January 29, 2023

Youth Coyote, Wolf Derby Brings Death Threats

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By George Dovel

*Editor’s Note*I inadvertently published an incomplete article with this title from The Outdoorsman. My apologies. Sometimes in the rushes and distractions of this work, buttons get clicked, things get deleted and/or published without my knowledge. Such was the case. Below is actually the complete article as it appears in The Outdoorsman, Bulletin 54.

The below article appears in the Outdoorsman, Bulletin Number 54, Oct.-Dec. 2013. It is republished here with express permission from the author. Please honor the protection of intellectual property and copyright. The Outdoorsman is the leading publication of truth concerning outdoor issues. To the right of this webpage is a link to follow in which readers are encouraged to subscribe to the print publication. Money is necessary for the continued publication of this important work. Thank you.

Pages 19-20 of the Jan-Mar 2008 Outdoorsman, included a letter from Salmon, Idaho outfitter Shane McAfee in which he discussed discrepancies in the wolf study being conducted in the vicinity of Salmon by Gary Power and Jason Husseman. McAfee reported observing nine wolf-killed elk carcasses that Husseman later claimed were lion kills, and the outfitter reported unmistakable evidence they were killed by wolves – not lions.

McAfee also compared his 1996 opening weekend harvest of nine branch-antlered bull elk by 10 hunters with his 2007 elk hunt when they saw no elk for the first 15 days and only one hunter harvested a young bull during the season. He also reported the impact wolves were having on non-resident elk hunters but the F&G commission ignored his warning and approved a new plan to protect five times as many wolves as the Idaho Legislature and FWS had agreed to.

The next time I heard from Mr. McAfee, he was understandably upset by his discovery that the lungs of the elk his hunters killed in 2012 were infected with E. granulosus hydatid cysts. He asked me if he could ship the lungs to me to forward to a reputable facility but I explained I could not keep up with the spread of the disease as more Idaho areas became saturated with wolves.

McCafee Takes Action

Unlike many others who merely complain “to the choir,” McAfee worked with officials in the nonprofit Western Predator Control Association (WPCA) and began sending the elk lung samples to the pathology lab at Colorado State University. He and his associates also developed a “Public Warning” poster (see following page) and an education program conducted by WPCA officials Clay Dethlefsen and veterinarian Dr. Jack Ward, and by Dr. Charles Kay who 20 years ago accurately predicted the dire outcome of wolf reintroduction in the “Lower 48.”

WPCA also published an informative booklet titled “Predator Diseases” as a guide for outdoorsmen to recognize and protect themselves from many of the diseases transmitted to other animals and humans from predators. And WPCA’s “Canine Diseases – Part 1” and “Wolf Attacks – Part 2” provide an excellent reference for those who either missed Dethlefsen’s presentation, or who want to refresh their memory of the extensive subject matter later on.

Biologists Repeat Wolf Advocates’ Lies

As Dr. Val Geist pointed out, the multiple impacts of introducing large wolves that are accustomed to killing large prey animals did not happen all at once at every location. But the fact that state agency wildlife biologists continued to repeat the myths of the wolf worshippers gave them an aura of credibility that neither deserved.

And once our Western Governors authorized the biologists who had decimated our wildlife to implement the UN/Wildlands agenda to block virtually all development, rural Idaho communities like Salmon and Elk City were left with no recourse other than their county government and their own ingenuity to survive.

Voters Supported Otter’s Defiance of the Wolf Hunt Being Canceled – But Failed to Realize the Result
In October of 2010 when Idaho Gov. Otter was running for re-election, his failure to go ahead with the IDFG 10J plan to kill wolves was very costly to rural Idaho. His letter to Interior Secretary Salazar refusing to manage wolves after the court blocked delisting allowed the wolves another full year to multiply and spread their diseases to elk, deer and humans without any control.

Voters showed their approval of Otter’s last minute “defiance” of the Judge’s order when they re-elected him overwhelmingly 15 days later. But they should have been paying attention to his written claim that Idaho could live with the 518-732 wolves he and IDFG had illegally agreed to maintain if the sport wolf hunting season was reinstated.

Outdoorsman No. 40, distributed in September of 2010, published the truth that the 2008 IDFG/Otter wolf plan was never provided to the Legislature for approval or rejection as required by law. It also documented why F&G could not allow the 518 wolf minimum, and showed proof of other serious F&G wrongdoing including the illegal use of nearly half a $million in P-R and D-J excise taxes.

I sent that issue to several trusted friends and political allies of Gov. Otter and on Dec. 8, 2010 he officially reversed his position. That same day the F&G Commission discarded its 2008 plan to manage for 500+ wolves and returned to the legal 2002 plan to manage for 150 wolves that was approved by the Legislature.

The Commission instructed IDFG to move forward with its 10J Plan to reduce wolves to protect ungulate herds. Yet thanks to Otter abandoning wolf management, the 2010-2011 winter, spring and summer arrived and ended without even one wolf being removed.

The 2011-2012 wolf seasons showed an increase in the number of wolves taken but it was too little – too late. The back country elk herds were already in a predator pit from which they could not escape and the Salmon Region elk were already infected with the hydatid cysts discovered by McAfee in the 2012 hunting season.

After failing to reduce the wolves enough, Gov. Otter’s office did not respond to the pleas from rural communities where wolves were entering yards and school grounds at night to kill elk and deer. At the same time, these wolves deposited their infected feces where the E. granulosus eggs could be passed to children and their pets.


In Elk City, two of Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings’ deputies killed their first wolf on June 25, 2011 and killing wolves has become a top priority to protect the small community ever since.

Coyote/Wolf Derby Announced in Salmon

In Salmon, the emphasis has been on education and as head of the local chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, McAfee announced its intent to hold a coyote and wolf derby on December 28-29, 2013. The USFS did not require a permit but the BLM responded in writing that it did not have time to advertise and hold public hearings and complete the lengthy process by the end-of-December hunt date.

Hunting coyotes and wolves on land administered by BLM was already legal on those two days and the Derby process, from registration through award of prizes, occurred on private land in Salmon. But IFW modified the rules to advise that no animal taken on land administered by BLM would qualify for the Derby and dropped the mandatory provision for a $20 registration fee for each two person team.

The teams generally consisted of a youngster and a parent or other adult acting as a mentor to guide the youth through their unique introduction to hunting predators. Reportedly included were a $1,000 first place prize for the most coyotes killed and another $1,000 for the largest wolf killed.

“Medicine Hunter” Sends Hate Mail

This was a very popular event among Salmon area residents and was sanctioned by the Regional IDFG Supervisor and by the Forest Service. But as soon as local sponsors were identified, they began to receive the usual death threats, many from out-of-state and other countries, if they failed to withdraw their support.

The threats reported by the news media included hanging the owners/operators with a noose, and setting fire to their store after making sure they were inside. These were similar to the bomb threats sent to Clay Dethlefsen and Dr. Ward earlier if they showed up to their workshop about hydatid disease spread by wolves.

Other emails involved wishful thinking including: “Sick (—–) like you need to be removed from the planet. I hope a pack of wolves eviscerates you and leaves your worthless carcass to die slowly, painfully and alone.”

Because I am neither a member of nor affiliated with IFW and had nothing to do with the Derby in Salmon, I was mildly surprised to receive the following email to me from Chris Kilham dated Dec. 20, 2013 at 12:16 P.M.:
“Idaho for (killing) Wildlife” is a hate group.
You, as an advocate, are a wildlife hater.
May you and your kind rot in hell.
Have a bad day
Chris Kilham

For those who do not recognize Kilham’s name, he is paid by cosmetics and health medicine manufacturers in France and elsewhere to visit primitive societies and obtain herbal ingredients for use in manufacturing cosmetics or herbal alternatives to prescription medicines. With frequent appearances on Fox News and the Dr. Oz TV show, Kilham is known as the “Medicine Hunter” and he has also devoted considerable effort and several books promoting use of aphrodisiacs and mind altering drugs, including marijuana.

I can forgive him and his animal rights activist wife for their possible ignorance of the unacceptable consequences of refusing to control excessive wolf numbers. But I do not condone the stupid arrogance of that email sent from their website ignoring the labor, dollars and equipment I and other family members have donated to restore healthy wildlife populations for half a century.

Shane McAfee and Others Displayed Courage

Readers who have followed these events in the media are already aware that U.S. Magistrate Candy W. Dale rejected the Plaintiffs’ request for a restraining order on Dec. 27, 2013, and the Derby took place with an expanded law enforcement presence. When the Derby ended on Dec. 29th IFW reported that more than 200 hunters in the field harvested 21 coyotes and no wolves.

I applaud Shane McAfee, IFW, and the citizens and officials of Salmon and Lemhi County for their courage in standing up to both the greedy hate mongers who pretend they are conservationists and the politicians who try not to offend a radical segment of voters. Instead of continuing to plead for help from a governor who had not offered a valid solution by then, they fired one small shot heard around much of the world for a return to sanity.

Activism Was Successful

And I suspect the Derby at Salmon, the pressure from Idaho County Commissioners, passage of HB 343 in 2011, Sheriff Giddings’ wolf control at Elk City, the 176 Siddoway sheep killed by wolves in August 2013, and publication of The Real Wolf (see page 11) all influenced Gov. Otter’s Jan. 6, 2014 request to the Legislature to appropriate $2 million to control wolves in Idaho.

According to Idaho Senator Jeff Siddoway, the $2,000,000 general fund appropriation, which will include funding for wolf control in FY 2015, will be administered by a state board co-chaired by the IDFG Director and the Idaho Department of Agriculture Director. He says a representative of sportsmen and a representative of livestock owners will be appointed by the Governor along with a member at large who will likely represent the interests of wolf advocates.

In subsequent years, $110,000 in funding will be provided by members of the livestock industry who recently announced an increase in brand renewal fees to cover that cost, and that $110,000 will be matched from sportsman license fees.