The wolf hunt is on, for now, in Idaho. In fact, it begins today in some parts of the state. A federal judge took no action at the on the the last-minute injunction sought by environmentalists Monday, but said he would rule as a quickly as he could. Last year, the same judge, Donald Molloy, sided with environmentalists in a similar case, the Idaho Statesman reported.
“It’s the endangered species that need to be protected, not the states’ rights to kill wolves,” said Doug Honnold of Earthjustice.
Michael Eitel of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the agency would keep monitoring the wolves and step in to return the species to the endangered list if warranted.
The season is scheduled to start today in parts of Idaho and later elsewhere in the state. Montana’s season is set to begin Sept. 15. Business has been brisk. More than 9,000 hunters in Idaho bought wolf tags. Tags went on sale Monday in Montana, where hunters purchased almost 1,500 by 11 a.m., the Billings Gazette reported.
Meanwhile, the Helena Independent Record reports that wolves killed 120 adult male sheep in one attack on a Dillon-area ranch, the largest known wolf kill in recent history. That compares with 111 sheep killed by wolves in Montana in all of 2008, according to wildlife officials. In this attack, confirmed by wildlife officials, the wolves took out 120 purebred Rambouillet bucks that ranged in size from about 150 to 200 pounds, and were the result of more than 80 years of breeding.