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  • Writer's pictureDavid Stalling

Respect our Native Predators!

by Dave Stalling

Testimony given to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in Riverton, Wyoming, Wednesday, April 17, 2024:

Director, President, Commissioners, my name is Dave Stalling. I am an avid hunter and angler, former Marine, a former conservation editor of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Bugle Magazine and a past president of the Montana Wildlife Federation. I recently started a new group called Hunters and Anglers for Wildlife Management Reform. I also serve on the Advisory Committee for Wildlife For All, working to reform wildlife management so that all citizens have a say and all wildlife is protected.

I don't know any fellow hunters who would condone the horrific actions of Cody Roberts in torturing and tormenting a wolf. We're all appalled and disgusted. But we hunters are not blameless.

There is a culture of irrational fear and hatred for wolves within the hunting community. It's common to hear phrases such as "shoot, shovel and shut up," "save 100 elk, kill a wolf," "smoke a pack a day." A former director of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation said "wolves are the worst ecological disaster since the decimation of bison and are annihilating our elk herds . . we need to shoot them from the air and gas them in their dens and when we're done, go after the grizzlies next." A hunting show host named Randy Newberg says hunters "have a responsibility to kill wolves." Hunters, hunting organization and the hunting industry are continually spreading lies and misconceptions about wolves and urging hunters to kill wolves.

The hunting community hates wolves. And hunters have a lot of influence and control over state wildlife management. As a result, wolves are not managed by science, by what we know about their ecology and behavior, they are managed by politics driven by irrational fear, myths, lies, misconceptions and hate.

This violates at least three tenets of the much-touted North American Model of Widllife Management -- that wildlife is a public trust and all citizens should have a say; that wildlife be managed by science, and that there be legitimate purpose for killing wildlife. Wolf management does not adhere to any of that.

This has to change. We need to start treating wolves with the respect, honor and dignity they deserve!

Thank you for hearing me out.

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1 comentario

David Neils
David Neils
19 abr

Thanks Dave. You wasted no words in your delivery. As a fellow lifetime hunter and fisherman, I've heard the anti-predator rhetoric from hunters, outfitters, ranchers and organizations such as RMEF as well as state wildlife agency staff. This position is not based on science or research but rather an uneducated cultural bias against predators. Wildlife deserve better. Wildlife enthusiasts deserve better. Thanks again.

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