Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feds Kill North Idaho Wolves in Helicopter Hunt; Controversial Bill Clears Senate Committee

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 9:10 AM

The full Idaho Senate is scheduled to take up a controversial bill that would allow Idahoans to shoot wolves from airplanes, use night scopes or even use livestock or pets to lure wolves out into the open for a kill. The measure would allow those hunting parameters to anyone "whose livestock or family pet was killed or harassed by wolves."

The sponsor of the bill, Terreton Republican Sen. Jeff Siddoway, is a sheep rancher who said he has lost thousands of dollars in livestock to wolf kills. As an example, Siddoway said he would tie his dog, Sophie, to a 20- to 30-foot chain and turn on an electronic wolf howl to attract wolves. He would wait nearby in a blind, ready to shoot.

Siddoway's bill cleared the Senate Resources and Environment Committee on a 7-to-2 vote.

Meanwhile, Idaho's Fish and Game Department announced Wednesday that federal agents have shot and killed 14 North Idaho wolves in a special helicopter hunt earlier this month. The controlled hunt by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Service targeted Idaho's Lolo zone, which borders Montana and includes the northern section of the Clearwater Forest. Fish and Game reported that there are at least 12 wolf packs in the Lolo region that regularly travel between Idaho and Montana.

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