Wolves seasons changed to comply with the law | Outside


In a conference call last week, Idaho Fish and Game commissioners changed the wolf trapping and hunting seasons in response to a new law.

Meanwhile, the majority of Idahoans who commented on the proposal did not support the changes.

Some commissioners described the changes as a threading exercise as the commission tried to comply with new wolf hunting legislation.

Commissioner Brad Corkill, who was the president when the Idaho legislature voted on the law, said he was notified less than 24 hours before the vote.

“I find this a little disrespectful and insulting on the part of the Legislative Assembly,” he said on Thursday’s appeal. “They left that on our knees… giving us very few options on how to handle this situation. “Disrespectful” is the nicest word I can find on this subject. “

During a public comment period that ended last Sunday, 12,388 people submitted comments, of which 42 percent were Idaho residents. Among Idaho residents, 58.5% did not support the proposed changes, according to IDFG staff. The ministry also received 7,682 email comments on the proposed changes. Of these e-mail comments, 98% were from non-residents.

“I think it could have been managed so much better,” Commissioner Don Ebert said on the teleconference. “I would like the legislature to be a partner with us.”

The changed seasons will take effect Thursday, as will Senate Bill 1211, according to a press release from the agency.

The changes will not be reflected in the current printed 2021 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure, but an updated brochure with the changes is available on the Fish and Game website.

Senate Bill 1211 established a year-round wolf trapping season on private property, allowed unlimited purchase of wolf tags, and allowed any method used to catch any wild dog in Idaho (foxes, coyotes) to also be available to take wolves.

In a press release, Director of Fisheries and Game Ed Schriever said the commission’s action provides a “meaningful balance” that aims to provide hunters and trappers with additional tools to resolve conflicts between wolves, cattle and other big game.

On public lands, in 43 hunting units where elk are below population targets, or where there is a history of chronic livestock depredation, the commission established seasons with expanded hunting methods from November 15 to March, 31st. All other wolf hunting and trapping seasons on public land land remain unchanged.

On private land, foot trapping and extended hunting methods are permitted year round with the permission of the landowner. The wolf snaring seasons already in place on private lands remain unchanged.

“It has been widely, but incorrectly, reported that the new law will reduce Idaho’s wolf population by 90 percent, however, the commission’s action will reduce wolf conflict while maintaining a viable wolf population that is not subject to re-listing under federal endangered species law, ”Schriever said in the press release.

The methods described in SB-1211 include those legal for the capture of other wild canids, but closed for the capture of other big game species, including:

Weapons restrictions (for big game hunting) do not apply to wolf hunting.

Exemption from filming hours and allowance for projector or night vision equipment. Written permission from the landowner is required on private land, and a permit from the Director of Fish and Game is required on public land, which meets the requirements for coyote lighting at night.

Wolf bait hunting is permitted on private land with the permission of the owner.

The restrictions on motor vehicles for hunting big game do not apply to wolf hunting.

Dogs can be used to chase wolves and no dog hunter’s license is required.

Wolf hunting seasons on public lands remain unchanged except that expanded hunting methods apply from November 15 to March 31 in areas with a history of chronic livestock depredation or when elk herds are below targets. management, including units 4, 4A, 6, 7, 9, 10, 10A, 12, 14, 15, 16, 16A, 17, 18, 19, 20, 20A, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27 , 28, 29, 31, 32, 32A, 33, 34, 35, 36, 36A, 36B, 37, 39, 43, 44, 49, 50, 62, 64, 65 and 67.

On private land, extensive hunting methods are permitted year round with the permission of the owner.

“Wolves are part of the landscape”

Many conservation and environmental groups have decried the law. Last week, more than 50 groups sent President Joe Biden’s administration a letter urging them to restore Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies. On May 26, an urgent petition was filed.

The Fish and Wildlife Service must respond to the relist request by August 24.

IDFG managers, however, do not believe that liberalized trapping and hunting seasons will have much of an impact on the overall wolf population.

“At the end of the day, wolves are part of the landscape, and I don’t think you’re going to see that change,” said Chip Corsi, regional director of Idaho Fish and Games in Coeur d’Alene. “We managed them quite aggressively, mainly from the start. I think the guys who are diehard wolf trappers will tell you that it’s not easy to trap wolves.


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