Target: The Canadian Minister of Environment, Peter Kent
Goal: Stop the Alberta Fish and Game Association from offering bounties for wolf pelts to encourage wolf hunting
The growing wolf population in Alberta, Canada, has led to the implementation of a bounty system, with hunters earning money for each wolf they ‘lawfully’ kill. Already, hundreds of wolves have died since the start of the practice in 2010, and many more will surely follow. Private interest groups and individuals pay for the bounties, and they believe that they are helping to control the wolf population.
An estimated $166,000 has been paid in bounties, with the individual prices ranging from $15-300 per wolf. Figures compiled by the wilderness association suggest at least 524 wolves have been killed since 2010, although the group hasn’t been able to get numbers from all districts. Some bounties are offered by special interest groups, and newer bounties pay up to four times the market price of a wolf pelt. The Alberta Fish and Game Association has also offered bounties, and they are now proposing a province-wide bounty on all wolves in Alberta.
The bounties were inspired by a recent increase in Canada’s wolf population, which has troubled farmers and hunters. This winter was especially harsh, and wolves began hunting moose and elk, which interfered with big-game hunters. Both hunters and farmers believe the wolves to be a threat, and have taken up old-fashioned and ineffective methods to protect livestock and big-game. The most commonly used hunting method has been snares, which have been effecting local wildlife as well. This year had the highest number of moose and grizzly bear deaths in years, due to traps set for wolves. Wolves should not be hunted, especially in such an irresponsible way, and the bounty system must be stopped. Demand that Canada’s Ministry of Environment bans this practice.
Dear Minister Kent,
The practice of offering bounties for wolf pelts in the province of Alberta is harmful for both wolves and the local animals that hunters are trying to protect. Many of the bounty hunters use snare traps, which kill an irresponsible number of grizzly bears, elk, and moose, as well as wolves. This is an outdated practice, and if the wolf population needs to be controlled, it would be in the province’s best interest to investigate a more modern method. This would mean working with environmental scientists and other specialists, who could surely offer a number of alternatives, including birth control and other chemical means.
Offering a bounty leads to a hunting frenzy, and encourages over-hunting. While there may be those who hunt wolves for recreation, there is no excuse for rewarding them with large sums of money as well. Wolves were very recently an endangered species, and it would not take much to decrease their population once more. The bounty system is only encouraging over-hunting and needs to be eliminated. Ending the bounties would both improve the safety of wolves and protect all other local animals. It is time to stop outdated hunting methods, and instead find modern ways to control population and protect livestock.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mash187 via Flickr