' exists and has adequate scientific proof," according to an AP story from Alaska published in August.

    The ballot initiative failed, with more than 60 percent of voters saying no to the restrictions, despite the fact that Alaskans had voted for such measures twice before in 1996 and 2000. Defenders of Wildlife, the producers of the anti-Palin spot, were co-sponsors of that measure.

    Predator control was at least a minor issue in 2006 gubernatorial debates in Alaska, during which Palin said, "If I am elected, I don't want you to be surprised that I am a proponent of predator control in order to build those populations of moose and caribou." Tony Knowles, her Democrat opponent, was against the practice.

    In 2007, the state reported that "aerial moose surveys show moose increased by 14 percent and calves by 110 percent" in one 23,000-acre area subject to predator control.

    Culling populations of animals often makes non-hunters squeamish, but it also often makes certain human and animal populations safer. This is an issue the state of Alaska has debated and voted on repeatedly, and the Defenders of Wildlife are just reveling in having a national stage on which to make their losing argument.

    Palin's line on this should be, "Listen, as a governor of Alaska, sometimes you have to deal with big problems. Unlike in many other states, sometimes those problems have really big teeth. I won't be scared of those kind of problems or any others when you send our ticket to Washington, D.C.!"

    CLICK Here to link to original story.
    Kevin Walker

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Bud Bass's Avatar
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    Yes Kevin, the people of Alaska have voted to not allow shooting wolves (and grizzlies) from low flying airplanes. The campaign against this practice was charged with almost unlimited funds from greenies and tree huggers from the lower 48. Our game dept has always considered this as a preditor control issue, simular but more affective and less expensive then trapping and other means of wolf control. The opposition implied this was simular to sport hunting from low flying planes. TV ads against it questioned "fair chase" ethics of hunting and sportsmenship. I am against any type of game management or control being done by the vote of the people. The state hires wildlife and game managers to manage wildlife, the state should allow them to manage without telling them how to do it. We also I believe have wording in our state constitution that mandates state wildlife management to manage wildlife for "maximum harvest" as a specific goal. bud

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    AK,

    was the culling operation from aircraft performed by state wildlife personnel?-Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Senior Member Sundown49 aka Otey B's Avatar
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    When I worked in AK back in the early 70's and late 60's the bush piolets carried a shotgun in their planes. I ws witness to several wolves shot out the window of the plane. Kind of late to be bringing this up.......JMHO
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    Senior Member Juli H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul young View Post
    AK,

    was the culling operation from aircraft performed by state wildlife personnel?-Paul
    Paul,

    The people that are hunting these wolves are specially licensed by the state (and yes, regardless of what some people think, it is very much a 'hunt' - I know 'teams' that spend far more money on av gas and hours and hours flying than what they get out of selling the hides of the wolves they shoot). Obviously the state does not want every Tom, Dick and Harry out there flying around looking for wolves to shoot. That would indeed lead to a very scary situation....

    each of the 'predator control areas' is limited to a specific number of pilots and gunners (one gunner for ea. piloted plane)....These people must apply to the state in order to be permitted to take wolves from airplanes. The pilot of the plane must be able to show the state that he/she is very familiar w/the area applied for...and has X amount of hours in the cockpit.



    Juli
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    Senior Member Bob Gutermuth's Avatar
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    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage...cle1687959.ece

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    i asked because we had a local problem with the whitetail herd in 1 of the state areas here which drew the ire of the same type of people.

    the dep internalized the effort and thru baiting and department personnel were able to do the job. this took the wind out of the hugger's sails as they had attacked it as a state sanctioned effort to appease deer hunters. once the public was no longer involved, the furor died down.

    also, the state does not allow us to vote on proposed regulations. they move thru commitees after the dept review and a public hearing process. i agree that the department should have the final say in these matters, not the public.-paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Senior Member Bud Bass's Avatar
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    I think Juli outlines the procedure pretty well, and yes I'm sure that these people get a lot of fun out of flying around hanging halfway out of airplanes with the doors removed and blasting away at wolves. You can call it hunting but its purpose is culling wolves, removing preditors from the population to allow higher survival rates for moose and caribou. One big black eye that occured was that game personal landed to pick up their kill and found a den with 14 pups, that the mother had been killed. What do they do? The humane thing, they dispatched each pup with a bullet. But they are really being screamed at for that action.

    Another comparison to this might be salmon snagging. I came up here from Wash. state. There snagging of any kind is illegal and widely considered very much unsporting. Here they have special seasons in costal tidal areas and it is allowed and considered great fun and they consider it as they would fishing. I would put snagging in the same catagory as shooting wolves from the air. bud

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