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Second Annual Idaho Wolf Hunting Derby Underway

Dan Stahler
Yellowstone National Park | Flickr
A wolf from the Yellowstone Delta Pack walks in the snow.

A hunting derby, with top prizes for wolves and coyotes, is underway in Salmon. It’s the second year in a row for the controversial event.

The group Idaho for Wildlife is handing out a $1,000 each for the most wolves and the most coyotes killed.

A year ago, more than 230 hunters converged near Salmon for the derby. No wolves were shot, and 21 coyotes were killed. Last year, the Humane Society of the United States issued one of the strongest rebukes of the event. It called the contest a “wolf massacre” and labeled organizers as “ruthless.”

Credit Idaho for Wildlife website
Idaho for Wildlife website

In November, Idaho for Wildlife asked for and received a five-year permit from the Bureau of Land Management to hold part of the contest on public land. After receiving 56,500 comments, the vast majority opposed to the derby, the BLM later revoked the permit. Officials said organizers changed contest rules after applying for the permit.

“We were saddened with the BLM’s decision to revoke our special recreational permit, once again caving in to the radical anti-hunting and environmental groups,” according to Idaho for Wildlife’s website.

Idaho for Wildlife Executive Director Steve Alder said the contest would go forward on Forest Service and private land around Salmon. The derby runs through Sunday.

Alder said it would be a “miracle” if anyone shot a wolf, which are notoriously hard to hunt.

There’s no fee to enter the derby, but Idaho for Wildlife is asking for donations. The group says some of that money will go back into the community. The plan is to donate cash to the Calvary Food Bank, the Lemhi After School program and to give a $1,000 college scholarship to a Salmon student.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio

As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life!). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.