Misfire

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Sometimes it’s valuable to see an alternate view, to listen to an alternate voice. In fact, I think we were all taught that it’s tough to have a well-rounded and rational opinion unless you do. Unfortunately, Joe Morgan’s letter in the Dec. 5 issue hit a terribly flat note and belly-flopped a far cry from harmonizing with mine.

“Pack Pride,” a column published in the Indy on Nov. 14, by Marybeth Holleman, discusses the significance of indiscriminate wolf hunting. The conclusion is that it makes matters worse from a management standpoint, and published data verifies it. FWP is handing wolf permits out to hunters who are unable to discriminate between an alpha and other family members. We could have predicted that, and there’s really no way to prevent it outside of banning wolf hunting entirely. But now we see that FWP is also handing permits out to people who are unable to discriminate between dogs and wolves (see “etc.. Sure, malamutes look like wolves, but a full-grown malamute is about ¾ the size of a full-grown wolf (not to mention wolves typically don’t have flashing collars). White-tail and mule deer share a number of common features as well, but aren’t there repercussions for confusing them?

I don’t doubt that both the hunter and victim feel terrible. I’m sorry for both of them. I’m also sorry for the other folks whose dogs or legs will, in time, get caught in traps or shot. The FWP disregarded foresight that all but guaranteed these sorts of things would happen in favor of appeasing the ag industry and taking permit money to the bank. Who’s surprised? What disappoints me most is that there are people who have a mind to victim-shame a guy who lost one of his best pals to six high-caliber rounds only because he wanted to take him for a ski.

Malcolm Gilbert

Missoula

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