March 24, 2023

Idaho Bill Proposed Would Tap Hunters to Pay for Wolf Depredation

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Rep. Judy Boyle of Idaho has sponsored a bill that would add $4.00 to the purchase price of a wolf hunting permit and then take $8.00 from each wolf tag sold to be placed into a fund to help pay the cost of livestock losses to ranchers.

Are you kidding me?

Such a bill has to be either the most in-your-face, brassy and ballsy act a politician can muster against hunters or the complete opposite; a display of unselfish charity, the kind most seldom ever seen on this earth anymore!

In your face? In Idaho there is a situation that exists in which many, if not most, hunters are so angry about wolves, and many of the same consider the action taken in the mid-90s to (re)introduce wolves into the state a criminal enterprise, resulting in the greatest destructive act against wildlife and game hunting opportunities. And now, a bill proposes to tap hunters to pay for the destruction of the game animals they hunt. Isn’t this just about as ridiculous as you can get?

Charity? Perhaps I have been so angered and frustrated over the years of deliberate game destruction, the loss of hunting opportunities, threats of the harmful spread of deadly disease, reduced public safety and loss of property, all because of wolves, that it’s difficult to muster up a real Christian attitude and overlook all of this and direct my love and devotion to the losses having been suffered by the ranchers. I’m not Christ. I’m human!

I have nothing against ranchers and have certainly spent my share of time defending them and supporting the idea of reimbursing them for losses. But I fail to understand why this responsibility to pay ranchers for their losses should fall to the hands of those who want to buy a license to hunt a wolf. Surely the majority of hunters don’t hunt wolves out of the love of the sport. Isn’t it more out of a want to get rid of the damned animals in order to bring back elk, deer and moose populations in those areas where the wolf has had a field day? Why not tax every dollar donated to the environmental groups mostly responsible for wolf introduction? Isn’t that justice?

When you think about this bill, isn’t it akin to asking members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving to pay for property damage caused by drunks behind the wheel of a car? What am I failing to see here?

If my sense of charity is so terribly diminished that I can’t and should be eager to pay another $4.00, that I have little confidence the government isn’t going to steal for other purposes, then I pray to God He will show me that I am wrong.