Montana Politics

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf? Rick Hill.

While all of the GOP gubernatorial candidates are somewhere between Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs afraid of wolf reintroduction in Montana, it seems that GOP front runner Rick Hill has taken the fear to a new level.

He’s so afraid of wolves in Montana that he wants to make it easier for out-of-state hunters to come into the state. As part of a plan which also involves expanding dangerous trapping  and talking sternly to wolves that kill livestock, he told the Missoulian that Montana should:

Reduce the cost of out-of-state hunting licenses to Montana can attract more “skilled hunters” to help reduce wolf numbers.

That’s the Republican line when it comes to protecting Montana’s heritage of outdoor recreation, whether it’s Denny Rehberg trying to diminish hunting and fishing opportunities in Montana’s wilderness or Mr. Hill hoping to make it easier for out-of-state hunting tourists to come into the state and hunt our lands.

Does anyone really believe he’ll stop at wolves?

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  • It requires a certain something for a candidate for governor to complain that Montana's hunters cannot shoot straight. Especially when hunters can vote and wolves cannot.

    • I'm sure your scientific polling is quite precise, but I can't imagine that Montana hunters are thrilled to learn they lack the skill to hunt.

      • While you might be right about the implied insult (and I think you are), Ingy is not far off the mark. Polling in Montana for years has indicated overwhelming support for wolf population limiting if not outright open hunting on wolves. I happen to live in an area that firmly believes and expresses that belief that the only good wolf is a dead wolf. If you honestly believe Ingy wrong, please show us some polling that refutes that. I think you may be wrong on this issue.

        Understand that I personally do NOT support wolf hunting. I am definitely an anomoly for both my area and my political spectrum but I have not forgotten or wish to forget the time I spent volunteering at Wolf Haven in Olympia Washington. I still believe that wolves are a necessary and beneficial element to a healthy wilderness environment.

        • My guess is that Montanans have complicated feelings about wolves. I doubt that many would endorse Mr.Hill's radical set of proposals, especially his calls for out of state hunters conducting year-round hunts and trapping of the animals.

          You're right, though, to suggest that many Montanans are hostile to wolves. This "solution," though, is anything but. It's just demagoguery.

    • Yeah, I saw that last night. It was horrifying. Planning to write something up about the trapping component of this plan.

      • Please do. Even some of the wolf haters get decidedly uncomfortable when you start talking about trapping or hunting wolves from the air.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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