Idaho Bill Targets Wolves “By any Means Available”
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.
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?
– – – –
Note: this article by Ralph Maughan and Brian Ertz
134 Responses to Idaho Bill Targets Wolves “By any Means Available”
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++Idaho authorities refused to cite the senator for the incident.++
He’s white, he’s local.
And a sanctified member of the religious order of Idaho legislators… an branch subsidiary of the dominant religion that owns/rules the state…
just another reason to avoid idaho,,apparently they have never gotten rid of those that dominate/dictate.
Disgusting – I guess the Middle Fork is off of my list,and I’ll never knowingly buy anything from Idaho again.
This fool needs a mental health evaluation. What more do people like this guy want? They already have a no quota hunting/trapping season that runs for 7 months, the SSS goons, and the aerial assassins of Wildlife Services. When is this insanity going to stop? This guy must have seen how extreme the Wisconsin bill is and had to take it one step further to show that Idaho can be just as cruel as them. As I said before, thanks Obama.
Jeff Siddoway is no fool. He can calculate very well. I’ve known him for 30 years.
I used “fool” because I probably would be banned if I used one of the other terms that I was thinking of. 🙂
They want it all, dear. They want total control over people without lots of money and all the lowly wildlife that their deity, according to them, gave them dominion over… c’mon, you know the drill.. It’s their religious mandate to make sure that everyone is converted to their way of thinking and doing, anything less is unacceptable. god tells them t do it.
He is land rich and his family has been important for genertions, including his father, grandfather, etc. I don’t think local matters. Most rural and small town folks in the area don’t have influence like this.
Pretty much everyone in Eastern Idaho is White, except Native Americans, who, for all purposes, don’t count.
and a handful of African Americans and latinos… all nearly completely invisible and certainly voice-less.
He certainly lives up to everything I was ever taught about sheepherders …except for the personal hygiene part; I can’t tell about that from a distance.
IMO, that’s the look of a man who has done some serious mutton busting.
There sure is a lot of talk about “molesting” livestock from this guy. You think maybe he is jealous?
This post needs wider distribution.
Please copy it to your state senator because the tag bill will soon be on the state senate floor.
I think the Idaho Wildlife Federation is working hard. Here is their more detailed explanation link.
Note that it has cleared the committee, so the names of those folks are not as important as the full senate.
The LAP tag bill may be in response to a couple of regulations passed by the IDFG Commission last year that made it more difficult for large landowners to have access to multiple LAP tags. There is an unofficial market for these tags in Idaho and other states…landowners get around the resale restriction here by selling a “trespass fee” to go with the tag that they allocate to the hunter. Never mind that the tag is good for the whole unit, so the purchaser may never need to actually trespass.
To be fair, the Commission has cracked down on abuses of this system, in an effort to allow more small landowners to participate, and to limit the ability of large landowners to sell tags. So I wouldn’t characterize the commission as being totally sympathetic to the landowners in this case.
I have no interest in selling our landowner tags, but I don’t have a problem with other landowners being able to sell theirs, as long as it’s used only on their private ground (which isn’t the case right now). What’s unfair is that the tag is good for the whole unit and that it’s open to non-family individuals. This enables wealthy hunters willing to pay the “trespass fee” to get around the draw system that everyone else has to go through. Make it family only, or limit it to the private ground only, and much of this secondary market will disappear.
Thanks Tom Page,
I think the current law limits the tags to family, and that seems fine with me in general.
To put it more exactly this new Siddoway system, as well as other workarounds like trespass fees, I think allow landowners to extract pure economic rents.
It is my belief, though I didn’t originate this argument, that the current American unease about the 99% and the 1% is that suddenly many have come to believe, probably correctly, that ?? (“many”) of the very wealthy or otherwise well positioned are collecting nearly pure rent and so do not deserve their wealth because they produced nothing of real value.
Of course, the word “rent” is a technical term of economics that probably fewer than 1 in hundred have heard of (other than the natural confusion with “rentals”).
Cool if we could get into a debate about Henry George after 110 years. 😉
Actually, the LAP tags are not limited to family members only. You can designate it for anyone – this past year I gave our antelope tag to a good friend of mine and then accompanied him on his hunt. Tagholders do have to pay the regular fee however, even for non-residents.
As I said above, this secondary market exists, in part, because of this transferability.
Of course what also plays a big part in this market is the lowest-common-denominator management style of most F&G departments around the west. People who are fed up with crowded public lands, vehicles everywhere, and little game are willing to pay for a quality hunt, and I don’t blame them one bit. If hunting were better on public land, there wouldn’t be nearly the demand for private land access.
Am I correct, IMO? The LAP tags (meaning land owner appreciation) are an attempt, partly successful, to gain access to private land for hunting (Access Yes!), and also to accomplish other objectives such as preventing hunting season game migration onto largely unhunted private lands and to encourage conservation measures such as you have undertaken on your land.
Now, an amendment to the law such as a bill like this is an attempt to take the hunting value of an animal belonging to the state and privatize it, something we can expect from a legislature with so many conservatives, whether there is a Siddoway or not?
Access Yes is a different deal than the Landowner Appreciation Program. The LAP is designed (ideally) to provide landowners in controlled hunt units with the chance to hunt more frequently, since they are the ones providing the habitat and forage for the animals that live there. These landowners must meet a minimum acreage, and demonstrate that they provide wildlife habitat for the species they wish to apply for. It’s worth noting that landowner tags are a small overall percentage of the total, so it’s not like the allocation system is fundamentally tilted in this direction.
I don’t think it has much to do with getting a kill on animals that gather up inside the fences. You are also not required to undergo any specific conservation measures to be eligible, as far as I know.
The value of landowner tags varies from unit to unit. Camas County buck tags are pricey, and limited elk units can bring a pretty penny too. On the other hand Mr. Siddoway notes in his unit they aren’t worth all that much.
Re your second question – Yes, I’d say (and I haven’t read the whole bill, so this is a bit of speculation) that any bill that tries to legalize the sale of landowner tags is a move towards privatization.
That said, I do think there can be some public benefit in limited privatization programs, although there needs to be careful controls on, and concessions from, the landowner for such a program to be successful. A straight-up sale isn’t going to accomplish that, however.
Ralph, a land owner can have the tag transferred to anyone not just family.
Yes, that’s what I wrote earlier. Even as a LAP tag user, and someone who has given our tags to friends (but never sold them) I don’t know if this is entirely equitable in very tough draw units.
Sorry missed that! I’ve got two over the years, one in 37A and one in 44 from friends (did not pay for them). I would oppose making it legal to sell them. That is not what the LAP program was designed for.
Tom Page and Craig,
Thank you for this information.
May he get back thrice what he sows. So mote it be.
I am a conservative farmboy and enjoy discussing the real issues. I dont however like uneducated personal attacks. Could we address the issue of what the ranchers are to do to mitigate the losses caused from these predators. Contrary to your statement earlier today the percentage of losses is greater than you reported. I think we can find middle ground here.
I never got around to answering you, but maybe you say my response to JC Siddoway. My number one choice would be conditioned taste aversion the taste of livestock meat by salting it with Lithium, making the predators very sick and disgusted by the taste, and so keeping them to deer, elk, moose, rodents.
Kade – forgive me for chiming in here but “uneducated” personal attacks are often a direct result (frustration) of the conservative “farmboy” mentality that is and has been prevalent across the west regarding wildlife.
I wish each person that reads this could actually run a ranch for one year and see the things that we have seen. I don’t know how to explain to someone that works in a office everyday the hardships that the wolves place upon ranchers. Let’s say for example that you and your family grow a garden each year. You depend upon the food from this garden to feed your family. During the season you begin to notice some of the vegetables being dug up and eaten by raccoons. You think it’s just a few you’ll be ok but day after day it continues. Your try to scare them off but they come back. You start to realize the impact this is going to have. What do you do? Would you give up and let them have all you have worked for or would you fight for what is yours? I’m all ears if you can tell me what I can do to keep the wolves out of my sheep. I have tried everything that is legal and it has not worked. As a rancher I provide two great resources to this country food and clothing. What do wolves provide?
JC (Senator, I am assuming),
ed., note later. Our mistake. JC Siddoway is not Senator Jeff Siddoway, but his son. J.C. has made a further comment as of 7:30 this morning (Tues)
Thank you for responding.
No one wants to see your sheep eaten or otherwise killed by wolves, but I think there is a lot of skepticism about media reports of your losses. Wildlife Services is very active in controlling wolves and other predatory animals. I’d think you must have called them to come with their traps and aerial gunning. There is no protection in Idaho for wolves that kill livestock. What was the result of their efforts?
You were quoted as saying you have been hunting for wolves hard for 3 years on your property and haven’t even seen one. So I think a reasonable person can ask if maybe your losses are not due to coyotes or something else? Not wolves?
I have heard that they was a big pileup of dead sheep somewhere on your property, but that there were no wolf bite marks on them. Now that could have been a big loss, but what was really responsible for it if my facts are correct?
Now I have never herded sheep, but I do know that as a teenager, the first time I took my cocker spaniel up in the hills and he saw his first band of sheep, he chased a hundred or so over the hill. The herder was very angry and could well have shot my dog right there I suppose, but it also shows that sheep are easily scared and can get trampled. Many things account for their deaths.
Are things really so bad in the Upper Valley that you need to bait in wolves to protect the sheep?
It would be great if you choose to give us an estimate of your annual loses by cause, including disease, not just predation.
Actually Ralph, the pileup was elsewhere. I think near Pine, Idaho. I still need to request that data.
Maybe we will hear some facts and figures if it was senator Siddoway
Well put Ralph
My two cents would add that Elk numbers haven’t declined in whole, merely they have learned to adapt, and become more mobile.
Given this, Elk populations have also increased in some areas that haven’t seen increases for some time.
WY., just held a “Elk reduction” hunt.., so what does that tell you.
I don’t appreciate the ” you don’t live here” comments, for what happens in your neck of the woods, affects EVERYONE in the country.
Much of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana had numerous problems with over grazing livestock, killing off natural plant life, and wildlife.
Since the reintroduction, they have made a incredible turnaround.
Humans are the only species that hunts for fun/sport/bloodlust.
Wildlife does so to survive.
I may not fully understand running a ranch, but I know I understand Ethology.
Just because you live there, doesn’t make you a Ethologist.
I appreciate what your family may provide, but this doesn’t give you or any rancher the right to alter the Ecosystem.
Culling wolves is also reckless without science based knowledge. Killing one wolf could potentially cost the lives of numerous others from that pack.
Taking a experienced hunter out of the pack can induce the less experienced to become more opportunistic, thus go after easier prey, livestock.
Those like your father, know this.., and this is exactly what they want.
Bad reputation for the wolf makes their extermination more palatable.
I hunt for sustenance, so I rely on myself for meat, not the cattle association.
All I rely on them for.., is to stop the livestock from over grazing, polluting water ways, and spreading disease to wildlife.
Something they can not, or are unwilling to alter.
Thank you to the others for the intelligent post from both sides.
“I’m all ears if you can tell me what I can do to keep the wolves out of my sheep.”
Put up a fence (like the one at your canned hunting ranch)? Take some personal responsibility? Realize that some risk is the price of business?
“I have tried everything that is legal and it has not worked.”
And from the sounds of Ralph and Brian’s article you tried things that are not legal and got away with it.
Paranoid much? Wolves provide a helluva lot more to me than selfish livestock barons who think that they can kill every living thing that inconveniences them. It is amazing that there are plenty of other ranchers that have been able to adapt to the land and its inhabitants, yet for others the only answer is kill, kill, kill. Not only kill but propose to do it in the most barbaric way possible.
It would help a lot to know how many confirmed losses to wolves you have suffered. Even assuming kills were missed, based on a study that was referenced on this site (I wish I saved the link), it shouldn’t be more than 5-7 possible wolf kills for every confirmed loss, depending on the terrain? (Anyone more familiar with the topic, please correct my numbers if I’m off a bit.)
You obviously know better than I that sheep die for all sorts of reasons. I’ve had conversations with guys who look after thousands of acres of grass (seed) down in Lane County, Oregon, most of whom use sheep on their land during part of the year, and it is common to see dead sheep laying in the fields, unmolested by predators at the time of death.
Its true that people like lamb, and people like wool, but you have to acknowledge that many people, and not just “urbanites” like wolves also. Just because wolves aren’t bought and sold doesn’t mean they have no value. So have many wolves, JC? 500 in Idaho is about as low as you’re going to see even a lot of “middle of the road” folks go.
“What do wolves provide?”
You might be interested to know that a recent (2008) study estimated that wolves bring $35.5 million annually to businesses in the greater Yellowstone area in the form of increased tourism. Notably, this money comes entirely from people who live outside of the tri-state area.
See: Duffield, John W., Chris J. Neher, and David A. Patterson. 2008. Wolf Recovery in Yellowstone: Park Visitor Attitudes, Expenditures, and Economic Impacts. George Wright Forum 25 (1):13-19.
I absolutely agree with you regarding the need to find better ways of protecting sheep and livestock from predation. However, without knowing the specific “impact” wolves are having in relation to other factors (e.g., disease, weather, other predators), and without knowing what, exactly, you have tried, it is hard to judge if this very aggressive legislation is called for. Both the USDA’s and USDI’s statistics on livestock losses suggest wolves make up a tiny fraction of overall losses; moreover, a recent (2009) publication by USDA Wildlife Services shows that sheep depredations are trending downward and suggests that wolves’ displacement of coyotes could explain why the number of coyote-caused depredations are down in Idaho.
See: Galle, Alegra, Mark Collinge, and Richard Engeman. 2009. Trends in Summer Coyote and Wolf Predation on Sheep in Idaho During a Period of Wolf Recovery (Paper 13). Proceedings of the 13th Wildlife Damage Management Conference:184-190.
Finally, I would point out that while your analogy works with raccoons (an extremely abundant species), it does not work with other forms of wildlife (e.g., deer, elk moose) which, notably, are excluded from the bill’s provisions. Why should livestock producers have carte blanche to kill wolves and other predators, when other agricultural sectors are forced to sustain some level of depredation to support wildlife such as elk, moose and deer?
“Statistics on livestock losses suggest wolves make up a tiny fraction of overall losses”. That’s like saying gangs make up for a tiny number of human deaths in the overall number of deaths. Several people have stated they would rather have wolves than gangs. For rural folks gangs are easy to find we don’t worry to much about gangs. You continue to make good points but it is the effect on one or the few that is felt most. If it effects your bottom line it seems more important. A person could use driving drunk it’s a numbers game.
Like the 35.5 million increase in revenue but did they look at the revenue lost to hunting or the dollars spent on the wolf program. My valley has close to the same amount of wolves as Yellowstone will we see 35.5 million in tourist dollars?
Mostly you said it “agriculture sectors are forced to sustain some level of depredation to support wildlife…”
“For rural folks gangs are easy to find we don’t worry to much about gangs”
Oh but you should RB. My guess is while you’re getting your “panties in a bunch” over wolves, these gangs are quietly and “meth”odically taking over many rural areas and their kids.
Just have to look at the increase in drug related crimes in Billings, Bozeman, Butte over the last few years.
I suggest you read the Galle et al. (2009) paper I cited above. They noted that with the increase in wolf populations there was actually a DECLINE in coyote populations and a DECLINE in overall depredations on sheep. Yep, some individuals are disproportionately impacted, and for them we have a crack team of wildlife removal experts, subsidized at taxpayer expense.
Look, I fully understand the desire to exert control over factors that affect one’s business–it is the double standard that bothers me. Let me explain, my family (in the Midwest) could not make a profit raising livestock. You see, they had to buy their own feed and house livestock on land they owned, which, of course, put them at a competitive disadvantage; so they went back to raising crops. I reject the idea that even after the highly subsidized grazing fees and expert predator removal, that western producers think they should have carte blanche to kill wildlife on publicly-owned lands. Shoot, farmers around most of the country do not have that ability on PRIVATE lands! The accept loses, and when the loses are too great, they apply for depredation permits. Seems to work pretty well most other places?
Amen JC – This is irrational hatred that can only be advanced by a certain stripe. Alligators in Florida are less vilified.
Sir.., you could see some of that money if Ranchers opened the doors to it!
What does Idaho do other than near yellowstone, to bring in tourism as it pertains to wildlife? Excluding hunting of course.
I have met many ranchers who utilize guard dogs, etc.., with excellent results.
No one wants to see a rancher/farmer struggle.., but we don’t want to see them use the land at their whim, with no regard to how they effect the land, and it’s limited resources it provides.
Many of us here in Idaho enjoy seeing and photographing wolves. My Yellowstone Wolf photos are being featured at this time by The Bradford Exchange. (you can click on my name above to see them.)
I would like to do a similar series on Idaho wolves, but the current overlong and excessive wolf hunt here in Idaho makes it very difficult.
I don’t receive hundeds of thousands of subsidy dollars from the Federal government to support my business and my ancestors forgot to to leave me millions of dollars worth of Idaho farmland, so my Idaho business is much smaller than yours.
It is, however, as important to me as your subsidized and inherited sheep farm is to you.
Excellent photos too sir!
As a cattle ranch owner with public permits in Custer and Lemhi counties, I’d say that experience varies from ranch to ranch. We’re in occupied wolf country and we’ve had no pred losses or really any issues at all, while I know others that have had significant problems. I agree with most of your argument…getting healthy food from wild landscapes is extremely important to me, and we provide that, as you note. Still, wolves are part of that wild landscape, and there should be some around. That doesn’t mean that producers shouldn’t have some ability to protect their livelihood from chronic depredation. The key question is where you draw that line. Personally, I’d never use bait or poison.
As the posts are coming fast and heavy, allow me to say that we hear so much about why we got rid of them(wolves) why would we ever wan to bring them back? Their original prey base was all but wiped out. The only thing left was livestock… And ranchers never “learned” to live with wolves.
A natural prey base is now present, and wolves are being hunted. Now is the time for rational minds to take over. Pro-wolf folks, know that problem wolves MUST be removed. Ranchers, now is your chance to work with others, in what amounts to the first time, for co-existance with wolves.
I don’t pretend to know the answers, but others have many suggestions. Rather than government depredation funds, would it not be better to be proactive and tap into the resources of environmental groups, and if they don’t exist, beckon to environmental groups for the required assistance. And for pro-wolf groups, find a way that assistance is provided so the killing is limited.
The curve might be steep, but in the long run we can take the first step away from the you suck, they suck BS that has been going on for close to 20 years but seems to have been going on forever. Let’s find a way (together)toward proper management of a keystone, charismatic species.
I think you’re going to start seeing something along those lines (your penultimate paragraph) in Idaho within the next few years. I expect that it will driven by the non-profit sector, not state or federal agencies.
Thank you Tom for your honesty and service as a Rancher to this Country.
It is those like you that at least welcome dialogue. Real science based management is needed.., and humane management at that.
Good luck to you
++As a rancher I provide two great resources to this country food and clothing. What do wolves provide?++
Right here we get to the heart of the problem.
want to bet Siddoway and Don Peay have had more than one or two conversations along with the local hack for Sportsmen for(some) Fish and (some) Wildlife.
Maybe the Siddoways are getting the message from a few of these posts. This what is wrong with politics. People whose motivating force is GREED will stop at nothing to enrich themselves. People whose self-importance overrides everything else. One only needs to look at some of the Siddoways business dealings to see questionable ethical considerations. It sounds so “wholesome” the “providing of food and clothing”. You get GOV taxpayer funded predator control, you get subsidies(hundreds of thousands of dollars) and now, with some consulting from the predator hater DonPeay, you can introduce legislation to get rid of all unwanted predators. A man with connections….. You don’t even know if wolves are the cause of these “depredations”. What good are wolves? Why even bother trying to explain to you. You, Balyeat, Phil hart- have the talking points down pretty well. Remember-as you keep introducing these extreme anti-wildlife bills- people are watching….
Local cronyism at it’s worst
Shouldn’t the fact that Senator Siddoway stands to significant finacial gains from this legislation preclude him from being the bill’s sponsor? From a conflict of interest standpoint?
His former fellow senator Jack Noble was brought up on ethics charges and forced to resign for introducing legislation that Noble would have benefited from personally.
You know as I try to wade my way through this post and especially the comments in an attempt to make sense of an unfamiliar state’s regulations in appearances the ranchers come off as the honest brokers. They come on the forum politely and state their case without personally saying nasty things about someone with whom they disagree.
Recently I read that this website had experienced some millions of hits since four years ago. What you say is being read by a much wider audience than the people involved.
That providing food and clothing argument is a good one. Idaho allows the culling of depredating wolves, he seeks to broaden the allowable methods of doing so. It just doesn’t sound that controversial to me.
High fence hunting and the private sale of game tags, that bothers me, but not the wolves.
The history of wolves, ranchers, and depredations..alleged depredations…is a long one and in the archives for you to explore.
In this particular case, greed and profit should cause one to question this rancher/legislator’s motives with this bill. If that isn’t enough, merely claiming losses by wolves is not the same as actually suffering them, as many have discovered over the years in efforts by ranchers to get “free money” from reimbursement funds that existed.
But what especially sticks in my craw in the lack of responsibility most ranchers take in taking best management husbandry principles seriously and protecting their sheep. Effective mechanisms exist, despite this one rancher’s claims. Start with fences and put the damned sheep behind the fences at night. Get dogs..Anatolian Shepards are particularly well suited for this guarding task, and are being used in Colorado back country to great benefit. If need be, get a night rider out there.
If someone can’t make a living when they are called upon to take reasonable measures to protect their business resources…sheep in this case…the answer isn’t in destroying an entire species. The answer may be to get the hell out of the business.
Indeed JT, there are numerous non-lethal management methods but these guys refuse to employ them because it is far more profitable to whine about their “victimhood foisted upon them by the feds” rather than to actually participate in the practices that are over-romanticized as what they claim to be their jobs. They want it all, without suffering the pain of actually doing their jobs because they make more from not doing their jobs… kind of like those crooks and liars on Wall St.
You’re right JimT- but remember- this is Idaho. I’ve read many books which quote wealthy sheepherders as crying that they are one loss away from being put out of business. They are laughing all the way to the bank. Withall these subsidies they garner the sympathy- something theseguys are pros at. Why change the way you ranch when you can get taxpayerfunded predator control. Take away the WS protection, boot these guys from legislating for their own personal enrichment, and see how quick they move to protect their stock….
Agreed. And if they benefit in ANY way from state or federal tax benefits,..they should be made to open up their books to auditors to see exactly if losses add up to claims as a first step towards transparency. So damned ironic the sheep and cattle ranchers are the iconic examples of The Boy Who Cried Wolf…
So damned ironic the sheep and cattle ranchers are the iconic examples of The Boy Who Cried Wolf…”
Yeah, it sure is.
I´m sure IDFG will proudly serve the needs of this true Idahoan and again set wildlife management standards, exemplary for the rest of the world. :-))
Yikes, I hope the pendulum is beginning to swing in the other direction… soon.
“Having lived here for generations, we have learned some valuable lessons about managing our ranch to survive drought, predators, and severe winters, and to benefit rangelands, water and wildlife”
“Archery season runs from late August through October 5 and rifle season is usually from September through late November. Weather permitting we will hunt through December and early January”
What a lovely name for a “canned hunting preserve”
I wonder how he defends shooting semi-tame animals that are bred exclusively to take a bullet for profit……America- ain’t it awesome!!!!!
“Our elk ranch has over 11,600 acres under high fence. Our sheep ranch, however, covers almost 400,000 acres of forest, BLM, state land and private land”
“Under high fence” Its obvious were the priorities & $$ are. 500 bulls? Buffalo too? Most be stacked in there like sardines.
“High Fence” is SCI talking point for “canned hunting” ranch. It sounds a lot less slimy. These guys test all the buzz words for maximum sanitized effect. Maybe Jeff can give us the price list for these “Monster Elk”
Their sheep ranch is 400,000 acres of BLM and state land?
What’s the problem? You let your sheep roam into public land, sometimes they get eaten. That’s life. That’s reality.
It’s a belief system problem, me thinks.
This is one of the matters that makes me think that organized religion should be outlawed. It has been quite evident in the news of the recent past that religious organizations are acting to trump the government at whatever option they see available if the government doesn’t back their beliefs and claims designed to demand compliance from those not involved in their belief system and its mandates for control over everyone.
We can see how Idaho operates under these thinly veiled-attempts to legislate their beliefs regardless of opposing views and the constituents they systematically ignore.
As much as I despise organized religions,(except Buddhism, they walk the talk),I don’t think that they should ever be banned or even considered to be. As flawed as the Founders were they knew enough to include a barrier to keep government out of religion, and vise versa. Unfortunately politicians seem to forget this and think that they have carte blanche to impose their dogma on everyone else. That is called a theocracy, and I believe that is the ultimate goal of the modern GOP/Tea Party. There is not supposed to be any “religious test” to hold public office, but do you think we will ever see an atheist president? A Muslim president? A Hindu? I sure don’t.
The issue shouldn’t be banning religion, it should be keeping it out of government as our founders intended. Sorry for the rant, but like wildlife this is a topic that I am very passionate about, and experienced firsthand in a government workplace.
Ahh… you too can hunt at Lazy Ass Acres.
Wow. Just wow.
If they can build a fence for this nonsense, why not do it for the sheep?
It seems to me there’s a deep sense of entitlemtent here.
I wanted to clarify that I am not Jeff Siddoway the Senator I am JC Siddoway his son that is the actual manager of the sheep ranch. I think debate is good to help both sides understand, I guess that was why I made the original post. As far as the wolves go the pile up that he mentioned I assume was the one up dog creek in Wyoming. This was the first year that the wolves bothered us it that allotment. As I rode that area to show the herder the grazing rotation to be used we encountered numerous elk carcasses and wolf tracks. We knew it was only a matter of time. At first they just killed a few every other night and would only eat parts of one. The pile up occurred when they ran the sheep down a steep hill into a wedge. Around twenty head were killed that night. That year we had 130 head killed by wolves. As far as the LAP I don’t really know what’s behind that or who. I need to ask my dad on that. As far as our LAP tags go they are not worth much. This year we had a bull hunt in 60 that I used and three cow tags in 60 that we give to some older guys in our area. The whole package might be worth a couple thousand. As “greedy” as we are made out to be I’m surprised we gave those tags away.
The issue of the LAP tags is not for the present. Many think the system is OK, it is Senator Siddoway’s bill to change them so those who receive them can auction them.
not everyone who support’s wolves presence on public lands works in “an office everyday”
Your comments expose your prejudiced views towards wolf supporters and the wolves themselves. As far as your question “what do wolves provide?” Perhaps you should educate yourself regarding wolves function in ecosystems, considering you live in wolf country and calim to know soo much about their habits. Here’s a link to a science daily article explaining their role in the overall ecosystem and the “good” they do.
You do believe in science, right senator?
“Our elk ranch has over 11,600 acres under high fence. Our sheep ranch, however, covers almost 400,000 acres of forest, BLM, state land and private land”
How do you manage that, Mr. Siddoway?
Whose land? Whose ranch? Did anyone else catch the screaming elephant in this statement?
Out of touch.
All I can say is it takes a Sheep Baron to make a Cattle Baron look better than either deserve.
I may have been mistaken when I said that my own Wyoming land barons were the most anachronistic regressive boneheads in America when it comes to preserving a way of life and landed privileges that should have sublimated at the turn of the calendar page from the 19th century ( let alone the 21st ). Idaho eclipses Wyoming in the perversity of its peerage.
About that 2009 aerial wolf gunning thing. If this act of Siddoway’s ranch did in fact occur, why were charges never filed ? The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 added that new section 13 (16 U.S.C. 742j-l) specifically about aerial gunning. Is this not a federal offense and the job of the US attorney for Idaho to prosecute, not the state ?
Recall the parallel Wyoming case where the largest sheep rancher in Wyoming, Herman Werner, was charged in the 1970’s with the aerial gunning of Bald and Golden eagles by paid shooters in both airplanes and helicopters, the latter hired in from Utah. Werner died in a traffic accident before he could be tried, but he was definitely being fully prosecuted by the Feds at the time. The then-new technique of aerial infrared imaging developed for the Vietnam War to was used to see the heat of decomposing eagle carcasses buried on Werner’s ranch.
I’m not a lawyer and do not know anything about Statute of Limitations etc, but since this was only three years ago it baffles me that the case against Siddoway and/or his hired shooters did not proceed. That is a really REALLY bad precedent, IMO.
As long as the arrogant barons like Siddoway are allowed to ” get away with it ” on transgressions that were addressed as far back as the Magna Carta, those barons will continue to push for more and more egregious policies that favor their privileged but antiquated lifestyle over the greater good and Commonwealth.
We need to do something about that… but What ? How ?
Sidenote: Wyoming recently began a policy of assigning a dollar value to wildlife taken illegally for the purposes of restitution to the Public in poaching cases. Trophy game such as bull Elk and full curl Bighorn rams are worth many thousands of dollars. The value scale goes all the way down to assessing a common Cottontail Rabbit as being worth $ 200 for restitution value.
Except nowhere on that list do wolves appear or are assigned a value , even though Wyoming Game Fish has stated innumerable times that wolves are wildlife.
Can you say ” Duplicity” ?
Was the $ value assignment in Wyoming a legislative change, or was it done administratively? Are these values accessible via the internet?
JB— I’ll look around for the statute that enabled that restitution value for illegally taken game. I think it did in fact require the Legislature to do a bill because it was a revenue/fee requirement , besides being intended to give the Courts guidance and a set fee schedule. Judges in Wyoming had been very inconsistent on sentencing of poachers and some even handed down very light sentences , since they or their brother or drinking buddy probably had indulged. It may have done about the same time ( maybe same bill ? ) as the authorization to confiscate all equipment , vehicles, and accessory tools used in the commission of a illegal take of wildlife case. In other words, poachers not only lose their hunting/fishing privileges, they get their toys taken away which are then auctioned off and anybody except the perp can bid on them.
The other applicable notion is the reciprocity between states ( I think Wyoming is in league with 16 other states) where the sentence for a wildlife violation applies in those other states as well and goes on the perp’s record there , similar to other crimes of stature.
Addendum to Above: I just found a massive web listing called the ” Hall of Shame” which is a running scroll of Wyoming poacher violations and their sentences.
Fascinating reading, especially the part about the multi-state ( 31 states) Wildlife Compact provision where a poaching crime and sentence in one state is applied to all the other states.
( ** Hope that link works..the apostrophe is dubious
Holy crap! That list is endless.
Sheepman Siddoway doesn’t just target predators. I was a member of Otter’s Bighorn/Domestic Sheep Working Group, when Siddoway undercut our combined efforts by pushing a bill though the Idaho legislature that provides for killing of any Bighorns that mingle with his domestic sheep.
He uses his legislative postition to care of himself.
Note to everyone. The J.C. Siddoway who commented last night is not senator Jeff Siddoway, but his son. He added a second comment this morning at 7:30AM which is a followup to his original comment.
Folks should take note of the difference. Glad we have identities cleared up.
Ralph, using ultralight on big game animals like wolves is not allowed and illegal, so if this bill passes, what exactly is going to happen?
Have you tried any of these non-lethal techniques that people have suggested? Anatolian Shepherds……range rider at night……Fencing for sheep at night? How long do you expect us to finance your 19th century mindset with regard to husbandry methods? Maybe you have noticed- people are getting fed up with you guys screaming to kill all the wildlife. What specifically did you do after you lost the hundred plus sheep?
Thank you for posting my comments. I apologize if I jumped the gun claiming you wouldn’t publish my comments, I’ve had it done before on other blogs and my tolerance for censorship is zero.
Good to see honest, open discussion between the public and a member of the Siddoway family.
I’m glad I can still view The Wildlife News in good conscience.
THanks, Great Basin. I hope this on-line newspaper’s discussions prove useful to you.
I’m getting way behind on the questions but I try to answer what I can to only those that have their full name appear as the username. I don’t want to waste time with cowards. In 2008 I had 30 confirmed kills, in 2009 I had 119 kills 95 confirmed and 5 guard dogs. It was a 24 mile round trip horse ride into the area were some of the kills took place and I had a hard time getting any government guys to make the ride in to verify the kills. When they finally found someone to go with me it was to late the kills had been melted down so they were listed as probable kills. We finally got the ok to kill the problem pack and shot 5 from the air. In 2010 we lost 46 head 10 confirmed 18 probable 8 possible and 10 missing these were all in a six foot fence. The wolves dug under the fence to kill the sheep. The allotment that we shot the wolves in had no losses from wolves just bears and coyotes. In 2011 we had 47 sheep and one guard dog killed. We have not received any government reimbursement for any of these kills. The wolves that were in our fence are the ones that were discussed earlier that we wanted to kill out of a plane. We were on the phone with the pilot fish and game wildlife services department of ag trying to find out if we could take fish and game said we could but later said we couldn’t. With the plane over top of the wolves ready to take them he was called off. No wolves were killed so the case was dropped.
++I don’t want to waste time with cowards. ++
Nothing says “coward” like a fenced hunt.
Oh, but they get to dress up in cammo and ride ATVs just like real “sportsmen.” Then they get their “guaranteed” kill. This crap should have been outlawed years ago. As deplorable as I find many forms of hunting, canned hunting is right up there with hounding and trapping. Did you ever hear the song “Countdown to Extinction” by Megadeth from 1992? It is about canned hunting, and lays it out for exactly what it is. Even if you don’t like rock music it is probably the best song that I have ever heard about wildlife, and it calls these people out for what they are.
Yes,GREAT song. I’m more partial to bands like M83 these days, but that’s still a great song.
Today, I listen mostly to stuff like Alter Bridge, The Mayfield Four, and old standbys like Rush, Alice in Chains, etc. The Megadeth song is what woke me up as a 17 year old kid to the abuses toward wildlife and what “canned hunting” was. I hope that it opened others eyes as well because that album was HUGE at that time. I never heard of M83, is it rock?
Check out this time-lapse video of Yosemite that has one of their newer songs as the background music:
Not normally my type of music, but I really liked the vibe of this tune and the atmospherics behind it. Nice “wall of sound.” If fits perfectly with the video. I might have to check this out. It makes me think of Enigma with power chords.
So what is your stance on the wolf issue in Idaho? Are you interested in a cap on the number of wolves in the state, or are you more interested in just being able to shoot the ones you think are around your sheep? If not just shooting, do you support using poison, trapping, baiting, or any other method by any rancher who sees sign of wolves near a herd?
and you pay $1.35 per 5 sheep per month. And with hat in hand, sucked up over 800,000 dollars of federal welfare money over ~10 year period, and want to complain about an amount of sheep lost to wolves that is probably less than 1/2% of what you lose to other causes.
And you want to call other people cowards?
I’m assuming your 1778 comment refers to the founders and their mindset (dating back even earlier) when the settlers in New England established bounties on predators and killed ALL the predators. That seems to be the attitude in Idaho and Wyoming. Predators just get in the way of business as usual. Because you can’t determine which predators are responsible just kill them all right?
I’m confused. You are saying the 2009 incident was Ok’d by the US Dept Of Ag?
After reading your description of the later incident where (you could) then (couldn’t get approval), shows how incompetent and mismanaged the WS program is.
“We finally got the approval to kill the problem pack” How did you know you killed the right wolves? How do you know with certainty that wolves killed the sheep? This was after too much time passed and it was impossible to determine with certainty what really happened right? So you have tried to protect your sheep. Do you see how people would feel that because your father works in the Idaho legislature that there is a massive conflict of interest- after hearing from Larry and others how Jeff Siddoway derailed efforts to come to solution regarding the Bighorn/Domestic sheep issue?
Can you understand how people are concerned when your father proposes a bill to allow for the killing of predators in any fashion…isn’t the wolf slaughter in Idaho and the WS pressure on wolves enough for you people…..
Response to William. We use great Pyrenees guard dogs with every heard. We have two herders with the sheep one sleeps by the sheep each night. We have fenced the sheep at night but even doing all these things we are still having problems. My mind set on the issue goes further back than nineteenth century it goes back to around 1778. Any other ideas we could try you seem to have some knowledge in animal husbandry
Experiments are being done with taste aversion for wolves. Put a noxious chemical in mutton bait, and it makes them very sick, but they survive and they learn sheep are no good. Adult wolves teach their pups whats for dinner.
I think conditioned taste aversion is probably the best way of deterring wolves because they have a choice about the food they eat, and they certainly want to eat. They don’t want to get kicked by an elk, though they do. Sickening meat is to wolves, I think, a stronger disincentive than dogs, etc.
Wildlife Services has tried to stifle experiments in taste aversion, probably because it threatens their jobs, but maybe there is some other reason.
If you tried something like this rather than more ways to kill wolves, a lot of people would be writing different things about this issue.
Here is an interesting web site about taste aversion and the effort to prevent experiments in doing it.
Absolutely fascinating work there.
Thank you,Ralph.I never knew about that one.I learn something new everyday.
Throw the next dead sheep (killed by wolves) on a small rubber mat(for insulation) and wire it(the sheep) to an electric fence. (Several dozen dead sheep could be hooked up to one electric fence wire.)
A wolf that bites into a wired sheep while its’ feet are on wet ground will get a very nasty shock.Use Carter Niemeyer’s trapping techniques (Wolfer)of not leaving any human scent when you do this.
Canines are very easy to adverse condition using an electric fence.It only took one shock each to condition my neighbor’s four large dogs to quit coming over and eating my dog’s food. A metal pan full of wet dog food sitting on a dry stump and wired to my electric fence did the trick.
I got the idea when my dog touched his tail on another neighbor’s fence while I was visiting one day. My dog would never go on that property again after only one shock.
I think wolves could be conditioned with a few shocks from an electric fence, that they associate with sheep, to never eat or kill domestic sheep again.
If the various agencies would put a shock collar on the dominant pair of wolves instead of radio collars or shooting them, and use a transmitter to shock the wolves whenever they go near sheep or cattle, a lot of depredation problems could be solved. Young wolves learn which prey to hunt from their parents. If the alpha pair showed an aversion to livestock the pups would pick up on it.
That’s an awful lot of time, effort and expense to go to instead of just doing their damned job. Human presence is a great aversive tool when it comes to most predators.
If you condition the wildlife, is it still really wild?
I would rather have a live conditioned wolf pack rather than a dead one. The only wolves that need to be conditioned are those that have been killing livestock. They will be targeted by Wildlife services for elimination if they continue, so it seems that conditioning would be a better alternative. Lion and bear hunters use shock collars to condition their dogs to not chase elk and deer.
Certainly domestic sheep were killed by native predators long before wolves were re-established in the tri-state area of Mt, Wy and Id. “Pile up” events in the past were generally attributed to black bear activity The Siddoways have operated in country containing coyotes, black and grizzly bears for many years, and have reported losses to these species in the past. We know there is competition among predators, for example wolves will significantly reduce coyote populations within their territories.
My question then for JC is this, have your OVERALL losses increased significantly as a result of wolves returning to the scene? The official record of your losses as reported to Wildlife Services for say ten years before wolves, compared to say the last ten years might help answer that question.
That is a great question. I would be interested to hear the answer as well.
These are interesting ideas I am willing to try. The biggest problem we face with wolves are they will not return to feed on previous kills. If so trapping would be very effective. These wolves that have been in our sheep just don’t kill for food. They kill just to kill. Ted our predator problems have greatly increased since the wolves moved in. The kills listed above are strictly wolf kills. Bear kills and coyotes kills have actually increased also. When the guard dogs get killed it leaves the herd with little defenses thus other predators also move in. I am not as concerned with the number of wolves in Idaho as I am with the right to defend my property from them. All I want is to have the ability to deal the the wolves that are causing problems. If we go back to the garden issue I don’t think the gardener would want to kill every raccoon he ever saw just the ones that are causing the problems
The wolves I have observed over the past twenty years return to a kill again and again until only the skull and backbone remain. They often carry these away to chew on them. They will return to a kill site even a year later to sniff around where they killed something. I use this behavior to photograph them. If I see wolves coming toward a place where I saw them make a kill earlier, I set up out of sight and wait for them.
How is it that the cowboys claim that the wolves eat everything and thus any calf that doesn’t show up in the fall is a wolf kill?
If the wolves are not returning to a kill, the site was probably contaminated with human sent.
The way conditioned taste aversion would work it that you would want to feed the wolves some lithium laced mutton (as a free sample 😉 ). It should also work equally well on coyotes, and historically they kill far more sheep.
As I said, and I hope this doesn’t sound like a conspiracy theory, but Wildlife Services research division doesn’t like this idea. I sense some heavy politics among researchers.
JC says: “These wolves that have been in our sheep just don’t kill for food. They kill just to kill.”
That is completely false, and this reckless statement has been handed down time and again.
Wolves kill ungulates to eat, survive, and strengthen a pack. The only thrill killers are humans.
Wolves would go back to a kill site until there is no more, unless another predator takes claim, or humans have been there.
Then they are likely to leave it.
They understand very well that we can be dangerous.
I would like to know how you figure that placing animals to protect another animal from yet other animals is a wise business model? I mean, how do you expect these animals to make complex decisions regarding alternate strategies to an attack from predators…? Somewhere in the mix of cultivating domesticated animals among the wild requires human presence since, after all, the venture is based on the premise of “providing food and clothing” for the masses and rewarded by fun and profit for the provider… how about creating a few jobs Mr. 1%er? You know, peaceful jobs like range riding and tending to the alleged husbandry techniques your favored industry professes to practice.
I’m with Salle on this one.
JC, if you can afford to “high fence” over 11 thousand acres for a game preserve (had just a couple acres fenced on my property and it was anything but cheap 🙂 it seems like a no brainer to hire a few extra hands to watch & range ride the sheep, on over 400 thousand acres, in order to guarantee their safety & and insure future profits.
I think that was a topic here a few months back – the incredibly low wages sheepherders will work for (most are hired out of South America)
The profits from just 2 or 3 “canned” hunts on your Juniper Mountain Ranch would cover the wages of atleast 3-4 extra personnel IF predators were such a huge problem.
But then again, it all boils down to government (taxpayers) bailing you out, time and time again, Wildlife Services and subsidies, picking up the tab.
JC – If I were king you could defend your property from predators threatening your livestock or garden at will, on your private land. It is a different story on public land where you already get reduced grazing fees based in part on livestock’s argument that there are greater predator losses “out there”. That should be enough compensation. If you can’t make a profit on the public land without government subsidies such as below cost grazing fees and Wildlife Services and BLM and USFS range staffs, and fencing etc. then you should explore other options. It is currently a red ink program to the US Treasury. I’m sure you would say the same thing were we discussing some other business.
It seems illogical that your losses have increased from all sources since wolves arrived. It would still be fascinating to see the figures, not necessarily from your operation alone, but from all livestock operations within the range of re-introduced wolves.
As an aside, providing food is an honorable endeavor however most of us can’t afford lamb. Even overlooking the indirect costs listed above, lamb is still a luxury item (BTW I love it). However I can afford having wolves on my public land, even more so if I don’t have to subsidize an industry they cause some competition with.
You are right about how expensive lamb is. Last time I saw a fresh lamb chop at the store it was about $6 for a piece of meat, including fat and bone, about a the size of a wolf print. I do use wool for clothing in western Oregon because of its water absorbing properties; however, I don’t think that most people choose wool above other synthetics. Where does all that wool and lamb go?
Wool. I use it and am using it increasingly. Good, hard wearing, long lasting material, that if taken care of, will last a lifetime. I went through a synthetic phase, and synthetics have their place, but nothing is like wool.
Polyester leisure suit…wait, what are we talking about?
High quality, warm and durable, wool products you can wear for most of your life then give to the next generation. Filson.
Can’t forget Pendleton, or Hudson Bay Some of their blankets will make it a hundred years if the moths stay away.
Filson needs to hire new pattern makers. I wear a 34/35 pant. My whipcords are 38 and tight with room for about 25 more pounds in the butt. I tried on a wool vest the other day I needed at 2XX or 3XX, I normally wear a lg/ex lg but not with Filson but it is very good.
I have several items made by Filson, and I also have several items made by Pendalton, good stuff, natural camo and very warm.
Smart wool shirts and soxes are all I wear this time of year.
and nothin’ else?
New Zealand wool is much softer
I have a two pairs of pants made from NZ wool, they are very comfortable as well as warm.
It is, I wear sheepfleece lined winter boots from NZ and Australia, they work well in -50F weather, thinsulate just can’t go that low in temp protection…
Smartwool, suppossed to be from Merino wool, from NZ or Australia.
I am curious. Merino wool is from the sheep of that name. It does produce wonderfully soft and non-itchy wool, and most of us believe they come nearly exclusively from New Zealand (me included).
Are many of this breed or another with similar wool characteristics raised in large numbers in ID or other Western states? If not, why not?
In fairness to Wildlife Services skepticism of taste aversions like Lithium, I have personally discussed the issue with an expert on using Lithium in taste aversion studies of sheep and cattle for 20+ years now. She also thinks this isn’t the solution since taste aversions are the easiest stimuli to overcome for animals unless it begins in the womb during nursing.
womb or during nursing
An alleged letter from the Idaho Game Commission to the Idaho Senate.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission opposes Senate Bill 1283. This bill creates new public policy allowing landowners to sell their Landowner Appreciation Program tag (LAP) tag to the highest bidder. We respectfully request you reject Senate Bill 1283.
Our rationale for not supporting Senate Bill 1283:
The LAP tag program originated as acknowledgement of wildlife benefits provided by private property/landowners. The tag is a mechanism to allow larger acreage landowners the opportunity to hunt both on their private property and public land when their private property was in controlled hunt areas. The LAP tag is a “draw tag” specifically for a pool of eligible landowners so draw odds are often better than for sportsmen in regular controlled hunts. The LAP tag was never meant to provide direct financial gain for a landowner by allowing landowners to sell their hunting opportunity.
The Commission recognizes and fully supports a private property owner’s right to manage access to their land, including the ability to charge a fee for access. This legal mechanism allows landowners to financially benefit from their private property access rights without selling LAP tags. This is the basis of the Department’s Access Yes program, a financial contract with willing landowners to provide property access.
The Commission fully recognizes that public wildlife causes private property damage but the LAP tag is not the proper or necessary mechanism to compensate landowners for crop depredation by wildlife via sale of a LAP tag. The State of Idaho and sportsman’s license dollars already fund a specific program that provides compensation for crop damage by wildlife. In fact, sale of LAP tags may exacerbate compensation claims because landowners would have incentive to disallow depredation hunts on their property to increase value of their LAP tag for exclusive hunting opportunity. This incentive could result in one landowner providing safe harbor for wildlife for hunting that then depredates on a neighbor’s crops, already a growing concern in parts of Idaho. To be eligible for depredation compensation, landowners must allow reasonable access for hunting, unless it impacts their operation.
The LAP tag is not limited to a landowner’s property but is valid for the entire controlled hunt area. This is in recognition of wildlife benefit from private property and landowners but wildlife may not be on the property for landowner access during hunting season. However, with LAP tag sale, landowners would also be selling hunting opportunity on public land, especially in cases where the tag purchaser is prohibited access to the landowner’s property.
Money generated from the sale of LAP tags would benefit private landowners without commensurate benefit to the wildlife resource (on or off of private property) for which the LAP tag is issued. Sale of LAP tags may further erode sportsman and landowner partnerships to uphold hunting access to wildlife as a public trust resource. Landowners that currently participate in the Access Yes program may decide there is more money in closing off existing access to their private land and selling their LAP tag for exclusive hunting, a detriment to Idaho sportsmen. Landowners that still freely allow sportsman access may also be financially incentivized to restrict free access to provide more exclusive hunting opportunity. We foresee increasing pressure for the Fish and Game Commission to manage wildlife in a manner to benefit private financial gain, such as emphasis on trophy animals, rather than managing wildlife as a public trust resource.
Many of the LAP tags are in coveted controlled hunts that may take a sportsman a lifetime to draw. Landowners may begin to expect to always get a tag to sell yet sportsmen must participate in a democratic process to draw a similar tag.
Senate Bill 1283 is contrary to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and its tenet of democracy of hunting and the public trust doctrine. The Fish and Game Commission has heard from many sportsmen across the state that do not support Senate Bill 1283 and will be very dissatisfied with its passage.
The Commission recognizes strong partnership with private landowners and upholding healthy, working landscapes is absolutely necessary to fully achieve wildlife benefits for sportsman and all Idaho citizens. The Commission believes that allowing the private sale of LAP tags is inconsistent with this partnership. The Commission feels this bill compromises and undermines the Commission’s authority and ability to deal with difficult wildlife management and access issues.”
JEFF E –
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission does not support SB 1283. This is the first time I’ve seen the statement you posted.
I can’t speak to the legality of hunting tags but I can, most vehemently, disagree with ‘live bait’ hunting! I don’t like ‘sport/trophy’ hunting in ANY form but this one just is abhorrent. as a little girl I was horrified at the idea of hunting ‘bambi’ but thankfully I grew up. I do like venison (deer or elk) so understand the drive for getting that meat. hunting just for the ‘fun’ of it as in predator hunting for skins and/or heads is just wrong in my book! I realize anti-wolf people will not listen to reason but I wish there was a way to get wolves back on the protected list. they are NOT indescriminate killers (hmmm like HUMANS are!) and science has proven that there are so few actual livestock losses due to wolf predations that there is no real reason to wipe wild wolves out of existence. the bare minimum numbers of allowable wolf populations is ridiculous. any body involved in genetics in any possible way (I’ve bred/shown dogs for years) knows that the low numbers allowed to live are NOT enough for a viable, real population of wolves.
“there is no real reason to wipe wild wolves out of existence. the bare minimum numbers of allowable wolf populations is ridiculous. any body involved in genetics in any possible way (I’ve bred/shown dogs for years) knows that the low numbers allowed to live are NOT enough for a viable, real population of wolves.”
but that’s the way they insist things should be, according to some weird philosophy (like Rick Sanctimonium’s).