Friday, January 18, 2013

6 wolves killed in Wood River region

174 killed by hunters, trappers in state


By KATHERINE WUTZ
Express Staff Writer

Six wolves have been killed so far this season in the area surrounding the Wood River Valley—a significant drop from last year.

Randy Smith, Idaho Department of Fish and Game Magic Valley regional wildlife manager, said hunters last year had killed 22 wolves in the Southern Mountains Zone by this time. The reasons for the drop are not clear, he said.

“It’s certainly been a lower harvest than we anticipated,” he said. “It could be a combination of reasons. Wolves are just getting smarter and harder to hunt now that we’ve had a few hunting seasons.”

Smith said four of the six wolves were killed in Game Unit 43, which surrounds the South Fork of the Boise River near Featherville. Two were killed in the Wood River Valley—one in Game Unit 49 near the East Fork of the Big Wood River and one in Game Unit 48 out Lake Creek north of Ketchum.

Field crews from the Wood River Wolf Project documented the existence of a pack out Lake Creek in August, reporting at least two adults, two subadults and up to five pups. 

The pack may contain remnants of the Phantom Hill Pack, which dispersed from its territory north of town roughly two years ago, as well as remnants of the Hyndman Pack, which held territory around Trail Creek in 2008. Smith said he did not know the age of the wolf that was killed, but that it was likely not one of the pups.

“If it had been a pup, it would have been pretty obvious,” he said. “It would have been noted [on the report].”

A total of 174 wolves have been killed in the state so far this year, 142 by hunters and 32 by trappers. 

The Southern Mountains Zone, which encompasses the Wood River Valley and areas north almost to Salmon, has a quota of 40 wolves. The season remains open until March 31. 

 

2013 Wolf Tags

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reminded hunters on Monday that all 2012 wolf tags are no longer valid. Wolf tags, like most other hunting tags such as those for deer, elk and salmon, are issued by calendar year. To hunt wolves in Idaho in 2013, a person must have a valid 2013 Idaho hunting license and a 2013 wolf tag. A 2013 tag can be used during any open wolf hunt until Dec. 31, 2013. Trapping licenses and wolf trapping tags are good from July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013.


Kate Wutz: kwutz@mtexpress.com

 




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