BOISE, Idaho (Aug. 27) — An Idaho real estate agent became the first hunter to legally kill a gray wolf yesterday, bagging an adult female in the mountains of the northern Rockies.
What a man.
Robert Millage, 34, received one of over 10,000 permits issued after the formerly endangered species was removed from its protected status earlier this year. He wasted little time in using it, experiencing what he called “an adrenaline rush to have those wolves howling and milling about after I fired the shot.”
“I’m a real estate agent in Idaho. What else am I going to do?” Millage told reporters following his brave act to protect local elk and deer so they could be shot by other hunters instead of killed by wolves. “It’s hard to sell a house right now. This was a cathartic exercise for me, and I think the wolves enjoyed it too.”
An estimated 1,650 of the animals (whoops — make that 1,649) now live in the Rockies thanks to a controversial reintroduction program begun in 1995. Idaho set a quota of 220 wolves for this hunting season as part of its plan to manage the wolf population.
A representative of the wolves said his group was not going to take the renewal of the hunt lying down. Well, actually, they will take it lying down but not before walking in circles to tramp down the grass.
“They criticize us for preying on weaker species, but neglect to offer a constructive solution as to what we’re supposed to eat for dinner,” said a full-grown male speaking at news conference at a suburban Pocatello Holiday Inn. “I can’t walk into a store and buy a hot dog. I don’t have any money and, even if I did, I don’t have any pockets to carry it in.”
Many of those who purchased the hunting permits said they would simply frame the historic documents as keepsakes. Others said they wanted to “be legal” in case a wolf leaped from between the floorboards of their homes and attacked their families. One man told National Public Radio “I simply don’t like wolves, and I wanted to send them a message.”
“I don’t need a message blasted out the end of a shotgun,” said the 160-pound carnivore who met with then ate local reporters. “I’m on Facebook.”
The growing conflict threatened relations between wolves and humans in the intermountain west. The animals had been hunted to near extinction early last century, after they reneged on an agreement not to wear sheep’s clothing. The state supreme court later ruled that arrangement invalid as part of a sweeping legalization of transvestism in the Gem State.
Reports emerged late yesterday that the nation’s best-known Lupine-American, CNN news reporter Wolf Blitzer, might be called in to negotiate a settlement in the dispute. Blitzer’s father was a respected wildlife management specialist in Buffalo, N.Y., and his mother was a Canadian timber wolf.
In a related story, I had an exterminator come to my house Tuesday after members of my family saw several large roaches on our deck. It was feared by some that the two-inch-long palmetto bugs could make their way inside our home, but I’m from Miami and am not afraid of creepy intruders. We used to have Giant Poison African Toads in our backyard. We killed ’em by pounding ’em with the back sides of shovels. Didn’t need no stinkin’ permit.