One month into Idaho's second wolf hunting season, things seem to be rolling along far quieter than the first hunt in 2009--not only in terms of the politically charged argument between wolf foes and advocates but in terms of numbers.
First, the sale of wolf tags is down significantly from 2009 and 2010, when the single season was broken up by year. In 2009 and 2010, a total of 30,619 resident tags and 781 nonresident tags were sold. This year, 17,021 resident tags have been sold, while the number of nonresident tags has increased to 1,682 (there was no wolf hunting season in the fall of 2010).
To date, 30 wolves have been killed as part of the hunt, with the most reported in the Sawtooth area, where seven of the limit of 60 wolves have been taken. An additional five have been harvested from the Panhandle hunting zone, with one in the Palouse-Hells Canyon area, three in the Dworshak-Elk City area, two in the Middle Fork zone, one in the Salmon area, three in the McCall-Weiser zone, three in the Southern Mountains area, and five in the Island Park hunting zone.
Hunting in the areas closest to Yellowstone National Park closes on Dec. 31, while hunting in most other areas will close either on March 31, 2012, or June 30, 2012, unless a limit is reached earlier.
Hunters are required to report any wolf kill within 72 hours, although that requirement got a little muddled when the incorrect phone number for reporting was printed on some of the tags. The correct number is 1-855-648-5558.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game maintains updated harvest information on its website, fishandgame.idaho.gov--click on "Wolf Hunting and Trapping Information," then click on "Harvest Information."
Speaking of getting more information, a new publication is aiming to keep Idaho outdoorsmen and women up to date on all the outdoors happenings. The bi-weekly Idaho Outdoor Journal is now on stands, offering outdoors-oriented stories.
A combination of regional wire stories and locally written articles, the paper was launched in early September and covers a variety of topics, from wildlife and environmental issues to hunting and assorted outdoor recreation.
The Boise-based publication also has an accompanying website, idahooutdoorjournal.com, which includes the paper's print content. The publication promises that the website will be updated regularly and provide a new resource for those who love to be outdoors.