Wolves

Washington Fish and Game

Federal lawmakers are pressing Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to drop a proposal that would end federal protections for wolves across most of the Lower 48 states.

Seventy-four House members signed onto a Wednesday letter to Jewell that cites a peer-review panel's recent conclusion the government relied on unsettled science to make its case.

Hunters Kill Nearly 500 Wolves In Idaho, Montana

Mar 17, 2014
wolf, wildlife, yellowstone
Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Hunters and trappers in Montana killed 230 wolves during the recently concluded wolf season.

That's only five more wolves than the prior year's wolf harvest despite the lifting of quotas on the animals across most of the state and a higher bag limit for individual hunters.

Hunters took 144 wolves during a season that started in September and ended Saturday. Trappers took 86 wolves.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission has adopted regulations to implement a law that allows landowners to shoot threatening wolves on sight, without a hunting license.

Commissioners approved new wording and definitions for administrative rules on wolf management on Thursday.

Senate Bill 200, which passed last year, allowed landowners to kill wolves that threaten their property without having to buy a permit or hunting license.

Maxine Bell
Idaho Legislature

The co-chair of the state's budget committee says a bill asking for $2 million to kill Idaho wolves likely won't get half that much money.

Republican Rep. Maxine Bell of Jerome says the money is instead needed to pay for the Idaho Education Network broadband program.

Bell co-chairs the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee.

Legal wrangling over a contract the state awarded for an education broadband project has cut off federal funds for the program.

Gray Wolf
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Idaho wildlife officials say it cost $30,000 to kill 23 wolves last month in northern Idaho.

Idaho Fish and Game announced earlier this week the money is coming from licenses the agency sells.

The agency last month said USDA Wildlife Service agents killed the wolves using a helicopter in the Lolo elk zone near the Montana border to improve elk survival in the area.

It's the sixth time the agency has taken action to kill wolves in the Lolo zone in the past four years. Forty-eight wolves have been killed in all.

wolf, wildlife, yellowstone
Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Idaho wildlife officials have killed 23 wolves in northern Idaho in an effort to boost the number of elk in the region.

The Idaho Fish and Game announced Friday afternoon that the animals were killed by USDA Wildlife Service agents using a helicopter in the Lolo elk zone near the Montana border. It's the sixth time the agency has taken action to kill wolves in the Lolo zone in the past four years, bringing the total number of wolves killed there to 48.

wolf, wildlife, yellowstone
Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Lawmakers voted 49-16 to direct $2 million to help kill problem wolves, over objections from Democrats who say it's a poor use of the money.

Friday's vote sends the measure, backed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and livestock producers, to the Senate.

Idaho has 118 packs and 680 wolves, according to 2012 figures.

This wolf control fund's proponents argue existing measures by federal trappers and hunters aren't enough to tackle wolves that prey on sheep, cattle and elk herds coveted by hunters.

This fund will help pick up the slack.

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A new independent review finds the federal government used uncertain science when it proposed taking the gray wolf off the endangered species list across the Lower 48.

wolf, wildlife, yellowstone
Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Idaho wildlife managers called off a professional wolf hunter who has been killing predators inside a federal wilderness area.

Department of Fish and Wildlife Monday said it was halting the hunt after nine wolves were killed.

It had planned to keep hunter Gus Thoreson of Salmon in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness this winter as it sought reduce wolves and bolster low elk populations there.

Wolf advocates initially lost their bid for a court order to force Thoreson to quit hunting wolves from his base on U.S. Forest Service territory.

wolf, wildlife, yellowstone
Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Republicans promoting Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's proposed $2 million fund to kill wolves say they hope the cash helps eliminate more than 500 of the predators in Idaho, reducing numbers to 150 animals in 15 packs.

Rep. Marc Gibbs of Grace and Sen. Bert Brackett of Rogerson Monday told the House Resources and Conservation Committee the cash set aside with Otter's proposal will bolster Idaho's predator arsenal.

Idaho now has about 680 wolves, according to state Department of Fish and Game estimates.

Elk
GoCyclones / Flickr Creative Commons

Hunters and other interested parties have one more chance to comment on Idaho's proposed new elk management plan.

The state has spent the last several years working on a plan to replace the current version, which went into effect in 1999. Fish and Game's deer and elk program coordinator, Toby Boudreau, says the 15-year-old plan is now obsolete.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Some conservation groups are suing federal and state officials over Idaho's plan to track and kill wolves from two packs in central Idaho.

The lawsuit, filed by Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project and Wilderness Watch on Monday, asks the judge to stop the extermination immediately to give the case time to work through the courts.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

For those seeking a catchy slogan for Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's 2015 budget, they could do worse than "wolves, water and Wi-Fi."

The Republican governor Monday told legislators that those three things will be among his priorities for the coming fiscal year, starting in July.

Otter called for $2 million for a new Wolf Control Fund, something he sees necessary to keep the number of predators in check.

Idaho now has 680 wolves.

No Wolves Killed During Controversial Idaho Hunt

Dec 30, 2013
wolf, wildlife, yellowstone
Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Organizers of a coyote and wolf hunting contest held over the weekend in Salmon, Idaho say hunters did not kill any wolves as part of the ‘derby.’ Hunters shot 21 coyotes.

Organizers of a wolf- and coyote-shooting derby in central Idaho say about 200 people signed up but only about 50 or 60 are hunters and the rest are just offering support for the event.  

Steve Alder says no wolves had been reported shot late Saturday, the first day of the event that ended Sunday afternoon.

He says one hunter's vehicle was vandalized with paint and scraping, and that authorities are investigating.

wolf, wildlife, yellowstone
Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Update, 11:26 a.m.: The groups finished filing their suit Monday morning. You can read it here.

wolf, wildlife, yellowstone
Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

A group of hunters in Salmon, Idaho is being criticized for a two-day "coyote and wolf derby" its sponsoring next week.

Idaho for Wildlife's organized hunt is December 28 and 29. The event is focused on young hunters. Sponsors have put up two $1,000 prizes for teams that kill the biggest wolf and the most coyotes. 

The contest has once again highlighted the divide between wolf hunters and wolf advocates.

State wildlife officials have hired a hunter to eliminate two wolf packs in a federal wilderness area in central Idaho because officials say they are eating too many elk calves.

Fish and Game Bureau Chief Jeff Gould tells the Idaho Statesman that hunters are having a difficult time getting into the Frank Church-River of No Return wilderness, so the agency hired hunter-trapper Gus Thoreson of Salmon to kill the wolves in the Golden and Monumental packs.

Blocke / Flickr Creative Commons

About a third of Idaho hunters making written comments on the Idaho Fish and Game Commission's draft elk management plan say they want more wolves killed to increase the elk population.

The Times-News reports that the commission on Thursday at its quarterly meeting received the first report on the 442 comments.

About 150 of hunters making comments say they want increased measures to control wolf populations.

Only 19 people making comments wanted no wolf control measures.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Ever since wolves were re-introduced in Idaho in 1995, they’ve been in the spotlight. No matter where you stand on wolves, their re-introduction remains a story unto itself.

Suzanne Stone remembers the day the first four wolves were released in Idaho. She was there. Stone, who's been an advocate of wolves for 25 years, told her story to Debbie Courson Smith inside the StoryCorps booth in Boise.

Idaho's Wolf Hunting Season Starts Friday

Aug 30, 2013
Washington Fish and Game

Idaho’s wolf hunting season begins Friday and runs through the end of March in parts of the state, and through the end of June in others. It’s Idaho’s longest hunting season. A few spots in Idaho’s panhandle have year-round wolf hunting. Trapping season starts in November for most of the state.

Hunters and trappers killed more than 300 wolves in Idaho during the 2012-2013 season. 

Jim and Jamie Dutcher / The Hidden Life of Wolves

The presence of wolves may mean hunters can't count on finding elk in favorite hunting spots … but that doesn’t necessarily mean there are fewer elk. That was the message from wildlife managers in three Northwest states Thursday in an online public meeting.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife asked managers from Montana and Idaho to dish out some advice from their experience trying to find a balance among prey like deer and elk, wolves, and hunters.

Jon Rachael in Idaho says his state has found wolves make elk move around more.

Washington Fish and Game

An Idaho man cycling to Alaska suffered a scare after being chased by a gray wolf.

Thirty-five-year-old William "Mac" Hollan of Sandpoint says he also needed the help of friends to thwart a wolf that chased him last week — half-way through his 2,750-mile trip to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Hollan told the Spokesman-Review the wolf charged out of the forest about 60 miles west of Watson Lake in the Yukon Territory.

Gray Wolf
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

The Obama administration is proposing to end recovery efforts for gray wolves across most of the U.S. and return management to the states.

Friday's announcement comes after wolves rebounded from widespread extermination during four decades on the endangered species list.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe says ending federal protections would let the agency concentrate on restoring Mexican wolves in the Southwest.

Gray wolf protections previously were lifted in the Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes, which now have more than 6,100 wolves.

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