An Idaho hunting group called "Idaho for Wildlife" wants to make a game of killing wolves. The group has scheduled a wolf-killing competition starting this weekend. Cash prizes of $1,000 will be awarded for killing the largest wolf and killing the most female coyotes — and to add insult to injury, children as young as ten are encouraged and incentivized to participate.
It could be game over for a number of Idaho's wolves if the Idaho for Wildlife group gets their way. Their controversial wolf killing competition is set to begin December 28th; meaning we have a short window of time to save Idaho wolves from a barbaric killing competition.
Organizers of this killing competition 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. Next weekend their twisted wish will come true if Governor Otter and the Director of Idaho Fish and Game don't take immediate action to stop this mass killing from taking place.
Defenders is taking emergency action to stop this from happening next weekend and anytime in the future. There isn't much time left, we need to make ourselves heard loud and clear!
Please take action and stand with us in our fight to save Idaho wolves: Tell Governor Otter and Idaho Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore: say NO to wolf and predator killing derby competitions.
On behalf of Defenders of Wildlife and our more than one million members and supporters, 6,175 of which reside in Idaho, I urge you to take action to prevent the "first annual coyote and wolf derby" scheduled to take place in Salmon on December 28th and 29th. This event, boasting cash prizes for killing wildlife, would set a dangerous precedent and recalls the extermination practices that led to the extirpation and listing of the gray wolf.
This event promotes unethical hunting practices with regard to wolves, and sets precedence for future killing contests. The Salmon Zone has a quota of 45, with 40 wolves remaining. This type of event could lead to harvest levels over the quota, and it may be impossible to properly monitor and enforce hunting regulations during this activity. A competitive derby-style hunt is a clear sign of anti-wolf bias and extremism and is exactly what the conservation community feared would happen when wolves were delisted in the Northern Rockies.
Idaho Fish and Game should strive for excellence in wildlife management by enforcing a predator management policy that it adopted 13 years ago which stated that it "will not support any contests or similar activities involving the taking of predators which may portray hunting in an unethical fashion, devalue the predator, and which may be offensive to the general public." I ask that you apply this policy to the fullest extent and take all necessary steps to stop this contest. Choosing not to support this derby is not enough; it is up to your agency to act to prevent it.
In particular, we ask you to implement an emergency closure of the Salmon Zone and other proximal units to prevent this derby. Idaho for Wildlife is using this contest to demonize predators and it is based upon hate and disrespect for the targeted species. As such, it flies in the face of Idaho Fish and Game's professed vision of ethical hunting and should be strongly opposed by the agency.
According to Idaho Fish and Game officials this is believed to be the "first competitive wolf shoot to be held in the continental United States since 1974" when gray wolves became listed as endangered. I urge you to act in a manner that is consistent with your agency's past stated opposition to derby hunts and end this and future contests before they begin.
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