IMG_148‘Man wants answers behind skull inserted in his mailbox’ Whitehorse Daily Star – February 6, 2007

Story by Star Reporter Chuck Tobin

A local anti-trapping lobbyist who found a bleached wolf skull in his mail box is still waiting for an explanation from whoever delivered the insult.

“He has to explain himself,” Mike Grieco insisted in an interview last week. “I know it was not a gift.”

“What was his real intention? Was it some sort of threat?”

Grieco filed a complaint with the RCMP after finding the skull in his mailbox.

The skull was left in the mailbox at Grieco’s Whitehorse home in mid-January. It was accompanied by a permit issued under the Wildlife Act authorizing trapper Frank Johnstone of Teslin to give away one bleached wolf skull as a gift.

Johnstone is declining comment on the wolf skull, though he and Grieco have exchanged heated opinions recently in letters published in the Star’s opinion pages.

Grieco is staunchly opposed to trapping as cruel and inhumane, and entirely unnecessary in modern times.

Johnstone staunchly defends trapping as a legitimate and humanely acceptable means of managing and utilizing furbearers, a renewable resource.

Grieco said the skull was more of an insult to the wolf than it was to him, and he’s not sure what to do with it now.

“I do not want to exploit it,” he said.

“Most of these animals were killed without sensitivity and I do not think they should be used for pen holders or something.”

And now for a poem!

The following poem was published in a regular opinion column (‘Ramblings’) in the Yukon News on October 17, 2007 by Mr. Doug Bell (using the pen name ‘ Hugh Conner’ – Yukoner), retired publisher of the Yukon News in Whitehorse. Mr. Bell was apparently offended by the few vocal animal rights people who speak up on behalf of Yukon animals.

Yukoners need to hunt, trap, and mush dogs or they are not very happy campers. It should be noted that Mr. Bell, when he was a newspaper publisher, apparently never had any of his reporters do their due diligence in investigating animal cruelty affecting sled dogs, in particular the Yukon Quest dogs who have suffered and died in the 25 years the disgraceful race has been staged. Is it any wonder why some of us are somewhat embarrassed to live in the Yukon? Thanks for the poem, Hugh!

‘The New Law of the Yukon’

This is the New Law of the Yukon

And Cheechako’s have made it plain

Send me your foolish and feeble

Send me your weak and insane


Weak are the pampered and serviced

Insane for the need to reform

The pioneer people who built me

Force them to comply with the norm


Swift as a panther in triumph

The newcomers pounce on their prey!

Helpless the pioneers cower

To their misguided and bullying way


No smoking, no mushing, no fishing!

No driving, no fun and no say

About what is acceptable action

Or lifestyle or freedom today


No respect for those who have suffered

To build them this home in the North

My doors have been opened to people

Proclaiming my laws have no worth!


These newcomers claim we are evil

Mindless and cruel and mean

For protecting our claim as a people

Not ruled by the Southern regime


No eating of meat, no forestry

No seeking of Klondike Gold,

The thought police are coming

For us to force us to do as we’re told!


My heart is broken to pieces

As the newcomers squabble and fight

They pave over my golden hist’ry

With social correctness and spite


My Sourdoughs’ struggles have ended

As they are now harried and gray

Too tired to battle these morons

Who feel that they know the right way


It is said that we won’t go to meetings

But we are busy attending our works

‘Cause what is the point of opinion

When your home is invaded by jerks?

‘Hugh Conner’ (with apologies to Robert Service)