Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fish and Game Kills 20 Wolves in Northern Idaho

According to new numbers from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Lolo elk population in northern Idaho has declined from 16,000 animals 25 years ago to fewer than 1,000 today. The biggest factor limiting elk population, the agency stated, has been predation, including by wolves.  In an effort to help bring up elk numbers, Fish and Game—with help from USDA Wildlife Services—killed 20 wolves from a helicopter last week.  Along with the wolf kill, Fish and Game upped the number of available black bear and mountain lion hunting permits, reduced rifle hunting of bull elk by half and eliminated rifle hunting of cows. The agency said it prefers to rely on hunters and trappers to manage wolf populations, but if the harvest isn't meeting management goals Fish and Game must shoot or remove the wolves itself.  Hunters and trappers have taken 20 wolves in the Lolo zone so far in the 2015-2016 season but steep, rugged terrain and winter conditions make the area difficult to access...more

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