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GUNS Magazine June 2010 - Page 58

VIEWS NEWS AND REVIEWS RIGHTS WATCH • DAVID CODREA • Cry Wolf he email I received as a forward seemed to border on hyperbole. “Hunter Unrest Brewing a Firestorm Against Wolves!” it exclaimed. Its sender was Toby Bridges, an author and muzzleloading hunting authority, and the moving force behind the “Lobo Watch” online information resource ( “Unless you happen to live in and/ or do a big portion of your hunting business in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan, you just may be far enough removed from these states that you fail to realize big game hunting is now in jeopardy— thanks to the seriously unmanaged, and growing number of wolves,” he claimed. “Unless strong measures are soon taken to reverse, not just slow down, the devastation wolves are now dealing our big game herds, there’s not much sense for sportsmen to continue funding wildlife conservation projects. or for that matter, to continue to purchase hunting gear.” Citing numbers—7,000 wolves in the above six states, “200,000 plus deer and elk [killed] annually” (possibly up to 500,000), and pointing to the preponderance of fawn and calf kills, Bridges foresees “wiping out future generations,” and predicts aging herds are “heading for a precipitous crash.” What’s more, he sees intent on the part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, charging they “have plans to throw wolves back into every big game rich area of this country! And they’re using the six states named here as their breeding grounds for the stock they’ll need for those transplants. “Kind of sounds like a science fiction novel gone bad, doesn’t it?” Bridges asks ominously and perhaps presciently. Those are pretty startling assertions. Included among the addressees in 58 T Bridges’ multiple emails thread were industry representatives, writers, and notably, decision makers from groups like Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, and the Board of Governors of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The tone was that leadership and focus were needed, and that token gestures were not enough. In fairness, a search of RMEF’s Web site brings up many articles addressing the wolf issue, including calls for culling and management, advocacy for “delisting” them (it’s been a back-and-forth, with delisting, a halt injunction and delisting again. ) but the real urgency and leadership in the matter is coming squarely from “Lobo Watch,” where we learn about “the biggest predator of all that’s threatening the sportsman’s way of life. It’s not the wolves, the bears, or the cougars and coyotes—it’s the anti-hunting environmentalist and preservationist organizations. Groups like the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, Earth Justice, PETA, and a dozen others who abhor hunting, and will never be happy until hunting has been made illegal.” So what’s this have to do with the Second Amendment, or with me? I’m not an elk hunter. Just as we expect sportsmen to man up for activism, and not throw things like “evil black rifles” under the bus, so too must we realize we’re in this together. If we allow ourselves to be divided, creatures more dangerous than wolves will be watching, and readying themselves to move in. Visit David Codrea’s online journal “The War on Guns” at or visit to read his Examiner column WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JUNE 2010

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