Air Cowboys Under Fire
A wildlife advocacy group, WildEarth Guardians, is petitioning President Obama to help stop the gunning down of coyotes from ultralight aircraft in the state of Idaho.
The practice of hunting from ultralights was approved by the Federal Goverment back in 2006 after ranchers lobbied the Feds for another way to kill the coyotes that feed off their livestock. The Airborne Hunting Act was passed which required potential hunter/pilots to obtain a state-issued ‘airborne predator license’ in order to kill predator animals from the air.
In its petition to the President, the group is citing 119 aerial gunning incidents in which pilots and wildlife are being endangered. The petitions raises issues of pilot safety including pilots flying into power lines and pilots doubling back into their own turbulence and crashing, all while hunting from the air.
Also included in the petition is a June 2009 instance when a powered parachute pilot mistakenly fired upon a wolf. Wolves are considered Big Game and are not allowed to be shot and killed with the predator license. It is unknown if the wolf was killed or injured in the shooting.
WildEarth Guardians is an organization dedicated to protecting the American West’s rivers, forests, deserts, grasslands and the animals within them.