While I am guiding in China, I am a lot out of the loop on Alaska bear and wolf news, so I often rely on the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, an wildlife advocacy group founded in 1978, to keep me up to date on things. They sent me another hearbreaking piece of news that was just released. A selfish (IIl refrain from any other descriptions) trapper and hunting guide named Coke Wallace from Healy, Alaska who owns Midnight Sun Safaris, killed a horse that he walked onto the border of Denali National Park, and set snares around the carcass to trap some of the world’s most loved, viewed and studied wolf packs. One of the wolves was the likely-pregnant alpha female, which will probably break up the pack. What a nice way to make a few hundred bucks. This is one of those times that I put my foot down. Enough is enough.
Please help by asking our State Government to 1) implement an emergency closure to halt hunting and trapping on state land bordering the northern edge of Denali National Park, and 2) re-establish the Denali Buffer Zone (abolished in 2010), which protects the park wildlife along its borders. 3) Reitierate that Alaska hunting guides should have respect for the wildlife and the country, and have common sense.
Please send a message or call (or better yet, both) to the following:
- Gov. Sean Parnell: firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 465-3500
- Dept of Fish & Game Commissioner Cora Campbell: email@example.com (907) 465-4100
Here is the complete report from the AWA
A single trapper recently used highly unethical and morally reprehensible – but perfectly legal – means to kill at least two wolves from the Grant Creek pack near Denali National Park.
Coke Wallace, a trapper who lives in Healy and owner of the professional guiding service Midnight Sun Safaris, apparently walked a horse to a spot just outside the northern boundary of the Park, killed it, and set snares around the carcass. His ploy was successful: wolves from inside the Park were attracted to the free meal and crossed over the boundary. Two were caught and killed, including the primary reproductive female (which likely was pregnant) from the often-viewed and long-studied Grant Creek pack.
Because one of the two wolves caught was the primary breeding female of the pack, the remaining wolves may disperse and this particular pack would cease to exist – an immeasurable loss to Park visitors and to researchers.
The wolves were trapped for a week before Wallace checked his snares and, if they were not already dead, killed them. Snares do not always kill, a fact evidenced by two wolves sighted around the Park entrance in 2008 with snares embedded in their necks, a disturbing sight viewed by many visitors.
Wallace’s snares were set within the former “Denali Buffer Zone” where from 2002 until 2010 trapping and hunting of wolves was prohibited to protect Park wolves that wandered onto adjacent state land. Despite overwhelming public opposition and a proposal to expand the buffer zone, in 2010 the Alaska Board of Game eliminated the protective buffer altogether. Thus, Wallace and any other trapper so inclined could lure the wolves into snares set close to the Park boundary. Killing habituated animals such as the wolves in the Grant Creek pack is unethical, and deprives tens of thousands of visitors annually from the likelihood of seeing wolves in the wild.
In fact, one of the snared wolves wore a radio-transmitter collar as part of an ongoing research project to determine whether eliminating the Buffer Zone would affect the population of wolves most often seen by visitors.
Although the trapping season is now closed, the damage – most likely irreversible – has been done. But the trapping season for wolves will reopen in November – and any wolves remaining in the area will again be baited out of the Park and into snares.
THE PARNELL ADMINISTRATION NEEDSTO KNOW THAT WE WANT THIS CRUEL, REPREHENSIBLE PRACTICE STOPPED!
Tell them that these wolves desperately need protection from such extreme, unethical trapping. Ask them to 1) implement an emergency closure to halt hunting and trapping on state land bordering the northern edge of Denali National Park, and 2) re-establish the Denali Buffer Zone.
Please send a message or call (or better yet, both) to the following:
•Gov. Sean Parnell:
•Dept of Fish & Game Commissioner Cora Campbell: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t believe this is happening in our power world, letting people do this to innocent wolves that have every right to be here on this planet as we do,, please stop this cruelty and death to the wolves the are a precious asset to the environment
go to coke’s website and write him an email too.
I did. thanks i agree. what is the deal with some folks? i kind of thought we were evolving
There’s no need to ‘lure’ wolves out of the park, they roam freely, park boundaries do not exist for them.
For years wolves from this pack have dispersed, many going long distances away from the park, so the genetics are not wiped out, they actually exist in many different wolf packs.
I have lived adjacent to the park for over 50 years, one wolf pack, eliminated four times has re-established in the same area from wolves dispersing, some from within the park, and other free ranging wolves from areas outside the park.
One of the largest mortality rates for wolves is wolves killing wolves, this is common in Denali park.
Try to find a group of indigenous Alaska natives that views Mr. Wallace as you do.
God bless America !!!
I met Coke Wallace in 2009 while on a deployment to Eielson AFB. Since then, I have had the opportunity and privilege to spend parts of 2010, 2011, and 2012 with him and his family. Being a trapper from the lower 48 it is a dream come true to run an Alaskan trap line, and being in the bush with Coke is the experience of a lifetime. During my last three visits, Coke has harvested wolves near the park, and not one was wearing a t-shirt that said “Property of Denali National Park”, because they’re not. They belong to the wilds of Alaska, which has no boundaries.
I was with Coke the morning he caught the (as you call it) “likely-pregnant alpha female.” I physically watched Coke remove the collar, which he turned in. He follows the rules and law set forth by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, so if you have an ax to grind their number is 1-800-478-1456. (That’s the number you call for info about trapping on Federal public lands, yes, it’s legal)
Mr. Josephs, I’ve been in the military for 16 years. I defend the ground on which you walk, and the air that you breathe. I also defend that same ground and air for people like Coke Wallace and his family. We live in the greatest country in the world, which gives us the right to go and enjoy our lives within the confines of the law. By the way, it’s also called freedom, don’t ever forget it.
Legal doesn’t mean ethical, as we all know. I used to defend hunters as being champions of wildlife and conservation, as well as being ‘ethical’ and having a conscience – I’d read all the Field and Stream stories on how much a hunter ‘loves’ the deer he hunts and how much he ‘contributes to conservation by protecting habitat’ (although, in the end, it seems he’s really just running a huge game farm).
Since then I have seen and learned too much – killing and terrorizing any feeling or thinking beings is morally wrong, and when it involves such highly sensitive, intelligent, emotional and socially-complex creatures as whales or wolves, it is unconscionable. There is no justification, other than perhaps in DIRECT and immediate defense of one’s life or family (and I’d bet there have been more fatal MOOSE attacks on humans than there have ever been wolf attacks).
When we exempt some species, some races, some income levels, some Nationalities, from the right to respect, to life, to freedom, we’re all at risk of being termed ‘expendable and exploitable.”
This war on wolves is unjustified, mean-spirited and ecologically disastrous.
Anyone who enjoys setting land-mines (traps and snares) for innocent creatures, no less killing them for ‘fur’ or money,has a moral screw loose somewhere. Anyone who enjoys using living beings as target practice and a way to get their jollies, (so-called ‘sport’ hunting) lacks empathy – a clinical sign of a sociopath, if not a psychopath.
Sorry, that’s just the way it is.
Freedom – you call the state agencies any kind of vehicle of freedom. What a joke. Structured on killing license funding, instead of general public funding, they pander only to and ARE the maximum killing brokerages of our wildlife. If you had a decent bone in your militarized body, you would notice there is no DEMOCRACY or freedom in the state agencies.
I work for the day when you go in to the state agency to buy your kill this and trap that license and there are only saving licenses…..totally excluding you as you have excluded the majority. I walk in and find only killing licenses and no way to pay or have a say. The same will happen to you as the public wakes up and claims a first time democracy and directs the 10-40 times more revenue we bring to state tax coffers as wildlife watchers (see the U.S. Fish & Wildlife comparisons state by state of economic impacts of wildlife watching versus hunting and look at state tax revenues).
Even if you add in the paltry $40 million the killers pay to destroy our wildlife in a heavy recreational trophy killing state like Wisconsin, wildlife watching, doubling in the past decade generates 3 times the revenue. As the public finds traps all over their lands and dead landscapes devoid of wildlife – collapsing ecosystems as you kill out everywhere in your insatiable need to kill kill kill more and more and more and different – we will claim our own. Defend our own. And bring FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY to our world – long denied by state agencies structured to provide maximum killing of our “commons”.
The upcoming idaho/montana wolf hunt will have no quotas, no limits, no regulation whatsoever. MN is selling 6,000 wolf hunting permits for our state’s approx. 3,000 wolves despite the fact they just came off the endangered species list in January, and we were PROMISED a 5 year grace period before any hunting took place and a recent survey showed 80% of people were against this hunt. The government is trying to kill every single wolf, just like they almost did a hundred years ago. They lied to us and will not listen to us. And no body cares.
coke appears to be just one more irresponsible “hunter” whose only purpose in life is kill things. there’s no reason for anyone to do business with him, but there is every reason to explore the option of legal action against him (which is being done). His license should be revoked and everyone should be aware of his lack of ethics.
Agreed. There will always be sicko serial killers out there – it is society’s responsibility to incarcerate them and end their reign of terror on the defenseless at their mercy.
this so wrong they belong to the wilderness they should be fined or jailed
I strongly disagree with the taking of wolf, in any manner as the only reason to do so is blood lust and greed. I have no problem with the idea of hunting to survive but never take more then your share.
So I guess my real issue here is the reasoning behind it all. In the long run, is it really worth all the time and effort to take two lives? I mean, if you are shallow enough to look at this as a purely profitable indenture, is it really worth it? I also have one question about a “fact” put forth earlier. If Wallace put down his horse on his land, how did he move it such a great distance? I am no expert here but I have worked with horses and have an idea of what kind of effort that would be.
I am not a resident of Alaska and am not a native of the bush. I live in Maine, a state that at one time had wolfs, and many other large critters, that can no longer be found here. When the last wolf and the last cougar were taken in the state, in the mid to late 1800’s, it was seen a great victory at the time. In reality it is a loss that the ecosystem has never recovered from.
I have been blessed to be able to work with wolfs in the sanctuary setting and it has been the most amazing experience of my life.
Thank you for supporting the wolves, Richard. I live in Minnesota and we are planning a wolf genocide this fall even though they just came off the endangered species list January and we were promised a 5 year grace period during which the population would be left alone. The government doesn’t listen to us anymore, I fear my state will turn into a montana/idaho. So many people don’t realize what the wolves, coyotes, bears, and cougars really do for the land. Poor souls are so ignorant and mislead.
Same with Wisconsin – running packs of dogs on all wildlife as “training” year-round all over the land now intensively trapped (all public lands). The public either wakes up or we have a tortured and dead Wisconsin. People will find out they will not live long on a murdered hot planet.
Save The Wolves
good job poop
Good job Coke! Keep up the good work on behalf of all true environmentalists looking to maintain a balance in AK