The Varmint Derby, which was quickly renamed the “Great Montana Coyote and Wolf Hunt,” is coming to Sanders County this month. Originally, this event was going to be hosted at the Lakeside Resort in Trout Creek, with the support of the Sportsmen of Sanders County (whoever they are).
The hunt is now being sponsored by “Idaho for Wildlife,” with a sign-up location not yet specified. Maybe a more suitable name would be “Idaho for Needlessly Killing Wildlife.”
This out-of-state organization is offering cash prizes for the murder of predator species it blames for game herd numbers being down. They offer no evidence for their assertions. This group just encourages killing animals they think are a threat. This type of event gives a bad name to sportsmen and sportsmanship.
Will this event be allowed on public lands? Do they have all the proper permits? Will it be limited to sanctioned private lands? These are important questions.
Using traps and snares on land belonging to everyone puts us all at risk. It may be a legal hunt, but it is a moral abuse of wildlife and their habitat.
Trout Creek has worked hard to be recognized as a destination town. The Huckleberry Festival, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, the Hot Summer Nights Car Show and many other family friendly events take place there. This type of polarizing event does not match the image Trout Creek has tried to cultivate.