Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Dog Shooting Raises Concerns About Idaho’s New Wolf Killing Policies
Does this Alaskan malamute look like a wolf?
Friday, June 18, 2021


You might want to consider dressing Fido up in a frilly red bonnet if you’re taking him or her onto Wood River Valley and Sawtooth trails this summer.

A Hailey man and his daughter were awakened by the sound of three gunshots during a weekend backpack trip to North Fork Lake, an alpine lake at the headwaters of the North Fork Big Lost River in the Boulder Mountains atop Trail Creek Summit.

Robert Kolb quickly got dressed and stepped outside the tent to find that their family pet, an Alaskan malamute named Suki, had been shot by another camper.

The man who shot the dog told Kolb he thought she was a wolf. He said he fired off a warning shot but the dog continued approaching his tent, which was about 50 feet away from Robert and Piper Kolb’s camp. He said the dog was five feet away when he fired, even though Suki had a collar and tags.

One shot went into the side of Suki’s left eye and through her back while the other took off part of her ear.

Since she was still able to walk, the Kolbs hiked out three miles, rushing her to a veterinarian. Her face is partially paralyzed; her vertebrae dinged.

Kolb said Suki will probably recover and that the shooter paid for the vet bill.

“It just blows me away that somebody could think a dog running to their tent could be a wolf,” he told KTVB.

The Kolbs worry that other pet dogs could be shot given Idaho’s new law providing for year-round wolf hunting.

More than 50 wildlife conservation groups have asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore Endangered Species Act protections to wolves in the Northern Rockies following drastic changes to wolf killing laws in Idaho and Montana.

Idaho’s Senate Bill 1211, which takes place July 1, allows the state to hire private contractors to kill up to 90 percent of the state’s wolf population. Hunters and trappers are allowed to kill an unlimited number of wolves and even chase wolves and run them over with ATVs and snowmobiles.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will decide on June 24 whether to move forward with new rules that would authorize hunters and trappers to kill an unlimited number of wolves through baiting, trapping and night hunts using night-vision scopes and spotlighting.

Lindsay Larris, wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardians said the bills are not wolf management bills but “wolf extermination bills” hearkening back to the 1800s when no value was placed on wildlife and ecosystems.

“When states embrace such extreme and aggressive policies that threaten the viability of a species, few other options remain than to look to the federal government to reinstate necessary protections until a long-term solution is in place,” said Garrick Dutcher, research and program director at Idaho-based Living with Wolves.

 The unsustainable management of gray wolves by the states clearly demonstrates that the states cannot be trusted to protect this iconic species, said Tara Thornton of the Endangered Species Coalition.

“The impending and abhorrent changes to wolf hunting regulations will allow for inhumane methods to kill these animals and threatens the very survival of wolf populations in the region,” added Nicholas Arrivo, managing attorney for wildlife at the Humane Society of the United States.



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