Help save Idaho’s swans

Help save Idaho’s swans

Help save Idaho’s swans

Jeers to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game for allowing the state’s first-ever swan hunting season, which began Oct. 19 in the northern part of the state.

Idaho’s swan hunting season is being evaluated as an experimental hunt for at least three years. Please email Brad Corkill, the Fish and Game Commissioner representing Idaho’s Panhandle Region at brad.corkill@idfg.idaho.gov and tell him to stop this hunt immediately. Swans are elegant, peaceful birds who mate for life and should be protected, not slaughtered, in Idaho. You can also call Gov. Brad Little, who 208-334-2100 and tell him you find swan hunting reprehensible.

Three species of swan are found in Idaho: tundra, trumpeter and mute. It is currently legal to slaughter all three during the season, but hunters are encouraged to avoid trumpeter swans.

A swan hunting season is an immoral, demented way to bolster a hunting crowd that is headed for extinction. Only a measly 15.8 percent of Idaho residents are currently hunters who crave “one more bird for the bag.”

Wildlife watching is actually surging in the United States— it was enjoyed by 86 million people 16 years and older according to the latest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey in 2016, a 20 percent increase since 2011.

As ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson once said: “I am very disturbed by the proposal that the tundra swan be included as a game species. This bird gives too many people pleasure to be sacrificed for the sport of a limited number of gunners. I am unconditionally opposed to the hunting of the tundra swan.”

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission was created by public initiative in 1938. It’s time to dismantle the agency and rebuild one that actually caters to the public who favors wildlife watching and recognizes wild animals as sentient beings, not just hunting targets.