Open Season Wolf Hunts In Idaho

Proposed “wolf-free zones” and year-round wolf hunting seasons, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission has proposed extending hunting and trapping seasons for wolves. On Jan. 27th, the commission announced a proposal to extend the wolf season taco year around across the state.

Senator Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, introduced a bill that would offer increased opportunities for wolf harvests in areas with chronic wolf depredation on livestock. It would also allow for year-round wolf hunts in southern Idaho areas, which in most Idahoans minds should be extended to statewide as the devastation being caused by these wolves is not limited in the slightest to livestock. Senator Bert Brackett does not plan to rescind the legislation.

Fish and Game Commission Chairman Jerry Meyers said on Jan. 28th that Sen. Brackett contacted him early on and expressed interest in altering wolf seasons. Meyers said the commission’s proposals “go much farther” than Brackett’s bill. “We’re moving ahead with our proposals fairly rapidly,” Meyers said. “It’s not a competition. We’re just trying to get something done if that’s what the public wants.”

Seven hunting proposals and two trapping proposals

have been offered in response to the increasing wolf predation of livestock and wildlife. The proposals hope to extend the wolf hunting season to an 11-month season that would run Aug. 1 to June 30. In southern and central Idaho, there would be year-round wolf hunting on public and private land. Although this proposal sounds like good news, it still will fall short and mostly have an effect on southern Idaho units leaving the northern Idaho units overrun with an extremely intelligent adversary

The trapping, proposals would change seasons on public land in southeast Idaho to Oct. 10 to March 31.

Again leaving the wolves unpressured during the critical birthing season of most our wildlife and livestock. On Jan. 23, Idaho Department of Fish and Game estimated there are about 1,500 wolves in Idaho. The numbers were produced during a 2019 study. federal criteria for wolf recovery require only 150 individual animals across the state.

“We decided once we got the scientific study done, that something needed to be done toward managing the wolves to the management plan. It’s going to be polar opposites. The people that are in favor of the wolves are going to feel strongly against it. I think sportsmen and ranchers are going to be pretty happy with it. There’s not really any middle ground. We will see if the proposal makes it through, I’m sure it will look much different when all is said and done.

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