Here is the latest news on Idaho wolves as released by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

For your reference, here is the report for the 2 weeks previous to the latest report below.

Ralph Maughan

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IDAHO WOLF MANAGEMENT
BI-WEEKLY PROGRESS REPORT

To:                   Idaho Fish and Game Staff and Cooperators

From:               IDFG Wolf Program Coordinator, Steve Nadeau

Subject:           Status of Gray Wolf Management, Week of June 15 – 27, 2008

Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) were delisted on March 28, 2008.  The USFWS successfully recovered and delisted the population with the help of state, federal, tribal and non government partners.  Management of these wolves now resides with the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.  The 2002 legislatively approved Wolf Conservation and Management Plan along with the March 2008 Idaho Fish and Game Wolf Population Management Plan, as well as the laws and policies of the state now govern wolf management in Idaho.  Wolves are now listed as a big game animal in Idaho and protected under the laws and policies of the State of Idaho.

Once wolves were delisted, the USFWS decided to discontinue the publication of the NRM wolf weekly.  Instead, for the time being, Idaho will continue publishing the Idaho specific updates.  Along with the USFWS, contributors to the weekly historically have included the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, the Nez Perce Tribe, and the states of Idaho and Montana.  Wyoming was reported on by the USFWS.  You may review past wolf weekly publications on our wolf webpage and links along with all pertinent and updated wolf information and publications at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/

Monitoring

Jason attempted to trap and collar a wolf in the Jureano Mountain pack in the vicinity of where a field crew from the University of Montana observed 6 pups.  After 6 nights, he caught and recollared the Jureano Mtn wolf wearing a gps collar that went belly up last October.  He caught him in the exact same spot where he was caught about one year ago.  This collar is a store on board collar that will hopefully provide daily locations of the animal for the 3-4 months it was working.  The GPS collar was replaced with a VHF collar.

On June 16, UM research project crewmembers walked in on B385 in Wapiti in the Grandjean area. They stumbled into a set of holes under a fallen tree and were growled at by an adult down in the hole. They were barked at, etc. and eventually left the area. Dave Ausband walked in on June 18 and no adults were present. He observed 1 pup at the den site and after it dove into the hole he gave a little whimper and it came back out and howled for 3-5 minutes (see photo), but no other pups emerged and no adults responded. He then sat on a nearby ridge for 3 hours, but no other wolves ever showed up.

On June 17, UM researcher Dave Ausband checked out suspected den location for Archie Mt.. The den was under a pile of yarded logs.  1-2 pups is suspected based on evidence at the site.

On week of June 23, Michael Lucid and Dave Ausband attempted to locate Bear Valley pack unsuccessfully.  Michael also attempted to catch a wolf in the Thorn ck pack.

Carter Niemeyer worked the Timberline pack with Nate Borg and found the wolves near a flock of sheep.  They spoke with the herder as best they could and communicated about the wolves.  The herder was aware of them, but for the time being these wolves had not depredated.  They decided not to trap in the area due to the presence of horses, dogs, sheep and people.

On 6/9 Jim Holyan (NPT) obtained a pup count on the Eldorado Creek pack; he saw four gray pups.

On 6/19  Holyan and Kari Holder (NPT) observed a minimum 4 pups (3 gray and 1 black) with the Earthquake Basin pack.

On 6/23 Holyan and Holder observed 4-5 gray pups of the Lick Creek pack.

Efforts to document the pack/reproductive status of the White Bird Creek and Florence packs were unsuccessful.

Welcome to Kari Holder, the NPT new seasonal biologist, we’re very happy to have you on board.

Control

On 6/16, WS was able to examine 1 ewe and 1 lamb that were reported being attacked by wolves.  All of the wounds were consistent with wolf bites.  The ewe is not expected to survive, the lamb might.  This was not a new depredation, but the same depredation where WS confirmed 1 ewe as a wolf kill a week earlier and attributed to the Double Springs pack.  The producer is also missing another 23 sheep that he believes were victims of wolf depredation.

On 6/16, a WS f/w aircrew was able to shoot and kill one black wolf from the Double Springs pack on BLM land in the Pahsimeroi.

On 6/17, a WS f/w aircrew found two black wolves running with B-379, the only collared animal in the Double Springs pack on BLM land in the Pahsimeroi.  The aircrew shot and killed one of the black wolves.  Unless there is another depredation, control efforts on the Double Springs wolves are done.

On 6/17, WS investigated a report that wolves had killed a calf on private land near Salmon.  While there was not enough evidence to confirm the depredation, WS did find enough to call it “probable”.

On 6/18, WS investigated a report that wolves killed a calf on private land near Grangeville.  While there was not enough evidence to confirm the depredation, WS did find enough to call it “probable”.

On 6/18, WS captured and killed a sub-adult, black male wolf from that may have joined the High Prairie pack east of Anderson Ranch reservoir.  Unless there is another depredation, control efforts at this site have concluded.

On 6/18,  WS shot and killed one gray wolf that was running with B-378, the only radio collared animal from the Pass Creek pack from a helicopter.

On 6/22, WS confirmed that wolves from the Pilot Rock pack killed a Walker hound that was being used to run bears.  The depredation occurred on Nez Perce Forest land near Clearwater.

On 6/24, WS investigated a report that wolves attacked and injured some sheep on private land west of McCall.  WS was able to examine one lamb and was able to determine that it was probably attacked by a wolf.  A more thorough examination would be required to confirm a depredation which would involve killing the lamb.  Since the lamb appears like it should survive, the examination was not more invasive.  This particular band of sheep has 7 guard dogs which may explain the minimal injuries.

On 6/26, WS confirmed that a wolf had attacked and injured a calf on private land in Bighorse Canyon near Kooskia.  The calf is expected to survive.

On 6/26, WS investigated a report that wolves had attacked and injured a calf on private land west of Donnelly.  No evidence of wolf involvement could be found.

On 6/26, WS investigated a report that wolves had killed a calf on a Sawtooth National Forest grazing allotment north of Stanley.  WS could not determine a cause of death.

On 6/26, WS confirmed that a wolf killed a calf on a private ranch near Stanley.  The wolf responsible may be a member of, or disperser from, either the Basin Butte pack or the Galena pack.  Signals from radio collared animals from both packs were picked up quite a distance from the kill site.

Management

No word as of yet regarding the injunction court hearing on wolf delisting held May 28 in Missoula.

On 6/16 Jason Husseman retrieved the carcass of a wolf shot under the 36-1107 provision Northeast of Stanley; as in all wolf shootings, this incident is being investigated.

On June 24, a 25 lb. male and 23 lb. female wolf pup were found dead along Highway 75 near Lowman, apparently hit by a vehicle.  These pups are believed to be from the Archie Mt. pack.

The collaborative among several producers, IDFG, Wildlife Services, USFS, Blaine County Commissioners, and Defenders of Wildlife is ongoing in the Ketchum area.  Nonlethal efforts involving use of fladry, penning at night, hazing with hired trained technicians are ongoing to reduce conflicts between wolves and sheep in the area.

Research

Univ. of Montana research telemetry crew got started on June 2 and began work in the Salmon and Lowman study areas. Their job is to get pack counts, locate uncollared packs and test the howlboxes. To date they have obtained pup counts in Jureano, Hoodoo, Wapiti, and have documented reproduction in Archie as well. They placed howlboxes at 3 pack homesites in Salmon and the howlboxes only worked properly and ran their entire schedule at 1 site. The howlbox recorded responses at that site.

The scat survey crew began on June 11 and is currently in the McCall area conducting rendezvous site surveys. Some survey work has been hampered by snow at higher elevations. They made some subtle changes to protocol from last year and the results are promising because they collected more samples in the first 2 days than they did the entire first field stint (9 days) last year.

Information and Education

On June 17, Steve Nadeau gave a wolf management presentation to about 150 members of the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association at their annual meeting in Jackpot, NV.

On June 20, a story on Idaho wolf management was aired on national television on ABC Nightline.

On June 25, Steve Nadeau was interviewed about wolf management by Boise State President Bob Kustra for his radio show.

We also would like to remind people that when wolves are in the area, please be aware that they may attack or injure dogs.  It often helps to keep dogs in kennels or inside buildings at night and to not let them roam freely when humans are not around.  When fresh wolf sign is found, place dogs on restraints and keep supervised.  The state law allows individuals to harass or kill a wolf attacking or molesting their domestic animals including pets.  If you are having concerns or problems with wolves close to your residence, please inform the Fish and Game Office nearest you.

Please help us manage wolves by reporting wolf sightings on our Fish and Game observation form found at:

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/wolf_report/

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

8 Responses to Idaho wolf weekly news. June 15 -27

  1. avatar natehobbs says:

    i don’t enjoy the information about whimpering for the pups to come out of there den to be public knowledge. Funny how that was the most descriptive portion of the entire article.

    I also don’t like the word depredation,
    “1. An act of plundering or despoiling; a raid.
    2. [Plural] Destructive operations; ravages. ”

    I think fish and game needs to reword there reports to recognize the facts that the incidents they are responding to are natural reactions from animals in the wild towards other animals that are not natural for the area. The wolves killing a dog is not a raid akin to the vikings its a simple instinct…they kill coyotes after all…should we call every coyote kill from them a depredation as well?

    Can anyone tell me why a dog was being used to run bears up trees this time of year anyways?

  2. Natehobbs,

    You hit on a very important point — the agricultural bias of the reports and attitude toward the wolves. It goes further.

    Coyote, bear, and cougar kills of livestock are also called “depredations.” Further still, when grazing wildlife like elk eat the hay of an agricultural operation, they are called “depredations” too. Fish and Game in Idaho and other states are pressured by ag interests in the legislature to hold “depredation hunts” and make “depredation payments.”

    When cattle eat the forage of deer and elk, however, this is never called a depredation.

    When Ed Bangs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was writing the wolf reports, he used the word “depredation” as well.

    Over the years, I have noticed other highly judgmental words used in the management of our natural heritage by supposedly neutral agencies.

    The U.S. Forest Service used to call pristine forests — forests that had never been cut, which naturally had some dead trees, “decadent forests.”

    Folks might want to contribute other examples.

  3. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    It’s sad that IDFG is so controlled by anti-wolf forces that not even the wolf report can be factual, but as Ralph says is biased.

    Example – the report says:
    On 6/26, WS investigated a report that wolves had killed a calf on a Sawtooth National Forest grazing allotment north of Stanley. WS could not determine a cause of death.

    First, the calf was not on Sawtooth National Forest land, rather on private pasture leased by a rancher. I saw the dead calf during my morning wolf patrol rounds June 26th. It was bloated up, which indicated no predator had been feeding on it. I spoke to a rancher who has cattle in a nearby pasture and he said he knew wolves had not killed the calf.

    Yet, here it is on the wolf report. IDFG, at the least, could have reported that the calf was NOT killed by wolves.

    Another part of the wolf report says:
    On 6/26, WS confirmed that a wolf killed a calf on a private ranch near Stanley. The wolf responsible may be a member of, or disperser from, either the Basin Butte pack or the Galena pack. Signals from radio collared animals from both packs were picked up quite a distance from the kill site.

    I drive by the ranch where the calf was killed every morning. I reported to both IDFG and Wildlife Services that the Galena Pack was 12 miles away on the morning of the supposed depredation, and the Basin Butte Pack was six miles. I also reported several times this Spring to IDFG and WS that there was one shaggy, lone wolf that had been in my yard and also seen by friends. I had seen this wolf several times trying to find a meal of ground squirrels right where there are now cattle, and near where the calf was killed. After talking to some locals, it appeared the calf was killed by one wolf.

    The deal is that whenever a calf or sheep is killed, the nearest collared pack gets blamed. There are more wolves around here than just the Basin Butte and Galena Pack.

  4. avatar Ryan says:

    Lynne,

    I fail to see any correlation in your claims..

    “On 6/26, WS confirmed that a wolf killed a calf on a private ranch near Stanley. The wolf responsible may be a member of, or disperser from, either the Basin Butte pack or the Galena pack. Signals from radio collared animals from both packs were picked up quite a distance from the kill site.”

    Where do they blame the whole pack here? They said the pack was a long ways away and maybe a member or a disperser.

    “Example – the report says:
    On 6/26, WS investigated a report that wolves had killed a calf on a Sawtooth National Forest grazing allotment north of Stanley. WS could not determine a cause of death.

    First, the calf was not on Sawtooth National Forest land, rather on private pasture leased by a rancher. I saw the dead calf during my morning wolf patrol rounds June 26th. It was bloated up, which indicated no predator had been feeding on it. I spoke to a rancher who has cattle in a nearby pasture and he said he knew wolves had not killed the calf.

    Yet, here it is on the wolf report. IDFG, at the least, could have reported that the calf was NOT killed by wolves.”

    Did it ever occur to you that it could have been a different dead calf.

    I fully expect to see you wearing a Tinfoil hat in the future complaining about black helicopters in the near future.

  5. Ryan,

    Not many cows die in the area without Lynne knowing about it.

    I think she’s right on. She’s out there, always looking.

  6. avatar JB says:

    Since I have no information to evaluate the claims of IDF&G either way, I’ll avoid this little spat.

    However, Ralph asked for other examples of biased language, so…

    You’ll notice that agencies always use the word “control” to mean “kill”. This is because “control” has a positive connotation, as “to be in control” of the situation, whereas “kill” has an obvious negative connotation. Agencies desire to be seen as “controlling” wildlife, when in fact, the most accurate word to describe what they are (often) doing is “killing.” I once had a state agency (I won’t name the state) insist that what they did was “euthanize” wolves. This is the farthest thing from the truth. There are strict criteria for determining what constitutes euthanasia; I can assure you that shooting from a helicopter does not meet these criteria–at least in the vast majority of circumstances.

  7. avatar Ryan says:

    “Ryan,

    Not many cows die in the area without Lynne knowing about it.

    I think she’s right on. She’s out there, always looking.”

    We’ve lost a few cows over the years on farms and ranches I have worked on and no one ever knows. Most are not visible from the road.

  8. That’s what I mean, Ryan. Stone isn’t satisfied with driving the roads only.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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