Casperson Plays Lead Role in Little Red Riding Hood Production

imagesCA31JRPSSenator Tom Casperson (R-38) is aspiring to an acting career it seems — he’s recently cast himself as Little Red Riding Hood (or perhaps Chicken Little — it’s hard to tell). The senator claims that the people of Ironwood, Michigan are afraid of wolves attacking them.

Casperson is quoted as saying last month in a legislative debate regarding those critical of wolf hunting that “none of them have gone to Ironwood, Michigan to see how my citizens are living now…when they are living in fear.” Steve Carmody of Michigan Public Radio reports that “Casperson went on to say people in Ironwood won’t even let their children play in the backyard, because they know the wolves are there”.

Although a decent actor, Casperson appears to be both scientifically and mathematically challenged.

For starters, wolves rarely interact with humans. They shy away, and typically will even leave a kill if a human approaches. Stories of wolf attacks on people are mostly the stuff of fairy tales — the types of falsehoods that nearly wiped-out wolf populations in the United States before efforts were made to protect them. Wolves keep other populations, such as deer, in check. (By the way, deer-car collisions kill and injure far more people than wolves.) In this century, only one fatal wolf attack has occurred in the U.S.  In 2010, outside an Alaskan village, a woman’s body was found that was mauled by animals with wolf tracks present.

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission is newly empowered to make the decision to allow the hunting of dozens species, including wolves. They gave the go ahead this week for a two month season on wolves in certain areas of the Upper Peninsula — to take 43 wolves, of a recovered population conservatively estimated at just under 700.

If wolves are such an imminent danger to humans, why stop at 43? 

Is it possible the true motive is merely sport? (Hint: Answer is “yes”)

Democracy Tree is not making a commentary on Michigan’s long hunting tradition, but wild game hunting should be just that — food on the table, and carnivores don’t generally eat carnivores (omnivores, yes). Perhaps wolf hunters should be made to eat their kill as a remedy to their blood lust.

Maybe Casperson really is afraid of the big bad wolf. Unfortunately, other than a fairy tale, the only “evidence” to be found to support his argument is in a spoof from The Onion — it’s possible Tom didn’t understand it was just satire when he read that one person dies every forty seconds in the U.S. from a wolf attack.

Democracy Tree wouldn’t be surprised.

Amy Kerr Hardin


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5 Responses to Casperson Plays Lead Role in Little Red Riding Hood Production

  1. Concerned Citizen says:

    Unless you live in the Upper Peninsula you do not know the fear that I have of wolves. My husband was flanked by 6 wolves while out walking in the woods next to our house. Wolves have taken dogs from houses never to be seen again. These are pets that are loved by families. Who’s to say a child couldn’t be next? These wolves are not afraid of humans and do not shy away from them when confronted by humans. Ask a logger, or a farmer, or hunter wolves just are not afraid. I fully support this law and believe wolves do need to be regulated in the Upper Peninsula. Like I said, unless you actually live up here, don’t pass judgement on Mr. Casperson. He is listening to the people he is representing.

    • admin says:

      Thank you “concerned citizen” for your reply. Democracy Tree does not normally print comments from anonymous people, but will make an exception here.

      I live in Northwestern Michigan, where we have wolves, coyotes, cougars and bears in our deep woods neighborhood. And living in the woods, I’ve experienced two wolf sightings, one cougar (my daughter saw it actually), a few bears a year, and coyotes on a fairly regular basis. Actually, coyotes and cougars are known to be more aggressive towards humans where their habitats overlap. We’ve had coyotes on both our front and back decks…but we are sure they were only there out of curiousity about our large dog.

      The wolves skulked away quickly, hind-quarters down.

      My advice to you is this…for your own sense of safety, consider moving to an area in which you are not encroaching on native species if they frighten you so much. New Jersey perhaps?

      Northern Michigan is not for you.

  2. daniel sobol says:

    I can understand the fear of wolves,,, they feature in so many dark age fairietails, every time I hear a wolf bay I look around for a giant.

  3. sylvia avsharian says:

    Thank you for this post! And thank you for your reply to “concerned citizen”. The Natural Resources Commission is not interested in eco-systems, or conserving natural habitat. Their mission is financial gain, and the members, leave one, have no credentials to act in the capacity of wildlife management. I’m afraid that what is happening to our wolves, is just one part of the overall (Republican) plan to exploit Michigan’s natural resources.

  4. Cindy W. says:

    I not only live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I live in Ironwood Township (out in the country, not in town).

    There are some people here who hate wolves (they eat deer) but I have never met anyone who fears them. People let their pets out to roam and the pet disappears so the wolves get blamed. The obvious solution is not to let your pets run!

    A couple of farmers have claimed that 130# wolves have hauled off several of their 1500# steers, leaving NO TRACE! (it is commonly accepted by the locals that those sneaky old wolves have stashed the cattle in the freezers of the farmer’s families, friends and neighbors and insurance pays fair market value to the farmers.)

    I am getting damned sick and tired of the Bar-Stool-Biology spouted by Casperson and Dan Benishek. The only thing we fear here in beautiful Ironwood is the re-election of either of them!

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