BOISE, Idaho — The first ever regulated trapping season for wolves outside of Alaska opened today in Idaho. The season opening comes after gray wolves were taken off the endangered species list this spring.
The number of wolves in Idaho is estimated at just more than 1,000. The state’s Department of Fish and Game says there’s roughly one trapper for each wolf.
“I suppose in some ways we are trying to alert them, that we’re all under a microscope a little more and it’s a big microscope,” says Fish and Game wildlife biologist Craig White.
White taught a wolf trapping class in Nampa over the weekend. The class is mandatory for anyone who wants to buy a wolf trapping tag in the state.
“Most members of the trapping pub that we talked to all felt strongly that they wanted a mandatory wolf trapping class,” says White, “because it was something new, it would recruit new trappers, and they just wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page and everyone was approaching it in a responsible and ethical way.”
So far, 85 trapping tags have sold in the state, compared with more than 30,000 hunting tags for wolves.
The units open for trapping are located in remote wilderness in the Panhandle and along the Idaho-Montana border.
A final decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on an injunction to stop wolf hunts in the Northern Rocky Mountains is pending.
(This was first reported for Boise State Public Radio)
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