The Sanders County wolf hunt will take place at an undisclosed location this weekend in response to threats and potential protests.
The Sanders County wolf hunt is an organized event taking place in Trout Creek this weekend. The exact location of the event remained undisclosed as the event’s organizer has received threats and animal rights groups plan to protest the hunt.
Dubbed the “1st Annual Sanders County Great Montana Coyote and Wolf Hunt,” registration for the event will take place at an undisclosed private ranch on Friday.
The Sanders County wolf hunt was originally scheduled to take place at the Lakeside Resort and Motel in Trout Creek.
The owner, John Harris, posted on his Facebook page explaining his decision to cancel the registration, writing;
The reason behind canceling this event is not because of any great debate, discovering we were wrong or the other side was wrong or the bulling (sic). The reason for canceling is because of the threats that have been received to my family and myself.
Protesters are another reason organizers have decided to keep the location of the hunt a secret. Anja Heister, director of the Wild and Free campaign for the animal rights organization In Defense of Animals, and others plan on showing up the registration site to protest the event.
Also planned for Friday night, Heister told reporters an ad hoc group will sponsor a screening of “Living with Wolves” at the Heron Community Center. The film discusses the importance of predators, like wolves and coyotes, in healthy ecosystems, and argues for “an ethically sound relationship between humans and these wild animals.”
John Fraley, Region 1 spokesman for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, doesn’t anticipate the need for excessive monitoring of the Sanders County wolf hunt, he told reporters, “I really don’t believe it’s going to turn into anything bad. I’ll be real frank; some people are making it sound like there are going to be hundreds of hunters running around the woods, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”
Tom Rummel a Sanders County Sheriff spoke about the protesters’ and the hunters’ intentions, “If people want to protest, that’s their right, as long as they go about it in a legal means. And if guys want to hunt, as long as they follow Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ regulations, that’s legal, too.”
The sponsor of the event will be selling T-shirts with a picture of a predator in crosshairs in the front and a quote that reads, “Dead wolves make me happy, antis not so much,” on the back.