Last year, a North Idaho group called the Foundation for Wildlife Management wrote 22 checks for $500 each to people who killed wolves during the trapping season. The group is expected to talk about its controversial mission at a Thursday, Jan. 16, meeting of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in Boise.
The Lewiston Tribune reports that the foundation, "a sort of wolf-trapping cooperative," was formed by a group of hunters and trappers who "desperately want to see wolf populations thinned." Members are asked to joined the group for $35 and if they successfully trap and kill a wolf, they can be reimbursed up to $500 per wolf for their expenses. Organizers say the group has definitely increased the number of active wolf trappers in Idaho's Panhandle.
“We haven’t had a whole lot of publicity to this point. We have avoided it and been able to be successful without it,” Jack Hammack, founding member of the group, told the Tribune. “It’s so easy to get unwanted publicity.”
But Hammack said his group is simply trying to help Idaho state wildlife officials manage wolves. "All we are trying to do is help the department reach its objectives," he said.
The Tribune reports that this appears to be the first time a grassroots group has formed to incentivize a wolf kill.