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How to Shoot Wolves from an Airplane Interview with 100-Year-Old Roy Eykamp
Gun Watch ^ | 14 November, 2018 | Dean Weingarten

Posted on 11/17/2018 5:06:37 AM PST by marktwain

Roy's friend, Pete Peterson holds up a couple of wolf hides in Canada

Roy Eykamp is 100 years old and living in NSW, Australia. Shortly after WWII, Roy hunted wolves from a light, ski-equipped airplane in Ontario, Canada. He had tremendous success. He partnered with Harley Rauch, a famous South Dakota pilot.  Hunting wolves from an airplane while mere feet off the ground was a dangerous undertaking. Roy nearly died in a crash.

I was fortunate enough to interview Roy. In the video, he explains the technique used to hunt wolves from the air, how the crash occurred, and how he survived.

Link to Video  The video is 12:01 minutes long.

Minimum wage in 1951 was 75 cents an hour. Roy Eykamp and Harley Rauch received a $25 bounty on each wolf, and sold each wolf for $25 to native Canadians. They pocketed $50 a wolf. They brought in 51 wolves in two weeks, or over $2,550 dollars. It does not sound like much, but in 1951, gold was $35 an ounce. $2,550 was 72 ounces of gold, or the equivalent of $84,600 today.

John Macfie corroborates the story with a blog post from his duty as a wildlife management officer in Ontario at the time. Unfortunately, he mixes Harley Rauch and Cliff Foss in a few details. It was Foss that flew solo, not Rauch, and Rauch flew the Aeronca, not Foss.

Roy Eykamp was Rauch's gunner when they racked up the big score of wolves in 1951.

Roy details much of the hunt in his auto-biography, "Oh, What Have I Done"

The number of wolves harvested by Roy and Harley brought media attention. A newspaper article was syndicated across the United States and Canada. It was titled something like "2 South Dakota Hunters Get 51 Wolves", and probably was published in February or March of 1950, 1951, or 1952.  The Ontario papers might be the best source for the article. I have not found it.

If any reader finds the newspaper article, an image would be appreciated, or at least a date and a source. Contact Ammoland if you find it. Such history is being written out of the modern schools. We can preserve it on the Internet.

Roy explains some of the flying skill involved. The pilot would attempt to get close to the running wolf, often just a few feet off the ice of a frozen lake.  Flying low and slow is very dangerous. It is better to be a bit faster, to give you a chance to avoid obstacles and gain altitude. Roy almost lost his life because of a pilot without sufficient skill.

Crash where Roy Ekamp was almost killed in Canada while hunting wolves.

Harley Rauch was considered one of the best pilots of his day.

Roy was not flying with Rauch when the crash happened. A less experienced pilot stalled out his plane at low altitude, and caused the crash. Roy and the pilot survived what should have been a fatal circumstance. They were 25 miles from any help. Roy says his guardian angel was looking out for him.
Wolf bounties are derided today. They are part of the strategy that worked for a hundred years in the United States and Canada.  Valerius Geist, a Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science at the University of Calgary, explained how the myth of the "harmless & romantic" wolf was created. He believed in the myth for all of his career, but reality forced him to change his views.

Wolf bounties, trapping, shooting, and snaring of large predators, was an integral part of wildlife management for over a hundred years.

There were reasons that large predators were not tolerated in populated areas.  There were reasons why large populations of predators and other game animals are incompatible. If you wish to read all the details, read Professor Geist's paper. Those reasons are as valid today as they were 150 years ago.

Roy Eykamp has lived a remarkable 100 years, so far.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

TOPICS: History; Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; canada; eykamp; wolves
66 years ago, Roy Eykamp made a splash hunting wolves for bounty from an airplane in Canada.

Understanding why it was a good idea to keep wolf populations down is explained in a link to a paper by Professor emeritus of the University of Calvary, Valerius Geist.

1 posted on 11/17/2018 5:06:38 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain

If culling wolves is a good idea, Then why isnt a good idea to keep pit bull populations down? Id rather have a wolf in my yard than a pitbull. at least I can shoot the wolf in self defense.

2 posted on 11/17/2018 5:17:26 AM PST by Ikeon (Sadly, the sheep just voted a wolf as the head chef in their own house. whats for dinner? mutton)
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To: Ikeon

Wolves are usually not owned by a person, so they are not property until harvested.

Pit Bulls are usually property, which is why you could get in trouble for shooting one.

You would get in plenty of trouble for shooting a wolf, as wolves are protected by the federal government, not just local laws on property.

If you are shooting in self defense, you would likely be justified in either case, but it might take a bit of money and time to show you to be justified.

3 posted on 11/17/2018 5:41:44 AM PST by marktwain (President Trump and his supporters are the Resistance. His opponents are the Reactionaries.)
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To: marktwain

A recent incident:

” ... Washington wildlife managers initially opposed sending a helicopter or a search-and-rescue team to save a woman treed by wolves in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, according to recordings and summaries of emergency calls obtained Tuesday.

The Department of Natural Resources pushed back and prepared to dispatch an air crew that eventually executed a swift rescue. Notes from a call between DNR dispatcher Jill Jones and a wildlife officer summarized WDFW’s position, and her position, shortly before the helicopter launched. ...”

4 posted on 11/17/2018 7:09:29 AM PST by Scrambler Bob (You know that I am full of /S)
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To: Scrambler Bob

Thanks. Washington state is also where the USFS Lynx Hair Hoax occurred.


Osama bin Laden builds day care centers Patty Murray (D WA)

5 posted on 11/17/2018 8:53:50 AM PST by Cold Heart
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To: marktwain

Bounties on wolves in Alberta, much higher now though.

6 posted on 11/17/2018 10:38:43 AM PST by Bulwyf
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To: Bulwyf

Apparently, rather limited sources.

7 posted on 11/17/2018 12:10:23 PM PST by marktwain (President Trump and his supporters are the Resistance. His opponents are the Reactionaries.)
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To: marktwain

I got one right off my deck couple weekends ago, but was a pup.

8 posted on 11/17/2018 4:02:53 PM PST by Bulwyf
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