Wolves, Coyotes, Foxes, and Dogs

by Derek Powling

Wolves bring down large game. No other canine takes down a moose. Not coyotes. Not foxes. Not dogs. Not jackals, nor any other canine. The combination of endurance, character, strength, speed, and intelligence found in wolves stands above that of the other canines. The pack works together for its mutual welfare. The dominant pair leads the pack, and normally only they breed. In hard times, the dominant female will not go into estrus. In times of great bounty, perhaps even the beta pair and another pair breed in addition to the alphas. The pack prospers and grows.

But some wolves got lazy. They decided to let coyotes into the pack. Foxes, who would never be able to bring down a moose, had worked their way into the pack by claiming their cunning would be useful. The idea to include coyotes in the pack came from them. They thought the coyotes could bring in the rodents, rabbits, and other small game, leaving the wolves more time to bring down deer, elk, and moose. The coyotes brought only trouble. They attacked sheep and other livestock. The wolves were blamed. The coyotes wanted to go on the large-game hunts, to become "full wolves." This only led to less-successful hunts.

The wolves wanted to get rid of the coyotes. They were sick of the attacks on livestock. They were sick of the coyotes scrounging from dumpsters and feeling it was an equal contribution to the pack. The foxes would have none of this. They convinced the wolves the coyotes only needed more training. They convinced the wolves it was their fault the coyotes could not be wolves. The wolves needed to make more efforts and spend more time training the coyotes to be wolves.

More foxes had joined the pack. They were the ones who had convinced the wolves what a good idea it would be for coyotes to be included. Now young wolves did not want to learn how to bring down a moose. They thought it was easier to hunt rodents and rabbits with the coyotes. The elder wolves had always been able to take small game. They understood the need to do so in lean times, but could not convince the young of the importance of hunting deer, elk, and moose.

For some reason, the foxes always convinced the wolves how useful they were. The foxes never contributed anything to the pack, but always managed to benefit from the efforts of the wolves and coyotes. The coyotes managed to always benefit from the wolves. But the wolves themselves suffered. The food the wolves took no longer went to just wolves, they also had to support the coyotes and foxes. The coyotes and foxes bred like rabbits. They had no respect for the ways of the wolves. Even young wolves began to emulate the greed of the foxes, the laziness of the coyotes, and began to breed no matter their standing in the pack or the amount of game available. The "wolf" pack no longer lived like wolves.

The foxes complained to the wolves that the alpha pair were always wolves. The foxes got the coyotes to complain about this as well. Foxes, coyotes, and even young wolves began to clamor for a non-wolf pair to become alphas in the "wolf pack." Once this happened, the new alpha pair dictated that dogs be allowed to join the pack. Dogs also bred like rabbits. Some were smart, some were strong, some were fast, and some were intelligent, but few were useful enough to take any game. The foxes found ways to benefit even from the near-useless dogs in addition to wolves and coyotes. The wolves only worked more and suffered more.

The pack's existence became even more bleak. The foxes convinced the pack the solution to this required wolves, coyotes, and dogs to breed together. Wolves pointed out that in rare circumstances, this had occurred in the past. There had even once been a species, the red wolf, that appeared to be a mix of wolf and coyote. The red wolves were so poorly suited for life that none even existed in the wild anymore. Wolf-dog hybrids did poorly in the wild as well. They also made poor dogs. Some wolves paid no heed. The numbers of pure wolves in the pack dwindled. Conditions continued to decline for the "wolf" pack.

Some wolves finally left the pack, moved far to the North, and began life as a wolf pack again. Times became just as good as they had been before foxes, coyotes, and dogs entered the pack. The new wolf pack prospered. The old "wolf" pack did not. They bred too much to feed themselves. They could not bring down large game. The efforts of the few remaining pure wolves failed. So many sick and old deer, elk, and moose lived that the large game ran out of food. When there is enough food for 1000 large game animals, wolves can thin the herds enough for 1000 animals to prosper. When there is enough food for 1000 large game animals to survive, but not enough wolves to thin the herd below 2000 animals, 1000 healthy large animals do not survive while 1000 did of starvation. What happens is that 1900 animals starve to death, while 100 unhealthy ones remain. The herds die out and not enough large game remains to feed the pack.

The "wolf" pack learned of how well the new pack prospered. They wanted to move and join the new pack. They claimed they too could bring down a moose, but none remained in their area. They felt it was not fair that the new pack lived where there were moose, and that they too would bring down moose if they lived there. They attacked the other pack to take over the "better" area. The new wolf pack was badly outnumbered. They fought bravely, and killed of many more their own number of dogs, coyotes, foxes, crossbreeds, and traitor wolves. But they had to move to avoid losing their entire pack.

The cycle repeated itself on several more occasions. The true remaining wolf pack longed for the days of glory before foxes, coyotes, dogs, and crossbreeds. They wondered how many more battles with the "wolf" pack they could survive. They wondered how many more places were left they could move to. How long was left before there would be no more wolves? How many places were left to move to? Some wolves felt that they must give up and join the "wolf" pack. Others wanted to keep on moving as long as possible. Some thought a surprise attack would bring victory, and that they could kill or drive away all of the foxes, coyotes, and crossbreeds. Some feared that jackals and dingoes were bound to join the "wolf" pack soon, and that times ahead held even more trouble.

What do you think? Do you want a world without wolves? Do you want a "wolf pack" that will never again bring down a moose? Should wolves bring down large game for the other canines, never receiving anything in return? Would wolves be better off scurrying into dumpsters for food like coyotes? Should they sneakily scamper about like foxes? Would they be better off as dogs?

I know how I feel. I am a White man. Among humans, White man brings down the moose. I tire of bringing large game down for the other canines. I tire of their excuses for not bringing down large game on their own. I tire of their claims of doing what I can do. I tire of the foxes making excuses. I tire of the foxes' claims, advice, and deception. I tire of my young being forced to live among foxes, coyotes, and dogs. I tire of my young being trained to act like foxes, coyotes, and dogs. I tire of my young being trained to ridicule and abandon the ways of the wolf. This is my howl. Wake up and join in.


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