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Senate Bill 1247 — Depredation, wolf-free zones

Senate Bill 1247 — Depredation, wolf-free zones

Parrish Miller
January 29, 2020

Bill description: SB 1247 designates chronic depredation zones and wolf-free zones based on big game hunting units. 

Rating: +1

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

SB 1247 increases protections for private property rights by allowing the year-round hunting of wolves in “chronic depredation zones” and in 11 specific big game hunting units. (The state is divided into more than 80 big game hunting units by the Idaho fish and game department.) The bill defines "chronic depredation zones" as big game hunting units with confirmed depredation in four out of the five preceding calendar years.

Unfortunately, SB 1247 does not go far enough and still requires any hunter taking a wolf to have a valid hunting license and wolf tag. It also requires the hunter to report the amount of wolves taken  to the department of fish and game within seven days. SB 1247 includes a trigger of 20 packs containing at least 200 wolves. Should the predators' numbers fall below this threshold, the expanded protections of property rights contained in this bill will cease.


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