SALMON, Idaho, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A federal judge has approved Idaho's planned wolf hunt this weekend, rejecting from animal rights activists' arguments permits were required for the hunt.
The wolf hunt, organized by Idaho for Wildlife, was scheduled to take place in Salmon, Idaho, Saturday and Sunday, with a $1,000 prize for the hunter who kills the largest wolf, KMVT-TV, Twin Falls, Idaho, reported.
"We introduced a predator into Idaho then protected it and it had no other predators. It really hurt our deer and elk populations and it hurt our ranchers and families that raise livestock. It was just a really bad decision from a conservation perspective," said Pete Espil, a local hunter.
Protesters from groups such as the environmental group Wild Earth Guardians argued the event should not be able to happen without proper permits. U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled the hunt can proceed without one, the Boise Weekly reported.
Mike McDonald, staff biologist with Idaho Fish and Game, said the department doesn't regulate the activity involved in the hunt, "so the sponsors don't need a permit to conduct the derby and as long as the participants are licensed, have tags, follow rules and regulations, that's as involved as we're going to be."