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Idaho
Suzanne Stone, Defenders of Wildlife
208-424-9385

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Derek Goldman, Endangered Species Coalition
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Chris Colligan, Greater Yellowstone Coalition
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News and Opinion

IDAHO TO OFFER LOOSER WOLF HUNT RULES

by JOHN MILLER and MATTHEW BROWN - Associated Press, June 30, 2011 - The Idaho Statesman
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho wildlife managers will propose a wolf hunt without quotas in much of the state, but hunters so far have purchased only a fraction of the tags needed to kill the rangy predators, compared with the first hunt in 2009.

Having no limits on how many wolves can be killed in many hunting areas could be alarming for wildlife advocates who fear Idaho will manage wolves back into federal protection. There would still be quotas on parts of the Montana-Idaho border, where Department of Fish and Game managers seek to preserve a corridor where wolves from both states can wander back and forth and breed.

But with only about 3,100 tags sold through Thursday - compared with some 30,000 in 2009 - hunters are likely to fall well short of Idaho Department of Fish and Game's hopes of keeping predator numbers in check.

"We're not getting near the response this year in term of tag purchases that we did that first year," Idaho Fish and Game Deputy Director Jim Unsworth told The Associated Press.

That means officially sanctioned kills, including kills by federal agents, will likely remain the most important tool for wildlife managers.

Idaho and Montana are holding wolf hunts again this year after Congress passed a law delisting them, a move that quashed a U.S. District Court ruling that had kept them among animals protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Montana State Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners aim to meet July 14 to adopt a quota of 220 wolves to be killed during fall rifle and archery hunts.

Details of Idaho wildlife managers' hunt proposal are due next Tuesday, with the Idaho Fish and Game Commission's approval necessary before a hunt starts, likely in September.

Adoption of season regulations will come at the commissioners' meeting July 27-28 meeting in Salmon, Idaho.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE IN THE IDAHO STATESMAN HERE

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