Fish and Game authorizes deputies to kill wolves

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has delegated authority to kill wolves to county sheriff deputies in Idaho County.  It is unclear what training or methods deputies will have at their disposal when killing wolves.

Fish and Game authorizes deputies to kill wolves – AP

Cadwallader believes this is the first time his agency has delegated authority to local law enforcement agents to kill wolves.



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  1. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I drove out to Elk City a few years ago just to see what was there. It is small, around 200 people in the summer and less in the winter. The article said there were 2,000 residents. The author didn’t do his homework.
    I may go there again just to see some Idaho wolves.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      My brother-in-law lived in Elk City with his girlfriend for about year. Neither were from there, but she had picked up the local fear and worried about wolves. I told her she should worry about the knapweed that had started on her property and the bull moose that hung out in the creek just down from her property.

      Folks should know how remote Elk City is. From Grangeville, it is about 40 miles up the South Fork of the Clearwater River, with no towns or settlements between. If you don’t see Idaho’s wildest animals around Elk City, you shouldn’t see them anywhere. People who live in a place like that shouldn’t expect the kind of wildlife you get on the Palouse agricultural area on the edge of the central Idaho forest and mountains.

    2. ProWolf in WY Avatar
      ProWolf in WY

      They better start patrolling the bus stops. Wolves and buffalo really like to hang out there. In all seriousness though, this goes to show you what kind of irrational fear these people have. It’s like I have said. If they spent half as ,much time trying to solve problems like unemployment and education issues as they do worrying about wolves Idaho would be the envy of the nation for a place to live.

  2. Red Avatar

    Correct. 2010 Census puts the population of Elk City at 202. I wonder if it is an intentional typo to stir up political feelings by making the town sound bigger (and more important and more impacted) than it is? Having wolves “in town” in a town of 2,000 sounds far more dramatic than in a town of 200 (especially where at its widest point, per Google Maps and being somewhat generous, the town is 3 blocks wide).

    I’d be curious to know if Deputy Denham has seen 40 individual wolves since 1996, or seen a wolf (or some wolves) 40 times (not necessarily unique individuals). If he patrols the entire county, and being as Elk City is in the heart of the Nez Perce National Forest, either is possible.

    Having lived in Custer County (~100 miles from Elk City as the crow flies) between 1996 and 1999 and worked in/visited the area for about 50% of the time between 1999 and 2008 (and my parents who live there 100% of the time), we’ve only seen or heard wolves maybe a dozen times; of times we’ve seen them, we’ve seen maybe a dozen unique individuals.

  3. Peter Kiermeir Avatar
    Peter Kiermeir

    What training methods do you think are neccessary? I think only the very basics: pull the trigger!

    1. Salle Avatar

      …in addition to being blatantly (or willfully) oblivious to everything but the religion of fear and hatred.

  4. Salle Avatar

    This could go in the “News” thread but it applies here, to some degree. from Gary Ferguson’s blog:

    Tiny Men in Big Places

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Thanks Salle,

      This is Gary Ferguson’s blog. He ought to know from his residence in Montana and the books and articles he has written about it.

      I can’t help but think much of the problem, or reason, for Montana’s decline from the friendly and green place it was in the 1970s, is the influx of foreigners with bad attitudes like Bob Fanning.

      1. IDhiker Avatar


        Where I live in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, we have a continual influx of newcomers. I used to think with all these new people, that the place would liberalize some, but it hasn’t – it’s gotten more conservative. In the last election, every Republican that ran for office, won.

        I have a theory which goes like this: that while we get many Californians for example, coming here, they are not the liberal types, but rather the conservatives fleeing liberal states and values. So, we end up with a state hardening against environmental issues due to a growing conservative voting block.

      2. Doryfun Avatar


        I subscribe to your theory. It is the same one I came up with back when Helen Chenoweth first got elected .

      3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

        IDHiker and Doryfun,

        In the 1970s, Montana attracted green newcomers, but beginning in the age of Reagan they turned right wing and brown. The same has been true in Idaho. Perhaps all that publicity about the the north Idaho nazis back then didn’t turn everybody off.

        While I wasn’t new to Idaho. I came back to Idaho because things were clearly and rapidly moving in a green direction in 1971 when I began my academic career. This greening lasted about 8 years until the “1 per cent proposition” passed in Idaho, and soon after Ronald Reagan became President. Things really turned backwards in 1994 when Idaho became a Republican lake. No way I’d choose Idaho again if I was beginning my career. The people, and so the students in the high schools, are now poorly educated, poorly paid, uninformed, and led around by a right wing elite. Randy Stapalus writes of this in his influential blog.

        A “Low-Skill, Low-Wage Jobs Trap.” by Randy Stapilus under Idaho.

    2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Crackpot religious sects find places like Montana appealing with its wide open spaces.

      1. JB Avatar

        In Alaska, these folks (along with anyone who moved their because they just couldn’t get along with anyone else) are referred to as “end-of-the-roaders”.

    3. Elk275 Avatar

      Thanks Salle for posting Gary’s blog, I did not know it existed. I have known Gary for over 20 years and have not seen him in a long time, Gary is a good friend. He once invited me to accompany him on a book tour and reading; I have always felt that I missed a new experience not going. Next time I am in Red Lodge, he is a must to look up.

      1. Salle Avatar

        My pleasure. I met Gary several times at large gatherings but once, a few years back, he was in the town where I lived at the time to do a book signing. I read about it in the paper and decided to go and say hello, and get him to sign an older book I didn’t have his signature in. He was happy to see me and I ended up sitting through the whole signing, it was outside in front of the store, and we had a great time talking and chatting with a number of others who came to the event. I met new friends there and some old friends I hadn’t seen for a while. It was a good afternoon, one not to be missed. I haven’t seen him in person since but I am sure our paths will cross again someday. He’s a good writer, I have several of his books.

  5. DB Avatar

    Having lived in Idaho County for over twenty years, I’d guess there is as much poaching and unlawful killing of big game as there is wolf predation around Elk City. And if there was a place where “SSS” is practiced it would be there. I doubt the officers will kill any wolves. But it’s amazing how quickly IDFG jumped on this piddling problem. I guess they have no control over ranchers, farmers, irrigators, and the land management agencies that allow degradation and loss of habitat for so much fish and wildlife. But wolves they can kill.

  6. Cody Coyote Avatar
    Cody Coyote

    Another front has opened in the War on Wolves in the West. It’s now down to street level, and the civilians are authorized to use live rounds.


    Seems like inordinately asymmetric warfare to me.

  7. Woody Avatar

    The ODFW has recently killed two young wolves for killing four cattle this year or nearly 9 % of the total wolf population known to live in Oregon. The cattle killed represent 0.00000015% of the state’s cattle. Additionally they have issued 24 kill permits to ranchers for both private and public lands if wolves are pestering cattle. That is more permits than there are known wolves in Oregon.

    1. wolf moderate Avatar
      wolf moderate

      Woody, finally it’s clear that it’s not only Idaho that wants wolves reduced. Oregon is one of the most liberal states in the country and even they do not want wolves, other than maybe a token populaton. Now back off Idaho and go bash Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

      How is Idaho considered basically the anti-christ (in the eye of “environmentalists”) when they have more wolves than almost any other state in the lower 48? Seems like it could be more of an attack due to there right leaning political views and rather large percentage of religious folk.

      1. IDhiker Avatar

        I don’t think Idaho’s government plans to have “more wolves than almost any other state in the lower 48” for long.

      2. jon Avatar

        You said Oregon does not want wolves and that is not correct. It is the ranchers and hunters who don’t want wolves. Don’t act like these 2 groups speak for the majority of the people of Oregon because they don’t.

      3. Savebears Avatar


        You don’t have any idea of how the majority of the people in Oregon feel..You know how the people west of the Cascades namely Portland feel, OR is a whole lot bigger than Portland..

      4. wolf moderate Avatar
        wolf moderate

        I grew up in Bend, Oregon and even though most of the population is yuppies from California, they are quite conservative. Unfortunately I spent my first 14 years in the Willamette Valley…They are quite the opposite.

        Believe me, many people (outside of the freak show AKA Portland) are against/moderate wolves.

      5. jon Avatar

        sb, wolf mod doesn’t either. To assume just because ranchers and hunters don’t want wolves in OR does not mean that is how the majority of Oregonians feel.

      6. jon Avatar

        Believe me, many people (outside of the freak show AKA Portland) are against/moderate wolves.

        And I bet most of these people if not all either hunt or ranche or do both. Let’s not really kid ourselves here. We know the people who don’t want wolves.

      7. wolf moderate Avatar
        wolf moderate

        I am “pro” wolf untl they have a negative impact on the prey base (elk and deer). I used to fly into Lord’s Flat (20 miles out of imnaha) and the elk populaton was dwindling as far back as 1997. It’s clear that the lack of elk was and is due to mis-management, however I do not support wolves in this area. Personally, I think leaving the wolf pack intact is Ok in all areas of Oregon, with the exception of the Snake River Zones. The elk have severe issues as it is. Add wolves to the mix and we have serious issues (for rural communities who depend on hunter money).

      8. Savebears Avatar

        Ok Jon, what is so sad, is you have the passion, but you don’t have the knowledge..

      9. Phil Avatar

        wolf moderate: I don’t believe a word you say, especially when you “name call” in high remarks people who view differently then you do, like “Freak show AKA Portland”. Then, people like you complain about others who refer to people who live in rural areas (who also view similarly as you do) as rednecks.

        “How is Idaho considered basically the anti-christ (in the eye of “environmentalists”)”, so how are environmentalists the, according to Bruce Hemming, “The Neo-Nazis to wildlife”? I do not believe Idaho is anti-christ, but both sides act in these manners, and I believe the anti-enviornmentalists and such are more out there spreading their opinions.

      10. mikarooni Avatar

        He seems to keep abreast of things pretty well as far as I can see, Save Beers.

      11. Savebears Avatar

        Well Miki,

        Seems he has boondoggled you as much as he has others!

      12. Savebears Avatar

        And what is it with you always calling people names?

  8. NotafanofWW2 Avatar

    This is what I learned in Catholic school:

    1. Phil Avatar

      In my opinion I would say that god hates those who would kill and end the life of another for their own selfish reasons and purposes. This is what I was brought up to believe.

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Brian Ertz