September 2, 2009

Killing wolves and hunting presidents in Idaho

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The hunt is on in Idaho, and the first wolves have been killed. That’s two the 220 authorized by the state’s first legal wolf hunt in decades, Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman reports. The issue remains before a federal judge, however, who could issue an injunction to stop the hunt, as a coalition of environmental groups have requested.

Tales of two hunters:

Robert Millage of Kamiah said he heard a nearby pack of wolves before dawn and waited until light to lure them with a hand call that sounded like a wounded coyote. The 80-pound female wolf quickly came within 25 yards of Millage before he shot her with his .243 rifle in the Lolo Zone in northern Idaho.

“I guess it was the luck of the draw,” Millage said.

Hunter Jay Mize of Emmett, walked out of his tent shortly after sunrise to see a wolf harassing his horse at Bull Trout Lake in the Sawtooth Zone near Stanley. He walked back into his tent, put together his rifle and shot the wolf.

“He said he had bought a wolf tag but never planned to use it,” said Jon Rachael, Idaho Department of Fish and Game wolf manager. “He was going to have it framed.”

Now to news of a hunter of another sort. Idaho gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell, ironically a veterinarian, remains all tangled up in the mess he got himself into over his remark about “Obama tags” after a question and comment about wolf hunting at a campaign rally. Despite being round criticized by Idaho politicians of stripes, he refuses to apologize for saying he’d like to get some “Obama tags,” presumably to hunt and kill the president of the United States.

Rammell said he’s sorry some took him seriously. “This country needs to lighten up,” Rammell said. “I am not sorry for saying that comment. I am sorry that everyone took it that way.”

It gets worse.

“Rammell said he had been contacted by a CIA agent in Boise about the matter. He said the agent accepted his explanation that he was joking. Rammell said he would not name the agent “out of respect for him.”

But Marie Harf, a CIA spokeswoman, said Tuesday that the agency did not speak with Rammell. “He has his facts wrong about who contacted him,” Harf said. “Generally, the Secret Service and FBI are responsible for protecting the president. We deal with foreign issues.”

I wonder if he can see Russia from his house.

— Rita Hibbard

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