This affects the ecology of our planet, it affects the ecosystem of the habitat in Alaska as well as the deterring of rodents in Alaska, otherwise it could become a problem. Wolves have been a part of American history since the Native Americans have lived here and have been featured in movies because it is an iconic and sacred animal.
To Stop The Aerial Hunting of Wolves in Alaska
Aerial hunting occurs when hunters use airplanes to track an animal in the snow,
chase them to exhaustion and shoot them from the air, or land the aircraft and shoot them from the ground, a
practice known as “land and shoot.” The use of aircraft to shoot or harass animals from the air was made illegal
in 1971 when Congress passed the AHA.
The circumstances surrounding Alaska’s
program make it clear that the state’s program is hunting and not legitimate wildlife management. A legitimate
wildlife management program would be based on sound science. Alaska’s programs lack even the most basic
scientific information such as regional population censuses for the moose, caribou, wolf and bear populations.
Instead, wolf populations are largely based on reports from hunters. In addition, the state chooses to use private
hunters and private pilots to do the shooting rather than using Alaska Department of Fish and Game personnel
who have the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to conduct the program humanely and efficiently. Some of the
participants are the very same people who engaged in aerial hunting privately before the AHA banned the
practice. And, the hunters are allowed to keep the pelts as trophies or sell them for profit instead of turning them
over to wildlife officials. The hunters fly their own planes, pay for their own fuel and hunt when they choose to.
Each winter, since 2003, the
state issues hundreds of permits to aerial gunning teams made up of a hunter and a pilot. They are currently
authorized to kill wolves in 5 areas of the state totaling more than 63,000 square miles – larger than the state of
Wisconsin. Since 2003, more than 1,000 wolves have been killed by aerial hunters. During the winter of 2003-
2004, 147 wolves were killed. During the 2004-2005 season, 275 wolves were killed. During 2005-2006, 152
wolves were killed. During 2006-2007, 97 wolves were killed. During 2007-2008, 124 wolves were killed. This
season, more than 200 wolves have been killed. Through aerial hunting, as well as ground-based trapping and
hunting, the state aims to remove more than 600 wolves this winter in the five control areas, and aims to reduce
wolf populations by up to 80 percent in some areas. While we do not have specific data on the number of bears
that have been killed, same-day airborne hunting of black and brown bears has been approved by the Alaska
Board of Game allowing hunters to fly in and shoot bears at bait stations in certain areas of the state totaling more
than 12,000 square miles.
Many hunters in Alaska oppose the
practice because it violates the standards of fair chase and they believe the state’s programs are scientifically
indefensible. A number of former members of the Alaska Board of Game also oppose the practice for the same
reasons and have voiced their support for the Protect America’s Wildlife Act. Scientific societies, including the
American Society of Mammalogists, and hundreds of independent scientists, including those who work or have
worked in Alaska, oppose the practice. Alaskans themselves have voted two out of three times to restrict the
Over the past five years, Alaska’s aerial hunting program has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 wolves. During these hunts, wolves are shot from the air or chased by airplanes to the point of exhaustion before the pilot lands the plane and a gunner shoots the animals point blank.
Despite strong scientific, ethical and public opposition to aerial hunting, Governor Sean Parnell continues to support this brutal practice.
Let us petition the Governor Sean Parnell and Geoffrey Haskett who are in support of this barbaric practice to put an end to it.