Jim and Jamie Dutcher / The Hidden Life of Wolves

State wildlife officials have confirmed that wolves killed 31 sheep on a south-central Idaho ranch over the weekend. 

Carey-area rancher John Peavey tells the Idaho Mountain Express that the ewe, one lamb and two that weren't born were also killed Sunday morning.

Idaho Wildlife Services State Director Todd Grimm says the final mortality count for kills on May 10 and May 12 was 13 ewes and 18 lambs.

Peavey says a state Fish and Game representative determined wolves were to blame. Idaho Wildlife Services has a kill order on at least two wolves in the area.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

A plan by the federal government to end protection for gray wolves received mixed reactions from environmental groups to ranchers. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has drafted a plan to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states. That would leave the states in charge of wolf management.

Ramona Phillips, a rancher in Joseph, Oregon, says even if the federal government ends protections for wolves, she’s not optimistic that things will get any better for her and other ranchers if states take over management of wolf populations.

Gray Wolf
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

The federal government is preparing to stop protecting gray wolves in the lower 48 states, according to a draft document. The plan is drawing criticism from environmental groups.

The impending decision isn’t a complete surprise. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had announced its intentions earlier this year to propose a blanket delisting of wolves as a ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’ species.

Washington Fish and Game

There are fewer wolves overall in the West, but Oregon and Washington's wolf populations continue to grow. That's according to the federal government's annual gray wolf tally, released Friday. The count has also revealed the initial effect of a controversial wolf hunting season in Idaho.

In the 2011-12 season, Idaho hunters and trappers killed nearly 400 wolves. Yet the population count decreased by just 63 animals, or 11 percent. David Allen heads the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He says when you take into account new pups, the once-endangered wolves are now stable.

Gray Wolf
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Aggressive gray wolf hunting took a toll in much of the Northern Rockies last year as the predator's population saw its most significant decline since being reintroduced in the region.

Numbers released by state wildlife agencies show Wyoming's wolf population down 16 percent from 2011, Montana's down 4 percent and Idaho's down 8 percent.

That was partially offset by population gains in eastern portions of Washington and Oregon.

Washington State Confirms ‘Wenatchee Wolf Pack’

Mar 28, 2013

Washington officials confirmed a new wolf pack outside Wenatchee this week. But the pack has already run into trouble with ranchers.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

A bill headed for the floor of the Idaho House would tap into the interest in hunting wolves to raise money for ranchers who lose livestock to those wolves. A legislative committee approved the measure Tuesday, despite legal concerns.

Idaho lawmakers who represent ranching country say it's now up to the state to cover losses caused by wolves. Federal compensation funds are another casualty of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester.

Oregon Commission Hears Gray Wolf Update

Mar 11, 2013

Two new wolf packs formed in Oregon last year. That brings the state’s total to six packs. On Friday, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission learned what this could mean for possibly removing endangered species protection for the wolves.

2012 was the first year that more than four breeding wolf pairs were identified in Oregon. One goal for delisting gray wolves in the state: Sustain four breeding pairs for three years.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It would be easier to kill gray wolves that attack livestock or pets under a bill that passed the Washington Senate Friday. Currently, ranchers and property owners can’t kill protected animals, like wolves, without the permission of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The bill sparked heated debate in the Senate.

Republican state Sen. John Smith said the measure would allow people to defend their animals, including the dog his son loves.

Jim and Jamie Dutcher / The Hidden Life of Wolves

In the 1990s, Jim and Jamie Dutcher set out to study and film a wolf pack. They camped for years in the Sawtooth Mountains living side by side with wolves in a controlled environment.  The couple now has a book, called “The Hidden Life of Wolves,” that was released this week.  

Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

This week, a Republican lawmaker who represents eastern Washington ranch country introduced what many see as a poke in the eye for his colleagues who support wolf recovery. The new bill would move wolves to the west side of the Cascades. The proposal was immediately taken as a joke. But some conservationists say that moving wolves west is not a bad idea.  

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Washington wildlife managers are working to avoid the kind of escalation in wolf conflicts that led the state to kill an entire wolf pack last fall. Officials from the Department of Fish and Wildlife told a crowd in Spokane Valley  Wednesday they’re trying to keep livestock losses down, even as Washington’s wolf population grows. 

Most of the state's wolves congregate in eastern Washington. Last September a cattle ranch near the Canadian border lost so many animals, the state flew in a sniper to take out the problematic Wedge Pack.

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced today he will step down from his post in March.

As Interior Secretary, Salazar cut the ribbon on the removal of the Elwha dams in Olympic National Park. The largest dam removal in U.S. history.

Wolf Hunt On Colville Reservation

Dec 26, 2012

The Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington State have authorized a wolf hunt on their reservation.

Although the number of confirmed wolves on the Colville reservation is low, tribal officials say the carnivores have been killing animals that some tribal members normally kill for food.

John Sirius is the head of the Tribal Business council.  “This policy was a challenge to come to, as we have cultural ties to the wolf, but his is part of making a balance, we don’t want to put stress on the deer and elk populations with a wolf population that is too large.”

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

The gray wolf remains on state endangered species lists in Oregon and Washington. But in Idaho, the state opens wolf trapping season  Thursday. In fact, Idaho plans to offer more tags than last year. 

Idaho game managers hope sportsmen -– and women -– will help reduce the state's wolf population. Hunters and trappers bagged at least 375 wolves last year.

This year, that number may grow. Each hunter can get as many as 10 wolf tags and a trained trapper can get five.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Washington ranchers who can show that wolves are making their cattle lose weight could get reimbursed under a new proposal. The rule before the Fish and Wildlife Commission would expand a compensation program for ranchers living in wolf country.

Washington’s cattle ranchers aren’t the first to complain about skinny livestock. Ranchers in Idaho and Oregon also say the reintroduction of wolves has made sheep and cattle move more and eat less.

Gary Kramer / USFWS

Washington wildlife managers say the hunt for a pack of grey wolves is over. A state marksman killed the alpha male of the pack Thursday in far northeast Washington. The department has killed a total of seven wolves from the Wedge Pack since August.

Washington Fish and Game

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has re-issued the kill order for four wolves in a pack in the Northeastern corner of the state.  Starting Wednesday marksmen will take to the field.

Ten cows have been injured or killed on the Diamond M ranch since July. Two more incidents were reported after the holiday weekend  The two calves had claw marks on their backs and bites along their hamstrings, confirming that the injuries were a result of a wolf attack.

Conservation Northwest, an environmental group that works on wolf recovery, agreed that wolves were to blame.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

State officials have called off orders to kill four members of a wolf pack in Northeastern Washington.

The Wedge Pack has had repeated run-ins with livestock on the Diamond M ranch.

Earlier this month officials with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife killed a female member of the pack in an attempt to prevent further cattle loss. Since then, one calf has been killed and another injured.

That prompted the Department to issue a kill order for four more members of the pack. Officials estimate there are up to 11 pack members total.

Zoo Boise

The wild wolf puppy from the Ketchum area is on his way to a new home in Virginia.  The pup was taken from the wild last month by out-of-town campers who thought it was a domestic dog.  The underweight and frightened animal ended up at Zoo Boise for care and treatment. 

Zoo Boise

A puppy, picked up by campers in Ketchum last month, is a wild wolf.  The Idaho Department of Fish and Game confirmed that Tuesday after a DNA test came back positive. 

Out of town campers picked up what they thought was a lost puppy and took it to a vet.  The pup ended up at Zoo Boise, who has been caring for it.  He is gaining weight and his health is improving. 

Fish and Game searched for a wolf pack near where the pup was found, but couldn’t find one.  They speculate the pack was moving the puppy and may have been disturbed by traffic on the road. 

Zoo Boise

What’s thought to be a wolf puppy, picked up by campers in Ketchum, is resting in Zoo Boise’s animal hospital.  The campers who found the pup took it to a local vet who contacted Idaho Fish and Game. 

A couple from Twisp, Wash., has accepted a plea deal in a wolf poaching case. Under the agreement with federal prosecutors, Tom White and his wife will not face jail time.

White, his father, and his wife Erin were indicted last year in a conspiracy to kill some of the handful of grey wolves that live in eastern Washington. Police discovered the poaching scheme in late 2008 when the family tried to send a wolf pelt to a tanner in Canada. A business owner in Omak, Wash., reported the FedEx package was bleeding.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game disclosed details Thursday on its investigation of wolf trapper  Josh Branford.  He posed in front of a live, trapped wolf and posted the photo on the Internet

Branford did nothing illegal according to Mike Keckler, chief of communications for Idaho Fish and Game.  “He had all the necessary licenses and tags to trap the wolf.  But, in our view, he should have used better judgment before photographing himself and placing it out there.” 

Grisly Photo Adds Fuel to Wolf Hunt Debate

Apr 4, 2012
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

A photo of a trapped wolf in Idaho has splashed new fuel on the flames of the debate over wolves. Environmental groups say the image demonstrates what they see as the cruelty of wolf trapping in Idaho. But state and federal authorities say there was nothing illegal about the picture.

An anti-trapping group in Montana found the photo on a forum called Trapperman.com. In the background, you can see a wolf with one of its hind feet caught in a trap. The snow around the wolf has turned pink from blood. In the foreground a trapper smiles at the camera.