Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Live Bait, Ultralight Wolf Hunt Bill Fuels Controversy

POSTED: February 12, 2012
The wolf hunt in Idaho could soon be taken to a whole new elevation -- hundreds of feet in the air, to be exact.Sen. Jeff Siddoway (R-Terreton) proposed a bill last week that would allow Idahoans to hunt wolves from ultra-light aircraft and use live bait in traps.As a rancher himself, Siddoway said he's lost several sheep to wolves he hasn't been able to catch. The bill, he said, would make catching those wolves easier.
"It's to give us some tools to go after the wolves that we haven't had before," Siddoway said.But not everyone agrees. Ralph Maughan is the president of the Wolf Recovery Foundation and thinks the live bait aspect of the bill is archaic."It really is a bad bill from our point of view. It takes us back to the 1890s," Maughan said.
Maughan said the bill is all about Siddoway's personal interests."When he introduced he said, 'I'll admit, I have a conflict of interest here, I've lost $30,000 to $50,000 of sheep to wolves through the years, and this is to help take care of it,'" Maughan said.The wolf population has decreased recently, and so has the number of livestock attacked by wolves, which is relatively low anyway, Maughan said. 
He's concerned about using live animals just to lure wolves to their deaths, but Siddoway said live bait would be used in cages."You would use tall wire, 4 to 6 feet high, that would secure the animals in the corral and then you'd put traps on the outside of the corral," Siddoway said.He said that hunting from ultralight aircraft wouldn't put people in danger because it's something that's been done before. 
Maughan said it could come down to economics."We don't think it's necessary to use airplanes and the cost of flying an airplane around will soon be more than one sheep," he said.Even though he disagrees with this bill, he thinks the current wolf hunt is being well-controlled, Maughan said.Siddoway is hopeful the bill will pass the Senate. 
video is also available at source 

Senator Jeff Siddoway also pushes amendment to turn Land Owner Appreciation bill into a no access gravy train-

Idaho rancher and State Senator Jeff Siddoway has introduced a bill (S1305) in the Idaho statehouse that would authorize the slaughter of wolves involved in molesting or killing livestock by any number of creative ways.
Idaho State Senator Siddoway
Senator Siddoway seems to have some sort of fetish for killing wolves via extravagant means.  You may remember back in 2009 when Siddoway apparently authorized the private aerial gunning with – if I remember correctly a motorized parachute, to kill a wolf on his property in violation of the Airborne Hunting Act of 1956.  Idaho authorities refused to cite the senator for the incident. ed. note. Idaho’s prisons are overflowing with the less well connected.
Of the proposed legislation Siddoway says:
“You can basically go after them [wolves] by any means available,” Siddoway said. “And when I say ‘get ‘em’ I mean kill ‘em.”
The bill would allow aerial hunting, use of any weapon, including artificial light night scopes on rifles. Live bait also would be permitted to lure wolves to traps. In Siddoway’s case, the bait would be several of his sheep, corralled behind a temporary fence. Others might use dogs as bait, he said.
The bill does not require a livestock owner with a permit to protect his live bait, or limit what it could be.  It would allow use of a child (though other laws would prevent that).
The Siddoway Sheep Company Incorporated, which is partially owned by the Senator, received $865,952 in agricultural subsidies between the years 1995-2006. Siddoway has been president of the Idaho Woolgrowers, an Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner, but never a friend of wildlife or hunters, except the rich ones.
A few years back, Siddoway also fenced off 8 of his private square miles of his huge landholdings, which also include public land grazing permits. and carved out the “Juniper Mountain Ranch,” an elk farm where anyone can hunt elk behind a fence without a license or tag if they have a big wallet.  A 231-285 size bull will cost-$4,4954, however a big 400″ is $12,000.  Even larger bulls ares available . . .  prices on request.  So he has a sagebrush and juniper covered elk hunting farm, but he has more private property than that.  For that,  and presumably for other big Idaho land barons, he has introduced another piece of legislation that has already passed the Senate Committee — senate bill 1283.
If passed into law, Senator Siddoway’s proposal would amend fish and game code 36-104: 4-B 24-26 to read:
“any landowner issued a landowner appreciation program (LAP) controlled hunt tag may sell the tag to another person at any price upon which the parties mutually agree”.
According to the Idaho Wildlife Federation the purpose of the LAP program was to create a preferred  tag draw for landowners to ensure a tag to those whose property lay in controlled hunt units in deference for them providing wildlife habitat and sportsmen’s access. These tags were designed for use by the landowner and family members only, not for selling the tags for personal profit. Senate Bill S1283 destroys the original intent of the LAP program and allows landowners to sell hunting tags off to the highest bidder and keep the proceeds, and its appears without providing access.
This is so typical of Idaho’s land barons, and it shows why the Idaho Fish and Game Commission with its tradition of land baron, or kin of baron representation, doesn’t represent the public interest or the more narrow interest of hunters.
Back to bill s. 1305, the wolf baiting bill.  Every year the governor’s wolf compensation committee meets  and hands out “reimbursement” for “wolf-killed” livestock for which there is no hard proof.  Siddoway had some claims, and this year he complained there was not enough money in the fund. After the meeting ended he introduced the bill.
While Siddoway is doing all this, he is also sponsoring a constitutional amendment to guarantee the “right to hunt and trap.”  Folks ought to be able to see a diversion here.  If there are few to no tags for you and public land is blocked off, what use is a right to hunt?
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Note: this article by Ralph Maughan and Brian Ertz