The Idaho Department of Fish and Game plans to use helicopter gunners and government trappers to kill wolves in north-central Idaho’s Lolo Zone.
The department’s Clearwater Region supervisor Dave Cadwallader says that the department’s trapping efforts will begin in the next few days, during the current public hunting and trapping seasons. The helicopter gunning will begin later this winter.
Cadwallader says he wants a multipronged approach to wolf control in remote regions where elk herds are suffering.
Idaho’s wolf hunting season opened in late August, but only six wolves have been harvested in the Lolo Zone, which includes the Upper Lochsa and North Fork Clearwater river basins. Wildlife managers want to remove 50 to 60 wolves from the area.
Meanwhile, Montana on Thursday extended its wolf hunt to Feb. 15 as the number of predators killed so far has fallen far short of the quota of 220 animals.
The state’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission also approved a plan to allow hunters to assist state and federal officials in killing problem wolves that prey on livestock, a duty that previously solely belonged to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services.
To date, Montana hunters have killed just 106 wolves. (AP)