Banner Summit Wolf Shooter Caught
A Boise man has paid a $2,500 fine for illegally shooting a gray wolf near Banner Summit earlier this summer. Terrance Hunter, 48, confessed to the crime after reading accounts of the incident in the newspaper.
Personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S Forest Service, and Idaho Fish and Game worked together to bring the case to a successful conclusion.
On June 21, two Idaho tourists were driving south on Highway 21 near Banner Summit when they rounded a corner and encountered a man standing in the middle of the road pointing a rifle in their direction. They watched the man shoot at a gray wolf standing in the roadway between their vehicle and the shooter. The witnesses immediately reported the incident to authorities, provided a detailed description of the shooter, his vehicle and the camper trailer he was towing.
The dead wolf was recovered the following day, just off of Highway 21 at the location described by witnesses. After an extensive search of the surrounding area, no vehicles were found matching the description provided by witnesses. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a news release the following day asking the public for help in locating the individual involved in the shooting. Service law enforcement agents received a call from Hunter's attorney shortly afterwards, and Hunter was later interviewed, admitting that he shot the wolf.
One item of note mentioned by Hunter during interviews with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents was that he claimed the animal he shot was a coyote. While coyotes are an unprotected species that can be taken at any time, wolves are a protected species. With wolves now found throughout the state, hunters can no longer assume that a dog-like animal encountered in the wild is a coyote and should be certain of their target before shooting.