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The Slaughter of Innocence

by Stephen Capra, Bold Visions Conservation


We just learned of the savage violence that one man can inflict on wildlife. The man, if you can call him that, Cody Roberts, went into a bar with a wolf whose mouth was taped shut. He had worn the wolf out by chasing him with a snowmobile and ran him over before showing off the terrified animal to the patrons of the bar, then took it out back and shot it, likely laughing.

This disgraceful act is the direct result of the livestock industry, trophy hunting interests, the Game and Fish Commissions of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, and the leadership of these states. They have done all they can to make wolves the enemy. They use ignorance and cowboy ideas of wildlife to allow some of the most important species to be hanging on in lands where they should be thriving.

Why can a person use a snowmobile to wear out an animal? Who calls this sport? Many sportsmen in these states have a lot to answer for! They support trappers; they do not hunt with a leopolian approach. Instead, they use drones and guns with long-range scopes; they set up on the border of Yellowstone and bait and call out wildlife. This is not hunting; it is a disgrace.


Game and Fish Commissioners, who should enforce more ethics and use science to guide them, are political pawns. They answer to their Governors, who want predators destroyed. Governor Gianforte, besides wishing to sell off public lands, enjoyed killing a wolf that had suffered in a trap for days; he killed a collared Yellowstone Mountain lion; why? Because he lacks the ethics to be a real sportsman.

This takes us back to Cody Roberts, a person who clearly thought the horror he imposed on this animal was all just good fun. Besides the fact that he should be sent to federal prison and never be allowed to hunt, trap, or be around any animal, the odds are he will get a $250 fine.

We live in some of the most beautiful lands in the world, and we have more diversity of wildlife than we ever could people. Yet there remains a “kill” mentality towards wildlife and wolves in particular. The time has come for a change in Montana and these other states. We must rebuild from the ground up the Game and Fish agencies, which in Montana have gone from great to an embarrassment.

There remains cruelty towards many species that radiates in the rural parts of our state. Trappers show the callousness that Mr. Roberts displayed; you can find it in their posts. Martha Williams, the head of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, had the chance to relist wolves but allowed politics to overrule the need to end this slaughter. She should be forced out if Biden wins reelection.

We live in a painful time for wildlife, one that, in generations to come, will be viewed as barbaric, ignorant, and sad. If Wyoming had the courage, Mr. Roberts would pay a severe price for this malicious action. But the odds are the agency and commission will write him off as just a bad apple. The reality remains the real bad apples are on the commissions; they are in our capitol, and all of this makes clear that these states have no business managing wolves, grizzlies, or any other species that is not a deer or an elk.

People are outraged, and well, they should be; this is not ethical hunting, and it is happening more and more as states like Idaho push to allow wolves to be trapped by outfitters and suffer for days before a slob client shows up to shoot the wolf, we must force real change. This is not human behavior; it is dangerous and sick behavior.

This should never be allowed, and moving forward, we must demand respect for all species and an end to violence against wildlife. We must also push for jail sentences for those who live to torture and harm such innocence.

Bold Visions demands that Cody Roberts of Daniel, Wyoming, be jailed for animal cruelty by the Sublette County Sheriff's Office. We believe such cruelty requires him to be subject to psychological evaluation. In addition, Cody Roberts should not be allowed to own a pet. We demand that the Wyoming Game & Fish Department ban Cody Roberts for life from hunting and trapping privileges. This kind of behavior is abnormal and cannot continue unchecked.

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