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Idaho Wants to Make Wildlife Killing Contests an Annual Event

Idaho Wants to Make Wildlife Killing Contests an Annual Event

Last year a hunters’ rights group in Idaho sparked outrage when it decided to hold the first predator killing contest targeting coyotes and wolves in decades, but it appears the group learned nothing after turning the town of Salmon into a battleground and is back seeking a permit to hold the event annually over the next several years.

The contest last year, sponsored by Idaho for Wildlife, awarded trophies and prize money for killing the largest wolf and most coyotes, among other things, and offered special prizes for a youth category for children between the ages of 10 and 14.

More offensive is that the contest kicked off on the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act and marked the first time wolves were targeted in a predator derby since their reintroduction. While the group tried to claim it was just good old family fun, wildlife advocates called it out for what it really is a reckless waste of life and fought unsuccessfully to shut it down.

No wolves were killed last year, but 21 coyotes weren’t so lucky. Now, the group is back and is asking the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for aSpecial Recreation Permit that would allow it to hold more of these contests on public lands for the next five years, with the first one scheduled for January 2-4, 2015.

This time around, the scope of the contest could be expanded to include even more species, including skunks and weasels.

Now organizations including Project Coyote and Defenders of Wildlife are urging the BLM to deny the permit because, among other reasons, hosting a predator derby is an offensive misuse of our public lands, they could impact a host of species at a time when food is scarce and they are exactly the type of thing that drove predators like wolves to the brink in the first place.

These contests are also incompatible with the scientific principles that are, in theory, supposed to guide wildlife management decisions and defy the principles of ethical hunting. These events aren’t about managing wildlife or controlling predator populations, they’re about killing for fun and for the profit and entertainment of a few who decide to participate and they completely ignore the important role predators play in healthy ecosystems.

Tell the BLM to Shut This Down

While the BLM doesn’t regulate hunting, it can make sure these contests don’t take place on federal public land, which belongs to all of us. The agency will be accepting public input on the scope of what it should consider in its Environmental Assessment for a few more days until August 18. The agency will be considering how this contest will impact economic and social values, the impact on existing recreational uses, and how they would affect wildlife habitat and threatened species in the targeted area.

You can send a comment, with all of your contact info so its counted for the official record, to Liz Townley, Outdoor Recreation Planner, at blm_id_predatorhuntderby@blm.gov with the subject line: Re: DOI-BLM-ID-I000-2014-0002-EA.

Project Coyote is also offering talking points and keeping track of the letters we send; you can cc them on your email at: info@projectcoyote.org

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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140 comments

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7:22PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

Well of course they want to make this fun filled family outing an annual event. What on earth is wrong with Idaho????????? Surely not everyone in Idaho is this sick?

4:29AM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

Ty. Send an email.

6:13AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

Who has heard of a murderers rightys group before ?

6:18AM PDT on Aug 16, 2014

Round up the hunters, shove them in an enclosure, take away their guns and release a pack of wolves and coyotes with them. Far more entertaining. Let the top dog win. I'm quite sure the unarmed hunters would dwindle into the blubbing, cringing, spineless space-wasters that they really are. Pathetic. As for the wolves, I doubt they would even take the time to sniff the men's backsides.

4:58AM PDT on Aug 16, 2014

ty

1:15PM PDT on Aug 15, 2014

Ya know, maybe we should be able to hunt politicians financed by ranchers, ranchers and hunters. They take a great toll on the average tax payer as well as the environment. It would be great if they did shoot one another but it never happens that way. They manage to get away with shooting innocent animals that get in the way of their profit and ego. They manage to shoot humans who oppose them and get away with it as well.

11:35AM PDT on Aug 15, 2014

Are they stupid or what???

4:33AM PDT on Aug 15, 2014

"Good old family fun"??
ARE THEY BLOODY WELL SERIOUS!!! GET A LIFE,IDAHO!!

2:10AM PDT on Aug 15, 2014

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4:16PM PDT on Aug 14, 2014

Email to the BLM sent!

These killing contests are cruel, unconscionable, draconian, destructive to us all, to our environment -- our wild animals deserve the right to live their lives in comfort and happiness without suffering and death.

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