KETCHUM — Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials said a female wolf with the Phantom Hill pack was killed by a hunter, marking the 29th wolf kill since Idaho’s hunting season opened this year.
Senior Conservation Officer Lee Garwood said the kill occurred in the Eagle Creek drainage north of Ketchum. The wolf, which had been collared for tracking purposes, was about 2 years old.
“There’s at least nine or 10 wolves remaining in the Phantom Hill pack,” Garwood told the Idaho Mountain Express. “It’s difficult to say exactly, as we didn’t see them in a group the last time we flew over the area.”
The pack became well known in the region last winter, when it traveled near residential neighborhoods, killing elk a few hundred yards from homes.
Idaho and Montana are holding their first wolf hunts since the animals came off the Endangered Species List. Wolves are still under federal protection in Wyoming.
Idaho’s wolf quota is 220, plus 35 that can be killed by the Nez Perce Tribe.
In Montana, where wolf hunting opened Sept. 15, 11 wolves had been killed. The state set a quota of 77.
Wolf advocate and Stanley resident Lynne Stone decried the Phantom Hill pack shooting, saying few older wolves are left in that pack, especially after the alpha male was killed by a car in June. Stone said the pack could have trouble if it’s mostly made up of pups and yearlings.
Late last week a wolf was shot in North Idaho’s St. Joe River drainage, according to a previous news story. Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Wildlife Manager Jim Hayden said that wolf was a male.