Confirmed: Montana Media Ran with Fake Narrative on Wolves
Remember the sensationalist headlines and news coverage that even the Montana media ran with earlier this year? Twenty wolves that travelled outside of Yellowstone National Park were harvested in legal hunts. Naturally, the mainstream media ran with the fake news narratives making it sound like the wolf hunting in Montana was out of control.
I raised questions back in January as the sensationalistic coverage was dominating headlines all across the state. It's one thing for the national news media to twist the narrative into the animal-rights extremist narrative, but even the Montana media fell for the trap (or wanted you to fall for the trap).
In case you missed this story from last week, the numbers are now out. As Tom Kuglin reports for the Lee Newspapers in Montana:
Despite a longer season and new methods of take, hunters and trappers in Montana this season killed the fewest number of wolves in the last four years.
The simple fact is this: even if we did have a record wolf hunting season, the wolf hunts are not putting a dent in the massive numbers of wolves across the region. Wolves are elusive creatures that can quickly regrow their numbers.
Hannah Downey with PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, made a great point:
This is interesting - despite all of the controversies over wolves in Montana this winter, hunters and trappers actually harvested fewer wolves this season than over the past four years.
She added this in a follow up tweet:
Obviously there's great nuance over when/where/how these animals are killed, but it does challenge the narrative that Montana wolf hunting was just wildly out of control this season.
How many times have we seen this, especially in the past 5-plus years of mainstream media COVID coverage and Trump coverage? Kyle Schmauch summed it up well:
As is too often the case, a false/misleading narrative took hold and was repeated instead of challenged, whipping gullible people into an unnecessary frenzy based on bad information and speculation.