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Idaho Fish And Game Meeting Draws Crowd Of Wolf Foes

SALMON, Idaho - The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will vote Thursday on a plan to allow wolf hunting this fall without a cap on the number of wolves being killed in the state. And for the first time in the lower 48, trapping of the gray wolf would also be allowed. Correspondent Jessica Robinson was at a public meeting the Idaho Fish and Game held Wednesday on the proposal.

When the parking lot outside the Fish and Game office in Salmon, Idaho filled up, people started parking on the grass. Inside, members of the public hurled some harsh words against Fish and Game commissioners. Most speakers felt the panel isn’t going far enough to rein in Idaho’s wolf population.

“Open ‘em year round. Hunt ‘em, trap ‘em, run ‘em over,” said Mike Popp, with a group called the Committee for a Safe and Wolf-Free Idaho. “Don’t make a collared wolf illegal to shoot. Shoot ‘em!”

Fish and Game estimates Idaho’s wolf population now tops 1,000. And state wildlife managers don’t expect hunters to make much of a dent in the population this year. Despite the ire the animal raises, the department isn’t selling as many wolf tags as anticipated.

Meanwhile, conservation groups are contesting the way Congress de-listed the wolf this spring. Earlier this week, they made their case before a federal judge in Montana.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

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