Idaho seeks comment on wolf hunting rules
by Idaho Fish and Game Department
May 4, 2008
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has scheduled a series of public open house meetings around the state to seek comments on the proposed 2008 wolf hunting season framework. The meetings will be announced by regional offices.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved the Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan, and the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains was removed from the endangered species list - both in March.
The plan calls for managing wolves at a population level of between 500-700 wolves for the first five years following delisting. The plan includes hunting as part of the methods of maintaining the population levels.
Fish and Game recommendations call for a total mortality quota of 328 wolves in 2008, which includes all reported wolf kills - from natural causes, accidents, wolf predation control actions and hunter kills. Reaching the quota would result in an estimated end-of-year population of 550-600 wolves.
When the statewide quota is reached, all hunting would stop. When quotas in individual zones are reached, hunting in those zones would stop.
Here are the details:
2008 Recommended Wolf Hunting Rules General Rules
A license and tag holder may take only one wolf.
Mortality quotas are established for each management zone. The wolf take season will close immediately upon notification the wolf harvest quota has been met.
To find out if the quota on wolves has been met and the season has been closed in a particular management unit, call 1-800-XXX-XXXX (to be established), or visit http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. For more specific information about the number of wolves harvested and reported for each management unit, call an Idaho Fish and Game regional office, the headquarters office in Boise, or visit our website at
Quotas may be reached quickly, and hunters are encouraged to check quota status the day they plan to hunt.
Evidence of Sex
Must be left attached to the hide of any wolf taken. External evidence of sex (either scrotum, penis, or testicles for males, or vulva for females) must be left naturally attached to the hide until the mandatory check requirement has been satisfied.
No person may take more wolves than the number for which he or she possesses legal tags. In 2008, hunters may not be issued more than 1 wolf tag.
Mandatory Report and Check
Any hunter killing a wolf must report the harvest within 72 hours by calling the Wolf Reporting Number at 1-800-XXX-XXXX (to be determined). Additionally, any hunter killing a wolf must within 10 days of the date of kill:
Present the skull and hide to a regional office or other official checkpoint for removal and retention of a premolar tooth and to have the hide tagged with an official state export tag. No person shall have in possession, except during the open season and for ten days after the close of the season, any raw wolf hide which does not have an official state export tag attached (either Idaho’s or another state’s official export tag).
A hunter may authorize another person to comply with the above requirements if that person possesses enough information to accurately complete the necessary form.
No person may trap, snare or otherwise capture or hold any wolf. Lawful trapping seasons will be considered in future years.
Big Game Feeding Sites
It is unlawful to hunt or pursue wolves within a half mile of any active Idaho Fish and Game big game feeding site.
Similar to other big game animals.
No electronic calls may be used to attract wolves for the purpose of harvest.
Baiting for wolves is not allowed.
Hunters are not required to retrieve meat from a harvested wolf. But hide and skull are required to be physically presented to a Fish and Game regional office within 10 days of kill.
Use of dogs to attract or pursue wolves is prohibited.
Incidental Wolf Take
Trappers who accidentally capture a wolf must release the wolf (uninjured) and must report the capture to an Idaho Fish and Game employee within five (5) days of release. But trappers who accidentally catch a wolf, are encouraged to contact the nearest Fish and Game regional office within 12 hours so a determination can be made whether to attach a radio collar to assist wolf management efforts.
Trappers that accidentally capture a wolf that cannot be released uninjured must notify a Fish and Game employee to arrange collection of the animal. It is unlawful for any person to retain possession of an incidentally taken wolf.
Wolves With Radio Collars
Hunters may encounter wolves with radio collars. These radio collars allow Idaho Fish and Game personnel to monitor wolf activity, assess population status, and help determine future hunting opportunity. Though it is legal to do so, Fish and Game encourages hunters to avoid harvesting radio-collared wolves. Hunters are required to return any radio collars when they check in
Details for the fall 2008 hunting season are scheduled to be set by the commission at the May 21-22 meeting and season and rules brochures should be out to the public in July.
Fish and Game has set this schedule for wolf rule setting:
April 30 - May 16 - Public review and comment period.
May 16 - Summaries of regional public comments, and final regional recommendations are due to Fish and Game headquarters.
May 21-22 - Idaho Fish and Game Commission scheduled to consider wolf hunting rules and seasons during meeting at Jerome Fish and Game office.
Comments on the proposed seasons and rules may be submitted at regional public meetings or to regional offices; they may be submitted at the Fish and Game Website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/public/; or they may be sent by mail to Wolf Hunting Rules, Idaho Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.
Click on the link below to view the proposed seasons and rules.