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New bill could make wolf hunting year-round in Idaho

New bill could make wolf hunting year-round in Idaho

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A new bill proposed in Idaho could open the door to year-round wolf hunting and “wolf-free” zones. The bill, which was proposed by Sen. Bert Brackett (R-Rogerson), was introduced last week before the Senate Resources and Environment Committee. According to Brackett, it would “manage a growing wolf population and assist in efforts to reduce depredation,” Big Country News reports.

“Livestock depredation remains at an unacceptably high level,” said Brackett. “More needs to be done. Ranchers’ livelihoods are being threatened by wolves.”

According to Big Country News, the “wolf-free” zones would be established within 11 existing big game management units south of the Snake River. While there are “few” wolves that live within these areas, the point of creating the “wolf-free” zones are to keep them that way. The bill would also classify units where depredation happened during four of the last five years as “chronic depredation” zones. There are currently 19 zones in central Idaho that qualify for this classification.

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“In both of those designations, wolves may be taken year-round by any hunter provided they have a valid hunting license and a wolf tag,” said Brackett.

However, according to Big Country News, wolf hunting is already allowed during most of the year and even Brackett acknowledged that the state has a “good wolf management plan” in place. The bill would require state officials to review that plan should the population drop to under 20 packs or 200 wolves. Additional language within the bill includes an emergency clause “that would make it effective immediately following approval from the Legislature and governor.”

The bill was met with opposition by both Democrats on the committee.


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Kevin R. - posted 1 month ago on 02-12-2020 03:47:41 pm
Kalispell, MT

Donald L., wow, I don't even have words for you.

Jay M., very well stated.

Christopher S. - posted 1 month ago on 02-10-2020 01:56:01 pm

Wait a minute, Donald L, did you say hog populations will go up? I'm guessing you don't live in Idaho at all.

Christopher S. - posted 1 month ago on 02-10-2020 01:54:55 pm

15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves were the initial agreed upon numbers for wolves. 188 wolves were killed by hunters last year, 200 trapped. Until they lengthen the trapping seasons this is nothing more than a fundraiser by IDFG to sell more tags for incidental take. Trapping is far more efficient, but comes with a lengthy list of restrictions. Donald, do you live in Blaine Co or Ada county? Chock full of wolf lovers in both places.

Jay M. - posted 1 month ago on 01-28-2020 07:45:32 pm

As we all know, hunting is not an effective management tool for the wolf. There are a few here that think the wolf is a good idea. Once you have picked the Calif. sand out of your toes come on out and live with this "majestic" animal you think you love. Seriously, I will take you right in to the places they live so that you can all howl together. Make it through the winter and 7 feet of snow with nothing to eat but each other I will also take you to those places that the Grizzly Bear roam. Yep, no charge, I will put you right in the middle of the elk calving grounds for what is left of the Teton elk herd while the griz is feasting on afterbirth and the newborn calves. Face it, if the IDFG would have killed 206 wolves rather than 206 elk for a "research project" we would be much better off. Problem is politics and the fact that that no matter what side you are on the wolf is a cash cow. Selling 15 wolf tags, who cares, look at the harvest rates. This is last ditch knowing that they already screwed up. Hunters don't kill enough wolves to cover the reproductive rates every year. IDFG is allowing us to purchase more tags with the $$$ in mind, not biology. Wake up, make your voice heard at meetings and raise hell.

Barry T. - posted 2 months ago on 01-28-2020 12:33:42 pm

It's about time but I fear too little too late. I'm not sure why Idaho took so long to take action but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, that litigation was a primary driver of their neglect. Truth is .04% of tag holders were successful on a total sale of around 44k tags. Until trappers are allowed to leave sets for more than 48 hours and hunters are incentized to go after these animals, populations will continue to rise.

Just to give you an idea of how bad it is. Idaho's objective was 200 wolves with 12 breading pairs. They now estimate (likely underestimating) that there are 1540 wolves in Idaho. Any animal that is allowed to exceed population objectives by 800%, are bound to adversely effect the ecosystem. Unfortunately, when that animal is the apex predator in area, the repercussions are far greater than if a rabbit or bird where to experience such growth.

Donald L. - posted 2 months ago on 01-28-2020 09:26:06 am

I hated the bill and the deer and hog populations will go up and I care about wolves and I will protect the wolves and other animals and protest this stupid bill

Gary H. - posted 2 months ago on 01-28-2020 09:09:34 am

Oh and I support the bill and I do not support re-introduction (via forced or natural) and I think ALL wolves should be de-listed and be killed by any means necessary be it poison, spears, bullets, arrows or lightning bolts from the heavens above.

They have NO place in today's society. Hence the reason why we wiped them out in the first place.

Donald L. - posted 2 months ago on 01-28-2020 09:02:31 am

I love wolves and other animals but I'm a hunter but I won't hurt or Hunt a wolf I hated people who do this and Bert Brackett is doing a the worst thing that a human could do and I will protect the wolves and I will protest this stupid bill I care about that wolves are beautiful and living in the wild

Gary H. - posted 2 months ago on 01-28-2020 08:57:21 am

First lets kill all the wolves, then lets re-introduce them, then lets de-list them, then lets put a season on them, then lets create a complete open season because of how bad of an idea it was to re-introduce them in the first place....

Then, lets do it all over again in other surrounding states to see how well things work out there.....

I think the word I am looking for that comes directly to my mind is INSANITY????????

Our govt has their heads so far up their asses that their glasses are covered in shit and they are blindly blundering about with no rhyme or reason ruining one state after another with these damn wolves. It sickens me!

I can only hope that the wolves catch and eat every single one of the pets of the people who pushed for their re-introduction.

Rant over.

Michael P. - posted 2 months ago on 01-27-2020 04:18:27 pm

My two sons and I hunted otc Archery Idaho Elk the past two years. Great country and beautiful, and we did finally get into elk and had a blast despite not harvesting!
I had never seen a wolf in the wild until this year there.
We saw 2 wolf kill piles and saw a wolf Mom w 3 of her pups in the small area we hunted.
I applaud Idaho's effort to bring the wolf population back in to balance.
I hope other states follow along.
For those interested there is a grass roots organization in Idaho called
Foundation for Wildlife Management (
that raises money to help reimburse some of the cost of trappers and hunters whom harvest a wolf. Their motto I believe is "Saving Idaho's wildlife through predator management". I just joined to support this appropriate swing of the pendulum back to managing both predators and game animals.
Mike P , Nevada

Clifford J. - posted 2 months ago on 01-27-2020 03:45:44 pm

Long overdue. Hunting in ID has taken a nose dive due to overpopulation of wolves. As for the last sentence of the article, sounds about right.