If Wolf Population Goes Unchecked,
Decline in Moose Goes Unchecked

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / December 22, 2003

I would like to answer the letters, written by Roger Davis, "Wolves are not the enemy, but Texas-style ranch hunting is" (Dec. 15) and Scott Morgan "Sparing the lives of 40 wild animals would save big bucks, reputation" (Dec. 15).

The indigenous peoples of the Interior had ways of dealing with wolves in the past. Every five or six years, as the wolf population got too large, hunters would go out in the spring and den the wolf pups. This kept the population in check and allowed for a balance between the wolves and the prey population. We can no longer den wolf pups, so some other measures must be taken.

One very efficient method is aerial hunting. As for the tourism industry, it is of very little help in rural areas. They have their own gift shops, have their clients eat in their restaurants, bring their own higher paid positions with them, a large number only operate during the summer months and close in the fall. Most local positions offered are low pay and hard work. A large amount of the money ends up outside the state. If it wasn't for the large contributions, high income and chance to travel, how many individuals would actually be involved in these activities to "save the wolves?" I have lived and hunted in Alaska for over forty years and have seen the damage caused by an overpopulation of wolves. They do kill healthy adult animals.

-- William Miller / Dot Lake


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