The Idaho Department Fish & Game is continuing its war on wolves by proposing to allow the baiting of wolves in Idaho. The agency is taking public comment on the proposal until July 26. You can take the survey and add additional comments here.
It is currently legal to bait bears during certain seasons in the state of Idaho. If an individual has a permit from the IDFG to operate a baiting station, and they kill a wolf that is attracted to the bear baiting station, the action is legal. This new proposal would allow an individual to get a permit from IDFG and set up a baiting station specifically for wolves. The proposal is unclear what season(s) this would be permitted.
- Baiting of wildlife is generally illegal, including in the state of Idaho, except for black bears. In a past IDFG news release, “Idaho deer and elk hunters need to be aware that hunting over salt or bait is illegal,” Mark Sands, conservation officer for IDFG said. “This type of hunting clearly violates fair chase ethics because it takes advantage of an unnatural condition created by the hunter.” Why is there a different standard for black bears and now possibly wolves?
- If passed, Idaho would be the only state in the Lower 48 that allows baiting of wolves.
- Bait stations are indiscriminate, meaning any species, including the targeted species, may be lured in by the strong odor.
- Baiting may effect behavior of wildlife and feeding patterns.
- Would the baiting of wolves effect hibernating bears? Would the strong odor effect bear hibernation patterns? How would baiting wolves effect wolverines, cougars and other predators?
- Baiting of bears and now possibly wolves is a slippery slope. What species will be next on the list to allow baiting?
- Since the hunting season of wolves ranges anywhere from 6-10 months depending on the hunting unit in the state of Idaho, how long would the baiting season be?
- Any rule that would allow the bating of wolves must contain a provision that states “live bait” is not permitted.
- Bait stations are a form of littering and potentially cause resource damage by the way they are set up.
IDFG is taking public comment on the proposal until July 26. You can take the survey and add additional comments here.