If you think Dick Cheney “hunting” birds that were tied down till moments before he arrived was bad, wait till you see what Sarah Palin encouraged in Alaska: hunting wolves in the winter from airplanes.
A warning: the following advertisement is not something you want to watch if you’re sensitive to animal cruelty. I’m not carrying it in my VodPod video gallery because I cannot make such a warning in that case.
Let me say that I can think of reasons people might want to justify such hunting methods. For example, over-population of wolves. We’ve had similar controversies in Rochester over the deer over-population problem at Durand Eastman Park, and deer don’t kill our livestock or our family dog.
However, there doesn’t seem to be any real indication that the wolf population of Alaska is really a problem. Rather, there is a history of over-management of the wolf population that extends well into the past, and the policy is really more vestigal than a genuinely modern wildlife program. Alaska meanwhile has the largest remaining population of grey wolves in the United States which it threatens to destroy with this backward program.
Personally, while I respect and often agree with animal rights advocates, I’m not shy about the need for hunting in some situations. Neither do I have an objection to hunting as a recreational sport. But where we’re from here in Upstate New York, there is a sense of basic fairness to the way we go about hunting. For all the technology we have to employ in the task of hunting, ultimately, the expectation is that it comes down to one man (or woman), one gun and one animal. You aren’t allowed to hunt before dawn; you aren’t allowed to shine lights at deer to stun them into immobility. You certainly are not allowed to circle them in a plane and keep taking shots till you hit them.