October 1, 2022

No Big Wolf Hunts Planned For Idaho

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According to Steve Nadeau, wolf program supervisor for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, once the wolf is removed from the protected list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state has no great plans for reducing the wolf pack numbers. The Wolf Management Plan, approved by the USFWS, calls for the state to maintain a minimum of 15 packs. Estimates now place pack numbers at 70, comprising a total of around 650 wolves.

Should the state opt to reduce the wolf population to the minimum, it would have its work cut out for them but again that’s not the plan.

“We don’t have any goals or objectives to knock the population down to 15,” Nadeau said Thursday. “I expect that to have a population that is huntable (we would) need something a little higher than 15 packs.”

Nadeau said a hunting season will be utilized to manage populations as an alternative to control measures—61 wolves have been controlled, or killed, in Idaho this year.

“We will set up a pretty rigorous management regime that will allow us to harvest heavily in areas where there are lots of conflicts and maybe in areas where we don’t want wolves,” Nadeau said. “In other areas we will want a stable population of wolves.”

Tom Remington