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Outdoors blog

Mon., March 7, 2016, 11:40 a.m.

Big-game hunting auction tags: Idaho wise to be wary


John Martone poses with an elk shot Oct. 6  in Riggins, Idaho. The antlers  rate 374 and four-eighths points in Safari Club International scoring. 
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
John Martone poses with an elk shot Oct. 6 in Riggins, Idaho. The antlers rate 374 and four-eighths points in Safari Club International scoring. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

HUNTING -- The hot issue of providing more Idaho big-game tags for auction is on the agenda for the state Fish and Game Commission meeting Thursday in Boise.

The money could help boost some wildlife management programs, but the potential for greediness can creep in as the common hunter gets squeezed out.

Utah -- the leading state for trying to take-over federal public lands and ease them into private control -- has been making news lately regarding auction tags. News reports point out the state's susceptibility for using auction tag programs to pad private groups that may or may not serve the wide public interest in wildlife conservation.

Here's a story from Utah worth reading to get a feeling for what can happen down the road when high rollers are allowed too much say in managing public wildlife.

A key point is that Utah somehow has been convinced to let Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife conduct some of the state's tag auctions and return only 30 percent of the proceeds to the state for wildlife management programs.

In contrast, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation bid for the auction privileges and offered to give 100 percent of the proceeds back to state wildlife program -- yet the bid was rejected.   Go figure.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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