Wolves in Idaho may soon have more reason to hide during hunting season.
The Idaho House voted to approve HB 463 Monday which, if enacted, would allow out-of-state hunters the ability to shoot and kill wolves using their deer or elk tags after an "unsuccessful hunt." The state already allows hunters who fail to bag a deer or elk to kill mountain lions and bears using their previously-purchased elk and deer tags.
Rep. Judy Boyle, R- Midvale, said the state lost out on more than $1.2 million in revenue because out-of-state hunters decided to go elsewhere due to unsuccessful hunts in past hunting season . Boyle believes that opening the tags up to more types of animals will increase the likelihood of kills for hunters, which will entice hunters to return to the state. On the House floor, Boyle said the new specifications could help the state reach quotas on each animal type and would help the state more effectively manage wildlife populations.
The legislation does not define the exact parameters of an "unsuccessful hunt." It is likely the term would mean that in the last two days of a hunt, if a hunter has not killed the animal which the intended to (an elk or deer), they would be able to shoot and kill a wolf.
Boyle believes the Idaho Department of Fish and Game would see an increase of at least 5 percent in deer and elk tags, which could generate as much as $336,900 in additional revenue for the state.
The measure passed on a 62-1 vote in the House and now heads to the Senate.
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