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Alaska Kills 276 Wolves During Second Season of Wolf-Shooting

June 07, 2005 | Wolves

On April 30, 2005, the state of Alaska concluded its second aerial wolf-shooting program, killing 276 wolves between November 2004 and April, 2005. Since the program began in November, 2003, hunters have killed a total of 420 wolves.

Friends of Animals and our organizers across the country and around the world have held 231 Howl-In protest during the two seasons of wolf control. People have joined Friends of Animals and our organizers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Spain, and South Africa to protest Alaska's disgraceful conduct.

Participants and supporters have signed postcards pledging to boycott Alaska's $2 billion-a-year tourism industry until the state calls off the aerial wolf-shooting scheme. To date, Friends of Animals has distributed more than 470,000 of these postcards.

To spread the word, Friends of Animals advertisements have appeared in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Mother Jones Magazine, The Nation, USA Today, the New Jersey Star Ledger, and other publications. We also have a compelling, 60-second TV spot that can be viewed on our website.

Persistence will be the key to ending aerial predator control programs. We continue to challenge the legality of Alaska's wolf-killing program in the Superior Court in Anchorage. Please write Gov. Murkowski and tell him you'll boycott travel to Alaska until his wolf control campaign ends.

Gov. Frank Murkowski
P.O. Box 11001
Juneau, AK 99811



Kindly support a tourism boycott of Alaska to put economic pressure on the people responsible for establishing the killing policy: the Murkowski administration. Your financial contributions to FoA strengthen our efforts to empower Alaska's wolves.


Friends of Animals is opposed to all forms of hunting, and would certainly never refer to the killing of a sentient being as "harvesting". If the conditions in areas of Alaska are so adverse that hunting is the only way to survive, then humans there can leave the area and live somewhere else. But, as pointed out, today's Alaska residents have a modern economy and way of life, far different than the original Alaska natives. It is not logical to conclude that because tourism is alleged to have increased during the current tourism boycott that the boycott has been ineffective. Perhaps the relatively small gain in tourism that has been claimed would have been much greater without the boycott. More importantly, just because an act may in the end be ineffective does not mean it is not the right thing to do. If you do not support the aerial-gunning of wolves or predator control, it is wrong then to support the Alaska government with your tourism dollars. Friends of Animals will continue to fight the wolf predator control programs in Alaska. FoA has been around a lot longer than the Murkowski administration, and will certainly be around long after they have left office.

Is it your belief that while we as humans have consumed meat since the dawn of creation we have been wrong in doing so? Or that a people should leave their native land and culture to appease those who disagree? I disagree with much that happens in our urban areas but would never suggest that those who live that lifestyle embrance mine. Because you choose not to call it a harvest makes no difference, that is what it is. My view on the boycott is, if you refer to my first posting, that perhaps a new strategy may be called for. By all means continue with what you believe is the right thing to do. But your tourism dollar not only supports the Alaska government but the Alaskan people, who have voted to end the aerial wolf hunts. You have made an excellent point about how to spend your tourism dollars. But is it logical to deprive yourself of the "Alaskan Experience" because you do not agree with a policy? To be honest with you most of us Alaskans would prefer less tourism. Again, please do what you believe is right, I commend you for that. But know too that I and those who are like-minded will continue with what we believe is right. I have no more right to stop you then you have to stop me. I realize I am a guest on this site and appreciate that you allow me to disagree. Please know that it is with no disrespect. I have no intention of changing your views but wish merely to exchange ideas and offer another perspective. [ Blog editors' note: Increasingly, anthropologists are conceding that early humans, like great apes generally, were largely gatherers. Our bodies were designed to live near the equator. And we're agreed that we all do have a right to our opinions. But where lives of conscious beings are concerned, there is a third party, albeit absent from this blog. Best wishes.]

Stripped of rhethoric, the idea that JA from AK is trying to exchange is that it is acceptable to kill sentient beings to maintain a particular lifestyle or culture. Friends of Animals wholeheartedly rejects this idea.

Well I just stumbled onto this site and as I was reading, felt the need to reply a post, wether or not you agree with me is your right, and I hope I do not offend anyone, If i do, i'll say sorry nopw but this needs to be said. First off let me start with comment from On June 17, 2005, J Bowne wrote: Perhaps you should travel to Oregon and let us hunt you. It is so simple to use guns to kill defenseless animals?just as we kill defenseless people in Iraq and Afghanistan. When will we learn to be part of the web of life instead of its detroyer!!! First off, I can see that you have a love for animals, and people, thats great, but let me say this, have you ever been to Iraq?, have you ever been to afghanistan? just from viewing your post, I can see not, first let me say that I am a soldier, yes you know, that guy you see on the news every once in a while who leaves their family for years on end so people like you have the right to bash the very same person who made it possible for you to live the high quality of life you shrug off and forget about. second, have you ever been shot at? even more so, have you ever been shot at by a eight year old kid who was just "testing out his new ak-47 he got for christmas" on you because it looked fun. third, I think you might know the number of people we have killed or injured, but do you know how many we have lost or have had come home injured? the very same person that made it possible for you to read this might have come home with no legs and blind but instead of saying thank you, you channel your anger back at him, yeah thats right, when you make those comments you made, its a big slap in the face to us soldiers, to your country, and a BAD example to your children and others around you. Okay now that I have that off my chest, lets get into the next portion of my "peace". Guess what I like the wolf, I like what they stand for, and I hate to see any animal suffer, but on the flip side to that not all hunting is bad, yes flying in the air shooting down wolves into a big massive waste-pile is not what I would call "good sport" and I would never do it, but obviously they have a problem up there, and need a solution.. In conclusion, it would be more effective, if you would better spend you time on trying to get a better solution then slaughter, like moving them to a better location where they can have the same, if not better, quality of life. so that everyone is happy. just my two cents [ Blog editors' note: Actually, we don't agree; you do offend; if anyone gave an AK 47 to a child as a Christmas present, it was probably a Christian, and not a very consistent one; and of course the wolves should not have to move out of their home.]

The comment of wolves being everywhere must be an exaggeration. Actually they are hard to find. The numbers quoted by the Fish and Game Dept. are nothing but a guess and seems to grow each year. There are many areas in Alaska that are completely barren of wolves as they tend to concentrate around around a food source where they compete with humans for this resource. In many of these areas the Dept. has virtually eliminated the wolf and as one would expect a population boom of moose or caribou occurs. Then the Dept. says the numbers exceed the capability of the land to support these high numbers and there will be many lost to starvation. This is a typical example of our interference in the functions of nature. To avoid the loss of these animals the hunting seasons are expanded and a big slaughter occurs. The Dept. is pleased with their success in providing animals for human use. I don't agree with any of this. Our efforts should be toward the maintenance of a natural ecosystem. Nature always produced a surplus and as long as we, the predator, keep our killing within this limit the herds will remain healthy. The wolf is an importand part of the ecosystem and should not be killed as it is a usless effort and merely results in a higher birth rate. The prey animals belong to them not us. When the requirements of humans, like in the McGrath area, exceeds the capability of the land to produce, we must find another source of food. In the old days, the natives solved this problem by moving to a different area. As the population of Alaska grows these problems will become more acute. I hope we will not follow the example set in the Lower 48, as it should be apparent to everyone that is not the right way to go. We are on the wrong track now, but our politicians and the Dept. seem to be as blind as bats, so I don't look for much change. Tom Classen Fairbanks, Alaska

As a fellow Alaskan, I agree with many of JA's sentiments. I think part of this is an inherent Provencialism that is part of the Alaska archetype; reduced to a single phrase, we don't give a damn how they do it Outside. Alaska has been treated as a colony for much of its history. We are a somewhat reluctant member of the Union. The fact that you are an Outside group offering opinions on "our" wolves is offensive to many Alaskans. Most wolves are pretty ghosty, you hear them and see tracks but it is pretty rare to see them, even if you spend a lot of time in the woods. However, they are there and in numbers almost anywhere outside of the metropolitan areas. Enough of the history - this Blog is about wolves isn't it? Most of Alaska's economy is not "modern" by any definition. Subsistence hunting is a major source of protein. There is no way around this - it is just too expensive to ship meat to anywhere outside of the major transportation hubs. It is offensive to suggest that rural Alaskans move to cities to suit your political sensibilities. This is like suggesting that poor people emigrate back to the countries their ancestors originated from since they can't make it here. In the Alaska context, it is also racist; for thousands of years, aboriginal peoples lived and hunted in Alaska. What right do you have to tell them to move so you can make their hunting grounds a preserve? Having said all this, you might think i'm a big proponent of wolf control - but i'm really not. My personal feeling is that the moose population problem is more likely rooted in years of fire supression that have limited moose browse around many villages. Fire control is a major source of cash to the rural economy so there is a complicated catch-22 at work. Caribou are less affected by this but their numbers are also subject to broad, little understood fluctuations. Bottom line is that this issue is a lot more complicated than anyone wants to admit. Balancing thousands of years of culture, the economics of subsistence hunting, the modern economics of living off the road system, and the PR pressures of Outside observers and bloggers is not something that will be resolved today or tomorrow. You have to ask yourselves are you looking for solutions or are you just trying to fund raise? Much of this blog is FOA preaching to the chior and the choir praising FOA. There is some well intentioned hand wringing and some frightening threats but really very few workable solutions. Alaskans don't need your "advice" and threats. Look for solutions that are outside the political rhetoric that has clearly not worked. Any true solution will cost. Offer to subsidize village fire crews so they dont stomp every fire before it can open up moose browse; sponsor flying meat into bush villages so it can be sold at the same price as in the cities - you can often purchase salmon from hatcheries that simply strip the roe; use your considerable economic power and intellectual energy to generate solutions, not conflict. j Friends of Animals comments: As already stated, it is not acceptable to kill sentient beings to maintain a particular lifestyle or culture. FoA is not singling out any culture, nor allowing any culture an exception to this moral standard. Alaskans then, native or not, need not feel so offended or put out by the the idea that it is time to end the killing of sentient beings to maintain a lifestyle or culture. Bob Orabona Friends of Animals


This is wrong and inhumane that the Alaskan government is doing this. They should put this Alaskan wolf shooting program down.

Update: The Superior Court of Alaska decided that the state's aerial shooting of wolves is illegal. Friends of Animals initiated this lawsuit on behalf of free-living wolves in November, 2003. The court found that the state's Board of Game flouted state regulations when it adopted the wolf control plans to boost caribou and moose populations for human hunters. Click to read the AP news article. Alexis Allen Friends of Animals

Hello, This is my first time ever on this site and I love wolves. I've heard that wolf hunting is legal and I can't believe it! I mean wolves are endangered and are barely different from loved domestic dogs. I don't live where wolves live but I just want to say SAVE WOLVES!


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