From: William Yardley, New York Times
Published September 1, 2009 08:57 AM

Wolves Are Set to Become Fair Game in the West

A wolf hunt is set to begin in Idaho on Tuesday if a federal judge does not stop it. It would be the first time in decades that hunters have been allowed to pursue the gray wolf, an animal that has come to symbolize tensions over how people interact with wilderness in the West.

On Monday, the judge, Donald W. Molloy of Federal District Court, will hold a hearing to determine whether to issue an injunction sought by wildlife advocates against the hunt and reopen the question of returning the wolf to the endangered list.

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Gray wolves were taken off the list five months ago, after being protected under federal law for more than 30 years. More than 6,000 hunters in Idaho have bought licenses for the chance to participate in the hunt, in which wildlife officials will allow 220 wolves to be killed. In 2008, the population stood at about 850. Montana will allow 75 animals to be killed, starting Sept. 15.

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