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Aerial Wolf Hunting Latest

Laura Oates / CBS Channel 11 / March 21, 2007

The state of Alaska will now pay hunters who successfully kill wolves.

The 150 dollar incentive is designed to boost Alaska's predator control program. The cash award is just one of four new plans to jumpstart this season that is netting fewer wolves than anticipated. While the four-year-old program has been controversial from the start, these new plans have opponents up in arms.

"We think the entire idea of the wolf control is a bad idea and this doesn't make it any better. In fact, it makes it significantly worse. We're taking what is truly a backwards practice in the first place and sending it, you know, 35 years further back into the past," said Mike Grisham of Friends of Animals.

The state defends these practices saying they will boost the moose population and help subsistence hunters. But they add that these new practices are strictly designed to help with the current season. Besides the money, the state plans to permit more pilots and help those permitted pilots find the wolves. And finally, only after these other techniques have been in place for at least two weeks, the state will consider using department staff in helicopters to track and kill wolves in limited areas where conditions warrant.

To contact Laura, call 907-273-3186.

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