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Idaho wolves killed to help struggling elk herd

Wolves

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Idaho’s Lolo Elk Zone has a plethora of wolves – too many, in fact, for the under 2,000 elk that live there to thrive. Last month, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) killed seven wolves “to aid struggling elk herds in the remote area,” The Lewiston Tribune reports.

Elk numbers have significantly dropped in this region over the past two decades. In 1992, there were an estimated 10,000 elk within the Lolo Zone; however, depredation, habitat loss and harsh winters have impacted the herd, resulting in about 1,900 elk still living within this area. This is why IDFG keeps tabs on the number of wolves and, if necessary, removes some of them this way. However, when possible, the agency prefers to use hunting and trapping to keep wolf numbers sustainable and, according to The Lewiston Tribune, hunters and trappers killed 18 wolves within this region last fall and winter. Trapping ends later this month; the hunting season closes June 30.

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Hunting, fishing and trapping license sales help fund the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board, which used the money to pay a private contractor to lethally remove the wolves from that specific area. Over the past seven years, IDFG has employed a similar contractor to use helicopters and sharpshooters to keep wolf numbers manageable in the Lolo Zone, according to The Lewiston Tribune. Last year, 10 wolves were removed.

29 Comments

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Justin F. - posted 3 weeks ago on 03-27-2019 07:02:57 am
So.NV
goHUNT INSIDER

We got a little taste of what it's like dealing with the wolf and grizzly "advocates" out there. Talk to a 2 year old throwing a tantrum and if you want to re-live the experience of having a discussion with the departed Eric J.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 4 weeks ago on 03-26-2019 10:47:06 am
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey everyone. Eric J. is no longer with us. As some of you have mentioned, a person who is not an INSIDER can create a username and password to comment on articles that are free and not INSIDER research articles. They are locked out of that as they haven't paid.

Open dialogue is always allowed on goHUNT... but he definitely took it way to far and wasn't contributing to a normal discussion without dropping language that isn't allowed here.

Gary H. - posted 4 weeks ago on 03-26-2019 10:32:04 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Things escalated quickly here lol

Erik H. - posted 4 weeks ago on 03-26-2019 08:33:29 am
Boise, ID
goHUNT INSIDER

Eric J. has some great talking points that have been spoon fed to him by whatever organization he is a member of to make himself sound like an enlightened friend of nature but he forgot the most important points of all: When humans first arrived on this planet, after a long journey from our home planet, we subsisted entirely on avocado toast. We were never a native predator species on this planet and prior to the year 2000, when Bush got elected, we did not hunt or interact in any way with the game animals or other predators on any continent. It was only the substance that Bush secretly had the government put in chem trails that tainted our weed that ended up causing our blood lust and urge to hunt other living things.

Justin F. - posted 4 weeks ago on 03-25-2019 07:14:31 pm
So.NV
goHUNT INSIDER

Holy batshit crazy! We've got some real live internet tough guys visiting our site.

Phil O. - posted 4 weeks ago on 03-25-2019 02:07:17 pm
Napa, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

Eric J - Actually if you look at the NPS use study for Yellowstone, wolf viewing ranks 8th out of 15. This was from the 2016 visitors use study. 2018 has yet to release so I assume you are not quoting that... That said, don't let facts get in the way of pushing your agenda.

michael_5
Michael G. - posted 4 weeks ago on 03-24-2019 06:16:56 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone. I found them all very interesting and refreshing. Now let's relax and have the wildlife managers and state biologists make the call.

James k. - posted 4 weeks ago on 03-24-2019 05:51:11 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

And here is a great example of why its best to not start a chat forum or on Gohunt. There are plenty of places on line guys can go to spew BS and opinions as armchair experts on wildlife biology, harmony and so on.

Kyle R. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 11:45:49 pm

Thanks Danny

ben.lundell84
Ben L. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 09:50:23 pm
Utah
goHUNT INSIDER

In the words of Ron Burgandy, "that escalated quickly."

matthew a. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 05:39:38 pm
Tampa, FL
goHUNT INSIDER

Stole "your land"? Thats hilarious. I'm a white man, who has fought for this nation to remain free.

Go hunt staff: give this a guy a refund - and log peoples mac address already

Danny R. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 05:35:12 pm

I'm a new member and have been reading some of the postings. I live in Utah and I will say that our hunting here has dropped from good to poor in the last 20 years. Most or all of the states around us have higher deer and elk populations than Utah. We have not, at this point had to deal with wolves, but I am very certain that we will in the very near future. My comment about the wolves we are talking about, that no one has mentioned is that the NEW wolves are Canadian Grey Wolves which are much larger than the Timber Wolves that used to inhabit the area of the United States. These wolves (Grey's) have been documented in Alaska and Canada numerous times for desimating herds of game animals there. Sounds as Moose, Caribou, and in a couple of areas Elk. They need to be managed very carefully or they will clean out an are and just move to a new one. For the comment that the wolves and elk lived together is in no way true. The Timber Wolves just had a harder time killing Elk.

Kyle R. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 03:53:30 pm

I'm not trying to be a racist radical it's just frustrating we are a country of many nations I just wish we all had the same rules. I do think that the state of Idaho should revamp their rules there are more and more out of state hunters in my unit because of all the access I do think the state sells way too many tags in the over the counter units. 2200 tags in a unit that maybe has 1000 elk is a little obserd, I've grown up Hunting in the dworshak Zone there's not that much Elk any more the moose are descimated not sure how considering they only draw about 20 total tags a year there are two glaring reasons one being wolves and the other well if I say it would be ignorant to a small group of people.

jayson.cojack
Jayson C. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 11:32:51 am
St George UT
goHUNT INSIDER

Hey gohunt, people like Eric are going to blab there a little mouth about how hunting is bad, then they want to preach about global warming bull crap. Then they want to tell us that Al Gore predicted the Earthwood Indian 2009. Then they want to tell me that Beto O’Rourke is predicting the earth will end in 12 years. They are so full of crap. I pay $10,000 or more per year towards hunting licenses. And I paid this website $150 per year to make sure guys like Eric keep their mouth shut. Let’s kick this little boy out of here so he can go believe in wizards and ghosts. His little environmental ghosts lol.

jayson.cojack
Jayson C. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 11:34:35 am
St George UT
goHUNT INSIDER

Eric, You are silly. You say numbers don’t lie. You are exactly right. Here’s a few things that you don’t understand but I will educate you about

It doesn’t matter if Hunter numbers decrease. It will never be illegal no matter what the majority there is. At least not in my lifetime. So decreasing hundred numbers does not bother me. There will always be enough. In fact right now there are many hands that I cannot get it. I have been trying to get an elk hunt in the state of Utah for 24 years. So it would be really nice if there were a few less hunters.

It doesn’t matter if Hunter numbers decrease. It will never be illegal no matter what the majority there is. At least not in my lifetime. So decreasing 100 numbers does not bother me. There will always be enough. In fact right now there are many hunts that I cannot get. I have been trying to get an elk hunt in the state of Utah for 24 years. So it would be really nice if there were a few less hunters.

Numbers don’t lie. Like I said before and I provided a link for you to read. Over $2 billion come to the state of Idaho alone. From hunting. You don’t need a permit to watch birds. And I don’t hear anybody selling bird hunting or birdwatching clothing. The economy is not helped very much at all by birdwatchers. Or elk watchers. Or wolf watchers. Some people do go to Yellowstone to see wolves. But they also go to see buffalo and elk and deer and moose and eagle and owls And multiple other species. The actual money brought in by people driving around looking at animals is probably really really close to nothing. Seriously there’s almost no money in it. There’s n and multiple other species. The actual money brought in by people driving around looking at animals is probably really really close to nothing. Seriously there’s almost no money in it.

You say there is a lot of money being spent on conservation. Much of that comes through the mule deer foundation, the elk foundation, the National Rifle Association, and other hunting related groups like Sportsmens for fish and wildlife. Most of the money for conservation in the United States comes from selling hunting licenses and hunting tags. That’s the fact. You can claim your emotions you can proclaim your desires. You can talk about how serious you are about watching birds. But none of it matters and less you can produce some actual website links to actual dollar amounts that are much superior to the money spent by hunters.

Do you want to know what really pisses me off about you? The fact that you forget that humans are hunters. You say we should be SPECT wolves. If wolves have a chance to eat beers what do they do? If there’s have a chance to eat wolves what do they do? If wolves and bears have a chance to eat each other what do they do? Predators eat each other. We have reduced the predators but also allowed them to exist on some level. By doing so we have also increased the amount of elk, dear, moose, and many other animals. There is a beautiful balance in the United States right now. However the elk have been allowed to get To numerous at times. The wolves have been brought into some areas. That is fine. But humans are hunters as well and you eco-freaks forget that.

john f. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 10:32:38 am

WTF ?

"Before white man stole our land, wolf and elk lived together and never had any issue,
How come all of a sudden elk numbers are dropping and wolves are to blame?
maybe if less ignorant white man do trophy elk hunting, elk numbers will go up again."

Hey Gohunt do we really need this white man hating troll on here spewing his BS on this site, delete this garbage and get rid of this clown. He is clearly here to start crap.

Matthewcaruthers75
Matthew C. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 05:22:29 am
Sweet home alabama
goHUNT INSIDER

Don’t you have to be a paid member to comment ? Can’t believe a anti would spend the money to join just to bash hunters , ridiculous !

jayson.cojack
Jayson C. - posted 1 month ago on 03-23-2019 05:04:26 am
St George UT
goHUNT INSIDER

Silly Eric J

They say hunting generates $2,100,000,000.00 for the state of Idaho alone. So, your donations to you sierra club mean diddly squat. Hunting is the main contributor to wildlife funding and many rural economies.

https://idfg.idaho.gov/sites/default/files/performance-report-fy-2018.pdf

Kyle R. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 10:08:52 pm

Another problem is we should have run chief Joseph into Canada years ago but we didn't now because we're too nice we have to live with the consequences, that's another element to the Elk decline that nobody wants to address either

Kyle R. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 09:58:50 pm

I'm an avid Hunter, Outdoorsman, and conservationist. The bummer about the wolf situation is there were no problems with elk numbers before the wolves we're reintroduced. The wolf lovers don't understand how detrimental the wolf reintroduction has been to our local economy. I wish they would at least grab their cameras hire people to take them out in the woods to find a wolf to love, eat in our restaurants and stay in our hotels like hunters used to do. But I Know that won't happen.

Mark A. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 09:49:05 pm
Lake Villa IL
goHUNT INSIDER

Many White Man Died so your mouth could be heard. Maybe we need taxes on bingo halls and casinos to help the wildlife. Like the taxes on white man licenses. You would be into that right because you care about wolves right.

Mark A. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 09:26:56 pm
Lake Villa IL
goHUNT INSIDER

Eric J. Whats your idea of a plan in the middle. I don't even hunt there but I've seen the effects where I do.

jayson.cojack
Jayson C. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 08:33:34 pm
St George UT
goHUNT INSIDER

Eric. The estimated elk population before white man came was a fraction of what it is now. The reason we have so many elk and so many wolves is because of people. There was a condition called a predator pit. Most animals were held down by the large numbers of predators. Look at the deer population around 1900. You will see that there are much much more deer now and more elk now than there was before. That is because people have been properly managing it. Do some research before you make an educated comments.

jayson.cojack
Jayson C. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 08:32:16 pm
St George UT
goHUNT INSIDER

Carla W. - You obviously don’t understand predator and prey relationships. There is such thing as a predator pit. When there are enough predators it holds down the prey to an artificially low level. Elk are not allowed the freedom or ability to increase because they are being held down by the wolf population which in turn also holds down the wolf population. In the end having a lot of elk will make more wolves. This is where the smart humans get involved and help things. But an educated people like you would not understand it. So there you go. Count yourself as educated

Carla W. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 08:10:52 pm

So let me get this straight you kill the Elk to eat and its ok but the wolf can't kill one to eat. What a bunch of hypocrites. Maybe if YOU quit killing the Elk their numbers would go up. I am so sick of people blaming wolves for all of the game/livestock numbers dwindling. Stop kill any animal for sport. It wrong and leave my wolves alone!

Mark A. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 07:51:39 pm
Lake Villa IL
goHUNT INSIDER

Ill give you credit. You stand up for your self. My place i call home has been taken over by wolves. Sorry I'm a person who needs more than a rude comment to be swayed.

Mark A. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 06:43:06 pm
Lake Villa IL
goHUNT INSIDER

Another commet since I'm pissed off. Is is illegal or racist that a white male can't run a department in the forest service or DRN. They all are white women or a minority in my area. I guess they are in touch with the local issues. No its a city person with free tuition or minority because they know best. Before I kicked off this site I don't have a single nice thing to say about wolves. SASU(Shoot And Shut UP). Please. The fine foe shooting a wolve should be 5$. Just a idea.

Mark A. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 06:26:52 pm
Lake Villa IL
goHUNT INSIDER

This topic is the only one that fires me up. When are the wolf watchers coming. They are so proud and obviously have money. Please show up in these places that are effected and spend your trust fund money. Im from Michigan and pissed. Wipe your ass with plastic if your so proud. I bet you ten to one these people wouldn't eat a steak out of a store where wolves are found. Hell these people never. *&^&%*&^&*^ it.

Monster12868
Monte G. - posted 1 month ago on 03-22-2019 04:38:21 pm
Gig Harbor, Wa
goHUNT INSIDER

I hunted the Lolo unit last year during archery. Some of the most amazing Elk habitat with NO Elk!
Heard wolves at night, but didn't get a chance to thin the pack out, instead of 7 taken out would be nice if they took that number times 10.