A controversial Idaho wolf hunt was approved then reversed.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) went back on their decision to allow a wolf and other game animal hunt on public lands. Under lawsuit pressure from animal rights and anti-hunting activists, the BLM withdrew the permit.
The hunting group, Idaho for Wildlife, was supposed to be issued a permit for a predator derby to take place every January for the next five years. The hunt would be on federal lands overseen by the BLM in Eastern Idaho near the town of Salmon.
The idea of the “hunting derby” is a controversial one, as contestants seek to kill the most wolves and other predators on the federal lands. The permit was initially approved in November.
“We are aware of the social controversy regarding this event.” BLM District Manager Joe Kraayenbrink was quoted saying in a statement at the time of approval. “However, from our analysis, we could not find significant conflicts with other environmental resources that would prohibit the competitive event from occurring.”
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The Idaho wolf hunting contest was expected to draw nearly 500 participants to compete to kill wolves, coyotes, and other species, and is being called a “killing contest” by anti-hunting conservationists. Part of the contest allows children as young as 10 to pair up with an adult to kill jackrabbits, starlings, skunks and weasels. The event coordinators insist this is legitimate form of family recreation.
By the end of the public comment period, the BLM had received tens of thousands of letters in protest of the hunt.
In spite of the lack of permit for the hunt to take place on federal lands, the group organizers said they will simply hold the hunt on private lands like this did in years prior.