The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has proposed offering a special hunting permit to encourage hunters to preferentially harvest elk with a contagious hoof disease. [“New pilot program seeking to learn more about diseased elk calls on Washington hunters,” Aug. 23, Local]. I have an alternate suggestion, to actively reintroduce wolves into Western Washington. Wolves are known to prey preferentially on old and diseased animals. The article states that elk in southwest Washington are currently most affected. Meanwhile, wolves in Washington state are concentrated in the northeast. Putting wolves where they are needed will resolve the problem, and similar future problems as well.

Thomas H. Hildebrandt, Mercer Island