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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vancouver Sun covers Wolf Kill Contest

The Vancouver Sun has just published an article about my blog post this morning calling for a tourism boycott of the Alaska Highway after a controversial wolf kill contest in northeastern BC came to light earlier today.

"Wolf-kill contest in Peace River prompts call for tourism boycott of Alaska Highway" headlines the article by writer Larry Pynn.

Please take the time to check out the original blog post about the wolf kill contest and to post your comments or write a letter.

$250-$1000 for killing a wolf?  Are ethical hunters going to step up and speak out about this and condemn it, or will it just be silence and business as usual?

Thank you everyone. Let's continue to build the momentum on this and get it stopped as soon as possible.



  1. Thanks John, Even if this is horrible we need to get it out to the public. Anger is boiling.


  2. Thanks John, We need to get this out fast and let the public know. I will post on my pages.


  3. I can't believe something like this would be tolerated or encouraged. . .all for money and greed. What does that say about British Columbia and the people who live there. These creatures are beautiful and should not be treated in this horrific manner. It's appalling! Please put a STOP to this.

  4. This needs to be stopped in its tracks, now! Everyone should read the book Wolves of the Yukon by Bob Hayes. - Donna

  5. Great Job John,

    I urge to you send the letter to every media person you know. The rest of us should make our opinns known to Remax Realty for supporting this irresponsible action.

    Don S

  6. I realize this may be a tragedy for someone who doesn't live in northeastern BC and doesn't understand the impact wolves can have on a community. You may be right. But I don't see any solutions being offered, I just see a lot of hate and resentment. If you are not part of the solution, how does any of this actually help?

  7. I live in northern BC and am a completive barrel racer (with extremely expensive horses), and I live on a cattle ranch. I have had wolves follow me while I'm out riding...are you saying I should just let them come and get me? I believe not. We've had wolves kill our newborn calves, which are they way we make our living, selling cattle. Should we just stand and watch as they tear through our cow heard and kill defenceless newborns? I'd so not.

    Get your heads out of the holes they are in, because from where you are you do not see the quantity of wolves and their problems in our area.

  8. Danielle, I live in a community that has just as many wolves around it as the Peace region does. I completely understand the impact that wolves can have on a community...they can bring in millions of dollars in tourism revenues, they foster an appreciation for wild animals and wilderness, and somehow, despite there being 5 million tourists a year visiting here, they manage to avoid killing anyone or maiming anything.

  9. John, if that is true I would love to see your sources. According to the Vancouver Sun, you live in Canmore, correct? How wide-spread would you consider your community, and what are the demographics for the wolves in that area? In regards to your other statement; you have a valid point. You live in a tourist driven area, and so wolves are a definite advantage. They are a symbol of wealth in your community. Unfortunately tourism is not every city's primary industry. Northeastern BC thrives on our other resources - one of those being agriculture. Wolves prove to be an advantage to your livelihood just as they can prove to be a stumbling block to ours. As for an appreciation for nature and its creatures; if you actually spent some time with the hunters and ranchers in this area, I think you may change your mind.

    Again I urge you to offer a solution instead of an attack. Thanks, Danielle.

  10. Danielle, check my comments at the end of my other post:

    I do not disagree that wolves and ranchers can have a tough time coexisting, but Idaho is doing a great job with it and I urge you to take a look at the solutions they've already come up with, rather than having me re-invent the wheel.

  11. I know wolves are beautiful in pictures as city dwellers sit in the protection of city homes streets and pavement hang one of your beautiful pictures. But in real life they are preditors stalkers and extremely vicious. Up in the north they are very present they roam like lost dogs and cats do in your city. We have children that walk long lonely treed driveways to meet school buses. We have our cattle heards that are threatened regulary, household dogs that are killed as well as they are stalking bush workers in camps and survey staff now pack weapons to protect them selfs from grizzly wolf and now cougars. As city dwellers go to a zoo and see these animals imagine walking around the zoo with the pens of the cougars, grizzly bear and wolves accidently left open...... now let your kids walk to the consession stand... THAT IS WHAT ITS LIKE up north

  12. Dear Anonymous (directly above), please try to stick to the facts, not to fear-mongering. There has NEVER been a person killed in BC by a wolf, EVER. Wolves are not stalkers of humans, nor are they vicious towards humans (I work in the bush with wolves almost every day, on foot, unarmed), the only ones being vicious are the humans: offering prizes for the biggest and smallest wolf killed, trapping, poisoning and shooting wolves for no reason at all.

    I'm not a city dweller. Nor are many of my followers, so again I ask you to stick to the facts, only, please.

  13. Thanks for your response.

    I have noticed that you have called out the people of this region for not having any hard data. I understand why you feel the need to see this, but no one here realized we would suddenly be under such scrutiny. Four days ago, we were living life; going to work, feeding our families, preparing for Christmas, doing what had to be done; without being told how to do it. This contest was on few people’s minds. Most people could care less if a few people join an insignificant contest that runs through an entire season and has no impact on our immediate lives. When the Vancouver Sun wrote its article, I doubt very many people from our city even read it. Even when you started your call against our region, few people knew. Many people are still walking around, oblivious to you or your fight. If we had known someone would suddenly be barraging us and specific members of community, we could have prepared. Perhaps we could have formulated opinions on where we stand on this issue. Some people may have even stood beside you. Instead, each person is finding out without any warning. Therefore, we have stood beside our community. If this had been approached gently and sensitively instead of putting everyone on the defence, you and your cause would have been received a lot better.

    Finding out the number of wolves in the Peace is incredibly difficult. To my knowledge; there are no collared wolves here, nor have any extensive studies been done in our region. The only source I could find with any sort of numbers was the BC Management Plan for the Grey Wolf (which I realize you are likely to disregard because you disagree with it). In this government document, the estimated number of wolves in the Peace is between 1400 and 2600. The estimate in the Lower Mainland is between 140 and 220; to give some perspective. The most wolves submitted in a contest year here: 13. That is less than 1% of the lower estimate! Perhaps we could endeavour to collar the wolves here (which can have many negative effects on a wolf) or even do a study. Regrettably, both of those options take time and money, and would not immediately help anything.

    You offered a solution by pointing us to Idaho. Yet this is still a widely controversial issue amongst all the regions that surround Yellowstone National Park. A report prepared for the Yellowstone Park Foundation showed that 63% of surveyed livestock owners “felt the verification standards for compensation were too strict”, and 60% “were not confident they would be compensated in the event of wolf or bear depredation”. If this is the solution you have in mind, I have to say I am somewhat disappointed. The majority is happy, but individuals can still suffer devastating loss. Your post also documented that you have been watching wolves for approximately 3000 hours. In all that time you must have seen a pack of wolves take down an animal. It is awe inspiring. They are beautiful, powerful, smart creatures. In their intelligence, they will go for an easy kill before a difficult one; they prey on the young, the old, and the sick. Perhaps they see penned prey as an easier target than prey that will run? Regardless, they devour the animal once it has been taken down, and there is not always a lot of evidence left. Other conditions may affect livestock after the wolves have left and before someone discovers that something is missing. Wouldn’t this make wolf attacks difficult to document? What would meet your rigorous standards and yet still compensate for people’s losses?

  14. In a perfect world, our government wouldn’t interfere with the wildlife and we could live in complete harmony with every creature. Unfortunately our world is not perfect. Wolves kill because they need to eat. People kill because they also need to eat. Wolves protect their territory; humans protect theirs. We do need to find a balance. I will not disagree with that. I do, however, disagree with the way you have presented this problem and our region. Instead of condemning us and trying to hurt all the communities the Alaska Highway encompasses, maybe you should try working with us to find a way everyone can be content. It is very unjust to punish the many for the sins of the few. You have tried to give our entire region a bad name (including cities along the Alaska Highway who have nothing to do with this) and I feel an apology is warranted. This has been blown way out of proportion and it is time to solve problems instead of create them.

    Thanks again, Danielle

    Also, I’m curious about the number of times you have been up the Alaska Highway previously. Was this to be your first trip? Have you been taking trips up the Highway for years? Do you have notable experience in the conditions and the wildlife here as well? I myself travelled the Alaska Highway for the first time just over a year ago, and it is an absolutely breathtaking journey. I would recommend it to anyone looking to see what is still left of true natural beauty, and I really don’t think people should miss out on that based solely on your opinions.

  15. Hi Danielle, thank you again for responding. I'm curious to know why your first reaction in all of this was not shame on behalf of your community members, followed immediately by a desire to inquire as to why they think that such a contest is acceptable in today's day and age (sponsored by a realtor and a school teacher, among others!)? This is not some little "insignificant contest" as you say, rather, it's a contest that shows a disconnect and disrespect for nature and wild animals. If this truly was insignificant, then media outlets across Canada would not be covering it. But it is significant, it's a story worth telling. And more importantly, it's a story that I'm hoping will have a better ending than a bunch of hunters sitting around bragging about how big or small their wolf was that they 'happened' across while out hunting.

    Do you have any idea of the damage random wolf hunting can do to a wolf family? Any clue to what happens when an alpha male or female is removed? It's actually been shown to lead to MORE wolf-cattle conflicts, not fewer.

    Any wolf killed for a contest is shameful, that is my point and that is why I'm putting pressure on the entire Peace region to do something about it. End of story.

    As for the wolf predation on cattle, I want some hard numbers to back up your region's claims that 10% of your cattle are being lost to wolves. I simply don't believe it. And the solutions I offered up are more than workable in NE B.C., where there are already programs in place to determine wolf predation and to offer up compensation. The fact remains that it is these ranchers that chose to set up operations in wild country and it is their job to figure out how to make it work in an acceptable manner. Blasting every wolf, bear, cougar, and coyote that they think might have once fed on a dead cow they left sitting on the range is just not acceptable, and I'm not sure why you think it is?

    You're right, we need to find a balance. And I'm perplexed at how an educated person like yourself makes statements like that and then at the same time feels the need to back up such a ridiculous contest, it just doesn't make sense to me.

    I've traveled up north extensively over the years and decided with this contest that I've finally had enough. Why should I put my hard-earned dollars into your community when the community stands behind such barbaric and outdated contests such as this one?

  16. And note once again that I am strictly speaking of this contest. Whether or not I agree with killing wolves at all is not really the issue, because wolves are not a threatened or endangered species. My emotional response to this contest is that it is unethical and that's why I want to put an end to it. I am NOT saying that wolves that predate on cattle should not be removed, they should be.

    I'm also not at all against hunters or what they do for conservation in general. They're one of the biggest supporters of habitat protection and are vital to helping protect Canada's wild places.

  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. I disagree that Idaho is doing a good job. Sending in a hired gun into a wilderness area and giving them access to a cabin to exterminate two entire wolf-packs is not what I consider a good job.