A wolf- and coyote-hunting derby that has caused international controversy wraps up today in the mountains outside Salmon, and according to event organizers, about two dozen coyotes have been killed so far—though no wolves.
Posting on its Facebook page
, Idaho for Wildlife, which put on the derby, reported 17 coyotes killed on the first full day of the so-called Predator Hunting Contest and Fur Rendezvous, Jan. 2, and seven "non-BLM" coyotes killed the following day.
The second-annual hunt, which drew criticism around the world, was barred from Bureau of Land Management property and instead went forward
on private and U.S. Forest Service land.
In an interview with Newsweek
, Idaho for Wildlife Executive Director Steve Alder said more than 125 hunters entered this year's contest, vying for $1,000 cash prizes for most animals killed. Separate prizes are offered for hunters 10 to 13 years old and 14 to 17 years old.
the top prize went unclaimed, with 21 coyotes killed but no wolves taken. More than 230 hunters entered the inaugural event.
Calling it a "wolf massacre," Idaho State Director for the Humane Society of America Lisa Kauffman told Newsweek
that "Rewarding shooters, including young children, with prizes takes us back to an earlier era of wanton killing that so many of us thought was an ugly, ignorant and closed chapter in our history."
While there was no fee charged to enter the derby, Idaho for Wildlife is asking for donations, with some of the proceeds donated to the Calvary Food Bank, Lemhi After School program and a $1,000 college scholarship to a Salmon area student.