Idaho Ranchers Can Protect Livestock
by Idaho Fish & Game Department
February 21, 2014
One of the five management goals listed in the 2002 Idaho Wolf and Conservation Management Plan was to "minimize wolf-human conflicts by coordinating with USDA Wildlife Services to achieve prompt response to notifications of wolf depredation and prompt resolution of conflicts."
Fish and Game works closely with Wildlife Services to address depredations. Since 2005, Wildlife Services has removed 520 wolves in depredation control actions.
Fish and Game also wants to make sure Idahoans understand state law also assures the right of individuals to protect their livestock and domestic animals from wolves (Idaho Code 36-1107 (c)).
(c) Control and Depredation of Wolves. Wolves may be disposed of by livestock or domestic animal owners, their employees, agents and animal damage control personnel when the same are molesting or attacking livestock or domestic animals and it shall not be necessary to obtain any permit from the department. Wolves so taken shall be reported to the director within seventy-two (72) hours, with additional reasonable time allowed if access to the site where taken is limited. Wolves so taken shall remain the property of the state. Livestock and domestic animal owners may take all nonlethal steps they deem necessary to protect their property. A permit must be obtained from the director to control wolves not molesting or attacking livestock or domestic animals. Control is also permitted by owners, their employees and agents pursuant to the Idaho department of fish and game harvest rules. For the purpose of this subsection (c),"molesting " shall mean the actions of a wolf that are annoying, disturbing or persecuting, especially with hostile intent or injurious effect, or chasing, driving, flushing, worrying, following after or on the trail of, or stalking or lying in wait for, livestock or domestic animals.
If you kill a wolf that is molesting or attacking domestic animals, suffer a depredation loss, or if you need a permit to control wolves that may molest or attack your livestock, you should contact your local Fish and Game regional office. Here's a link with phone numbers and addresses to all seven regional offices: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/offices/
On a case-by-case basis, Fish and Game may issue a kill permit to producers who have experienced chronic wolf depredations that remain unresolved.
When a loss is reported to Fish and Game, a Wildlife Services agent will investigate and together, we will implement an appropriate, targeted control action to remove the offending animals in a timely manner.
You can also contact Wildlife Services directly toll free at 1-866-487-3297.