The Idaho Fish and Game Commission set wolf hunting seasons throughout most of the state ranging from August 30, 2011 to March 31, 2012, in 13 wolf management zones.
Harvest limits were set in the Salmon, Southern Mountain, Beaverhead, Island Park and Sawtooth Zones, where hunting proved effective in more open country and additional wolf mortality occurs from control actions to resolve ongoing livestock depredations.
In 2009, hunters met harvest limits in these zones except in the Sawtooth Zone, which was 90 percent achieved. The commission set higher harvest limits for these zones for the upcoming hunting season to reduce continued conflict with livestock.
Recent research confirms wolves are dispersing throughout the northern Rocky Mountains, and Idaho wolves are breeding with populations in other states and vice versa. Nevertheless, the commission set a closing date of December 31 for the Beaverhead and Island Park Zones, which closes hunting prior to the peak snowmobile season in Island Park and corresponds to the closing dates in Montana. These zones are late winter/spring dispersal areas between Yellowstone Park and other wolf populations in Montana and Wyoming.
The Fish and Game Commission did not set specific harvest limits in the Panhandle, Lolo, Selway and Middle Fork Zones because of documented impacts to elk and other prey species. Terrain or access is difficult in these areas and hunters did not reach harvest limits in the Panhandle, Lolo, and Selway Zones in 2009. Fish and Game isn't proposing specific harvest limits in the Palouse-Hells Canyon, Dworshak-Elk City, McCall-Weiser, and Southern Idaho Zones because of high conflict potential with livestock and other domestic animals.
Fish and Game uses a similar strategy for black bears and mountain lions, which have long been under state management. In general, both populations are thriving in Idaho.
Hunters will be required to report wolf harvests within 72 hours and bring harvested wolves to Fish and Game to confirm gender, approximate age, kill location and other information. In 2009, less than one-percent of hunters who purchased an Idaho wolf tag were successful. To increase harvest rates in 2011, Fish and Game will allow electronic calls and increase the annual bag limit to two wolves for hunters.For more information visit: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=266