Idaho Department of Fish and Game has taken the full reigns on wolf management. Less than a week after beginning sales of wolf tags, Fish and Game officials followed up with several other wolf-related actions. The initiatives come in the wake of the removal of wolves from Endangered Species Act protections, handing over the responsibility for gray wolves to Idaho and other Northwest states.
In 2010, U.S. Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed 75 cattle, 148 sheep, two horses and one domestic bison. In addition, 14 cattle, 30 sheep and one livestock guard dog were considered probable wolf kills. Wildlife Service hunters have already killed five wolves this week in the Lolo zone, in northeast Idaho. The wolves were shot from a helicopter.
Among the new steps announced Friday:
-Fish and Game authorized licensed outfitters to take any wolves they encounter incidental to spring black bear hunts in the Lolo zone. That effort will continue through June 30.
-Fish and Game biologists are developing new monitoring strategies to collect wolf population information. Fish and Game has the lead for monitoring.
-Fish and Game will unveil its proposal for a fall hunting season at the next Fish and Game Commission meeting on May 18.