Take Action—oppose Idaho’s proposal to expand “opportunities” to kill wolves

Legislation was introduced on a party-line vote in the Senate Resources Committee to allow any Idahoan with a hunting license and a wolf tag to shoot wolves year-round in designated “wolf-free zones” in the state.

Sen. Bert Brackett (R), sponsor of the bill, said, “The purpose of this legislation is to try to start to get a handle on our wolf population, in particular, on depredation that’s occurring.”

The “wolf-free” zones would be specific big game hunting units that Brackett said are “generally south of the Snake River, but south of the interstate, I-84.” They are units 38, 40, 41, 42, 46, 47, 53, 54, 55, 56 and 57. The proposal also includes a clause saying that the new zones would remain in effect as long as there are more than 20 packs, or 200 wolves, in the state of Idaho.

This means the state would be quite pleased with the “removal” of over 800 wolves.

Good thing we brought wolves back from the brink of extirpation just to torture them all over again—including enticing the slaughter of wolves via offering a bounty.

If you kill a wolf in Idaho, your effort might be worth $1,000—compliments of the Foundation for Wildlife Management. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission thought the bounty hunting of wolves was a splendid idea and granted the Foundation $23,065 last year to help fund the payments for wolves “harvested” in target elk recovery areas.

Another reward for killing wolves comes from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, paying trappers over $250,000 in a 7 year period (2011-2018) to kill 470 wolves with an average reimbursement of $500 per animal.

Already, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission voted to increase the maximum number of wolf tags; for the 2020-2021 season. If a person possesses both hunting and trapping licenses, 30 wolves can be killed, as the maximum number of wolf tags available for one person to purchase has increased throughout Idaho to 15 hunting tags and 15 trapping tags for this season. Back in 2015 one person was able to buy 5 wolf hunting tags and purchase 5 wolf trapping tags per trapping year (July 1 through June 30), or 10 wolf trapping tags in a calendar year, allowing one person to kill 15 wolves per calendar year. Now five years later the total has doubled!

Please speak up for Idaho’s wolves. The public comment period closes at the end of the day on February 10, 2020.

Thank you.

Related content with helpful talking points:

The cattle inventory in Idaho, was estimated at 2.49 million head as of January 2020. And from that 2.49 million, according to Wildlife Services 2019 report, approximately just 53 cows were killed by wolves last year and another eight injured. Eighty-three calves were killed and 18 injured.

The sheep and lamb inventory in Idaho was estimated at 220,000 head. Since 1995, wolves have killed approximately 3,150 sheep (126 yearly average), with 107 sheep killed (0.05%) and two injured last year. According to Wool Growers, the biggest concern that wolves are causing today is lighter lambs coming off the range in wolf country.

Additional depredations last year include four dogs killed and one injured, two llamas were killed and one horse was killed.

Idaho wolf depredations

Statewide hunting of elk and white-tailed deer has not been hampered by wolves, with record high “harvests” in recent years. In fact, of 868 radio collared elk in 21 area of the state, the leading cause of mortality for both adult cow elk (2%) and calves (44%) was mountain lions.

2019 IDFG statewide and regional deer, elk hunting outlook