Gray Wolf Seasons are Coming Back Across the Lower 48
Adam Scepaniak 03.15.19
US Wildlife officials are expected to remove the protections placed over the gray wolf across the Lower 48 states. No formal announcement has currently been made, but there are stronger rumors that a press release or public statement is soon to come. This effectively will open the door for states to decide if a hunting season will once again take place on them. Many states will capitalize on this opportunity because of the amount of complaints, conflicts, and issues faced by ranchers, farmers and hunters due to the gray wolf.
We at AllOutdoor reported twice last year on how US Wildlife officials were making a serious assessment of removing protections on gray wolves. It was back in June 2018 that the US Fish and Wildlife Service openly stated that they were examining the idea of lifting protections from wolves. While this news was happily greeted by ranchers and farmers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service received a lot of backlash from anti-hunters. Then, in Novermber 2018 the House voted in favor (196-180) to lift protections from gray wolves.
Fast forward to present day and the Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was expected to make a public announcement on this on Wednesday, but it simply did not happen. US Wildlife officials have more than determined that gray wolf populations are at stable and healthy levels throughout the Lower 48 states. In fact, the Associated Press has been quoted as stating this:
State officials and government biologists have said wolves continue to thrive despite pressure from hunting. The animals are prolific breeders and can adapt to a variety of habitats.
Many wildlife biologists believe gray wolves to be at healthy population levels, but contend that opening up a season on them would be premature at this point. The interesting part is when they are asked at what point would it be more safe to open up hunting seasons to the public? They do not have a figure or answer in mind.
With populations of gray wolves rebounding significantly across the United States, do you believe the US Fish and Wildlife Service is making the correct call? If so, would you hunt them if a season opened up in your state? Have you already? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.