A combination of weather factors limited the number of wolves killed as part of Alaska’s aerial control program this winter. As of January 9, only 51 wolves had been killing according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
During last year’s aerial wolf hunt, hunters in Alaska killed 144 wolves.
Bruce Bartely, information officer for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game told the Fairbanks Daily News Miner,
It’s probably down from what we’d like to see but given the circumstances it’s probably the best we could hope for.
The state plans to mail out additional permits at the end of January for pilots and hunters in an effort to reduce by about 500 the number of wolves in five regions.
Aerial hunters foiled in pursuit of wolves. Tim Mowry, Fairbanks Daily Miner, January 8, 2005.
In March, the Alaska Board of Game voted unanimously to approve a plan to kill wolves and move black bears in 520-square mile area in interior Alaska, in order to boost the moose population in the area. The proposal requires the additional approval of the state Fish and Game Department and Alaska’s governor, Frank Murkowski.
The plan also calls for a temporary moratorium on moose hunting in the McGrath area.
Friends of Animals’ Priscilla Feral has threatened a consumer boycott of Alaska if it approves the wolf kill. She was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that she was “horrified but not surprised” by the board’s decision.
In testimony before the Alaska Board of Game on March 6, Feral told the board,
If the Board of Game convinces Gov. Murkowski to approve this proposal, and appease the predator control minority, as opposed to most Alaskans and wildlife-watching tourists who denounce shot-gunning wolves from helicopters, FoA will initiate demonstrations and protests all over the country ? and internationally –matching every dollar you devote to killing wolves in launching an offensive.
Murkowski is himself a hunter who has said before that he is unafraid of a consumer boycott of his state and will almost certainly approve the plan.
Game Board backs predator control near McGrath. Associated Press, March 12, 2003.
The Friends of Animals is threatening a tourism boycott of Alaska if the Alaska Game Board follows through on a proposal to thin the wolf pouplation in order to boost the moose population.
At issue is a 520 square mile area near McGrath, Alaska (about 200 miles northest of Anchorage). According to biologists with the Alaska Fish and Game Department, the 490 moose inthe area produce 344 calves annually. By the time black bears, wolves, grizzly bears and human hunters have killed adult moose, the herd remains static in size.
The state would like to remove some predators in order to allow the moose population to increase so that hunters can kill 130-150 of the animals each year instead of the 98 or so that they harvest currently.
Friends of Animals’ Priscilla Feral promises a tourism boycott of Alaska if the state goes ahead with the predator removal.
“For every dollar you spend to kill a wolf,” Feral told the Alaska Game Board, “we will match in launching an offensive.”
Feral said that her group would take out advertisements in major newspapers urging tourists to avoid Alaska.
Alaska wolves plan prompts boycott. Dan Joling, Associated Press, March 8, 2003.