‘Who Can Kill the Biggest Wolf?’ Is Idaho’s Favorite Holiday Activity for the Family

This year while most people will be enjoying a holiday break and winding down after Christmas, a hunters’ rights group in Idaho has something special planned to bring people together: It will be hosting the first predator killing contest in decades to take out wolves and coyotes the weekend of December 28-29.

The event is being sponsored by Idaho for Wildlife, which is calling the contest “an incredible opportunity to team up with your son or daughter during Christmas break and spend some quality time in the gorgeous Salmon, Idaho Country!”

The group will be awarding trophies and prize money for killing the largest wolf and most coyotes, among other things, and is offering special prizes for a youth category for children between the ages of 10 and 14.

The group states on its website that its mission is to protect the state’s hunting heritage and “to fight against all legal and legislative attempts by the animal rights and anti-gun organizations” to take it away. It also claims the contest is to keep wolves in check and raise awareness about diseases.

Environmentalists and animal lovers, however, have a different take on things and are condemning the contest for what it really is: an offensive, indefensible and reckless waste of life. It isn’t even about wildlife management, or hunting, but is about glorifying killing for fun and personal gain. Even many hunters agree that killing for prizes is unethical and violates fair chase.

According to Defenders of Wildlife:

“Organizers of this so-called wolf derby admit that one purpose of the event is to show the world that no one can stop them from killing wolves not you, not me, and especially not the federal government. It’s a horrific demonstration of what happens when wolves are prematurely stripped of Endangered Species Act protection.”

Ironically, the contest is set to start on the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. Idaho opened season on wolves two years ago after they lost federal protection. Since the season opened this year on August 30, 154 wolves have already been killed.

Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote, said about that contest that, “it is abundantly clear that the very practices that sent wolves to the brink of extinction still endanger their persistence.”

Regardless of the species involved in these types of contests, these alleged hunters are overlooking the inherent value of the wild animals they’re so determined to destroy. It’s been well established that coyotes and wolves play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems as apex predators. If this group were really interested in working towards balancing wildlife or protecting livestock, then this contest and the mass killing that will ensue would not be taking place.

Hopefully the people that support this type of massacre will one day realize that they are part of a world where all species, even dreaded predators, have a role to play so that all life can continue. Hopefully they will recognize the importance of fostering compassion toward all life around us.

On a brighter note, according to a press release from WildEarth Guardians, approximately one million Americans came forward to oppose stripping endangered species protections from wolves before the public comment period closed yesterday, which is the largest number of comments ever submitted on a federal decision involving an endangered species.

Idaho’s little contest just continues to prove that prematurely delisting wolves and turning management over to the states that are clearly hostile towards them will turn what could be a great conservation success story into a complete disaster.


Please sign and share the petition asking Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game to step in and shut this contest down.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Valentina R.
Valentina R.6 months ago

Why don't the hunters just kill each other...

Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

signed, thanks for sharing :)

Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani2 years ago

To David H - yes, you're right again - wasn't there a hunting accident involving Dick Cheney some time back? If memory serves me right he was (unfortunately) not at the receiving end ... but hopefully what goes around comes around ...

David Humphreys
David Humphreys2 years ago

Eleonora O. :: You too my friend.

And yes, I'm sure they'd shoot first, come up with excuses after, IF the authorities bother to ask, after all hunting accidents happen, especially to activists and protesters who just happen to jump in front of the gun when it went off.

Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani2 years ago

To David H - my "idea" was just a spontaneous one. Do you really think they'd go as far a shooting human shields? I guess you're right - why should they not? After all they're out hunting ...

I like your idea much better. Should be fun watching them hunting - LOL.

Stay safe!

David Humphreys
David Humphreys2 years ago

Eleonora O. :: "...I was actually hoping that some of the defenders of wolves and coyotes would build a human protection shield i.e. walking in front of the hunters or going through the hunting ground with drums to make enough noise so the animals would run away. ..."

They'd just get shot by the sport-hunters, accidentally of course.

A better idea may be to leave 'false' trails for the sport-hunters, let them have the accidents.

Take some plaster-casts of wolf prints ( make sure you get all four, even those hunters aren't dumb enough to think they're tracking a 1 legged wolf ), and then leave trails all over the place, you'd need to learn how to track so that the trails look real, but tracking itself can be very educational.

And then you could sit back, and watch them chase their own tails for a change.

Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani2 years ago

oopppsss - sorry - it should naturally read "mankind"

Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani2 years ago

Thank you so much, David, for the link and Pamela for the quotes! If I would write what I think about these "hunters" and the judge ... I'd be banned from Care2. I'm glad the killers don't know how to aim.

"... the judge said the contest was similar to activities like picnicking that do not require such special permits............"

I wouldn't be surprised if the next masskiller in the US would take the above line as defense ... after all a judge said that killing is an activity similar to picnicking ... and yes, the killer(s)-to-be should walk free too.

I was actually hoping that some of the defenders of wolves and coyotes would build a human protection shield i.e. walking in front of the hunters or going through the hunting ground with drums to make enough noise so the animals would run away.

Mannkind never ceases to "amaze" me!

Pamela W.
Pamela W.2 years ago

David H .... THANK YOU, so very much, for the link !! I'm so happy for the wolves, but also angry and sad for the coyotes (it seems that some were just wounded and left to die by these callous B******S) !! Here are a couple of quotes from the link, which explain a bit ...

............"Some contestants said they were disappointed at not bagging any wolves, and expressed frustration with opponents of the event.
"We'll only have agreement with environmentalists when we kill all the wolves here," said Jeremiah Martin, a hunter from Salmon."............
............"On Friday, a U.S. judge rejected a request by conservation groups to block the Idaho hunt, which was staged on a national forest near where federal wildlife managers reintroduced wolves to the Rocky Mountain West in the mid-1990s.
WildEarth Guardians and others had argued that the U.S. Forest Service did not issue proper permits for the event, but the judge said the contest was similar to activities like picnicking that do not require such special permits............
Bethany Cotton, wildlife program manager for WildEarth Guardians, said the legal battle will go on."

I'm really pleased they gave the name of that hunter from Salmon ..... Karma will know who to look for, Jeremiah Martin, and "she" can be a bitch !!!!