Do you want to work with wild Idaho wolves this summer?

Here is a chance to work with the Nez Perce Tribe’s Gray Wolf Project for the summer. It’s is very physical work, and if you have college work in wildlife biology and capturing and immobilizing animals, that will be a real plus for your application. And, no they don’t tell you need to be prepared to be eaten by wolves. Before I editorialize too much, here is the job annoucement.



The Nez Perce Tribe is seeking volunteers to assist on the Idaho Gray Wolf Project for the 2007 field season. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable field experience while working in rugged and beautiful Idaho.

Work Environment: Work is conducted throughout the Nez Perce Tribe’s (Tribe) area of responsibility within the Central Idaho Experimental Population Area of Idaho, including front country (road accessible) and back country (remote and Wilderness) areas. This is a physically demanding position; extreme climate and terrain will be encountered. Volunteers may be required to carry up to 80 lbs. for varying distances over trail and cross-country conditions. Accommodations vary from cabins to back country houses to tent camping depending upon the locations of wolves and logistics. Travel is mostly by 4-wheel drive pick-up truck, ATV, fixed-wing aircraft, and foot.

Work Schedule: Typically 10 days on/4 days off, though work may extend beyond the 10 days depending upon conditions, Project needs, and logistics.

Duration: Expected approximately late May through September, but may be shorter depending upon access, workload, volunteer availability, and Project funding. Preference will be given to qualified applicants able to commit for extended periods of time.

Compensation: Field stipend of $17/day while on duty. Includes transportation while on duty. Housing (travel trailers, USFS accommodations, and bunkhouse-style quarters) is available for non-duty days. Volunteers are covered under the Tribal Workmen’s Compensation program.

Primary Duties: 1) assist in locating, via ground and aerial telemetry, potential breeding packs/pairs of wolves to determine reproductive status, 2) assist in obtaining accurate counts of wolf pups at home sites, 3) assist in documenting locations of wolf home sites, 4) assist in collecting scientific data on the ecology of wolves in Idaho, 5) assist in capturing, processing/handling, and radio collaring wolves, and 6) other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: 1) documented experience backpacking and camping for extended periods of time in remote settings, 2) proficiency with orienteering (use of map and compass for navigating) required, 3) good physical condition, 4) must hold valid driver’s license and be insurable under the Tribe’s insurance policy, 5) must be willing to comply with the Tribe’s drug and alcohol policy, 6) possess the ability to get along with others in back country settings for 10-day + time periods, 7) possess the ability to communicate verbally with interested and affected publics, (8) completion of, or enrollment in college/university Wildlife, or related, curriculum preferred, 9) radio telemetry experience preferred, 10) capture, immobilizing, and handling/processing experience with wild animals preferred, and 11) experience flying in fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters preferred.

Application Period: Applications will be accepted from March 15, 2007 until March 31, 2007. Applications must be received at Gray Wolf Recovery Project office no later March 31, 2007.

How to Apply: Submit a cover letter expressing interest in the Project, and resume detailing educational and employment backgrounds, along with the name and contact information of 3 work-related references. Send application materials to:

Nez Perce Tribe Gray Wolf Project
Attn: Volunteer Program
P.O. Box 1922
McCall, ID 83638
Telephone: (208) 634-1061
Fax: (208) 634-3231







  1. Jim Avatar

    prospective applicants should check with Layton to find out what caliber of hand gun is best at keeping the wolves at bay.

  2. Monty Avatar

    Jim must be a “city slicker” in that he believes stories about the “big bad wolf”. As I have spent the mjaority of my life in the woods, I only carry a gun for the two legged wolves!

  3. Layton Avatar

    Haven’t had to use it YET, but I think the current .45 with 230 grain hydro shocks should handle the job.

    You another “big, bad dude there Jim??


  4. Adam Gall Avatar
    Adam Gall

    I worked for the tribe on this project for several field seasons and never carried a gun. I can only speak on my encounters but I never felt threatened in the field. Climbing into dens with adult wolves present, handling pups with the breeding male and female right there…no issues ever came up. None of us ever had any problems that I know of. And I have been told directly that my failure to arm myself is proof that natural selection still exists in humans!! And yes, there indeed may come a day when this kind of behavior by humans warrants a defensive response from wolves. However, from my experiences, wolves usually wanted nothing to do with us. What I will say is that in working for the tribe I was able to see and do things that I would not trade for anything.

  5. skyrim Avatar

    Thanks for that personal perspective. What a great experience it must have been.

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    Thanks, Adam.

    I was going to basically say what you did, but it is so much better to have someone tell it first hand.

  7. Heard Enough Avatar
    Heard Enough

    This is for Layton,
    Sounds like you should just stay in your house. The sky is always falling in your world. Wolves might do this, wolves might do that. Were you able to move around in the forest unarmed prior to wolves presence? If so, how could that be? There were bears and cougars out there, and there have been many documented attacks by them on the human species. So, maybe you’re just afraid of wolves for some irrational reason. You cannot provide much (if any) documentation to substantiate your illogic pertaining to the threats wolves pose to people. But, it is impossible to refute a negative- your assertions- so I will grant that wolves, as wild animals, certainly could attack/injure/kill a person (just as could about any species, including “man’s best friend,” and let’s not leave out man himself). By your reasoning that wolves may eventually hurt a person (but you won’t live long enough to see it happen in ID, or anywhere else in all probability), you should consider some other hazards to your health that are statistically much more likely to cause harm: lightning, bee sting, getting in the car to drive anywhere, smoking, hypothermia, etc., etc., etc. Also by your own line of reasoning, you should be put in jail because you might commit a crime, might get into a car accident and cause injury to an innocent person, might say something to someone that would cause emotional pain, etc., etc. etc.- any/all of which should be prevented before it happens. Though your submissions to this blog provide humor, you should probably excuse yourself from further comment until you have gained some rudimentary knowledge of wolf behavior/ecology.

  8. Layton Avatar

    Hey there Heard,

    I’ll bet that you are a regular poster on this blog that just doesn’t have the nerve to use your real name. True or false?

    That’s the giggle that I get from coming here — you don’t have the cajones to use your real name, you just blithely post the same day to day crap without having any fear of being recognized. I get to watch all that.

    Folks like you want to make it a personal thing — you don’t have the data/information to back up what you say — just pie in the sky crap!!

    Get out in the woods, get out of your academic, rose colored world and figure out how your favorite pets REALLY do things.

    Try the truth for once!! Your science is the ONLY science Right?? No one else has been in the woods and it’s a big republican sponsored conspiracy, right??

    You make me tired!! You can’t stand an honest give and take debate, just call someone names and maybe they’ll go away and leave you in your fantasy world behind the looking glass!!………..

    Nope, I won’t go on. To think that I actually spent time trying to say something logical to someone that doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to even use their name really disappoints me — in myself.

    No Heard, I won’t get in a duel of wits with you — you are only half armed!!

    Layton – happily walking through the woods with my dog — and my friend.

  9. Raederle Avatar

    Thanks for sending out your “briefs” by email; I don’t have enough time in my insanely busy schedule to get in to check your blog every week, so they help a lot, and let me look at articles like this that interest me.

    Others who’ve commented (or will comment)–
    I’ve personally worked with wolves a few times over the years. I grew up in the Stanley, Idaho area, and would never hesitate to go on a long camping, backpacking, hiking trip in “wolf country,” and I wouldn’t bother packing a firearm–the only thing I might need it for would be fending off some of the crazies I know live around there, but I could use a good hiking stick for that and come up against less legal issues later.

    Animals, even our own pets, are more afraid of us than we are of them. As long as you don’t overtly threaten them, or put them in a situation where they feel threatened, you can pretty much do what you want around them. Some would argue with me, pointing out the damage a domestic dog can do, and I’ll point out that domestic dogs, or any creature, human included, can be conditioned to feel threatened when another human is around–if you beat a dog on a daily basis, it eventually will feel threatened by every human that approaches it.

    Wolves and other large predators are amazingly intelligent, something many of our politicians generally seem to lack in themselves, criticize in others, and downright ignore in the “lesser” species on this planet. And they’re incredibly beautiful. I cherish every opportunity I’ve had to work with wildlife, and will continue to cherish them for the rest of my life. No human being could ask for more pleasure than to be a part of nature and to see it at its most magnificant.

    Even though I may not meet all those items listed under qualifications for this job announcement, I have every intention of applying, since this is exactly what I would love to do with the rest of my working career.

    I’m perfectly comfortable with the presence of wolves and all the other predators out there–with the arguable exception of certain humans.


  10. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I also have a large email list with maybe 300 names, I send out about once a week with stories about wolves from the blog.

    Raederle lives, I believe, right next to one of Idaho’s most visible wolf packs.

  11. Warren Avatar

    Thank you Raederle. That is is why I have joined the cause. I want the chance to interact with wolves like you have. Even if I am never able. I will be traveling to see them at least this year. Look for a native biker on a black Honda.
    And Ralph, you may spam me my friend. I don’t mind.

  12. Kim Avatar

    It is a sad day when the Humans that have Lost all VALUE of LIFE feel the NEED to take the Lives of others NEEDLESSLY out of FEAR and GREED.. and ultimately POWER.. it is SHAMEFUL! There was a time that nothing was killed unnecessarily.
    never taking anymore than what was needed..what has happeded to these values….? THE WOLVES HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN THEM…… BUT HUMANS HAVE……. HUMANS COULD LEARN FROM THE WOLVES…. THEY HAVEN’T LOST THIER VALUES….IF you haven’t experienced wolves up close and personal in their every day lives… dont condemn them to death. You have no Idea what you are doing. It’s the same as condemning your own family to the same fate. think about it…. they only wish to survive in their place in the ecosystem and take care of their family give them their life and families.. you have no right to take that from them. for your game hunting.

  13. Tessa Avatar

    Hello all,

    I’m am very, very, very interested in volunteering for the Gray Wolf Project, either the project detailed above or another project with similiar aims. To say that it distresses me how the powers that be abuse and exploit the existence of creatures just wanting to LIVE and be left alone is an enormous understatement. Anyway, moving along, I’m hoping that someone on this site could give me some feed back to my ‘potential’ in being considered for such volunteer programs. I am, at the moment, studying Anthropology at Columbia University in New York. Although it is primary a Human-centric arena I have always been deeply connected and concerned for the welfare of animals in the wild. Both in their continued rehabilitation and in educating people to the unquestionable imperativeness of their unmolested survival. I am experienced in extended hiking/camping in rugged, desolate environments – trekked for a month in Nepal without use of Sherpa. I have OS map reading skills, albeit pretty rusty! And a driving licence. I’m very comfortable and respectful around animals and am absolutely willing to “put myself out there” in order to complete a task regardless if it is something I’m not familiar with. The problem is that I am NOT proficient in Radio Telemetry, I mean I can find AM and FM on my stereo and that’s pretty much it, and I have no experience flying any form of aircraft. However, apart from the flying, I am very willing to learn any new skills that would aid in these Projects. Oh, and I’m very healthy, female and 34 years old. I really apologize for this lengthy post but I would very much like to know what my chances are at being a viable candidate. Thanks so much for any feed back.

  14. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    You need to contact the Tribe directly. The Tribal wolf team is very wolf-friendly, but they do have a contract with the State of Idaho.

    Idaho Fish and Game is very wolf unfriendly, they are hiring too.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan