August 5, 2009

Will wolf carcasses be ‘paraded through town’ by irate hunters?

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Wolf hunts are on the minds of Idaho residents these days as the state prepares to set its wolf quota Aug. 17. Last year, a judge stopped the hunt, and environmentalists could try to get an injunction to again stop the hunt, set to begin in September.

Idaho Statesman Columnist Roger Philips worries about “wolf carcasses paraded through town like the bodies of slain enemies” if hunters who blame wolves for killing elk “take after them with a bloody vengeance.” That scene, he writes, “would give all hunters a black eye and play right into the hands of anti-hunters who want to stop wolf hunts indefinitely, and possibly permanently.” Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker writes that Idaho’s Fish and Game officials have to balance keeping the quota conservative to avoid an injunction with pressure from local hunters to allow a kill large enough to help elk populations.  Attention is so focused on the wolf hunt issue, he notes, that even the British paper The Guardian covered the story when Montana set its quota at 75 last month.

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