Idaho Approves Year-Round Wolf Hunting on Private Land

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[Check out the Earth First! Wolf Hunt Sabotage Manual for info on how to stop wolf hunts]

by AP / The Missoulian

Wolf-hunting season will be open 365 days a year on private property in northern Idaho’s Clearwater Region. The Fish and Game Commission made the rule change in the last week as part of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s 2014 Big Game Hunting Rules Package.

The commission also moved up the opening of wolf-trapping season in the Lolo and Selway zones.

The commission in 2012 approved year-round wolf hunting on private land in the Panhandle Region. Adding the Clearwater Region means wolf hunting on most private land from the Canadian border to the Salmon River is legal in Idaho.

Dave Cadwallader, supervisor of the department’s Clearwater Region at Lewiston, said the change likely won’t greatly increase the number of wolves killed in the region. He said it’s mainly to give private landowners the ability to kill wolves to protect property.

“It gives them an opportunity to help themselves if that is what they need,” he said. “In the end, I don’t think you are going to see an active hunting effort.”

He said the change in the Panhandle Region hasn’t resulted in a large increase in wolves being killed.

The season for hunting wolves on public land varies, but it typically runs from late August to March or June.

The start of wolf-trapping season also changed, moving from Nov. 15 to Oct. 10 in various Idaho hunting units. Cadwallader said the change is intended to kill more wolves in areas where elk herds aren’t doing well.

“A lot of trappers have told us some of the areas we are trying to focus on are extremely difficult to get to in November when the season opens up,” Cadwallader said. “This just facilitates some of that.”

But starting the trapping season earlier could put more pets at risks as people are still recreating in the area. Cadwallader said the agency is working to make the non-trapping public more aware their pets might come across traps. The department is working with trappers to reduce and prevent conflicts with pets, he added.

Another change is that wolf trappers will be able to use road-kill and other salvaged wildlife as bait for wolf traps.

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