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  • Writer's pictureBridger Park

Issue #1 Idaho's Wolf Problem.

Bridger Park- It's no secret that Idaho has a surplus of wolves. They becoming more and more wide-spread, now stretching from the panhandle, clear to east Idaho. I have even encountered them down into unit 69. My cousin had arrowed a bull at last light, and the group we where hunting with, headed in late at night to pack it out. A pack of wolves had caught the blood-trail before we arrived back in the draw. The pack travelled the same ridge as us, and gifted us with their eerie howls, and rare glimpses of their eyes in our headlamps.

Upon reintroduction wolves where supposed to remain in central Idaho, which as many locals know, did not happen. Wolves reproduce at a rat of 40%, causing their population to boom. 35 wolves where originally introduced into Idaho, and the population is now estimated to be around, 1,500 animals. There is a significant higher amount of wolves being born, then being harvested.

Wolves have been devastating agriculture, and ranch areas. Since their reintroduction in 1995, wolves have killed more then a thousand head of cattle, and 3,150 sheep. causing tens of millions of dollars of damages. But wolves are taking a toll on more then just agriculture. These lethal hunters, have devastated their main food source, elk. Since the reintroduction of the canines, elk populations have dropped by 20%, almost 30,000 elk. Wolves have been the number one cause of death for elk, in more then 7 zones. Idaho Fish and Game News, has a great article published in 2013, about the predation level wolves have on elk. That was a few hundred wolves ago, as well.

To try and stop this devastation, Gov. Brad Little has passed a very simple, very controversial, bill. The bill states, that up to 90% of Idaho's wolves will be eradicated. This bill has contracted private contractors, to drop the population. It also allows the people to use new methods, such as night vision hunting gear, the use of snowmobiles, and all terrain vehicles. And trappers may trap all year long, on private land.

Gov. Little has received a lot of backlash from this bill. But the fact of the matter is, wolves have devastated both the ranches, and the hunting. Many family's have lost tens of thousands of dollars to these animals, and many people have lost honey holes to these animals. The time to act on these animals isn't right now, it was several years ago.

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