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Thu., Feb. 23, 2012, 7:03 a.m.

Idaho Panhandle wolf toll up to 58

 (Idaho Department of Fish and Game)
(Idaho Department of Fish and Game)

PREDATORS -- Idaho hunters and trappers have killed a total of 58 wolves in the Idaho Panhandle region with another five weeks left in the seasons that started last fall.

At least 318 wolves had been reported killed by hunters and trappers across the state as of Wednesday.

The graph above includes the Idaho Panhandle harvest though Wednesday, with projections to the end of the season based on the average take the past four weeks, said Jim Hayden, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional wildlife manager in Coeur d'Alene.

Hayden explained:

Right now it looks like the final harvest should be pushing 80 wolves in the Panhandle.  That’s a significant number.  From 1998 through 2009, the Panhandle wolf population grew by at least 26 percent per year (and probably pretty close to this number).  Based loosely on areas where we do have decent information, it appears that the final reported harvest will probably be a little over 30 percent of the pre-season wolf population.  That harvest rate may be enough to hold the population in check in general, within limits of local variation.

In this region, we’ve conducted 15 wolf trapping classes, with two additional final classes scheduled by the first of March.  Nearly 450 folks will have gone through the wolf trapper education program this year.  As experience builds, this group will become more and more effective in helping to manage our wolf population.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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