Back to News

IDFG removes 17 wolves in Lolo elk zone

IDFG removes 17 wolves in Lolo elk zone

Photo credit: Dreamstime

The Lolo elk zone north of Highway 12 in Idaho has 17 fewer wolves after officials thinned the pack in order to boost elk survival rates. The “wolf control actions” were completed last month by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), which authorized the initiative after hunting and trapping failed to meet management goals, KPVI News reports

Based upon the state’s Elk Management Plan and Lolo Predation Management Plan, IDFG is authorized to use wolf control actions “where wolves are causing conflicts with people or domestic animals” or are causing a massive decrease in deer and elk populations. Officials have used this type of protocol over the past eight years in an effort to “reduce predation and improve elk survival” because the herd is currently under objective, according to KPVI News. While IDFG prefers managing wolf populations with hunting and trapping, recent harvest numbers “have been insufficient to meet management goals” – likely due to the “steep, rugged” terrain that makes access difficult. 


In 2019, hunters and trappers harvested 24 wolves in the Lolo zone. Trapping season ends March 31, but wolf hunting season continues until June 30. Regardless, other management strategies have been employed to keep wolf pack numbers in check. According to KPVI News, since wolf control began in this area in 2011, “an average of 14 wolves have been removed annually” and hunters and trappers have taken “an average of 21 wolves” per year. Further, because the elk population is still recovering from a massive decline (25 years ago the herd numbered 25,000; today, the herd has about 2,000 animals), wolf management is essential to help stabilize the population and help it grow, KPVI News reports. 

The recent wolf control was paid for with funds from the IDFG license and tag sales, which was then transferred to the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board.


Log in or register to post comments.

Chance H. - posted 1 month ago on 04-01-2020 05:17:10 pm

Get rid of every wolf that would be a GREAT management plan!!

Todd S. - posted 2 months ago on 03-26-2020 05:54:07 pm

@Kristen In your article you said that the herd has gone from 25,000 to 2,000 over the past 25 years, do you mean the Lolo herd specifically?

Marc M. - posted 2 months ago on 03-20-2020 11:00:04 am

How about a common sense conservation principle? 25 years ago the herd numbered 25000. Presently there are 2000.
25 years ago Canadian gray wolves were introduced to the lower 48. Duh? I think the Canadian gray wolves destroyed the population. There have always been lions, bears and habitat loss issues. The main reason for the loss of the elk population is the wolf. I get so tired of agencies and scientific idiots not just saying it! The wolves killed them period. Keep killing the wolves and some more lions, I would rather hunt elk and deer than hear the howl of a wolf.

Gary H. - posted 2 months ago on 03-20-2020 08:40:48 am

Wonder what they are doing with the hides.

bryce c. - posted 2 months ago on 03-19-2020 08:21:47 pm

No shit...

rick b. - posted 2 months ago on 03-19-2020 04:05:50 pm

scientific principle. there are scientifically proven way less elk killed by these scientifically proven wolves who are scientifically not the same wolf sub species that used to live in the american rockies. scientifically they should be hunting moose and caribou in higher latitudes so scientifically they should be removed

Marc M. - posted 2 months ago on 03-19-2020 12:58:28 pm

Wolves just suck. I don't care who kills them, so called professionals or bums. Hope they all get the wolf covid-19.

Paul R. - posted 2 months ago on 03-19-2020 11:14:30 am

It's an important conservation principle that wild animals are manage through scientific data and not emotion. Through operating on scientific data animals have been brought back to numbers that the environment can sustain. Let the people who are professionals do this work. They are trained, educated, and do an outstanding job in conservation of our wild animals and the environment.