They said reducing the wolf population would reduce attacks on livestock and boost deer and elk herds.
A primary change in wolf hunting in Idaho allows the state to hire private contractors to kill wolves and provides more money for state officials to hire the contractors. The law also expands killing methods to include trapping and snaring wolves on a single hunting tag, using night-vision equipment, chasing wolves on snowmobiles and ATVs and shooting them from helicopters. It also authorizes year-round wolf trapping on private property.
In Montana, state wildlife authorities earlier this month approved a statewide harvest quota of 450 wolves, about 40% of the state’s wolf population. Methods for killing wolves that were previously outlawed can now be used. Those include snaring, baiting and night hunting. Trapping seasons have also been expanded.
On a related front, the Center for Biological Diversity in May asked Fish and Wildlife for an emergency relisting of gray wolves in Idaho and adjacent states.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game on Monday responded on that subject with a letter to Haaland stating that “despite headlines to the contrary, 2021 Idaho legislative changes do NOT in fact call for killing 90% of Idaho’s wolves or for wolf eradication.”
Fish and Game also said the challenges of pursuing wolves in Idaho’s extensive and rugged backcountry combined with wolves’ ability to reproduce make killing 90% of the state’s wolves under the new laws “not a practical reality.”