Wolf hunting is a practice of hunting the gray wolves or other wolf species. Usually, wolves are hunted for sport, skins, and to protect livestock and humans. Wolf hunting has been going on for thousands of years - since they first posed a threat to livestock, which was vital for the survival of some communities.
Methods of Wolf Hunting
Aerial shooting is a popular method of wolf hunting which involves tracking down wolves using a small airplane or helicopter. This is considered to be a very effective way of wolf control and is frequently used in the Soviet Union during the campaigns to control the wolf population.
Rocket guns are fired into the dense bush to scare the wolves out into open. Once a wolf is spotted, the actual shooting is done from tear rear cockpit when at distance between 18 and 20 meters.
Blind and Calling Methods
Using hot box blinds is very famous method of hunting wolves in modern Alberta, Canada. Some bait stations are set up in advance and blinds are then erected in the more frequented spots. This method was developed after hunters found it very difficult to find wolves on foot. Shots can be fired when a wolf is 180 meters from the blind.
The calling method is a traditional method in which hunters go to a pack location in the early morning and then imitate a wolf’s howl. In most cases, hunters howl together with the wolves and then wait for animals to come towards them.
Hunting with dogs and eagles is a popular way to find and kill wolves. There are some dog breeds, such as wolfhounds, that are bred for the purposes of hunting wolves. In Asia, Kyrgyz people use Golden eagles, called berkut, to hunt wolves.
Luring was another popular wolf hunting method during the 19th century in Scandinavia and Russia. With this method, hunters used pigs to attract wolves. These pigs were kept in canvas bags and made to squeal to draw the attention of the wolves and make them come closer to the hunters.
Finally, poisoning was a very successful method of hunting wolves. This was particularly practiced in Western America and Japan. Hunters used strychnine compound mixed with lard and then spread on the bits of meat. Once the wolves at the meat, they soon died.
Wolf Hunting Today
In 2001, Norway authorized a controversial wolf cull, which is a means of removing breeding animals in order to control a population. This was done because the wolves were overpopulating and had caused the deaths of 600 sheep in 2000.The European Union permitted Estonia to continue hunting wolves as long as the wolf population remained stable. In Asia, hunting wolves in Kazakhstan has reduced in profit. Around 2,000 wolves are killed every year for just a $40 bounty. In 2006, China started plans for auctioning licenses for foreigners to hunt certain wild animals, including the wolves.
Cost of Wolf Hunting
According to historical accounts, hunting wolves was a major capital intensive operation. The activity required miles of netting, carts, and drying sheds for storage. Originally, hunting wolves was endorsed in many different countries but today, this has become a very controversial issue in many parts of the world.