Dave & Dujanovic: Idaho wolf hunt from a rancher’s and hunter’s viewpoint

May 12, 2021, 3:24 PM | Updated: 3:25 pm
wolf hunt...
FILE - This June 30, 2017 remote camera image released by the U.S. Forest Service shows a female gray wolf and her mate with a pup born in 2017 in the wilds of Lassen National Forest in Northern California. Trump administration officials on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, stripped Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in most of the U.S., ending longstanding federal safeguards and putting states in charge of overseeing the predators. (U.S. Forest Service via AP, File)
(U.S. Forest Service via AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Idaho lawmaker whose bill became law recently allowing private contractors to kill about 90% of the wolves roaming the private lands in the state.

Debbie Dujanovic had a conversation with Idaho Sen. Van Burtenshaw, who sponsored the wolf-hunt bill. He stressed his intent behind the legislation is not to exterminate the entire wolf population but to manage the predators.

Backers of the bill said there are too many wolves in Idaho. They’re attacking cattle, sheep and wildlife, costing agriculture producers hundreds of thousands of dollars and reducing the number of deer and elk available for hunters, according to Idaho Press.

The Humane Society of the United States has called Idaho’s wolf hunt a “death warrant.”

‘Death warrant’ or livestock protection?

“Idaho is trying to reduce the wolf population from 1,500 wolves to 150 wolves. Now, you can say it’s not a death warrant, but if you’re going to kill 1,300 wolves, I mean, that’s a death warrant. Now, it may be necessary, but let’s call it what it is that is a massive reduction, 90% reduction,” said Dave Noriega.

Debbie added Burtenshaw said the news media is not fairly representing the Idaho cattle ranchers’ side of this news story.

“OK, hold on a second there,” Debbie replied. “At first blush when I read the headline. I did cringe, I did. And then after speaking to [Burtenshaw] today. I got a much better understanding of why Idaho is pursuing this avenue. . . . He told me what happened in one of his fellow lawmakers. His sheep herd has been met time and time again by packs of wolves.

“He kept track of over $400,000 worth of livestock. And among that livestock, the wolves have killed about 39 of his guard dogs in the process. So it isn’t like he hasn’t tried to take measures to watch over the sheep. But if those wolves come in and packs, they kill those dogs pretty quick, and then have access to the sheep,” Burtenshaw said.

“How many businesses can handle a $400,000 loss?” Dave asked.

“My heart sank for the dogs,” Debbie said.

“39 dogs. That’s incredible,” Dave replied.

“I’m a dog owner . .  so I’m starting to see now the other side of the story. I’m starting to see why lawmakers and why the governor put this law in place. I know there are people who don’t agree with it. I’m not for or against it. I’m just trying to share both sides of the story here,” Debbie said. 

Complexity of a wolf hunt 

Burtenshaw tried to explain why it’s so difficult to kill a wolf… let alone hunt a wolf. 

“Last year, we sold nearly 50,000 [hunting] tags, and only 500 wolves were taken. They’re tough to hunt. They’re apex predators. They are smart, intelligent and travel large distances. And so if they depredated in your herd today, you may not see them because they’ll be 100 miles away in the next couple of days,” he said.

“Well that gives great insight to why they’ve expanded the way you can hunt wolves, bringing in helicopters and snowmobiles and ATVs and using night vision goggles,” Dave replied.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 


Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina...
Mark Jones

How much will it take to save the Great Salt Lake?

A bipartisan bill was passed in the U.S. Senate aimed at giving funding toward the study of The Great Salt Lake and other saline lakes in the west.
23 hours ago
kindergarten gap year...
Tom Haraldsen

Checking in on the status of full-day kindergarten in Utah

Policy analyst with Voices for Utah Children reveals whether full-day kindergarten could be in the cards for next year.
23 hours ago
A sale sign stands outside a home in Wyndmoor, Pa., Wednesday, June 22, 2022. If you’re settling ...
Curt Gresseth

Selling your home? Try staging your house, pro says.

A professional shares advice on staging a home before selling.
23 hours ago
Super agers have been identified by researchers as men and women over age 80 that have the cognitiv...
Curt Gresseth

SuperAgers — who are they, are you one, and can you become one?

SuperAgers are men and women older than 80 with the mental faculties of people decades younger.
5 days ago
A motorist drives through the snow in Olympus Cove in Salt Lake County. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret...
Curt Gresseth

Be Ready Utah: What you need in your emergency winter car kit

After a significant snowfall in northern Utah, are you prepared for a winter emergency while on the roads? Wade Mathews of Utah Division of Emergency Management -- Be Ready Utah joins the shows to give out holidays tips on being prepared for any challenges while driving.
7 days ago
Thanksgiving dinner with all the sides. (Stock photo)...
Alejandro Lucero

Pass the stuffing not the uncomfortable conversation this Thanksgiving

Dave and Dujanovic spoke with an expert who will help you void the gobble-squabble around the dinner table this Thanksgiving.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Dave & Dujanovic: Idaho wolf hunt from a rancher’s and hunter’s viewpoint