Sunday, August 19, 2012


Howling for Wolves had a booth at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival - Pet Fest Weekend - on Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19 and the response about the Wolf Hunt is exactly what we all expected.  People do not want the wolf hunt/trap this November and they were very eager to sign the petition demanding that it be stopped.  Out of the hundreds of people that passed by the HFW booth I personally only came across 3 that were in support of the hunt/trap and their responses went exactly like this:

"The wolf is a son of bitch, they'll kill your animals for fun and won't even bother to eat their kill." (false - wolves have been known to get into a feeding frenzy where parts of a kill is wasted but that is very rare)

"I don't understand why you don't want the wolf hunted, their numbers are out of control and pretty soon they'll start attacking people." (false - our wolf population hasn't been counted since 2008.  At that time the numbers were a little over 2900 and the count was based on the discovery of scat, tracks, depredation and seeing wolves in the wild.  Why does the 2008 count not represent accurate numbers?  Imagine counting the poop of your dogs.  One dog can poop several times.  If my dog take a poop 6x's does that mean I have 6 dogs?  Tracks are also misleading because wolves can cover the same territory several times.  Seeing a wolf in the wild and identifying it as such is very difficult.  Most people confuse the coyote with the wolf.  Same goes for livestock depredation.  Wolves get the blame for livestock kill when in fact a coyote is responsible.  Now here we are in 2012 and with the loss of habitat, road kills, disease, poaching (one of which was recently prosecuted and written about in the Star Tribune) and controlled legal killings by certified trappers, farmers & ranchers - how many wolves actually exist in Minnesota today?  We aren't sure.)

"Trapping doesn't hurt a wolf.  Their foot goes numb in the trap and it is virtually painless so please stop telling people that trapping is inhumane." (false - an animal in a trap doesn't cry and bleed when no pain is present.  Wolves have been known to chew off their own foot to get free from a trap.  The man arguing that wolves feel nothing when trapped claimed the wolf chews its own foot only because there it has no sensation.  He said a wolf wouldn't chew off its foot if it had feeling.  For those of you who wonder if this is true... Aaron Ralston cut off his own arm to free himself when his arm was trapped by a boulder while out hiking.  He said he experienced excruciating pain while doing so.  A wolf and a man will remove a body part not because it doesn't hurt but because the desire to survive and be free is greater.)

For the record, does this look painless to you?

One person did ask me if Wolves were native to Wisconsin because they believed that any species that were introduced to an area shouldn't be protected because they are a non-native species.  

The reintroduction of a wolf is not an introduction.  Wolves existed across the United States and were driven to the brink of extinction.  Minnesota is the only one of the lower 48 states that retained their original wolf population, the other states like Wisconsin needed a reintroduction of the species, which has fought their way back to good numbers.  

I came across a couple of hunters that were against hunting the wolf.  They were big deer hunters but think hunting the wolf is very wrong and they were happy to sign the petition requesting it be stopped.  Although I'm not a hunter I could identify with those two men for several reasons.  I come from a long line of hunters.  My family loved to hunt deer, waterfowl and small game like rabbit (some still do).  One of my earliest memories is seeing deer strung up in the backyard on our family property in Bemidji Minnesota.  There wasn't any "sending" the deer off for processing back then, the women in the family took care of that.

Being against wolf hunting has nothing to do with being against hunting in general.  My grandfather taught his children and his children taught their children that trophy hunting, which is the real reason people hunt the wolf (and bear), is for cowards.  My grandfather killed a bear once in self defense and he made it clear that he never felt good about it.  He believed as does the rest of my family that if you can't utilize all of what you hunt then you have no business killing it and although many hunters see hunting as a sport, my grandfather didn't, he was a man who lived off the land and that didn't include killing animals for their skull and pelt.  Minnesota's wolf hunt is about money, pure and simple (isn't all destruction of biodiversity about money) and Howling for Wolves is working diligently to stop it.

One of Howling for Wolves volunteers educating visitors to the booth on why the 
wolf hunt isn't necessary.

Our mama wolf showing the littles ones that there is no such thing as the "big bad wolf."

Let's not go back to this Minnesota:

My daughter as a peasant girl working at the Renaissance (I just had to throw this one in because I think she's so darn cute in that peasant girl outfit).


Epicure68 said...

I hope that your petition will make the government
re-think the wolf culling. Anyone who thinks that wolves are going to attack don't realize that we as humans are the ones encroaching on their territory and not the other way around.

Your daughter's adorable in that outfit.

Teresa Robeson said...

I shouldn't be surprised but I still am that people are so ignorant about wolves (or the world around us in general...don't get me started on politics, speaking of ignorant, and gullible!).

I'm thoroughly galled that people have such lame, and completely false, "arguments" against wolves, but am glad that there are those like you who are determined to educate people.

And your daughter is super cute! You're just posting that because you keep hoping that my son will marry her, right? LOL!

Unknown said...

I am pushing and talking to everyone I can think of about this and I have to admit I have received many opinions and that is just it opinions. No one has been educated on the wolf or the fact that they are family oriented and only, ONLY go after livestock or pets if and I mean if their habitat is depleted of food and they are starving. The other known possibility is the fact that wolves travel in pacts and if a human gets attacked it is either provoked or sick. These wolves are known as rogues and unpredictable. Get your facts people, not myths. I would rather confront a wolf on his turf that face a human anyday. Who's the terror?

Michelle said...

So true Monica!

Even when I hear people say or read where individuals keep complaining that the wolf has killed their pet, what gives their pet free range in wolf country? The pet owner has a responsibility to their pet to keep them safe, the wolf doesn't owe it to the pet not to eat it. I don't think wolves eat half as many pets as people are claiming either. I know several people in wolf country - family included - never heard of a wolf attack on their animals. Use a fence. We have coyotes in our backyard so I keep my pets under watchful eye and always walk them on a leash.

Michelle said...

Hey T

The misinformation that some of these people believe and insist on spreading is downright comical at times. I'd bet some of them even believe that Little Red Riding Hood is a real person.

And you know when it comes to your son I'm all for arranged marriages :) We are due for a road trip to visit you - hint, hint :D

Michelle said...


Great point! Habitat loss plays the largest role in why wolves wander onto farms looking for food. If native americans learned to co-exist and appreciate the wolf so can we. Problem is we consume more than our fair share.

Teresa Robeson said...

Road trip, road trip, road trip! ;)

Oh, and another thing: dogs, beloved pets of humans, are the ones that kill things like livestock for fun, without eating them. We have lost more chickens to neighborhood dogs than anything else (including raccoons and hawks...I don't think we have wolves in this area, but no coyotes have ever gotten any of our chickens). And friends of ours in another county have lost more sheep to stray and neighborhood dogs than anything else too. The wanton waste is sickening.

Michelle said...

Hey T,

That would actually make a really good post. Comparing wolves and pet dogs. Your the second person I know that has experience with someones pet dog killing their chickens and when a pet dog kills a neighbors chickens it really shows the irresponsibility of the pet owner. Same goes for human attacks. When do we hear about wolves attacking humans but you hear about pet dogs doing it every day.