Letter: People are more valuable than wolves

Dear Editor:
I need to tell you a tale: A few years back the Forest Service allowed wolves on the White River Forest, near Craig, as evidently a test. Having traveled to our cabin, on Lynx Creek, to visit family, my brother told me about the wolves and said they wouldn’t hurt anyone. I said, “Not until they get hungry!” My sister-in-law said, “Sandy, these wolves were raised by people, they won’t hurt anyone!” I said, “Not until they get hungry!” and wondered why she couldn’t see that their pups would grow up and be wild wolves! We argued about that, as he and his wife didn’t think they would hurt anything. I asked where all the kids and grandkids were and he said they were up on the trail. I asked who was with them and he answered that his grandson was watching them. That made me feel better, as Kevin had good sense. Not more than 15 minutes later, Kevin’s son came and sit by me on the porch. I said I thought they would be longer and he said with a disgusted voice his dad made them huddle together and come back. I asked why and he said they had seen wolves. I asked what the wolves were doing; he said they were just moving on each side of them. That really scared me and I said, “Haven’t you ever seen how wolves hunt?” and then asked him who was in the back. He told me his smallest, little girl, cousin was picking flowers. Needless to say, I said, “Good heaven’s boy, that was the wolves target!” He said his dad had a gun just as his dad came up on the porch; so I asked his dad what kind of gun. Kevin said he had a .22, so I asked the boy if he really thought his dad could take out three or four wolves with a small pistol! Had Kevin tried to protect the children by shooting a wolf, he would not have killed one and would have only made them mad. Does anyone in their right mind think those wolves were not dangerous? Or that those children weren’t in danger? Doesn’t the Sierra Club care about people who are hiking on the forest?
I should add that we warned the cowboys who were putting cattle on the forest to graze. And I realize the Sierra Club doesn’t care about our jobs and ranches out here, but maybe it would help if they knew that the Governor of Montana told President Obama that he didn’t care if they cut off the money to the state, he was going to tell his ranchers that they could kill any wolf who attacked their cows. Note: The wolves were going into the corrals and tearing off the cows udders because they liked the meat and milk, for you people who know nothing about cattle, that is a very cruel way for a cow to die! Too bad the Sierra Club thinks more of wolves than they do of cattle and the people who raise them.
Thank you,
Sandra Shimko


  1. “Evidence from a few recent cases of humans being bitten during wild wolf encounters indicates these animals may have been fed by people, thereby losing their natural fear of humans and associating humans with food. In other cases, people may have been injured while trying to break up a fight between their dog and a wolf. In North America, where there are about 60,000 wolves, there has been only two fatalities apparently caused by wolves. It is believed that these fatalities were the result of habituated or sick wolves. Injuries from wolves have also been extremely rare in North America. By comparison, domestic dogs in the United States are responsible for 4.7 million bites, resulting in 500,000-800,000 hospital visits and 20 – 30 fatalities per year.
    in this country 1,500 to 1,800 people drown, and 800 to 875 die in boating accidents.
    Records at the International Hunter Education Association show that during one six-year period 265 people died in hunting accidents.
    The National Canine Research Council reported 41 confirmed or potential fatal dog attacks in 2014 and 32 verified fatalities in 2013.

  2. I wanted to mention I appreciate Allen’s comment, as it shows the absurdity of fearing for your life when it comes to wolves. In addition, I wanted to clarify some things…
    Sandra, the Forest Service does not “allow” wolves, that situation is controlled typically by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition, the safety of people and of livestock is always taken into consideration, no matter how unfortunate it may be on either side. This is done to avoid backlash from the public but also taking the well being of the species into account. You complain about having wolves in our area however, they are responsible for maintaining the elk and deer populations which is much needed. If you don’t like the wolves…go to the city.

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