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Wolf advocate receives warning for her Idaho hunting tag chicanery

February 10, 2010 |  2:34 pm

Silhouetted wolf in Yellowstone National Park.

An animal rights advocate who tried to pass off a state-culled wolf carcass as one she shot herself has gotten off with a warning from Idaho Fish and Game, but no other penalty.

Lynne Stone, director of the wildlife advocacy group Boulder-White Clouds Council, had purchased a 2009 wolf hunting tag. She had no plans to go hunt one of the predators, but intended to find a wolf killed by other means and use the tag in an effort to count it toward the statewide hunting quota.

Last November, Stone had her chance. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Wildlife Services sent a helicopter to cull wolves from the Butte Basin pack, located near Stanley, Idaho.

Stone, who had been tracking the pack for several years, recovered the carcass of the alpha female, killed in the cull. She took it home and called Fish and Game to report it as a kill.

Fish and Game officials, however, rejected Stone's claim and instead confiscated the carcass as state property.

State regional conservation officer Gary Hompland told the Times-News that wolves killed during such control actions become the property of the state, and that Fish and Game collects and uses such animals for educational purposes or to sell in annual auctions for their fur.

Stone claims she had planned to use the carcass for educational purposes as well, and that she had contacted several regional Fish and Game offices for guidance but couldn't get a consistent answer on her rights.

"Her motivation really doesn't change the law," Hompland said. "The law is still pretty clear."

Hompland believes this is the first known attempt by a wolf advocate to get an enforcement kill counted against the season quota.

Fish and Game sold Stone another 2009 tag, which is allowed if a tag is used improperly.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A silhouetted wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Joel Sartore / National Geographic / Getty Images

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