To the Editor:
Most importantly, my condolences to Mr. Stolz on the loss of his longtime companion. I have two much-loved bird dogs which I also run off leash in the woods. I would be devastated and enraged if they were harmed. And, I would want to know who did it. This criminal act is no way condoned or encouraged by the local hunting community; it is condemned by all. A poacher may buy a hunting licence but that does not make him one of us. It is not likely that this person was influenced by our spring hunt; it appears that he had already made up his mind and obtained a supply of poison. Further, every wolf killed by a hunter must be submitted for compulsory inspection; the inspector would notice the state of the animal and report the crime. (By the way, no wolves were reported at the end of the hunt.)
I did not see the Facebook post, but take exception to a couple of statements: that everybody has “a hate on for wolves”. All wildlife is appreciated (packrat?), and the wolf is a wonderful and iconic creature. What people are, is extremely worried that the predator/prey balance is totally out of whack and will have a negative effect on first ungulates and then wolves. Second, “we’re stepping over the line”. There is no “we”; there is only a “he” who did this- a poisoner/criminal who will hopefully be caught if someone provides some information (RAPP line 1-877-952- 7277). We promote an ethos of legal, ethical and sustainable harvest. To that end, I pledge $100 towards a reward for information leading to a conviction for this crime. If 9 others will make a similar pledge, we may have enough to encourage a report.
I hope that the base problem will not be lost- that the government has not fulfilled its mandate to properly monitor and manage wildlife populations. In many U.S. jurisdictions and in Europe, wolf populations are closely monitored. For example, in France, the government culls 13% of the pop each year. When the population reaches their upper limit of 500, the cull is increased to 17% to protect both wildlife and livestock. Here, the wolf is “at the door”; I found a fresh kill last November just a few Km. From town. Elk herds are disappearing from some watersheds throughout the Kootenays. The Province needs to put in the resources to do the science and undertake the management for the broadest benefit.