Idaho’s obsessive war on wolves got insanely more heated today as Idaho’s Senate Resources Committee approved a bill that would open up new methods to kill the legislatively de-listed endangered species. According to Spokesman reporter Besty Russell, “The bill would let livestock owners whose animals are molested by wolves shoot the wolves from motorized vehicles, powered parachutes, helicopters or fixed-wing planes, by night or day, using rifles, pistols, shotguns, or crossbows, night scopes, electronic calls, and traps with live bait.” Wolves are already subject to an extended hunting and trapping season, which has resulted in the killing of more than 300 wolves this season.
There are already provisions that allow livestock owners the ability to protect their animals, and there are provisions that provide for compensation for animals lost in depredation. Ironically, the sweeping action could backfire on legislators, as the legislation’s allowance of relatively unrestricted taking of wolves could result in triggering federal Endangered Species Act protections.
The “powered parachute” provision notwithstanding, the craziest new provision is probably the one would allow “live bait” to lure wolves to a kill. The bill has no restrictions on what such “live bait” could be, nor does it require that the “live bait” be actually protected. The sponsor, Sen. Jeff Siddoway, a rancher, has said that sheep, or even sheep dogs could be used as bait.
It’s one thing to manage a species through hunting. It’s another thing entirely to tie up a dog as a lure to do so. Animal rights groups are justifiably outraged, and Idaho is, yet again, a laughing stock for its ridiculous – and now obscene – obsession with killing wolves.