To the Journal editor:
1. The (wolf hunt) success rate was very low, only 22 out of 43 = 50 percent. Maybe 22 out of 1,200 = 1.8 percent is more realistic.
2. Given the favorable conditions – 1,200 licensed hunters, a six-week season, hundreds of hunters in the woods, bait and scent allowed, sniper rifles and scopes for long-distance shots, excellent snow for finding and tracking, too many wolves present – we need a reasonable explanation.
3. If a deer or rabbit hunt yielded this success rate, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and hunters would cry out that the herd isn’t what it use to be. We’d have to cut back on quotas, maybe 50 percent. Then, set up logging and feeding programs. One man/one big buck/in one year. Compensate by raising the license fee.
4. We should therefore apply those same principles to wolf hunting. Obviously the population is not what they say it is. It’s off by a factor of 2:1. Then the statewide population is probably not 650, as claimed by the DNR, but closer to 325. The population is self-limited, based on territory and supply of natural prey. We don’t need a hunt. If anything, we need a transplant!
That being the case, we should, based on sound science, apologize and give full protection to the wolves again. Help them get the population back to where it should be.
Let it be noted that not one of the deceased was proven guilty. For reasons unknown but transparent the DNR chose not to sample stomach contents, which would have been the best way to prove guilt.
Let it also be noted that in Michigan, coyotes are not found guilty of predation by the DNR. That’s odd, but check the records. It must be by decree that only wolves qualify.
To close on a humorous note, let us say that Mr. Bump’s analysis of guilt vs. distance from a transgression should be likened to the lady critic’s analogy: That the feds should send the (Michigan) National Guard to Lansing, downtown, to (arrest) the first 43 people in suits and ties they encounter, to reduce the crime rate. But the odds are that in that case they really would nail several criminals.
OK. To run the show on real science, let’s relieve the present political recumbents of their positions and replace them with real scientists, without delay.