A recent wolf shooting at a bear bait station has prompted the Fish and Game Commissioner to shut down wolf hunting in Alaska two weeks early.
Wolf hunting in Alaska has come to an end near Denali National Park and Reserve.
Sam Cotten, Alaska’s Fish and Game Commissioner, ended the season two weeks earlier than scheduled in an area northeast of the park.
A decade ago, the wolf population in Denali was over 100, but a recent study shows only 48 wolves to be living in the park, and with the declining population comes an early end to the season.
Four wolves have been taken legally by hunters or trappers in the park area thus far, and it has affected the decline in population.
For years, opponents of wolf hunting in Alaska’s Denali park have been seeking a permanent ban on hunting and trapping.
Since the recent news that wolves are being attracted to bear bait stations, and are often shot, Cotten closed the season early.
It’s an unintended consequence with the bear hunters. I haven’t confirmed it yet, but it’s possible that there were a couple of wolves taken in the early part of this month that we just found out about, and with these active bear hunters likely to take wolves as long as they’re legal, we just decided that that’s not going to work.
Since he’s become commissioner in December, Cotten has received hundreds of emails about the wolf deaths.
The NPS claims that three in Denali were killed earlier in May, one of which was killed by other wolves, but the other two – one male and the other a pregnant female – were killed by hunters near Healy.
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