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Judge won’t block Idaho wolf, coyote-killing competition

December 29, 2013

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

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Source  NBC
By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – A federal judge on Friday denied a request by conservation groups to block a weekend hunting competition in Idaho targeting wolves and coyotes, condemned by wildlife advocates as an inhumane “killing contest.”

Organizers of the so-called coyote and wolf derby plan to kick off the event on Saturday, with two-person teams fanning out 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 like elk that are prized by hunters.

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 can’t have activist judges, and we just have to keep Idaho for what it is,” he said. Alder said 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.

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 and Gunna Dickson)

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what kind of person would
consider this a state of play
to pay to take an innocent’s
life away.
a derby of horror, fear and
sometimes i really wonder if
there is much intelligent
life out there :(

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

you are judge, jury
now the executioner’s song.
what you did
was on far too many levels

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2013 1:39 pm

    N’importe quoi, ils font des compétitions avec des Coyottes!


  2. Leah permalink
    December 29, 2013 1:43 pm

    A competition to kill! This is disturbing on so many levels! U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale (who does not earn my respect no matter what her title is) is missing that “compassion” gene. Another vile woman who should not be in the position to make life-and-death decisions …


  3. LINDABADHAM permalink
    December 29, 2013 2:05 pm



  4. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    December 29, 2013 3:33 pm

    you are judge, jury
    now the executioner’s song.
    what you did
    was on far too many levels


  5. catwhispurrer permalink
    December 29, 2013 6:53 pm

    Both of Karen’s descriptions including horror, fear and despair didn’t see to register with this Candy-ass judge whose decision was truly appalling!! Did she give any consideration at all to the innocent victims?

    This is NO competition at all, it is a BLOODY MASSACRE somewhat like the dolphin slaughters every year in Taiji, Japan and Defoe Island in Denmark. The captive “prey” has no chance at all to escape and is ruthlessly hunted to exhaustion, cruel torture & death with NO mercy for even the babies. What would be the legal justification for culling which is just a cover for the outright KILLING of intelligent, necessary and endangered species?? Was there no basis for an appeal or at least granting an injunction to ensure proper protocol, purpose or even protection of the local citizens from accidental gunfire?

    And why would 10 yr old CHILDREN be allowed to participate in such a dangerous bloodsport, allowed to even use a gun, and to be KILLING any animal?? This is an indefensible disaster in the making, with a very transparent ruse of sparing livestock & other game. Who will pay when a child or other innocent bystander is also shot & killed … this incompetent judge??? Not bloody likely. We need to have her ruling re-examined and the bench marks raised. In the meantime, perhaps a BOYCOTT of the entire state of IDAHO until this barbarism ends will put a stop to these gun happy yahoos!!


    • December 29, 2013 7:02 pm

      Absolutely perfectly said, thanks, Cat. I completely agree (especially about the children – only evil could compel children to run around killing with guns).


    • karenlyonskalmenson permalink
      December 30, 2013 4:05 am

      and our species walks around thinking it is the top of the heap….a heap of garbage, perhaps.


  6. December 29, 2013 11:08 pm

    Reblogged this on The Monsters Among Us.


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