Wolves Off-Limits To Hunters This Season

COEUR D'ALENE - Deer and pheasant hunting seasons kicked off in North Idaho this last weekend. While wolves were also hunted last season, they?ve been put back on the endangered species list and are now officially off limits.

There are two camps at polar opposite ends of the debate over wolf hunting. There are the hunters who believe wolves should be fair game and there are the environmentalists who want wolves left alone.

One of those that was looking forward to wolf hunting this season is William Rutherford, who hoped to land his first wolf tag this season.

?I didn't think really that many were shot and I think they're still plenty of them out there. I think it's kinda dumb that they closed it, they should have kept it open," Rutherford said.

After being reintroduced into the region, wolves were taken off the endangered species list in May of 2009 and they were opened to hunting.

Recently a federal judge put the animals back on the endangered species list, which means wolves in both Montana and Idaho are off limits and can't be harvested. Idaho Governor Butch Otter tried to appeal that decision up until late last week.

"I don't think that they should have brought the wolves back in the first place,? sportsman Bryce McTavisch said. ?As a lover of animals and the outdoors, I think everything has its place. The wolves, we got rid of them, they were hunted out and everything. There may have been a reason for that like natural selection."

Idaho Governor Butch Otter tried to appeal that decision up until late last week but over this last weekend confirmed that federal officials turned down Montana?s request for a wolf hunt. Idaho had asked for a similar hunt but federal officials rejected the state?s request.