Young, a longtime supporter of stripping protections for wolves, was expressing his opposition to a letter sent by 79 members of Congress urging the Interior Department to reconsider a 2011 decision to delist the gray wolf from the endangered species list.
Young addressed the gaffe on his website:
"The analogy I made today was intended to be hyperbolic in nature, in order to stress the point that wolves are a serious problem for communities who deal with them. Anyone who's dealt with a healthy, roaming wolf population, as we have in Alaska, understands that these predators have a detrimental impact on wildlife populations."
Setting aside Young's seeming inability to distinguish between wildlife and homeless people, there's little evidence to support his claim. One 2013 study found that wolves might not be as detrimental to elk populations as many people think. Another 2014 paper found that killing wolves to protect livestock could backfire and actually increase the number of cattle killed the following year.
Young has always been an enemy to wolves - he's supported both delisting them and opening critical wolf habitat to oil exploration and drilling.