18 Jun 2010, 12:44pm
Tramps and Thieves
by admin

Wolves scarce during special hunt

By Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, June 15th, 2010 [here]

The wolf control partnership between the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and four Lolo Zone outfitters has been slow to produce results.

Outfitters reported killing just two wolves as of Monday in a special season that began last month.

“It’s difficult catching up with these wolves in rugged country, steep country and heavily timbered country,” said Dave Cadwallader, supervisor of the department’s Clearwater Region at Lewiston. “That has been the challenge from day one. Even hunters during the long season didn’t hit the quota.”

Last month, the department authorized four outfitters to kill as many as five wolves each, for a total of 20, during the spring black bear hunting season. Outfitters and their licensed guides are permitted to hunt wolves during the short season that ends June 30.

Cadwallader said the Kamiah-based Flying B Ranch killed two wolves in the Weitas Creek drainage. The others, Boulder Creek Outfitters based out of Peck, B Bar C Outfitters based out of St. Maries, and Cayuse Outfitters based out of Kamiah, have not reported any wolf kills. The outfitters have 72 hours to report kills.

The department authorized the special hunt it characterizes as a wolf-control activity, to help reduce predation on the Lolo elk herd.

The number of elk in the zone has been in a long-term decline. In the 1980s, game surveys showed a Lolo elk population of more than 16,000. Last winter’s survey predicted the herd now numbers about 2,100.

Fish and Game officials say wolf predation is now the primary cause of elk mortality in the zone made up of hunting units 10 and 12 in the upper Clearwater Basin. … [more]



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