Friday, December 20, 2013


Laura Zuckerman
9:36 p.m. CST, December 27, 2013

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday denied a request by conservation groups to block a weekend hunting competition in Idaho that targets wolves and coyotes and has been condemned by wildlife advocates as an inhumane "killing contest."

More than 100 contestants from Idaho and surrounding states, including Wyoming, signed up on Friday for the so-called coyote and wolf derby, and sponsors said they expected as many 300 hunters to register by the start of the event.
The two-person hunting teams were to begin fanning out on Saturday morning into national forest land around the town of Salmon in the mountains of east-central Idaho.

The event has drawn staunch opposition from conservationists who claim the tournament is cruel and unsportsmanlike and sets a chilling precedent by inviting children as young as 10 to participate.

But some ranchers and outfitters in Idaho see the competition as a recreational form of wildlife management aimed at reducing the number of nuisance predators threatening livestock and big game such as elk that are prized by hunters.

"This is predator-control time," said Terry Cummings of Troy Idaho, one of dozens of hunters who registered for the derby at a welding and metal fabrication shop in Salmon called Steel & Ranch.

About a dozen sheriff's deputies and police officers stood by to keep the peace in case of anticipated protests that never materialized.

The tournament comes two years after wolves in the region were taken off the U.S. endangered species list. But this weekend's derby is believed to be the first competitive wolf hunt anywhere in the continental United States in decades.
WildEarth Guardians and other conservation groups filed a lawsuit on Monday in U.S. District Court in Idaho, claiming the U.S. Forest Service had failed to properly permit the event and asked a judge to enjoin the contest until federal land managers had a chance to assess its potential impact.


But U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled on Friday afternoon that the hunt was not a commercial enterprise requiring a special-use permit, handing down her opinion just hours before registration.
Dale likened the contest to other noncommercial recreational activities such as camping and picnicking that take place on national forests and do not require a special permit.

"While plaintiffs and others may find the concept of a derby and prizes being awarded for the killing of animals repugnant, hunting is a lawful activity in Idaho," Dale said in the ruling.

She said any commercial aspects of the derby - including collection of registration fees, awarding of prizes and trade with fur buyers for wolves and coyotes killed as part of the contest - will take place at a private business in Salmon and not on Salmon-Challis National Forest lands.

Steve Alder, head of Idaho for Wildlife, a nonprofit that pledges to fight attempts by "animal-rights and anti-gun organizations" to restrict hunting or firearms, hailed the decision as a victory for sportsmen.

"We just have to keep Idaho for what it is," he said, adding that he has cautioned participants not to make a show of the wolves and coyotes they kill, and is banning cameras when carcasses are weighed and measured to determine the winners.

"I'm telling my guys, ‘Hunt your wolves and shut up,'" he said.
Judge won't block Idaho wolf, coyote-killing competition

Bethany Cotton, wildlife program manager for WildEarth Guardians, vowed to continue the legal fight to force federal land managers to require special use permits for such competitions.

"The decision suggests fishing derbies on public lands need permits, but wolf massacres don't - which is ludicrous," she said. "We will keep trying to protect native carnivores just like the public expects."

Salmon-Challis National Forest Supervisor Chuck Mark said the judge's ruling on the derby does not necessarily open the way for more such events on public lands without triggering a review.

"Each and every event proposal will be looked at on its own merits," he said.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by Steve Gorman, Gunna Dickson and Ken Wills),0,4789864.story


Wolf Haters
Published: December 28, 2013

Reposted from the New York Times

Photo credit Tom Vezo/Minden Pictures, via Corbis
A wolf in Idaho, one of the states where wolf hunts have resumed.

The federal government removed the gray wolf from the endangered list in the Northern Rocky Mountains in 2011, essentially leaving wolves’ fates in the hands of state fish-and-game departments, hunters and ranchers. The predictable happened: hunting resumed, and the wolf population fell. In states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, an age-old antipathy to wolves flourishes, unchecked. 

In Idaho, two recent developments have alarmed those who want to protect wolves and see them not as vermin, but as predators necessary for a healthy ecosystem.

First was the hiring, by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, of a hunter to travel into federal wilderness to eliminate two wolf packs. The reason: wolves kill elk, and humans want to hunt elk. Normally the agency would just rely on hunters to kill the wolves, but because the area where these packs roam — in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness — is remote, the agency decided it would be more efficient to bring in a hired gun. A photo last week in The Idaho Statesman showed the hunter, Gus Thoreson, astride a horse, with three pack mules, looking like a modern-day Jeremiah Johnson.

Advocates for wolves are angry at the United States Forest Service for giving a state agency free rein to practice predator eradication on protected federal land — meaning, of course, our land — without public comment or review and in apparent violation of well-established wilderness-management regulations and policies. They point out, too, that it’s not clear how many wolves are there for Mr. Thoreson to wipe out, and little evidence that wolves in that area have done any damage to elk herds or livestock.

The other example of wolf-animus will be on display this weekend outside Salmon, Idaho, at a Coyote and Wolf Derby sponsored by a group called Idaho for Wildlife. A not-too-subtle poster for the event shows a wolf with its head in the cross hairs of a rifle scope and announces $2,000 in prizes to defend “our hunting heritage” against “radical animal-rights groups.” Organizers say they want to raise awareness of the potential risk to humans from a tapeworm that wolves — as well as elks and dogs — can carry. State officials say there are no known cases of people contracting tapeworm from wolves.

Environmentalists sought a court order to block the event, saying the Forest Service violated federal law and failed to follow its own procedures in allowing the killing contest. But a judge on Friday said it could proceed. The derby’s ugly depiction of wolves as diseased predators is a throwback to the bad old days when wolves, like coyotes, were vilified and bounty-hunted nearly to extinction.

It’s a sad coincidence that this weekend is also the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 28, 1973. That act sought to enshrine sound science and wise ecosystem management over heedless slaughter and vengeful predation. Idaho is showing what a mistake it was to lift the shield from wolves too soon.


Please sign and share A.S.A.P.
This Hell is scheduled to take place in 
Salmon, Idaho.December 28 & 29.2013



Petitioning Mr. Tom Tidwell 



Hello Virgil Moore!

It has come to my attention that the first annual 2 Day Coyote and Wolf derby hunting event in Salmon, Idaho, sponsored by Idaho for Wildlife, Salmon Chapter, Sportsmans's Group is scheduled to take place on December 28th and 29th, 2013.

I was under the impression that Idaho Fish and Game adopted a predator management policy 13 years ago which stated that it "will not support any contests or similar activities involving the taking of predators which may portray hunting in an unethical fashion, devalue the predator, and which may be offensive to the general public."

Idaho Fish and Game states that this killing derby is believed to be the "first competitive wolf shoot to be held in the continental United States since 1974" when Gray Wolves became listed as endangered. While the Gray Wolf is not listed as endangered in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, the species still IS listed as endangered species status in the 42 other states. What message is Idaho Fish and Game sending regarding attention to the E.S.A. protections still in place for the Gray Wolf ?

This killing derby defies Idaho Fish and Game's professed vision of ethical hunting and should be vehemently opposed by the agency. 

How can the U.S. Wildlife Services get an accurate population count of wolves in Idaho, when those wolves will be  shot throughout the state and public lands in Idaho?

I ask now that you adhere to your agency's policy opposing derby hunts, honor the public trust in the position you employ and take all necessary steps to halt this contest before it begins. Simply saying that you do not condone or support this derby is inadequate; it is up to your agency to take immediate action to prevent this derby and any future wolf killing contests from taking place before they begin.



Next strategy to 'try' to stop the wolf/coyote killing derby in Idaho:

Let's hammer Director of Idaho Fish & Game, Virgil Moore, and Idaho Tourism and Commerce Dept with emails voicing our objections to the atrocious wild canine massacre slated to commence on Dec 28th.

One question to be asked of the Director Virgil Moore would be:

"How can the U.S. Wildlife Services get an accurate population count of wolves in Idaho, when they will be cavalierly shot throughout the state and public 
lands in Idaho?"

You can also cc your email to Virgil Moore to the following:


For the Tourism and Commerce Dept - let them know that your plans to visit Idaho and spend your tourist dollars there are out, unless and until they cancel this killing contest/blood bath targeting the wolves and coyotes of Idaho. Let them know this contest makes their state seem to have a very backward mentality. 

Stop Idaho Coyote and Wolf Killing Contests
Hello Idaho Board of Tourism!

I am writing with the intent to inform you that I, my family, and my pro wildlife friends will not be visiting Idaho anytime in the foreseeable future, withholding all of our tourism dollars from your state. 
The reason is because we vehemently condemn the Salmon,Idaho Coyote and Wolf Derby, scheduled for December 28 and 29, 2013, and the Twin Falls Wolf/Coyote killing "Derby" scheduled for January 9.2014.

If you are not aware of these events, media coverage can be found here:

BLOG: Wildlife Activists Oppose Wolf Killing Competition

Wildlife advocates condemn Twin Falls ID wolf/coyote killing "Derby”

While the voice of one wolf and coyote activist may be insignificant, and of nominal concern to you, please consider the reach of wolf activist affiliates. Combined membership of two of the most prominent wolf advocacy groups totals 1,625,000. All of these advocates have family, friends, and social networks.

News of these Coyote and Wolf killing derbies is not confined to the U.S.A. alone.
Please consider that many "would be international tourists" will not be traveling to Idaho after learning of this promoted hunting contest.
They see Idaho as barbaric and antiquated for condoning such an event.

Regarding how this event reflects on the perception of Idaho as a preferred destination for tourists should be a concern.


In all emails, as outraged as you feel, please remain polite -- or surely your email will be quickly deleted. 

Many howls!!!



(Updated with brief) 
by Ken Cole ~ December 23.2013

Petition | 2-Day Holiday Idaho Killing “Derby” Targets Wolves & Coyotes, Federal Agencies Ignore Laws re: Killing Contests on Federal Lands |

For Immediate Release: December 23, 2013

Conservationists Sue to Stop Wolf and Coyote Killing Contest on Public Lands

Groups Challenge Federal Agency’s Failure to Regulate Highly Controversial Contest

Pocatello, ID – Today a coalition of conservation organizations sued the U.S. Forest Service for failure to require permits and environmental impacts analysis for the advertised “Coyote and Wolf Derby” in Salmon, Idaho, December 28 and 29. The lawsuit seeks an order requiring the agency inform the killing contest sponsors and participants that shooting wolves and coyotes on public lands as part of the contest is illegal without the required environmental analyses and permits.

“Killing contests that perpetuate false stereotypes about key species like wolves and coyotes that play essential roles in healthy ecosystems have no place on public lands.” Said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardians. “The Forest Service is abdicating its responsibilities as steward of our public lands. We are asking the agency to comply with the law: require a permit application and do the necessary environmental analysis, including providing a public comment process, to ensure our public lands and wildlife are protected.”

The killing contest is charging an entry fee, advertising prizes for the largest wolf and the most coyote carcasses, among other award categories, and specifically offering opportunities for children as young as 10 to kill for prizes. Commercial activities like the killing contest are prohibited on public lands without a special use permit. An application for a special use permit triggers application of the National Environmental Policy Act. Highly controversial activities are exempted from fast track permitting. In contrast to the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) informed the killing contest sponsors that a special use permit is required. To date, BLM has not received an application. Hunting on BLM administered public lands as part of the killing contest is therefore illegal.

“Predator killing contests have no place in the 21st Century,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote. “Killing coyotes and wolves for fun and prizes is ethically repugnant, morally bankrupt, and ecologically indefensible. Such contests demean the immense ecological and economic value of predators, perpetuating a culture of violence and sending a message to children that life has little value.”

Lynne Stone, director of the Boulder-White Clouds Council, who has lived and worked in central Idaho for over three decades, said, “killing contests like this have no place in a civilized society and are an embarrassment to our state. Shame on the agencies for allowing these events on our public lands. It’s no wonder so many people view Idaho as like something out of Deliverance.”

Since 2011 when Congress stripped Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in Idaho, the state has allowed nearly half of Idaho’s wolf population to be hunted and trapped each year. Since 2011, nearly 1,000 wolves have died at the hands of hunters and trappers. Science shows that wolves play a key role as apex carnivores, providing ecological benefits that cascade through an ecosystem. Wolves bring elk and deer populations into balance, allowing riparian vegetation to regrow, in turn creating habitat for songbirds and beavers and shade for fish.

“That the US Forest Service allows a commercial event that glorifies the killing of wildlife for killing’s sake without a special use permit on public lands is unconscionable.” Said Ken Cole, NEPA coordinator for the Western Watersheds Project.

Coyotes, like wolves, serve a valuable ecological function by helping to control rodent populations and to maintain ecological integrity and species diversity. Unlike wolves, coyotes quickly rebound when they are killed indiscriminately. Coyotes have no protection under Idaho state law.

“Such killing contests reveal a larger flaw in our nation’s wildlife management strategies where predators continue to be treated as vermin, including by those very state agencies responsible for their management,” explains DJ Schubert, wildlife biologist at the Animal Welfare Institute. “The scientific reality is that predators are immensely important members of any healthy ecosystem and their ecological role should be celebrated, not condemned.”

The organizations are represented by WildEarth Guardians Senior Attorney Sarah McMillan and the Law Office of Dana Johnson.

WildEarth Guardians envisions a world where wildlife and wild places are respected and valued and our world is sustainable for all beings. We work to protect and restore wildlife, wild places, and wild rivers in the American West. Visit to learn more.

Project Coyote ( is a national non-profit organization promoting compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science, and advocacy. Join our community on Facebook and Twitter.

Boulder-White Clouds Council has worked for over two decades to protect and defend wild lands and wildlife in Idaho’s upper Salmon River Country. Our website has extensive information and rare photos of Idaho’s gray wolves:

Animal Welfare Institute is a national non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild. For more information, visit

Western Watersheds Project is a regional non-profit conservation group that works to influence and improve public lands and wildlife management throughout the West with a primary focus on the negative impacts of livestock grazing on 250,000,000 acres of western public lands.

Update 12/23/2013 11:15am MST: Here is a copy of the brief that was filed today. 

FILED Complaint (WD) copy



By Laura Zuckerman
Salmon, Idaho 
Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:07pm EST

(Reuters) - Conservation groups asked a federal judge on Monday to block an Idaho hunting competition targeting wolves and coyotes that is supported by many ranchers and sportsmen but that wildlife advocates have opposed as a "killing contest."

The so-called coyote and wolf derby is slated to take place this coming weekend near the mountain town of Salmon, mostly on national forest lands surrounding the eastern Idaho community.

Organizers are offering cash prizes and trophies to two-person teams competing to kill the largest wolf and the most female coyotes, as well as in various other event categories. A youth division welcomes children as young as 10 to enter.

Supporters have billed the tournament as a recreational form of wildlife management aimed at reducing the number of nuisance predators that threaten livestock and populations of elk and other big-game animals prized by hunters.

News of the competitive wolf shoot, believed by government wildlife officials to be the first such statewide contest in decades in the continental United States, has galvanized conservationists.

Online petitions criticizing the event as cruel and unsportsmanlike have garnered tens of thousands of signatures. Opponents have inundated the Idaho Fish and Game Department with demands for the contest to be canceled, and several businesses sponsoring the event said they have been subjected to harassing phone calls and e-mails.

In their lawsuit filed in a federal district court in Idaho on Monday, WildEarth Guardians and other conservation groups branded the derby a "killing contest" and argued that the U.S. Forest Service had failed to follow proper permitting rules for an event with "potentially 300 or more contestants shooting coyotes and wolves over two days."

The plaintiffs asked for a court order blocking the contest and requiring the Forest Service to conduct a formal review process to assess the potential impact of such events.

Officials with the Salmon-Challis National Forest did not respond to a request for comment, and tournament organizers could not immediately be reached.

Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes were removed from the U.S. threatened and endangered species list in recent years, opening the way for renewed hunting and trapping of an animal that had neared extinction before gaining federal safeguards in 1974.

Plans for the competitive wolf and coyote hunt have renewed debate over plans by the Obama administration to strip most of the remaining wolves in the Lower 48 states of protections afforded under the Endangered Species Act.

Coyotes have long been treated as nuisance animals in much of the western United States, where they are subject to being killed on sight.

The upcoming derby is being sponsored by Idaho for Wildlife, a nonprofit group seeking "to fight against all legal and legislative attempts by the animal rights and anti-gun organizations" to restrict hunting or firearms, according to the group's website.

Idaho ranch owner and anti-wolf activist Ron Gillett said he has sent messages of support to businesses that are helping to underwrite the competitive hunt.

"It's a good thing," he said of the event. "The only good wolf in Idaho is a dead wolf."

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by Steve Gorman and Dan Grebler)


Reposted from Exposing the Big Game.
Thank you Jim Robertson

by Exposing the Big Game
by Seattle Times staff
Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho outfitter is organizing a post-Christmas contest where two-person teams of hunters will be awarded $2,000 in cash prizes and trophies for shooting wolves and coyotes, angering animal advocates who brand it as a “wolf slaughter.”

Shane McAfee, who guides clients on hunts around Salmon, Idaho, downplays the bloodlust angle of this hunting derby, which encourages kids to participate. He expects relatively few predators to be shot during the event Dec. 28-29.

McAfee contends he’s mostly aiming to boost local business — 300 hunters might participate, he said — and raise awareness about a parasite he believes could be transmitted from wolf feces to domestic dogs and possibly humans.

By contrast, the Humane Society of the United States labels the derby as inhumane. Lisa Kauffman, its Idaho director, said the tapeworm angle is a red-herring, too, as foes “use every excuse they can come up with” as they seek to reduce predator numbers and turn public opinion against wolves reintroduced to the state in 1995.

“This is a wolf massacre,” wrote Wayne Pacelle, the Washington, D.C.-based animal-rights group’s president, in a letter to members Thursday. “Rewarding shooters (including young children) with prizes takes us back to an earlier era of wanton killing that so many of us thought was an ugly, ignorant and closed chapter in our history.”

McAfee counters that Pacelle’s group is blowing his event out of proportion to appeal to deep-pocketed donors. “We might harvest two or three wolves in the derby. It’s mainly for coyote control,” McAfee said.
He also hopes the derby succeeds in publicizing Echinococcus granulosis, a tapeworm whose hosts include elk, wolves and domesticated dogs. He worries dogs infected by sniffing or eating wolf feces could transmit the tapeworm to humans, where they could cause cysts.

“The people of our town are tired of the threat of the disease,” McAfee contends.

In fact, human infections are rarely reported in Idaho. A firm link between humans and wolves isn’t established.

A 2011 report produced by Mark Drew, a wildlife veterinarian with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, found just a few documented human cases that may have originated in Idaho. All were reported before wolves were re-introduced 18 years ago.

In 2011, state epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn issued a call to Idaho’s medical community for possible cases as concerns surfaced about the parasite being transmitted to humans.

In an interview Thursday, however, Hahn said that effort uncovered no evidence of such cases. People concerned about the parasite should take appropriate precautions, she said: Treat their dogs and cats for tapeworm, practice good hygiene, avoid harvesting sick animals, and wear rubber gloves when field dressing wild game, among other things.

“Echinococcus granulosis is one of many naturally occurring parasites that occur in wildlife,” she said. “Precautions for Echinococcus are really no different than for a host of other diseases that occur naturally in the environment and can infect humans.”

Wolves are game animals in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming after federal Endangered Species Act protections were lifted starting in 2011. There are annual hunting and trapping seasons.
Idaho has about 680 wolves, according to 2012 estimates.

The Department of Fish and Game isn’t promoting McAfee’s predator derby. But its wildlife managers also won’t intervene to stop it, provided participants follow state regulations and secure the requisite tags to hunt wolves. “That’s the key,” said spokesman Mike Keckler.

Contests where hunters target predators aren’t unusual in the West. In northeastern Washington last year, derby hunters shot nearly 300 coyotes over a two-month span in three counties. Similarly, an Idaho group held a “Predator Derby” coyote shoot in 2007.

But Keckler can’t recall the West’s last wolf derby.
“I’ve not heard of one — outside of this one,” he said.

Hello to Secretary Sally Jewell, Director Dan Ashe, and the folks at USFWS. 

We are pro wolf advocates. We've been appealing to you through comments, petitions, and emails about this dangerous proposal initiated to delist our Gray Wolves and classify our Mexican Gray Wolves as "nonessential". 

Throughout this blog now is everything we can find about state led management of our wolves, for the 6 states that have already been able to delist the wolves from E.S.A. protections. Their policies do not make for sustainable Gray Wolf recovery. 

Secretary Jewell and Director Ashe, please take a
realistic, scientifically based point of view when you review this decision. 
You are aware of the numbers already. 

Over 1700 wolves hunted and dead. 
( Updated wolf fatality count as of December 26. 2013 is now over 2000 )
Only 5,500 remaining in the Lower 48. 

We need for our Gray Wolves to be relisted in these 6 states, and the current protections to remain in place for the other 42 states.

If not, Secretary Jewell and Director Ashe, our Gray Wolves will not recover. As you can see with the upcoming coyote and wolf derby in Idaho, this is not management.

This is Gray Wolf Slaughter.

Please, keep our Wolves listed as endangered species under the E.S.A.
Thank you,

Stop Wolf Hunts Community

Photo credit via Rebecca Monhollen





Here is the official page for U.S.Department of the Interior

List of Congress members, state by state. 
You will find your Senators and your Representatives here:

Find your United States Senators here:

Find your United States House of Representatives here:

Below are the folks who are NOT pro wolf, in fact we should simply cut to the chase and call them by their rightful name. They are the "WolfHaters". 
PLEASE DO NOT contact them, it will actually hurt our chances of having ESA protections restored for the wolves. These folks use activists' objections as rhetoric fodder for their re~election campaigns.
The only reason they are included here is so that, if you are like me, and not up to date on the actions of your representation in Congress, you can see who to avoid contacting.

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