The following report is by Idaho Fish and Game Department. It is put out once every two weeks. RM

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To:          Idaho Fish and Game Staff and Cooperators

From:        IDFG Wolf Program Coordinator, Steve Nadeau

Subject:    Status of Gray Wolf Management, Weeks of July 12-July 27, 2008

New: FWS – Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Status (WY, MT, ID):  The U.S. Federal District Court in Missoula, Montana, issued a preliminary injunction on Friday, July 18, 2008, that immediately reinstated temporary Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountain DPS pending final resolution of the case.  This includes all of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon, and parts of north-central Utah. The USFWS is evaluating legal options regarding the Court’s order and the ongoing litigation over the agency’s delisting of the northern Rocky Mountain wolf population.  All wolves in the southern half of Montana, all portions of Idaho south of Interstate-90, and all of Wyoming will be managed under the 2005 and 2008 Endangered Species Act nonessential experimental population 10j regulations.  The State of Idaho Department of Fish and Game will once again act as the designated agent for the USFWS in implementing day-to-day management of wolves under the MOU between the Secretary of Interior and Governor of Idaho signed January 2006. [boldface mine]

You may review past wolf weekly publications on our wolf webpage and links along with all pertinent and updated wolf information and publications at:


Holder (NPT) verified reproduction for a pack in the northern part of the McCall zone, but was unable to see/hear pups.  She then teamed up with D. Ausband (UMT) to conduct a capture operation on the southern part of the same zone; a subadult female wolf was caught and radiocollared.

Babcock (NPT) obtained a count of 5 gray pups on a pack on the Lochsa; he ran a trapline for several days but did not capture any wolves.  He also walked in to the last Kelly Ck. pack radiocollared wolf’s aerial location, but there was no evidence that this was where the pups are located.  He also attempted to investigate the Fish Ck. suspected rendezvous site, but could not due to snow blocking access roads.

Niemeyer (IDFG) and Holyan (NPT) upon request from WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife captured and radiocollared the breeding female and probable alpha male in the first documented reproductive pack in Washington in many years.  This pack is located east of the North Cascades near the border and has been DNA typed as coming from Canada.

Holyan (NPT) ran a trap line on near Dworshak Reservoir where he was able only to catch a pup (too small to radiocollar); he did observe 2 gray pups.

Michael Lucid worked with several volunteers from the Selway Lodge using stock and volunteer help to trap the Selway Wilderness country.

7/13-19: Jason Husseman and Dave Ausband (Univ. MT) free range darted B350 in order to retrieve a failing GPS collar.  This was the first wolf IDFG has darted from the ground as it is a very difficult feat to sneak up to within 20 yards of a wolf unnoticed and accurately shoot a dart.

7/20-26:  Confirmed reproduction and breeding pair status (multiple pups heard howling) of a Sawtooth Zone wolf pack (Yankee Fork).  Further attempts will be made to place a collar in this currently uncollared pack.

7/28 the Univ. MT research crew heard 2 adults and counted 6 black pups along the South Fork of the Payette to verify reproduction in a pack there.


On Friday, 7/11, WS confirmed that wolves killed a calf on private land near Bear, ID.  On 7/16, a WS f/w aircrew shot and killed a gray male wolf about a mile from the depredation site near Bear.  Traps are being pulled and control efforts are concluded unless there is another depredation.

On 7/14, WS confirmed that wolf killed a lamb in Rainbow Creek in the Boise National Forest.  On 7/23, WS shot and killed an adult, black female wolf near the rainbow creek depredation site.

On 7/14, WS confirmed that a wolf killed a lamb on the Boise National Forest, east of Smith’s Ferry.  This is the same area where WS confirmed a depredation on 7/2.

On 7/15, WS confirmed that wolves attacked a cow on private land on Smiley Creek near Stanley.

On 7/15, WS confirmed that wolves killed one calf and probably killed another on a Targhee National Forest allotment on the west side of Bishop Mountain between Ashton and Kilgore. On 7/16, WS caught and killed an adult, gray female wolf.

On 7/18, WS confirmed that at least two wolves killed 3 bucks on private land near Leadore.

On 7/18, an IDFG employee found a carcass of a buck sheep on private land NE of Idaho City while he was looking for wolf killed deer and elk.  He believed the sheep was a wolf kill.  After consulting with WS, the depredation is being considered a “probable” wolf kill.

On 7/20,  WS confirmed that wolves killed a calf and probably killed another calf on private land near Stanley.

On 7/22, WS examined three calves that had bite wounds to their flanks and hind quarters.  WS confirmed that injuries were caused by wolves.  All three calves should survive.  The depredation took place on the same private ranch where WS confirmed another depredation on a calf last week and subsequently removed one male wolf.  There are still three pairs of cows/calves missing on this ranch.

On 7/22, WS confirmed that wolves killed 5 Walker hounds and 1 blue tick hound near Bridge Creek in Unit 12 in the Clearwater National Forest.  The dogs were owned by three brothers and the wolves killed every dog in the chase.

On 7/24, WS confirmed that wolves killed a calf on a Salmon – Challis National Forest allotment near Twin Bridges Creek.

On 7/24, WS confirmed that wolves killed 2 lambs on a Boise National Forest grazing allotment in Rainbow Creek.  This is the same site where WS has confirmed 2 other depredations in the last several weeks.

On 7/25, WS investigated the report that wolves had killed a cow on private land near Stanley,  The WS investigator witnessed 2 wolves chasing cattle.  The carcass was consumed to the point where only a determination of “probable” wolf depredation could be made.

On 7/25, WS confirmed that wolves killed a 400 lb. calf on private land just south of the Pine turn-off from Highway 20.

On 7/26, WS confirmed that wolves killed 2 calves and probably killed another calf on private land near Mullen Basin over by Carey.  There are 6 calves missing at this site.

On 7/26, WS confirmed that wolves killed 3 yearling ewes on a Boise National Forest allotment west of Pioneerville.

On 7/26, WS confirmed that wolves killed a calf on private land on Cottonwood Creek, SE of Horseshoe Bend.  WS noted “probable” wolf depredations on this same property on 7/18 with an injured calf and on 7/23 with a cow that was killed.

On 7/26, WS confirmed 2 calves killed near Carlson Lake on a Salmon-Challis National Forest allotment.

On 7/26, WS confirmed that wolves killed a cow and a calf on private land near Salmon.


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.


Nothing new to report.

Information and Education

On 7/18 Husseman gave a presentation to approximately 30 folks at the Idaho Bowhunters gathering Near Stanley.

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:

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

6 Responses to Idaho wolf update July 12-July 27, 2008

  1. John says:

    I notice it is always a single digit number in each predation claim. Whenever I hear from farmers they whine of predations to the tune of 25-60 – a night.

  2. Yes, a long list of “depredations,” giving a superficial impression that many livestock being taken, but when the incidents are added up, the total is very small.

    I would certainly like to see a cost/benefit analysis of control actions.

  3. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Good Morning John and Ralph. It´s noon in central europe but obviously Idaho never really sleeps :-))

  4. Peter,

    Yes, but now it is nearly noon here in Idaho, and I just took a nap. 😉

  5. Mills says:

    Interesting that in the “Information and Education” section the mention the Idaho state law that allows the killing of a wolf that is “molesting” domestic animals.

    With the injunction, I wouldn’t think this law would still be applicable…

  6. sal says:

    Seems to me that there are SUDDENLY a lot of “confirmed” depredations thsese days…

    Kind of like they want to give the impression that things are a mess out there and they can’t do anything about it because they are under injunction rules.

    Somehow I get the feeling that letting the F&G depts of the states, who openly claim that they are interested in wildlife populations only if they can hunt them, is a lot like the MT Dept. of Livestock managing the Yellowstone Bison.


July 2008


‎"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