Idaho prepares for wolf management
by Idaho Fish & Game press release
May 3, 2011
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter recently directed Idaho Fish and Game to prepare to resume wolf management.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to publish a delisting rule soon, as directed by Congress.
Idaho Fish and Game is getting ready to assume management when the rule is released. Already biologists are updating wolf population and distribution estimates provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Nez Perce Tribe. That information shows an estimated minimum of 705 wolves in Idaho at the end of 2010 in about 87 packs, at least 46 of which were documented as breeding pairs.
Fish and Game biologists will present updated information to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the May meeting in Lewiston.
Fish and Game will develop and present options for a fall wolf hunt to commissioners when they meet in July. Commissioners may adopt a harvest strategy at their scheduled August meeting.
It is still uncertain when wolf tags would go on sale.
Fish and Game also is evaluating actions to resolve the elk mortality and calf survival problems in Lolo Zone. Federal approval for a proposed wolf control action would not be required following delisting.
In 2009, Idaho proved it could conduct an orderly wolf hunt. Hunters killed 188 wolves, achieving 85 percent of the 220 wolf limit set by the commission.
Only two citations on wolf hunt violations were issued statewide.