Salmon, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV )
The town of Salmon is a quiet community.
However, that seemingly changed overnight as the Idaho Wolf Derby thrust the area into the national spotlight.
Protesters angered by the killing of wolves, using drastic measures to try to stop the event.
Resident Theresa Butt states, “my friend got threatened. When we are getting people threatening to come into town and kill people, there is a problem. My friend Jen Larson, someone called and said they would like to hang their entire family up by a noose. Because they own the Savage Grill and sponsored a legal hunt. What’s wrong with that?”
Dave Larson, Jen’s husband, adds, “some extremists can say some things… do we have our guard up? Absolutely. They threatened my family, our business, our employees, our way of life. A guy stands up to that. You keep your guard up and you’re aware of it.”
Jen adds, “we’re just here to make a living and support the community. We don’t want all the wolf lovers to hate us. It’s just crazy– in the last two weeks we have found out there are some crazy people out there, on both sides of it.”
At the conclusion of the two day event, no wolves were actually killed but 21 coyotes were harvested.
Tom Curet, regional supervisor at Idaho Fish and Game, says, “people raised their concerns and from a biological perspective this derby is very closely managed and it’s something that can be supported by the wolves and coyotes and it will have minimal impact.”
While the impact on the wildlife was minimal, some residents feel for the town of Salmon, the damage has been done.
Butt says, “one of the things we’re really concerned about is how we’re being represented in the press. We’re not a bunch of hillbillies running around shooting guns for fun. We are concerned that our animals that we live on, that we have to eat to survive, are being killed by these wolves. We have a legal right to hunt them.”