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Idaho wolf advocate posts hunters’ names on Web

Fri., Jan. 29, 2010, noon

BOISE — A Boise wolf advocate has used a public records request to get the names of hunters who reported killing a wolf in Idaho and posted all 122 names on a Web site.

Rick Hobson also bought an ad in the Idaho Statesman that directed people to the Web site.

Hobson says his intention in getting the names from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game was not to cause the hunters to be targeted for harassment by wolf hunt opponents. But he says hunters who bagged wolves have by default inserted themselves into the debate.

“They’re paying for the privilege to use a resource that belongs to all of us,” Hobson told the newspaper. “They’ve made a conscious decision to do something that other people in this state disapprove of.”

Robert Millage of Kamiah is the state’s first successful wolf hunter. He said he’s been dealing with harassment since he killed a wolf last September on the opening day of the season.

“I’m glad it was me if it saves someone else from dealing with it,” he said. “A lot of people that I’ve never met took it upon themselves to go to my defense. (It was) a humbling experience.”

Successful wolf hunters are required to report a kill within 24 hours to Idaho Fish and Game.

Agency spokesman Ed Mitchell said officials had no choice but to release the names, and that the agency has received a few complaints.

“We understand the concerns, but under state law, and upon request, we have to give up the names,” he said.

Mitchell said the agency plans to add a disclaimer in the next hunting rules booklet warning hunters their names could be released.

Millage said his name appearing on a list won’t stop him from future wolf hunts.

“They think if they put people’s names out there and stop a few people from hunting, they feel like they’ve won,” Millage said.

The newspaper reported that hunters put Hobson’s name, address and other information on a pro-hunting Web site. That information was later removed and Hobson said no one has contacted him.

On another Web site for Montana, a list of hunters in that state who killed a wolf in 2009 has been set up.



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