Is an Idaho sheriff giving the ol’ “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” to illegally shooting wolves? You be the judge.
From this story in the Spokesman-Review:
A northern Idaho sheriff said he is not advocating the illegal shooting of federally protected wolves by offering a hunting rifle and a shovel as the prize in a raffle called “.308 SSS Wolf Pack Raffle” in a region where SSS commonly stands for “shoot, shovel and shut up.” Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings said the SSS in the raffle stands for “safety, security and survival.” “We knew that this would stir up some interest,” Giddings told the Lewiston Tribune_.
_The newspaper reported that the SSS in the wolf-shooting context often appears in the area on bumper stickers. Raffle tickets went on sale Friday for $1 each, or 11 for $10. The prize is a Winchester .308-caliber Model 70 Featherweight rifle and a shovel. The drawing is planned for March 8. Giddings said money from the raffle will go to a food bank, alcohol and drug awareness programs, and local school equipment fundraisers. “No, we’re not advocating shooting wolves,” Giddings said. “Safety, security and survival, that’s kind of an Idaho County thing. That’s who we are. It’s to get people’s attention. It means something to us up here.”
Dave Cadwallader, Clearwater Region manager for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said the raffle is an indication of how frustrated people are over wolves and the loss of state management of the animals. A federal judge in Montana in August ruled it was improper of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to retain federal wolf management in Wyoming while turning wolf management over to state governments in Idaho and Montana. In response, the agency took back authority over wolf management in Idaho and Montana, angering state officials and blocking wolf hunts that had been scheduled for this fall._