Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tough Day to Be a Wolf: While Legislature Creates Wolf-Kill Panel, IDFG Expands Trapping

Posted By on Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 1:00 PM

On the same day that the Idaho Legislature approved the creation of a new state board to control wolf populations, Idaho Fish and Game commissioners agreed to expand wolf trapping beginning this fall.

On March 20—the final day of the 2014 Idaho Legislature—lawmakers agreed to create a $400,000 fund to establish a five-member board to authorize the killing of wolves that may come into conflict with livestock or other wildlife. The money will come from fees from sportsmen and the livestock industry. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter had hoped that the Legislature would have funded the panel with $2 million, but still praised the compromise.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Boise, the IDFG Commission was meeting at its South Walnut Street headquarters. That's where commissioners approved a proposal to open trapping seasons in eight big-game units in the Sawtooth and Southern Mountain zones. To date, wolf trapping had been prohibited through much of southern Idaho.

The commission also agreed to allow hunters to buy up to five wolf hunting tags throughout Idaho. Previously the number of tags was limited by region.

IDFG commissioners voted to extend the wolf hunting season in Idaho's Salmon Zone from March 31 to June 30, coinciding with the season-ends in the Middle Fork Zone and the Selway Zone.

In the current wolf hunt season, 177 wolves have been killed by hunters and another 87 wolves have been killed by trappers.

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