March 20, 2023

Gov. Butch Otter Will Include Hunters In Wolf Management Plan

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Yesterday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter addressed around 300 sportsmen and women on the steps of the state house and talked about the upcoming de-listing of the gray wolf and promised those in attendance that the plan for reducing wolf populations to as few as 10 packs and keeping them in check, would involve hunters. Too often we see state fish and game taking it upon themselves to reduce problem wildlife without giving hunters a chance.

Without giving any specific details in his address, Otter did do a little, “We told you so” bantering while pointing his finger in a direction we can only assume was directed at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other wolf advocate groups and individuals – a collective Them.

While exclaiming the efforts all Idaho citizens, including conservationists, biologists, etc. have put into managing its wildlife, Otter said this: “…….and to see that (effort) destroyed in 1994 and 1995 when we brought the wolves in. We told them exactly what was going to happen………..U.S. Fish and Wildlife admitted to it, that every wolf pack (of which there are now an estimated 60) was going to take 86 ungulates a year and about 80% of that was going to be elk. It doesn’t take a Phi Beta Kappa to figure out, when you look at the counts today, exactly what happened.” (video clip from KTVB in Boise)

While Governor Otter was making his claims to sportsmen on the steps of the capital, Defenders of Wildlife was announcing that there is no scientific evidence that wolves are decimating the elk herd in Idaho.

“At this point there is very little evidence that the presence of wolves has caused a decline in elk numbers anywhere, especially in Central Idaho,” said Jim Peek, a retired professor of wildlife biology and a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation board of directors.

Obviously, there are immense differences in scientific conclusions. We know that the Defenders of Wildlife’s agenda is seeing to it that the wolf is left alone at any cost. We also know that the Governor is looking out for the best interest of the citizens of Idaho. I also think there is much greater consensus among the scientists and professionals in Boise, that the wolf numbers need to come down.

As Otter shared that part of the wolf management plan was going to include game hunting of the animal, he proclaimed that he was prepared to bid on the first ticket that would allow him to shoot a wolf. The 300 or so chilly onlookers erupted in cheers.

Otter immediately followed that by reading a proclamation declaring January 11, Idaho Sportsman’s Day.

Tom Remington