The Department Of Fish And Game Is Now In The Bear Baiting Business

Due to public outcry earlier this year, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) abandoned plans to contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to kill bears and mountain lions as part of a study of the impacts of predation on elk in the Clearwater region. However, despite acknowledgement by agency biologists that degraded habitat is the primary direct and indirect factor for poor elk survival in the region, the Idaho Game and Fish Commission decided to approve the ill-conceived study by substituting sport hunters and outfitters for federal agents.

This politically motivated decision was designed simply to pacify certain elk hunters and outfitters who continue to view predators as unwelcome competition for their recreational and commercial pursuits.

To make matters worse, now IDFG officials are lending a helping hand to these predator killers by purchasing and distributing tons of dog food to bait animals to increase the hunters’ success rate. Such actions by department officials fly in the face of much ballyhooed principles of fair chase and violate sound ecosystem management principles that embrace the value of all members of the ecosystem. The IDFG should not be in the business of engaging in a practice that even most hunters find reprehensible.

Please contact the IDFG, Commission, and Governor’s office to express your opposition to the study in general and to the agency’s involvement in baiting in particular. Please find contact information below.

You may want to make the following points:

  • Most hunters and nonhunters agree that bear baiting is contrary to the notion of fair chase. IDFG should not serve as a facilitator for hunters who choose to engage in unethical practices.
  • Predators are beneficial and necessary to healthy ecosystems and their presence should be welcomed. Wildlife agencies must not return to the unenlightened policies of the past simply to quell the clamor of a few dissatisfied hunters.
  • While the collection of scientific information is important, it does not require killing certain animals to understand population fluctuations and dynamics. Biology is a discipline within the ‚Äúlife” sciences. Wildlife agencies need to step into the 21st century and use nonlethal methodologies to conduct studies and
    research.CONTACT:The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne

    Governor of Idaho

    P.O. Box 83720

    Boise, ID 83720-0034

    (208) 334-2100

    Fax: (208) 334-2175

    governor@gov.state.id.us

    Rod Sando, Director

    Idaho Department of Fish and Game

    P.O. Box 25

    Boise, ID 83707

    (208) 334-5159

    Fax: (208) 334-4885

    rsando@idfg.state.id.us

    Idaho Fish and Game Commission Members:

    Nancy Hadley

    4325 Whiskeyjack Rd.

    Sandpoint, Idaho 83864

    (208) 263-2380 (h)

    msnancy@netw.com

    Alex Irby

    2666 Preston Road

    Orofino, Idaho 83544

    (208) 476-4597 (o)

    airby@konkolville.com

    Don Clower

    5103 West Cherry Lane

    Meridian, Idaho 83642

    (208) 888-7020 (h)

    cwdxer@aol.com

    Roy Moulton

    60 E. Wallace Avenue

    Driggs, Idaho 83422

    (208) 354-2345 (o)

    moultonlaw@pdt.net

    Marcus Gibbs

    632 Highway 34

    Grace, Idaho 83241

    (208) 425-3385 (h)

    marc@gibbsfarms.com

    Fred L. Wood III, M.D.

    P.O. Box 1207

    Burley, Idaho 83318

    (208) 678-2370 (h)

    (208) 677-3136 (fax)

    flwiii@pmt.org

    John Burns

    Box 264

    Carmen, Idaho 83462

    (208) 756-3645

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