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Idaho Fish and Game proposes extending wolf hunting, trapping

The deadline for the public to submit their comments to the agency is June 13.
Credit: LeFion/ThinkStock

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game wants to hear from the public on a proposal to extend wolf hunting and trapping opportunities and enhanced methods of take. The proposed changes relate to a new state law that takes effect July 1. 

Senate Bill 1211 recently won approval from the Idaho Legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Brad Little. It extends wolf hunting and trapping with foothold traps to year-round on private property with landowner permission. 

The law also expands the legal methods of take for wolves to include:

  • Weapon restrictions (for hunting big game) do not apply
  • Exemption from shooting hours 
  • Hunting wolves over bait is allowed on private land
  • Motorized vehicle restriction for hunting big game do not apply
  • Dogs may be used to pursue wolves, no hound hunter permit is required

These expanded methods do not currently include aerial shooting of wolves in Idaho. 

While the new law establishes a year-round foothold trapping season for wolves on private land and provides the ability to allow expanded methods of take, the Legislature directed the Fish and Game Commission to set seasons for snaring and expanded methods of take through proclamation.

Fish and Game proposes no change to the wolf snaring seasons on public and private land, and it also proposes no change to the foothold trapping seasons on public land.

The proposal allows expanded methods of take on private land year-round, provided landowner permission.

The proposal also allows expanded methods of take for hunting on public land from Nov. 15 through March 31 in areas with a history of chronic livestock depredation, or where elk herds are below management objectives.

Wolf hunting and methods of take would remain unchanged from currently established seasons on public land between April 1 through Nov. 14 in those same units. Wolf hunting seasons and methods of take on public land in all other units will also remain unchanged.

A detailed summary of the current and proposed wolf hunting and trapping seasons and rules can be viewed on the public feedback webpage.  Public comments are being taken until June 13.