Wolves

Wolves
1:11 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Montana Approves Rules For Landowners Shooting Wolves

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Montana wildlife commissioners have initially approved a proposal allowing landowners to kill up to 100 gray wolves annually if the predators pose a perceived threat.

Thursday's action significantly expands the circumstances under which wolves can be killed without a hunting license. In the past, that was largely limited to instances in which wolves attacked livestock.

Under the new rule, shooting wolves would be permitted whenever they pose a potential threat to human safety, livestock or domestic dogs. State lawmakers last year passed a law requiring the expansion.

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Wildlife
1:07 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Wolf Kills Sheep Herding Dog In Boise Foothills

USDA wildlife officials say Teson, a Border Collie belonging to rancher Frank Shirts, was killed by wolves in the Boise foothills May 8.
Credit Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission

A Boise-area sheep rancher says a wolf killed his border collie in the Boise foothills earlier this month. Rancher Frank Shirts says a wolf killed one of his herding dogs on May 8 in the upper Hulls Gulch area of the foothills.

It's the first wolf-related problem Shirts' herd has encountered since 2010. 

"I thought people would like to know," Shirts said. 

Todd Grimm, the Idaho director of USDA Wildlife Services, confirmed the dog was killed by a wolf. He says trauma and bite marks support that conclusion.

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Hunting
11:16 am
Fri April 18, 2014

North Idaho Poachers Taking Heavy Toll On Game

Credit GoCyclones / Flickr Creative Commons

State wildlife officials in northern Idaho say poachers are killing far more game animals than wolves.

Officials tell the Lewiston Tribune that last year in northern Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer.

Officials say a realistic detection rate is 5 percent, meaning poachers are likely killing about 600 elk, 80 moose, 260 mule deer and 1,000 whitetail.

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Wildlife
10:34 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Rockies Gray Wolf Numbers Steady Despite Hunting

Credit Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

A new population tally of gray wolves in the U.S. Northern Rockies shows their continued resilience despite increased hunting, trapping and government-sponsored pack removals.

State and federal agencies said Friday there were a minimum of 1,691 wolves at the end of 2013.

That's virtually unchanged from the prior year even as state wildlife agencies adopted aggressive tactics to drive down wolf numbers.

Under pressure from livestock and hunting groups, Idaho officials have used helicopters to shoot packs. Montana has eased hunting and trapping rules.

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Idaho Legislature
12:17 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Idaho Agriculture Industry Happy With 2014 Legislature

Credit UGA College of Ag / Flickr

Idaho's farmers, ranchers and producers say they're happy with the outcome of the 2014 Legislature.

The Capitol Press reports a lot of things went right for the agricultural industry during the 74-day session, where numerous industry-boosting bills found a foothold.

That included the Agriculture Security Act, a dairy-backed bill that punishes those who film agricultural operations, and is designed to protect farmers from spying activists.

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Wolves
3:44 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Governor Otter Signs Wolf Control Bill

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed a bill to create a state board that will work to control the growth of wolf populations in the state.

Otter signed the bill on Wednesday, despite opposition from some conservation groups.

The bill, which passed on the final day of the recent legislative session, creates a $400,000 fund and establishes a five-member board whose job is to authorize the killing of wolves that come into conflict with wildlife or livestock.

The money comes from the state's general fund.

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Wildlife
9:41 am
Mon March 24, 2014

With Idaho Wolves On The Decline, Environmental Groups To Ask For Federal Protection

Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Idaho's wolf population is on the decline, heading toward 10 breeding pairs, or 150 wolves.

That's the goal set in the 2002 wolf management plan that will remain the state's official policy unless it is changed by the Legislature.

The Idaho Statesman reports that last week's legislation to establish an Idaho Wolf Control Board, along with efforts to expand and increase wolf hunting and trapping, has galvanized some national conservation groups.

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Wolves
12:26 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Lawmakers Want Gray Wolf Protections To Stay

Credit Washington Fish and Game

Federal lawmakers are pressing Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to drop a proposal that would end federal protections for wolves across most of the Lower 48 states.

Seventy-four House members signed onto a Wednesday letter to Jewell that cites a peer-review panel's recent conclusion the government relied on unsettled science to make its case.

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Wildlife
1:38 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Hunters Kill Nearly 500 Wolves In Idaho, Montana

Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Hunters and trappers in Montana killed 230 wolves during the recently concluded wolf season.

That's only five more wolves than the prior year's wolf harvest despite the lifting of quotas on the animals across most of the state and a higher bag limit for individual hunters.

Hunters took 144 wolves during a season that started in September and ended Saturday. Trappers took 86 wolves.

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Wildlife
11:28 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Montana Rule Lets Landowners Shoot Wolves Without A Permit

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission has adopted regulations to implement a law that allows landowners to shoot threatening wolves on sight, without a hunting license.

Commissioners approved new wording and definitions for administrative rules on wolf management on Thursday.

Senate Bill 200, which passed last year, allowed landowners to kill wolves that threaten their property without having to buy a permit or hunting license.

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Idaho Legislature
10:01 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Lawmaker: Budget Crunch Will Dent Wolf Killing Fund

Credit Idaho Legislature

The co-chair of the state's budget committee says a bill asking for $2 million to kill Idaho wolves likely won't get half that much money.

Republican Rep. Maxine Bell of Jerome says the money is instead needed to pay for the Idaho Education Network broadband program.

Bell co-chairs the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee.

Legal wrangling over a contract the state awarded for an education broadband project has cut off federal funds for the program.

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Wildlife
10:01 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Idaho Fish And Game Pays $30,000 To Kill 23 Wolves

Credit Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Idaho wildlife officials say it cost $30,000 to kill 23 wolves last month in northern Idaho.

Idaho Fish and Game announced earlier this week the money is coming from licenses the agency sells.

The agency last month said USDA Wildlife Service agents killed the wolves using a helicopter in the Lolo elk zone near the Montana border to improve elk survival in the area.

It's the sixth time the agency has taken action to kill wolves in the Lolo zone in the past four years. Forty-eight wolves have been killed in all.

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Wildlife
9:37 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Idaho Wildlife Managers Kill 23 Wolves Near Montana Border

Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Idaho wildlife officials have killed 23 wolves in northern Idaho in an effort to boost the number of elk in the region.

The Idaho Fish and Game announced Friday afternoon that the animals were killed by USDA Wildlife Service agents using a helicopter in the Lolo elk zone near the Montana border. It's the sixth time the agency has taken action to kill wolves in the Lolo zone in the past four years, bringing the total number of wolves killed there to 48.

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Idaho Legislature
12:34 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Idaho House Approves $2 Million Plan To Kill Wolves

Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Lawmakers voted 49-16 to direct $2 million to help kill problem wolves, over objections from Democrats who say it's a poor use of the money.

Friday's vote sends the measure, backed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and livestock producers, to the Senate.

Idaho has 118 packs and 680 wolves, according to 2012 figures.

This wolf control fund's proponents argue existing measures by federal trappers and hunters aren't enough to tackle wolves that prey on sheep, cattle and elk herds coveted by hunters.

This fund will help pick up the slack.

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Wildlife
8:20 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Montana Ranchers Learn Ways To Live With Wolves

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:05 am

Gray wolves are a controversial and polarizing animal in much of the American West. Wolves have slowly come back from extinction, forcing people to learn how to coexist with the cunning predator. One farmer is teaching his cattle to huddle together as bison do when threatened — there is safety in numbers.

Wildlife
5:35 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Panel Finds Feds Didn't Use Best Science In Wolf Plan

US Fish

A new independent review finds the federal government used uncertain science when it proposed taking the gray wolf off the endangered species list across the Lower 48.

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Wildlife
6:18 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Idaho Fish And Game Pulls Pro Hunter From Wilderness After Killing 9 Wolves

Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Idaho wildlife managers called off a professional wolf hunter who has been killing predators inside a federal wilderness area.

Department of Fish and Wildlife Monday said it was halting the hunt after nine wolves were killed.

It had planned to keep hunter Gus Thoreson of Salmon in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness this winter as it sought reduce wolves and bolster low elk populations there.

Wolf advocates initially lost their bid for a court order to force Thoreson to quit hunting wolves from his base on U.S. Forest Service territory.

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Idaho Legislature
3:48 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

$2 Million Plan Aims To Kill 500 Idaho Wolves

Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Republicans promoting Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's proposed $2 million fund to kill wolves say they hope the cash helps eliminate more than 500 of the predators in Idaho, reducing numbers to 150 animals in 15 packs.

Rep. Marc Gibbs of Grace and Sen. Bert Brackett of Rogerson Monday told the House Resources and Conservation Committee the cash set aside with Otter's proposal will bolster Idaho's predator arsenal.

Idaho now has about 680 wolves, according to state Department of Fish and Game estimates.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Ranching Ecology And Wolf Reintroduction With 'Badluck Way' Author Bryce Andrews

During the summer of 2007, a city kid from Seattle lived out an adventure most wannabe cowboys only dream of.

Bryce Andrews spent a year working on the Sun Ranch — an expansive area of rangeland in the breathtaking wilderness of southwest Montana — mending fences, riding horses, roping cattle and transforming himself into a true ranch hand. It fulfilled his heart’s desire to live among the wild. And, as Andrews writes, it “might have been a simple, pretty story, if not for the wolves.”

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Wildlife
8:59 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Idaho's New Elk Management Plan Could Be Adopted This Week

Idaho is on the verge of adopting its first new plan to manage elk since 1999.
Credit GoCyclones / Flickr Creative Commons

Hunters and other interested parties have one more chance to comment on Idaho's proposed new elk management plan.

The state has spent the last several years working on a plan to replace the current version, which went into effect in 1999. Fish and Game's deer and elk program coordinator, Toby Boudreau, says the 15-year-old plan is now obsolete.

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