Idaho Co. Sheriff's wolf raffle gets lots of takers

Idaho Co. Sheriff's wolf raffle gets lots of takers
GRANGEVILLE - The Idaho County Sheriff's raised thousands of dollars for local schools and food banks through their "Wolf Raffle."

Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings announced the winner Tuesday afternoon. Two-year-old Emmy Roberts, daughter of Deputy Gideon Roberts, pulled Norm Sonnen, of Cottonwood, out of the basket as the grand prize winner of a custom made metal gun rack, a Winchester .308 model rifle, a gun case and a shovel.

Giddings said it was primarily a fundraiser.

"We call it the 308 SSS Idaho County Sheriff's Wolf Raffle," said Giddings. "Safety, Security and Survival are the S's. It can mean anything you want, but 308 is the caliber and the date that we draw is 3-08-11."

Giddings said they raised close to $10,000 and received close to 13,000 entries. More than even he thought was possible.

"I wasn't really sure we could make that, but it kind of hit the news and really spread. Like yesterday morning $300 more from out of state," said Giddings. "I think it has to be close to $2,000 from out of state."

Controversy over the raffle comes from speculation that the SSS in the raffle's name refers to illegal wolf hunting. Giddings said that's not the case, but said he is against recent court rulings prohibiting gray wolf hunting.

"We totally disagree with that, the county commissioners have disagreed with it, the governor of the state has disagreed," said Giddings. "And the county sheriff disagrees with it. So we've done a little push back."

As part of that push back, Sonnen will also get a commemorative scroll with a copy of the Idaho County Commissioner's disaster declaration explaining the impact of wolves to the area. But in the end, Giddings said the raffle is all for the good of the community.

"The money is going to elementary schools, a total of eight elementary schools," said Giddings. "We've managed to pull about $1,000 for each one of them. We'll be able to give about a couple hundred dollars for the drug and alcohol free program for the high schools and a little bit left over for the food banks."