Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hunter shoots wolf near Croy attack site

Shooter’s colt killed by wolf in February


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

    A Croy Canyon man whose colt was killed by a wolf last month shot and killed a gray wolf near his home last week, state officials confirmed Tuesday.
    Idaho Wildlife Services determined that a colt belonging to Kevin and Jennifer Swigert, who live in Croy Canyon west of Hailey, was killed about a mile from the Swigerts’ home near a barn on Feb. 13.
    Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Supervisor Jerome Hansen said Kevin Swigert killed a gray-colored male wolf on Friday, March 21, in Red Elephant Gulch in Croy Canyon.
    Hansen said the wolf was “believed to be by itself” and was hunted legally.
    “Kevin had a wolf tag,” said Hansen.
    For five weeks, professional hunters with Idaho Wildlife Services have been looking for wolves in the area, which they believe killed the colt.
    “I know that a wolf was killed. I don’t know if there is a way to verify that it was the one that killed the colt,” said Todd Grimm, state director of Idaho Wildlife Services.
    “It wasn’t seen attacking anything,” he said.
    Wildlife Services is part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that serves the public by protecting property, livestock and people from wildlife.
    Grimm said the wolf weighed 100 lbs. and was “average in size.”


I don’t know if there is a way to verify that it was the one that killed the colt.”
Todd Grimm
Director of Idaho Wildlife Services




    Grimm said Wildlife Services Investigator Sam Kocherhans verified the kill, within sight of the Swigerts’ home. He said Kocherhans was not available for comment.
    “Unless we get more reports that wolves are in the area, we are not going any further,” said Grimm. “Everyone is hoping this is the one that is causing problems and there are no more incidents.”
    Grimm said keeping livestock close to human activity could keep wolf depredations from occurring.
    “The closer people can keep their animals, the better,” he said.
    Grimm said an abundance of human activity—including that of hunters—around the Swigerts’ home after the colt was killed may have kept the wolf at bay during the last five weeks.
    “Eventually, people stopped showing up and what do you know, a wolf came and stuck its head out,” Grimm said.
    Grimm said his department had only one other wolf “control action” in operation in Idaho this week, near Salmon. He said that action was the result of wolf depredation on cattle.
    “It’s been a fairly peaceful few weeks as far as depredations go,” Grimm said.
    “We usually we see an uptick during the calving season. Then in August it will get real busy,” he said.
    The Idaho Fish and Game website reports this week that private hunters have killed 179 wolves in the state since the beginning of 2013. An additional 94 wolves have been killed by trappers, the agency reported.




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