Jan. 9, 2002, update Jan. 14,2002
An Idaho wolf has been found shot dead about 4 miles northeast of King Hill, Idaho. It was found Jan. 4 near Chalk Springs on U.S. (BLM) public land. The wolf was probably preying on the deer herd that winters in the area. This is a low elevation area, well out of the central Idaho mountains, but it is nevertheless, broken country with numerous steep basalt canyons.
Although it is too bad there has been another illegal killing, it is good news that wolves may be advancing onto this lightly populated portion of the Snake River Plain. It could put them within striking distance of Nevada.
Defenders of Wildlife is offering a $2500 reward for information leading to arrest of the culprit(s). U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking anyone with information about the latest wolf death to call 208-378-5333.
Update Jan. 14, 2002- Although I didn't include in the article above, the discovery of the dead wolf was accompanied by the standard whining by the Idaho Cattle Association, although they suffered no harm.
Now a news story carried in regional papers indicates that deep winter snow has forced deer and antelope into pastures in the King Hill/Glenn's Ferry area, a good indication why the wolf was there. Idaho Fish and Game is providing personnel to force the hungry animals back onto the public land off the ranch land.
Although livestock interests pose as sympathizers with those hunters who think wolves are decimating deer and elk herds, the reality is that many ranchers encroach on wildlife habitat, and complain about elk and deer as much as they do wolves. "Depredation" hunts of elk and deer are often held to appease ranchers. Ranchers even get paid depredation payments for haystacks eaten by ungulates. The money for this comes from hunting fees.
Hunting was what the wolf was doing. Maybe the livestock interests should have given it a medal, rather than someone giving it some lead.
With the organized livestock interests, it seems there is always two sides to an issue -- their way, and their way.
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Copyright © 2002 Ralph Maughan
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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209