Slaughtered Pups and Maimed Wolves in Idaho Demonstrate the Effects of Federal Delisting

My colleague at Western Watersheds Project, Talasi Brooks, put out this press release yesterday after reviewing the results of a public records request to Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). She discovered some truly horrifying stats on the wolves killed in Idaho since January 1, 2020 by IDFG, Wildlife Services, and recreational killers of this keystone species. It ranges from hunters slaughtering weeks-old puppies to mature wolves dying in traps, all symptoms of the pervasive anti-wolf culture in Idaho.

The significance of these findings is especially important because of this week’s ‘announcement’ by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that they intend to delist wolves nationally by the end of the year. Thus, Idaho (where wolves were delisted in 2011 by a Congressional end-run around the courts) offers a glimpse into the future: wolf haters going to hate and kill puppies for no reason other than this animosity, the federal Wildlife Service agents will ruthlessly pursue and gun down animals from helicopters, and these highly-intelligent and social animals will suffer in unspeakable ways simply for being top predators on a landscape that needs them.

Here’s a primer on the post-delisting landscape as predicted by NRDC, and it does a pretty good job of identifying why the states aren’t ready to manage this species in an integrated and science-based way. The uncovered records from Idaho show the on-the-ground effects of such delisting, and it’s truly despicable.




  1. Maggie Frazier Avatar
    Maggie Frazier

    This is so very depressing. It appears that any endangered predator can only exist if the livestock lobby allows it to. And we all know how unlikely that is.
    Thanks for the information – always good to be aware!

  2. Lyn McCormick Avatar
    Lyn McCormick

    Sounds like bad timing for the Colorado wolf initiative to be on the ballot. If the other Statess can’t “integrate” conservation science based mgmnt” why would Colorado be any different ? The last thing we need in Colorado is another hunting season. CPW just got4+ million for “research” to increase the deer population by killing big cats and bears. Now we just had a fire in that specific “research” area which wiped out over 139,000 acres.

  3. Oakley Taylor Avatar
    Oakley Taylor

    I am so disgusted about all the disrespect that animals are now facing. From being taken off the ESA list to being hunted in the minimal amount of refuge areas across the country, it breaks my heart that animals have little chance left of survival. What is wrong with people? Can they not understand the permanant damage that is being done by these blood-thirsty hunters that want only to kill and destroy at any cost? How do we stop this? I am feeling so helpless; we need to make something drastic happen.

    1. Greta Anderson Avatar
      Greta Anderson

      “Action is the antidote to despair.” Find a way to get involved, from signing up for action alerts from groups working on the issue to writing letters to the editor of your local paper in support of strong wildlife protections. Add your voice to the chorus clamoring for balance. There are many of us who feel the same way, but we can’t give up.

  4. Frank Krosnicki Avatar
    Frank Krosnicki

    That these actions still go on makes me too incensed to comment logically and without anger so I will put it aside for now and attempt to comment later.

  5. MK Ray Avatar
    MK Ray

    The FBI recently made a policy to consider animal abuse a marker for violence against humans. Who kills a puppy? Who sees the suffering caused by traps and sanctions it? Why aren’t these people on a watch list?

  6. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    You know, it’s infuriating that knowing all of this, politicians still voted for delisting, willfully ignoring the abuses, with some idealized outcome in their minds, I guess. The real outcome is ugly. It will continue if further action is taken to delist.

  7. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    Which brings to mind:

    Note the ‘working hard to have this done by the end of the year’ quote and goal. Why? It just sounds so awful, and things will go right back to the way they were pre-ESA protection. I just don’t understand the obsession with killing them!

    1. Maggie Frazier Avatar
      Maggie Frazier

      “by the end of the year” – sure. Since there is a possibility that THIS current administration just might not be here after that, right? I dont get the obsession either – never have. And honestly I dont believe that my feelings on the subject come from living on the East Coast!

      1. Ida Lupine Avatar
        Ida Lupine

        You said it before me. 🙂

        It’s always bothered me, the deliberate attempts to wipe out wolves and bison, and even the Native peoples.

        It’s one thing to shoot a predator, bad enough, but the abject cruelty of torturing them is really difficult to stomach. ANd the piled-high bones and pelts of bison and wolves. It’s just sick, to me.

        This is the reason why, if some people think more attention is given trying to save wolves – they have gotten more unfair and vicious treatment than other wildlife.

        And the ‘resources for other wildlife if wolves are delisted’ is a tired argument that is brought up every time. The wolverine and sage grouse are two animals that I would bet specials interests and the government have no intention of protecting.

        I’m from the East Coast too, and send your unwanted wolves here, to the Northeast Kingdom.

      2. Linda Avatar

        I’ve lived in Indiana,Nebraska
        and now Arizona and am sucked by the delisting and slaughtering of wolves. No, this has nothing to do with living on the east coast. You can live in Tim-buk-too and still find this cold blooded attack on wolves horrifying.

  8. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    There are still, to me, a lot of loose threads that are either being ignored with a let sleeping dogs lie approach (the Northeast with suitable habitat) and/or with favorable outcomes in court cases which would lead me to think none of it is going to happen by the end of the year.

    It is a Federal law that wolves have to recover in more of their range and it is only 15% now if I am not mistaken? We know there is good habitat left.

    I don’t understand why the obsession with wolves, or why such an aggressive approach with their so-called ‘management’.

    1. Maggie Frazier Avatar
      Maggie Frazier

      “The state has killed 34 wolves since 2012. Twenty-nine were killed for the same livestock owner in prime wolf habitat in the Colville National Forest.”
      Does THAT make clear precisely why wolves are being slaughtered?
      Glad there are organizations like this one & WWP still attempting to save our wildlife!

  9. Beeline Avatar

    I went to the USDA-APHIS website and pulled the statistics for the wolf kill in Idaho in 2018.

    42 were caught in leg hold traps, 21 were shot from helicopters, 12 were shot by ground personnel, 6 were killed from fixed wing aircraft and 3 were killed in neck snares. At least this was what was reported for a total of 84. Compare this number to say raccoons killed by wildlife services the same year in Idaho. There were only 13. And according to Gretas report above ,the wolf kill has expanded drastically in 2020.

    So what’s wrong with this picture. First, never under estimate the cold callous behavior of a bureaucracy. It does not act like a normal person. It has no normal morality. Second, the bureaucracy can fatten its budget by going after wolves because it needs money for planes, helicopters etc.. I would think that wildlife services should get more calls about problem raccoons which are much more numerous than wolves but raccoon hunting/trapping will not add to their budget much.

    I think we need to get real here: It was Jews to the Germans in WW2; it was American Indians to the proponents of “Manifest Destiny” and it is wolves to the predator control bureaucracy.

    One last comment: I think of this country as being composed of two basic sub cultures. There is one of light and life and there is one of death and darkness. The one of death and darkness has thrown our country out of balance. Think about all the ways things have been and are killed. They even spray our food plants with weed-killer. What can we really expect but disaster?

    Not a time to be silent.

    1. Oakley Taylor Avatar

      I agree! Some years ago, here in Bend, we were trying to get a group together to petition a ban on leg hold traps. We just couldn’t make it happen. I can’t even fathom the agony of a mother wolf (or any creature for that matter) that would die while suffering a death like that. I am so disgusted with the blood-thirsty humans that continue to senselessly kill and maim. It makes me ashamed of my species. If we don’t stand up to that s cruelty now, it will only get worse. I want to be more effective than just writing; there has to be more that we can do to stop this slaughter.

      1. Maggie Frazier Avatar
        Maggie Frazier

        And to top it off – sounds like the current administration has decided to use “herd immunity” to stop the pandemic! Not enough to slaughter native wildlife & destroy our forests and public lands, water, air – the entire environment – Nope. Just get rid of any vulnerable people.
        How scary is it that that isnt even a crazy statement to make at this point?

        1. Nancy Avatar

          8:58 in…..his words remind me of how so many don’t care about climate change or the welfare of the planet and its wildlife or wild lands.

          1. Maggie Frazier Avatar
            Maggie Frazier

            Thanks Nancy – I havent watched that show in a while. This was a good one & I think hes right.
            Have to say that people who call wearing a mask an infringement on their freedom – does the thought cross their mind that our medical professionals sure dont see it that
            The important matters (as you said) – like climate change & the welfare of our entire planet & wildlife & wild lands – just dont register – how is that possible?

  10. Patrick Avatar

    Although it’s expensive, we need to find ways to buy out ranchers that have the most frequent conflicts with wolves. It’s clear that expecting legislators to pass laws restraining wolf killing is not going to work. Crowd-sourced funding for targeted land acquisition may be one way to do this.

    1. Maggie Frazier Avatar
      Maggie Frazier

      I agree BUT how wrong is it that we, the taxpayers, have to enrich these “ranchers” in order to stop them from having the privilege of a grazing allotment. Considering how little cost it is to these livestock operators and how large a cost to us, the taxpayers. Beyond the dollar value – the damage to the land, wildlife & the environment caused by these same people.

  11. Sid M Avatar
    Sid M

    Even more sobering news, the blood truly boils at these so called human beings. Hope they rot in hell…

    1. Ida Lupine Avatar
      Ida Lupine

      “The population is still healthy in my opinion,” said Mike Douville, a long-time resident hunter and trapper who sits on state and federal regional advisory boards. He says hunters target wolves because they’re competing for the same venison.”

      In his opinion, but he isn’t the most objective tool in the shed, is he. And he sits on the state and federal regional advisory boards!

  12. Kevin Brown Avatar
    Kevin Brown

    Hi, Being an avid pursuer of bear and lion with my hounds I have first hand the destruction of our wildlife by trapping. Traps kill everything where they are set. These stupid physcho people that trap are despicable.
    I wish something could be done here in Idaho as well as everywhere to end trapping. Is there any hope?

  13. Dr Dario Duke Avatar
    Dr Dario Duke

    if you see this call on president Biden to place wolves on endangerd species list to prevent wolves from being killed like is happening in Idaho and wisconsin

    1. Ida Lupine Avatar
      Ida Lupine

      I hope so, I just hope that they will take it seriously. I’m not entirely convinced that they will.

      The history is to ignore the abuses in favor of ‘the grand tradition of hunting’ or to appeal to the public’s better nature (which many times is just wishful thinking.)

      The self-policing in taking care of the sage grouse and habitat was a total flop as an example. It was highly touted as cooperation. Beware of that happening again, IMO. Much like the recovery of wolves! While they may have recovered, what happens after delisting is ignored.

  14. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    Here’s another article, Wolf Killing and the Legacy of Conquest:

    1. Kevin Brown Avatar
      Kevin Brown

      Hi, And this is only the tip of the tip of the ice-berg. Most of the collateral is never reported. When you F-up you don’t want people to know. A dog caught in your trap, kill it and throw it in the brush and re-set the trap. Trapping has no place in a civilized society and it is high time it was banned in every state. Kevin

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