Alaska is home to the largest remaining population of gray wolves in the United States. Though one of Alaska’s most iconic creatures, the state has a long history of killing wolves through various means. Early in the 20th century, wolves were hunted with virtually no controls, and bounties were common.
But the wolf’s fight in Alaska hasn’t been against extinction — the state’s wolf population is healthy, with estimates ranging from 7,000 to 12,000. Instead, their fight has been one against inadequately monitored control programs which aim to increase game populations through controversial methods. As game populations declined in the 60s and 70s, state-sponsored wolf control commenced and included aerial gunning.