War on wolves has reached new a low


 

By LYNNE STONE

Since early July, Idaho’s war on wolves has another chapter—once again in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA). This time, it involves the Casino Pack in the Sawtooth Valley near Fisher Creek.
It works like this: A rancher has a hurt or dead calf or sheep, calls the misnamed federal agency Wildlife Services, who will say it’s a wolf kill. Wildlife Services calls the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and Fish and Game rubber-stamps whatever Wildlife Services wants—usually to “kill all offending wolves.” In the summer months, there are thousands of sheep and cattle on the SNRA. Some are going to be sick or hurt every day. If wolves come around, they are blamed.
The Casino Pack alpha male was B450. I had first seen him as a yearling in 2009 with his three younger sisters and brothers in the Stanley Basin. His family, the Basin Butte wolves, were killed on Thanksgiving week 2009 because cattle ranchers would not adapt to living with wolves.
B450 survived five more years and had his own family before he was trapped on July 9 near Fisher Creek. Although Fish and Game had told Wildlife Services to release any collared wolves, B450 was so mortally injured from being in the leg-hold trap in hot weather that he was shot. The same with his yearling son, B647—caught in a trap on July 1, and in such bad shape when the Wildlife Services agent finally checked the trap, the wolf would not live if released. This is not the first time wolves have suffered in the SNRA due to trapping. A collared yearling died in a trap on Decker Flat last May.
Another Casino Pack wolf, a subadult female, has also been killed by Wildlife Services, leaving only the pack’s mother, pups and one other sibling. The kill order is out for them, too. All because one rancher lost one calf, maybe to wolves.


The town of Stanley struggles in winter to survive. Wildlife viewing, especially for wolves, could change that.


Fish and Game in Salmon told me this week that they were sorry that the collared wolves were killed. Fish and Game seems to have no control over the actions of Wildlife Services, nor do they seem to care in a state where our cowboy governor Butch Otter has made it clear he doesn’t want wolves here.
On the SNRA since 2000, the Stanley Pack, Whitehawk Pack, Galena Pack and Basin Butte Pack have been eradicated because of a handful of cattle and sheepmen. When people claim that the SNRA protects wildlife, it’s simply not true when it comes to wolves and other animals that ranchers don’t like. They call the shots, literally.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Ranchers could be proactive and learn about nonlethal methods of deterrence. A few are doing this in the Wood River Valley. Landowners who lease pasture to cattlemen could stop—that would help wolves. The SNRA could be a place like Yellowstone Park’s Lamar Valley—where people come from all over the world to see wolves and nearby communities benefit—receiving millions of dollars from tourists. The town of Stanley struggles in winter to survive. Wildlife viewing, especially for wolves could change that.

    Lynne Stone is the director of the Boulder-White Clouds Council, an environmental group. She has been a longtime advocate for wolves in central Idaho.

http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2007152960#.U8_dOGdOVy0

Dog Deaths Prompt Idaho to Consider Changing Trapping Rules

http://www.care2.com/causes/dog-deaths-prompt-idaho-to-consider-changing-trapping-rules.html

Dog Deaths Prompt Idaho to Consider Changing Trapping Rules

Trapping for wolves and a number of other furbearers is allowed throughout the state, but these traps aren’t just a cruel way to torture and kill the animals for which they’re intended–they are posing a serious threat to non-target animals and our pets.

According to the Department of Fish and Game, in 2012, 30 dogs and 24 house cats were among more than 800 non-target animals who were caught. Trapper reports also show the number of dogs who have become victims of traps has increased from two in 2002 to 32 in 2013.

To illustrate the seriousness of the problem, in two widely reported cases last year tragedy struck when dogs were killed in baited body-crushing traps.

According to the Spokesman-Review, the first incident occurred the day after Christmas when a family watched their two-year-old dog die in less than a minute. The second incident happened in January when a woman took her four-year-old black lab for a run, whereby it was caught in a trap that was legally placed on public endowment land. Her and her husband had to call for help because the trap closed so tightly they couldn’t get it open.

In response to the growing number of dogs being trapped and increasing concerns being voiced by pet owners, the Department of Fish and Game released an instructional video in March of this year, and it’s really helpful: you just need to bring a bucket full of supplies with you, channel MacGuyver, or be kind of person who can function calmly while you’re watching your beloved dog suffer, as you try to remember how to open one of the medieval-looking torture devices without doing even more damage. No problem, right?

As infuriating as it is to think you would have to deal with that just because you want to take your dog hiking, and as easy as it would be to say the obvious solution here is to ban traps, that won’t happen. Voters already enshrined trapping as a hunting right in the state’s constitution in 2012. At least now officials are considering restrictions that could help prevent more accidents.

Last week the Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to start making new rules for certain types of traps, and is considering other steps that were recommended by a working group, including requiring a trapper education program, posting signs, restricting the use of body-crushing traps on public land, and increasing set-backs for traps placed near trails. Once approved by the commission, these proposals go to the legislature for approval.

That’s Where You Come In

You can send a message to the Fish and Game Commission asking it to implement every possible measure to protect the public and non-target animals from the dangers traps pose.

You can also sign and share our Care2 petition asking state officials to do something to prevent the trapping of endangered Canada Lynx.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/dog-deaths-prompt-idaho-to-consider-changing-trapping-rules.html#ixzz37xk0flgd

Idaho has declared a war on wolves

http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/state_and_regional/writerrs_on_range/idaho-has-declared-a-war-on-wolves/article_ea0b8b62-ad9b-5f4e-914e-dc936aa64977.html?fb_action_ids=10152158813396188&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_ref=.U4jdLo-KFj4.like

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 12:15 am

Nearly 20 years ago, I served on the team that captured and released the first wolves in daho and Yellowstone National Park. Though this reintroduction effort was heralded as a significant achievement in the recovery of endangered species, we’re in a far different place today, especially in Idaho.

The state has been working to undermine this conservation success story by proclaiming its intentions to kill most of its 659 wolves.copyrighted wolf in river

 

And state officials are just getting started. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s recently established “Wolf Control Fund and State Board” is charged with killing hundreds more wolves, with funding coming from state taxpayers. Recently, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game adopted a new predation management plan that calls for killing up to 60 percent of the wolves living in the heart of the federally protected Frank Church Wilderness. Wilderness is defined as a special place set aside for wildlife, and visitors are expected to leave no trace. Now, Idaho is going to fill this wild place with traps and snares to kill wolves in hopes of increasing the number of elk for a few hunters.

What is truly destructive is that state officials seem bent on perpetuating a culture of fear and loathing toward wolves. They repeat tales from mythology and fail to tell the true, full story about successful ranching in the presence of wolves, or the many reasons why the elk population has declined. And livestock losses to wolves have always ranked among the lowest causes of livestock loss in the West.

I know that not everyone in Idaho hates wolves. I grew up in Idaho, and I’ve found that most Idahoans don’t know many of the facts behind the wolf conflict. I also don’t believe that rural residents are fooled by the propaganda from campaigners against the wolf.

In Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest — a sheep superhighway that is also wolf territory — Blaine County ranchers, county, state and federal agencies, and local wolf advocates have been working together to resolve conflicts using nonlethal wolf management and livestock husbandry methods. These methods include deterrents like livestock guard dogs and electric fencing that reduce or eliminate livestock losses while also building social acceptance for wolves. The results are undeniable.

After being persecuted for centuries, wolves deserve a better future in this country — and in Idaho in particular. We need to demand that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service examine how wolves have fared since being stripped of Endangered Species Act protection. Wolves in Idaho need our support to stay alive.

Suzanne Stone is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a syndicated column service of High Country News (hcn.org). She is the Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife in Boise, Idaho.

Why do American farmers need some of the strongest anti-whistleblower laws in the land?

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/05/ag_gag_laws_idaho_is_criminalizing_muckraking_to_protect_farmers.html

Hogs are raised on the farm.
Should taking this picture without permission be illegal?

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Over several weeks in 2012, an animal rights activist secretly filmed workers at an Idaho dairy farm kicking and punching cows in the head, jumping up and down on their backs, sexually abusing one, and dragging another behind a tractor by its neck. The Mercy for Animals-made video—one of roughly 80 that activists say they’ve recorded over the past decade—prompted the owners of Bettencourt Dairies to fire five workers and install cameras in their barns to prevent future abuses. A police investigation, meanwhile, ended with three of the fired employees charged with animal cruelty. It was a clear victory for those groups that have made it their mission to expose animal cruelty and criminal wrongdoing on modern American farms.

It will also be their last, if the agriculture industry and its allies in state government have their way.

Earlier this year, Idaho became at least the seventh state to pass a law aimed specifically at thwarting such undercover investigations, and roughly a dozen similar bills are currently winding their way through statehouses around the country. While the specifics vary, so-called ag-gag laws generally make it illegal to covertly record animal abuse on farms, or to lie about any ties to animal rights groups or news organizations when applying for a farm job. Idaho’s law is the strictest of those currently on the books. It threatens muckrakers with up to a year in jail and fines up to $5,000—a sentence, it should be noted, that’s the same as what someone convicted of animal abuse faces.

The laws specifically target animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and similar organizations that have increasingly turned to clandestine video in their battle with Big Ag. But the way many of the laws are tailored, they also could ensnare journalists, whistleblowers, and even unions in their legal net, in the process raising serious concerns about the legal impact on everything from free speech to food safety. A wide-ranging coalition of organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Food Safety, has joined animal rights groups in challenging the Idaho law, along with a similar one in Utah, in federal court. The lawsuits also have the backing of the Government Accountability Project, the AFL-CIO, and a host of media organizations, including NPR.

“They can dress these laws up however they want, but ultimately the rationale here is pretty clearly self-interest on the part of the industry,” says Michael McFadden, the general counsel at Farm Forward, an advocacy group that’s leading the charge against such laws. The industry and their statehouse allies don’t necessarily disagree. State Sen. Jim Patrick, a lead sponsor of the Idaho legislation and a farmer himself, explained the rationale behind his bill: “It’s not designed to cover up animal cruelty, but we have to defend ourselves.”

The way Patrick and his like-minded colleagues see things, farmers in their state are under attack by activists who will stop at nothing to paint what happens on factory farms in the worst possible light. “Terrorism has been used by enemies for centuries to destroy the ability to produce food and the confidence in food safety,” the Idaho Republican told his fellow lawmakers while advocating for his bill several months ago. He struck a similar note during our conversation, comparing groups like Mercy for Animals, which has made a name for itself legally capturing wrongdoing on camera, with more extreme groups like the Earth Liberation Front, an eco-terrorist organization known for setting fire to ski resorts and lumber mills.

Farmers and their allies are quick to brush off the unsanctioned animal rights investigations as craven attempts to manipulate the public and undermine the meat and dairy industry as a whole. “Their goal wasn’t to protect the animals,” Patrick said of the Mercy for Animals investigation at Bettencourt. “Their goal was to put the farmer, or in this case the dairyman, out of business.” That, the activists admit, is largely true. After investigations uncover inhumane or illegal practices on big farms, the groups have a history of applying public pressure to any corporation it can tie to that particular farm. In the case of the Idaho dairy, Mercy for Animals publicized an indirect link to Burger King—complete with a still-active webpage, BurgerKingCruelty.com—and successfully pressed the fast-food giant to stop topping its burgers with cheese made from the dairy’s milk. While that didn’t put Bettencourt, one of the nation’s largest dairies, out of business, it certainly hurt its bottom line.

The industry concedes that abuses do happen on farms—how could it not when there is video evidence one Google search away?—but largely dismisses them as the work of bad actors that are the exception to the industry rule. The industry says reporters and the public are welcome behind closed barn doors—just as long as farmers are there to give context and explain the unsightly details. “We have no intent to stop journalists, but we do want them to ask permission first,” Patrick said, noting that he and his colleagues intentionally left their law as broad as they could.

There are plenty of problems with that logic as far as the public good is concerned. For starters, Upton Sinclair didn’t rely on official tours of Chicago’s slaughterhouses before sitting down to write The Jungle, the 1906 novel that was based on his undercover trips into meatpacking facilities and a work that is widely credited with driving widespread regulatory reform. Likewise for the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of the New York Times’ Michael Moss, who used confidential company records in 2009 to raise questions about the effectiveness of injecting ammonia into beef to remove E. coli.

The AFL-CIO warns that the effort could have a chilling effect on unions by making it more difficult for undercover organizers to land positions at companies where they are unwelcome, a practice known as “salting.” Ditto for whistleblowers, who in theory could be charged under the law if they were to record evidence to back up their allegations, according to the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower protection and advocacy organization. State lawmakers behind the efforts often voice fears that activists could easily stage abuse where there is none, leaving farmers convicted in the court of public opinion without a chance to defend themselves—although Patrick couldn’t cite any examples of that ever happening.

There’s also the arguably more pressing matter of the laws’ main target: camera-toting activists on farm factory floors. While the industry might not like what it sees in the videos, it can’t make a convincing case that the footage has no value. In the last three years alone, activists have taped stable workers in Tennessee illegally burning the ankles of horses with chemicals, employees in Wyoming kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air, and farmhands in Iowa burning and snapping off the beaks of young chickens. Those actions went undiscovered, or at least unreported, by the farm owners and government regulators before they were caught on camera by muckraking activists.

What they capture on film can go far beyond animal cruelty, too. The footage is capable of shifting the debate from one about the welfare of livestock to that of humans, a topic much more likely to hit home with consumers. The most damning investigation in the past decade occurred in Southern California, where an undercover Humane Society operative caught workers illegally pushing so-called downer cows, those cattle that are too sick or weak to stand on their own, to slaughter with the help of chains, forklifts, and high-pressure water hoses at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has deemed those cows potential carriers of mad cow disease, salmonella, and E. coli. As a result, the video prompted the recall of 143 million pounds of beef—the largest meat recall in U.S. history—large portions of which were destined for school lunch programs and fast-food restaurants. That investigation would have likely never happened if laws like Idaho’s had been on the books in California.

Both sides are set to get their day in court later this summer when a federal judge hears the suit against the Idaho law. But even if the law is ultimately struck down, the fight will continue. “If it fails, we’ll revise it,” Patrick said. “I know we did the right thing.”

 

GRIZZLY NEXT TO YELLOWSTONE PARK ILLEGALY SHOT IN IDAHO SPRING BEAR HUNT

May 10

Adult male grizzly was shot May 7 near the Cave Falls Road-
Idaho spring black bear season began April 15, and the first Greater Yellowstone grizzly death of the season has been logged.

An eleven-year old male griz was shot by someone (so far unidentified) just off the Cave Falls Road near the southwest
corner of Yellowstone Park. In a news release, Idaho Fish and Game said they were investigating and promised any information gathered would be released.

The location of the illegal killing is generally flat with meadows where bears come to dig early season roots, bulbs, and rodents.
It is often hard to distinguish grizzlies from black bears, especially early in the year when they are thin from hibernation. Critics wonder why an area so rich with grizzlies is open to spring black bear hunting.

In recent years, U.S. Forest Service road closures after the completion of timber harvest has made the general area safer for grizzlies. The Cave Falls road (gravel) runs close to the southwest corner of the Park, dead-ending inside the Park at Cave Falls.

The death of a male grizzly is generally not regarded as serious
as that of a fertile female, especially one with cubs.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Self-entitlement—on steroids

Talk about a bad case of self-entitlement—when it comes to wildlife, Idaho hunters give new meaning to the words. Ever since wolves were removed from the endangered species list, hunters in Idaho have been making a federal case of the fact that their “game” is feeding wild predators (as nature intended).

Meanwhile, you hear next to nothing about poachers, who take a bigger bite of the “resource” than wolves ever could. Their reaction to poaching seems to be: “Why get excited about that? At least they’re humans like us.”

To challenge poaching is to challenge all human entitlement to prey species who here long before humans even set foot on this continent.

It’s another case of the “it’s all here for us” mentality—on steroids.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson. All Rights Reserved

Like Marmots? Hate Contest Hunts? Here’s Some Contact Info

A marmot (Alias, “Rock Chuck.”), on the lookout for evil in the form of “derby” hunters.

Marmot Photos Copyright Jim Robertson

Marmot Photos Copyright Jim Robertson

For information about this sadistic “event,” see: Idaho Marmot-Killing Contest a Transference of Victimhood
Contact Idaho Fish and “Game” personnel re. the Rock Chuck event. IDFG has no say (because they are ruled by the Idaho legislature) except to perhaps monitor the hunt and check if hunting licenses have been purchased. However, it wouldn’t hurt to raise a storm with IDFG officials – who could then say to the media, they’d been getting calls of protest. Here are the names:
Magic Valley Regional Supervisor Jerome Hansen: jerome.hansen@idfg.idaho.gov
IDFG Director Virgil Moore: virgil.moore@idfg.idaho.gov
IDFG Magic Valley Commissioner (appointed by Gov Otter in 2013, the guy has said he doesn’t like wolves):


Mark Doerr
, of Kimberly, is the Commissioner representing the Magic Valley Region.  mark.doerr@idfg.idaho.gov

Also:

The Idaho Division of Tourism Development is dedicated to the growth of the tourism industry in Idaho and provides information for consumers and assistance to our tourism partner businesses across the state. We market the state’s travel opportunities throughout the West and the world with a variety of programs and partnerships. Contact us directly by using the form below or find out more about our programs and services.

Facebook page for the Rock Chuck Derby, set for May 14-18, hosted by Outlaws and Angels Bar,  Highway 30, Bliss, Idaho.
(So far, 304 people “like” this page since it came on FB March 14, 2014.)
Facebook page for “Outlaws and Angels” Bar -
And you may want to see the following, about a boy who appreciates marmots:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2193986/Matteo-Walch-8-strikes-remarkable-friendship-clan-marmots-Austria.html
                                          _______________
Young marmots are dependent on their mothers this time of year. Derby contestants seek to kill the largest marmots for the “Weigh in,” leaving young kits like these to starve and die slowly…
marmot-yb-004

 

 

Poachers kill more than wolves do, Idaho officials say

[Enough said? Now, how many do trophy hunters kill compared to wolves?]

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

>But he said if predators were killing as many game animals as poachers do, people would take action. “Holy buckets, we would be setting budgets aside,” Cummings said. “We would develop a group to figure out what it was and we would develop a plan to deal with it, but we won’t even talk about what impact this has on wildlife.”<

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/apr/19/poachers-kill-more-than-wolves-do-idaho-officials/

LEWISTON – Poachers are likely killing far more game animals than wolves are, state wildlife officials in North Idaho say.

Officials told the Lewiston Tribune that last year in North Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer, the newspaper reported Friday.

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 annually.

“It’s real easy for people to blow a gasket about wolf predation,” said Idaho Fish and Game District Conservation Officer George Fischer. “They are very passionate about it, they are very irate about it and they are livid about it. Yet there is a two-legged wolf out there that is probably killing as many or more than wolves. Wolves are causing an impact, there is no doubt about it; I don’t want to downplay that at all, but two-legged wolves are probably killing more or stealing more game than wolves. That is the shock-and-awe message.”

Barry Cummings, an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer, said many people don’t report wildlife crimes because they don’t consider it a crime against them. The fine in Idaho for illegally killing an elk is $750, while the fine for illegally killing a moose is $10,000.

But he said if predators were killing as many game animals as poachers do, people would take action.

Mark Hill, a senior conservation officer for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston, said it’s not completely clear why people who are aware of poaching don’t turn lawbreakers in.

“I don’t know if it’s because they almost look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘If I turn in so and so, I’m going to be reflecting on some of the things I do and they will turn me in,’ ” Hill said.

Idaho Marmot-Killing Contest a Transference of Victimhood

While it’s too bad about Hannah losing her battle with cancer 6 years ago, why do hundreds of innocent yellow-bellied marmots (ignorantly referred to as “rock chucks”) have to pay with their lives for four years afterwards? The event already includes a motorcycle run, a walk/run and an auction, so why kill marmots at all? Hasn’t there been enough death?

http://magicvalley.com/news/local/rock-chuck-derby-in-bliss-raises/article_bc6fd825-24e7-5d5d-ac25-d3028b9e9b92.html

Rock Chuck Derby in Bliss Raises $300,000

April 27, 2013

517b5d20222aa_preview-620

BLISS • Holding the lifeless rock chuck by the tail, Jeff Huber dumped the bundle of fur into a five-gallon bucket, put it on a scale and waited for the results.

Huber was hoping for a high number, but the weight failed short of the 16.8 pound world record.

“It’s OK, I’ll just go out again for another one,” he said. “It’s a three-day event. I have time to get a bigger one.”

Huber was one of the 300 hunters registered in the sixth annual Hannah Bates Memorial Rock Chuck Derby.

The event includes a motorcycle run, a walk/run and auction, but the main goal is to shoot the biggest rock chuck and bring it back to the saloon where it can be weighed by judges. The winner will be announced Sunday and will receive a gun as a prize.

Hunters gather from all over the nation to participate, said Sandee Bates, Hannah’s mom.

The derby became dedicated in Hannah’s honor after the 20-year-old lost her battle with cancer in 2008. Ever since, the event raised more than $300,000, Bates said.

The money has gone to school athletic programs, local nonprofits and children’s cancer support groups.

“Every year it amazes me how many people show up to show their support,” Bates said. “People are so generous every year.”

As the event continues to grow, more people get to learn Hannah’s story and leave knowing they are supporting a good cause, said Carol Wood, one of the event planners and who knew Hannah.

“A little bit of Hannah touches of them,” she said.

Huber said in years past, he normally just participates in the motorcycle ride. This year, he and his son, Kameron McGarity, 14, decided to try hunting.

“We’ll be back,” he said. “We can get a bigger one.”

Rockchuck Derby Starts In:
24 days
23
:
28
:

http://rockchuckderby.com/

RULES AND REGULATIONS

Five Day Hunt: Wednesday, May 14 – Sunday, May 18, 2014
Location: Outlaws & Angels

Registration Locations:
- Outlaws & Angels – Bliss, Idaho
- Cal’s Log Tavern** – Twin Falls, Idaho
- TJ’s Lounge** – Buhl, Idaho
*Registration at these locations ends May 10

Registration Fee:
Adults $30
Youth $20 14 and under

Winner Classes:
Adults: Top 5
Youth: Top 5
Archery: Top 3
Muzzleloader: Top 3

Weigh In Times:
Wednesday, May 14: 2PM – 7PM
Thursday, May 15: 2PM – 7PM
Friday, May 16: 2PM – 7PM
Saturday, May 17: 2PM – 7PM
Sunday, May 18: 10AM – 1PM

All State of Idaho Hunting Regulations will apply and hunters must have a valid hunting license, or hunter education number.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Wednesday, May 14
Kickoff
Registration: 10AM – 10PM
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 2PM – 7PM
Band: Jam Kitty 8PM

Thursday, May 15
Registration: 10AM – 10PM
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 2PM – 7PM
Band: Jam Kitty 8PM

Friday, May 16
Registration: 10AM – NOON *last day of registration
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 2PM – 7PM
Band: Dirty Johnny 8PM

Saturday, May 17
BIKER APPRECIATION DAY
BLOODING MARY MORNING 10AM – 1AM
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 2PM – 7PM
Band: Dirty Johnny 8PM
Free Chili: 4PM – 7PM

Sunday, May 18
BLOODING MARY MORNING 10AM – 1AM
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 10AM – 1PM
Free BBQ: 2PM
AWARD CEREMONY: 4PM

Hunting reduces local ID wolf numbers

F&G releases 2013 wolf report


By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer

A pair of Idaho wolves rests in the snow. Photo courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game

About half the wolves living in the Wood River Valley and surrounding area last year were killed by hunters and government control actions, leaving about 42 wolves living in the area following the end of the 2013-14 hunting season, according to figures recently made public by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

     During the hunting season, which ended in the Southern Mountains Zone on March 31, hunters killed 26 wolves, well under the quota of 40.

     On Friday, the department released its 2013 Idaho Wolf Monitoring Progress Report, which estimates the wolf population statewide at 659, down from a high of 856 prior to the establishment of hunting seasons in 2009. The number remains well above the 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs required to keep gray wolves off the endangered species list under the 2009 delisting rule.

     The report stated that at the end of last year, Idaho contained 107 wolf packs, down from 117 in 2012. Generalizing from the packs whose members could be counted, the department calculated a statewide average pack size of 5.4 wolves, down 33 percent from the 8.1 wolves per pack that existed during the three years prior to 2009.

     The report states that 28 wolves were counted in nine packs in the Southern Mountains Wolf Zone, which includes the Wood River Valley. However, it points out that the number of individual wolves seen cannot be relied on for an accurate total. If the zone’s nine packs are typical of packs throughout the state, about 49 wolves were living there by the end of the year.

     The report documents 54 wolf mortalities in the zone last year. Thirty wolves were killed through government control actions, 21 by hunters and three as the result of other human causes.

     Twenty-three pups were known to have been born, though only eight survived.

http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2007151522