The Idaho Senate approved change to state hunting law that would allow non-resident hunters to kill a wolf if they are unsuccessful in their deer or elk hunt. Current state law allows deer hunters from outside Idaho to hunt a bear or mountain lion during open season if they don’t kill a deer. The change would expand that option to elk hunters, and add wolves to the list of big game animals open for hunting.
“I think it makes a lot of sense to put wolves on the same tag,” said Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth. He said the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) expects to make $336,000 by adding wolves to that list. “They feel like hunters are discouraged,” Pearce said. He added that an IDFG survey of out-of-state hunters who didn’t come back to Idaho to hunt last year said the presence of wolves, which eat other big game animals, was the main reason they stayed away.
The final vote on the measure was 34-1. Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, said she worried that out-of-state hunters could kill a wolf in a zone that had already reached its quota for the season.
The change to hunting tags now heads to the governor for approval. Read IdahoReporter.com‘s story on House approval of the story here. The text of the legislation is available here.