UPDATE - Archery season for wolves in Montana***:
UPDATED 9/6/11 See additional information at end of article**.
This week in Montana, hunters are allowed to shoot wolf puppies. Yes, puppies.
And tthey can shoot them in the most agonizingly cruel way of all, using bow and arrow.
And it's all 'legal'.
Whether you agree with arguments that support hunting for sport or not, most so-called 'ethical' hunters would agree a clean, fast kill is the goal - no matter what species is in the cross-hairs, and only in a 'sportsmanlike way' that gives the hunted animal a fair chance of escape.
While we won't discuss the ethics of hunting per se, I do offer this video to consider - especially for those of strong Christian faith.
Whatever your personal take on hunting, what is 'sportsmanlike' in arrowing puppies?
Is it OK to kill babies using one of the slowest and most painful of hunting methods?
Dying from an archery wound can take - up to two WEEKS, according to Benke, and then only as a result of massive infection.
Does a puppy deserve to die this way? For that matter, does a deer, elk or any animal deserve to be sentenced to a long, agonizing death for the purposes of human 'sport'?
Since the controversial politically-motivated delisting of endangered grey wolves resulted in open-season on wolves in several US states, including bow-hunting season beginning Sept. 3 in Montana, wolves have intentionally - and legally - been shot and killed - Although the actual statistcs and the numbers reported keep changing.
Bowhunting season is considered legal and is permitted - although perhaps not for much longer now that this video has been released.
And yes, unfortunately, certain backwards states are legalizing - even encouraging - the hunting of newborn wolf puppies as 'Trophies'.
Even if you think it's OK to hunt and kill with a bow and arrow, and kill truly helpless baby animals -puppies- for sport, is it OK to torture them first?
For some reason the general public seems to feel that bow-hunting is somehow more noble, more challenging, fair or more humane than hunting with firearms.
In this video a veteranarian describes the actual, prolonged and agonizing death these bow-shot animals actually experience.
Warning - This is graphic video. It was taken over the shoulder of a hunter - documenting his legal kill using a bow and arrow.
How many feel this kind of death is justifiable in the pursuit of 'pleasure'? And what about for baby animals?
Should bow hunting remain legal?
For more information on open-season on wolves and the legal killing of puppies, click here.
** Mark Gamblin, spokesperson for Idaho Fish and Game, is already trying to justify bringing wolf-puppy season to his own state next spring:
"OK, I’ll try again. As I noted in my last post – in two (actually three – Lolo, Selway and Middlefork) wolf management zones, the 2011-2012 wolf hunting season extends until June 1 when new born pups will be technically legal to harvest/kill/take by wolf hunters. I think your point is: that is an example of how wolves are NOT managed like lions or bears. Without looking at all other hunting seasons I can’t say with certainty, but I can’t think of a routine hunting season that overlaps the birthing period of a wildlife species. With that said, if you or jon suggest that constitutes a violation of wildlife mangement or other priciples, please explain how. In those wolf management zones, the sesaon was extended to enhance the likelihood that the management prescription to reduce wolf numbers sufficiently to achieve elk population recovery objectives. That certainly is a high priority for the Lolo, Selway and Middlefork wolf management zones. Would a wolf hunter use a wolf tag on a new born pup, IF that hunter had the opportunity? What do you think? I’ll go first – Nope. Again, this is(drum roll)….. a red herring issue of very little consequence that gets some folks lathered up, but has little or no relevance to meaningful considerations for this wildlife management issue.
And finally, the old “what constitutes a meaningful trophy for the Idaho wolf hunter” discussion that you and I have engaged with since 2009.
You have a high level of certainty that you understand the desires, values and criteria for a “trophy” of thousands of Idaho hunters when it comes to ….. a wolf pelt. If you mean to say that hunters will not, cannot value the pelt of a 5 month or older wolf as a trophy or to use for other legitimate purposes – well I have to tell you that you are wrong. The legitimate value of a “trophy” to thousands of individual Idaho hunters cannot be described or catagorized by your personal values or preferences nor by mine of by any fixed set of criteria. It is enough that each hunter is given the choice to harvest/kill/take a wolf during the hunting season that runs from August 30 to March 1 in the majority of the state and until June 1 in the remaining 3 wolf management zones. The hunters who participate in this wolf hunting season will make their own decisions and if legal those decision will be entirely legitimate and ethical within the bounds established by the Idaho governmental electoral process. And yes, absolutely, one important objective of this hunting season is to significantly reduce the Idaho wolf population to achieve a broader balance of public wildlife and personal property benefits than can be achieved with the current Idaho wolf population. Hopefully, we will be able to report success after all of the data are collected and analyzed at the end of this hunting/trapping season. "