WARNING – THIS BLOG CONTAINS DISTRESSING INFO AND PHOTOGRAPHS
The observant followers and those that talk to me often will know I LOVE wolves. I have most of my life. But why?
The true answer to that question is I don’t actually know.
When I was a very young lad of 5-6 I suffered badly with night terrors that no doctor, medicine or therapy could cure. My parents tried anything and everything to stop my sleep walking and night terrors but to cut a long story short the ONLY thing that worked was when I was taken to see a hypnotherapist called David who used various relaxation music during his sessions with me. The sessions were OK but I would wake up during the sessions and the the night terrors continued.
I turned up one day and he told ME to pick the music for the session. At this point I was around 7 years old, was big into wildlife and loved chimps. I looked to see if there was anything chimp or jungle related but stopped on a cassette called simply WOLF SONG.
I picked this cassette, hopped onto the couch and the hypnosis began as it always did with David counting to ten over the music and me never hearing past 6. The cassette I had chosen was basically pan pipe music with wolves howling over the top.
The next thing I know an hour had passed and I awoke to the words “6, 5, 4, YOU’RE EYES ARE NOW LIGHT AND BEGINNING TO OPEN, 3, 2, 1″…It was the end of the session and I had not woken during the therapy for the first time ever. Also, (I know this now but did not at the time) when under hypnosis on past sessions David would tell me to go to my “safe place” and I always used to vaguely describe a house in a field with a women….This time however I had apparently described a field of yellow with hills and mountains and trees, birds flying and a cabin in the middle. Smoke was coming from the chimney and there was a little old lady offering me biscuits and milk. David was amazed at the detail I had gone into and the fact I had remained relaxed and peaceful throughout.
I have no idea where this place is or who the old lady may be or what it means. I have had people suggest it was just a recurring dream. I have had it suggested that it was a past life or glance to the future. I have also been told it was something inside awakening. A sense of feeling safe and at peace in those peaceful tranquil surroundings. I don’t know what it was but what I do know is that David give me a copy of that cassette and I would listen to it every bedtime and the night terrors stopped instantly. No lies or exaggeration here, that cassette of wolf song did what no doctor or medicine could. I was fixed. 🙂
Something else happened at or around this time. My love for wolves started. There is something about wolves that just…does something. When I see them on TV I am glued. When I recently had the pleasure of seeing them up close at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust I had goosebumps and actually felt emotional (it had been a lifelong dream). When I hear them howl either on TV, recording or at the UKWCT, it sounds mad but I feel alive! Native Americans once said about wolves “To hear them howl forever imprints your soul”. If you don’t believe in that kind of thing or can’t entertain the thought in your mind I guess it sounds like madness but all I know is that I bloody adore wolves.
Recently, I had the absolute HONOUR of speaking briefly to a Cheyenne indian from Oklahoma. We talked briefly about Native American “star signs”. Many Native American cultures believe a person takes on an animal spirit upon birth it turns out I am a woodpecker! I also told him about that day with the wolf cassette. His theory was that hearing the howls of the wolves for the first time whilst in a state of meditation “awoke the animal inside” and correctly guessed that I have a love of nature and being outdoors somewhere secluded is when I feel most relaxed. True? Who knows. Make your own mind up but it seems pretty spot on to me.
So I think you get the point there. For one reason or another I have this affinity and passion for wolves.
That is why it makes me SO angry when I see what is happening to them in the wild around the world but mostly in the USA. The US government seem happy and content to allow anybody with a passion for killing stuff indiscriminately hunt and kill wolves often using barbaric methods such as traps that leave the animals stuck for up to 72hrs in pain and suffering.
The government and some disillusioned americans believe the “Big Bad Wolf” is killing off all their livestock and if left untouched will venture into towns huffing and puffing and blowing the little pigs’ houses down and eat their children. What a load of crap!
Let’s look at Idaho for example, the state that is probably the worst place on earth for the wolf. The place where last year from a wolf population of less than 1000, the state ALLOWED over 400 to be killed! One poor wolf was stuck in a leg trap for days whilst disgusting sadistic “hunters” took pot shots at it illegally. Expert evidence showed that the poor animal had been tortured over a three day period!
It wont surprise you to hear that Idaho has no criminal punishment for severe animal cruelty and that it’s officials have openly spoke about “waging a war” on wolves.
Those who try and act or speak out against it have disgustingly received death threats and smear campaigns.
Wolves in the wild are very timid creatures. Anybody who has tried to study them in the wild will tell you that. If you have ever watched a documentary on wolves or bothered to research them you will know that the only time they would be desperate enough to venture into human territory and take livestock is when there is no prey available and they are STARVING. Wolves can last days or weeks without food but there will come a point where they are desperate.
In Idaho along with a population of around 3000 cougars and 20,000 black bears they also have a ridiculous 259,000 hunters! The population is around 1.4million and the state covers an area of 83.5k square miles….
With that in mind, is there any bloody wonder why the number of elk and other prey is dramatically low causing wolves to venture onto farms!? You have over a quarter of a million people with a sick desire to shoot and kill stuff for fun. They have hunted the elk & other ungulates to hell causing wolves to get so hungry they NEED to take livestock to survive. But even then, wolves kill LESS livestock than disease, weather, poisonous weeds and plants, poachers AND less than other native predators like the cougar and black bear, yet for some sad reason the blood thirsty community of hunters seem hellbent on blaming the wolf and extinguishing the animal from their lands.
Why do 259,000 people need hunting licenses? Why do these people not see that it is THEIR own actions in killing prey animals that drives the wolf to venture into towns? What would THEY do if there was a long term national food shortage? Why does the state protect the bear and cougar population but insist that there can only be a population of around 200 wolves authorising the killing of several hundred more over the next year or so?
These are questions we may never know because when they are asked at meetings by those wishing to protect the animal they are ignored and called crazy or as I have already said, receive threats of violence.
Why can the state not introduce law to say wolves can not be hunted but should they venture into human territory or begin worrying livestock THEN action can be taken AT THAT TIME? I don’t want to see a single wolf killed but surely THIS is better than torturing and slaughtering them in excess?
Here in the UK if a domestic dog ventures onto farmland and worries sheep or other livestock the farmer is legally entitled to shoot the dog. What he can NOT do is round up a bunch of his buddies and go killing and trapping every dog they see!
There are sooo many other options if these people will see past their blinding ignorance and research other methods and just TRY. I have seen experimental work by wolfman Shaun Ellis where he sets up the recording of a “rival pack” howling around a farm in Eastern Europe and it deterred wild wolves attacking the farmers livestock without the need for blood shed! Why not try this?
I believe it is because they don’t WANT to listen and don’t WANT to try. They enjoy hunting. If bears & cougars weren’t protected they too would be in danger. It’s a blood lust. It’s a culture. It is a way of life for these people and they are legally entitled to do it. Whilst I would not like to criticise ANY culture or way of life I do believe that hunting for sport is barbaric and wrong. Hunting to control populations and the environment I get. Hunting for survival and food, I get. These forms of hunting are controlled and arguably essential.
But when you live in a town or city with readily available food negating the need to hunt, or when you hunt for furs when clothing is readily available or when you hunt just because you enjoy killing animals and ignorantly and naively believe an animal needs eradicating THAT is wrong. Nothing is going to make me think otherwise.
They ONLY way to stop wolves being killed is for the government to protect the wolf like it does other large predators making it illegal to hunt them. This looks unlikely as bans on wolf hunting are being lifted all across the USA. More needs to be done to educate people and come up with alternative methods of wolf control.
PLEASE, If you see an online petition on Twitter or Facebook to help wolves PLEASE sign it!
I am sorry for this heavy, rambling first blog but it is something I have been reading up on this evening and I was angry. I will try and make my future blogs better….If I haven’t been hunted and killed for speaking out! lol
Seriously though, please bare with me. My blogs won’t always be like this… Unless of course you enjoyed it in which case thank you and stick around 🙂