This month, Idaho Fish and Game announced its proposal for wolf hunting season this August through March that will be decided on at a meeting this July 27-28 in Salmon.
The proposal does not include a limit on how many wolves can be killed in four of the five hunting zones, including the Panhandle, Lolo, Selway and the Middle Fork. The state is also adding trapping from December to mid-February to its wolf-killing methods this year.
The department has not set a target for the number of wolves that can be killed, stating only that they will leave 150 wolves, or 15 breeding pairs, at which point they could lose control of their ability to manage wolf populations at the state level, according to the AP.
There are an estimated 1,000 wolves in the state, not counting this year’s pups, who will be vulnerable to being killed, or left abandoned to starve. Hunters can use electronic calls and any weapon they choose (guns, arrows, snares) and will be allowed to take two wolves this year, while trappers can take three. They will have 72 hours to report their kills. Imagine 72 hours in a leghold trap.
“We are concerned that the proposal for this year’s hunting season would allow too many wolves to be killed. There are far fewer wolves than bears, mountain lions or elk in Idaho. Allowing the population to approach only 150 wolves is unsustainable and not supported by sound wildlife management principles. Instead, Idaho should manage for a healthy and abundant wolf population,” said Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife.
If you’re in the mood to rally for wolves and find other wolf lovers in your area, visit Howl Across America.
Photo credit: dobak via flickr