One wolf, a pup, has already been shot from a helicopter by a hunter hired by the State of Washington using your tax dollars. Yesterday, Monday, Fish & Wildlife hunters were out again, targeting more wolves from what is known as the Huckleberry Pack. The state could have used rubber bullets or paintball rounds to harass the wolves, but instead resorted immediately to airborne snipers.
Why? Wolves from that pack have allegedly killed about 20 sheep and injured three more. Wolves were driven to extinction in Washington in the early 1900s by a government-sponsored eradication program on behalf of the livestock industry. Their population has grown to about 50 wolves again today, but an entire pack was exterminated in 2012 to stop cattle depredation. A lot of ranchers and hunters object to the presence of wolves, saying they prey on livestock (which the ranchers want to sell to other people to kill) and deer (which the hunters want to kill themselves for fun). The next time some hunter uses the the excuse that they need to keep the deer population down, remember that they suddenly object when wolves start doing that naturally for them.
Fish & Wildlife say that non-lethal methods have been used, but we know they have refused multiple offers of help for non-lethal coexistence, including from WSU. F&W also points out that the livestock owner has not done anything to attract the wolves — apart, of course, from choosing to pasture 1800 sheep in wolf country, just three miles from the known location of the wolves’ den.
The sheep were already meant to have been moved, but were not.
PLEASE call AND email Governor Inslee and tell him to immediately ground the helicopters, get Department of Wildlife staff on the ground to get the sheep out of this area, and to NEVER let this happen again.