Public Scoping for Idaho Wolf Seasons

Background

Idaho Fish and Game is seeking feedback on a proposal to extend wolf hunting and trapping opportunities and expand methods of take. The proposed changes relate to Idaho legislative action that will take effect July 1.

Review proposed changes to the wolf section in the 2021 Big Game Seasons and Rules and provide your input below.

Deadline to provide feedback is June 13, 2021.

Read the press release: "F&G proposes extending wolf hunting and trapping in accordance with new state law"
Press Release

Proposed Rules

2021-2022 GRAY WOLF HUNTING & TRAPPING SEASONS & GENERAL RULES

Limits

There is not a limit on the number of wolves taken in a year. No person may take more wolves than the number of legal tags they possess. Either sex may be taken.

Wolf Tags

Tag Valid Dates: Wolf tags bought with a hunting license are valid for the calendar year. Wolf tags bought with a trapping license are valid for the trapping year (July 1- June 30).

Nonresident Deer or Elk tags: Hunters may use an unfilled nonresident deer or elk tag to take a gray wolf during the open season corresponding to the deer or elk tag hunt area or unit when gray wolf season is also open. See page 112.

Tag Use for Wolf Hunting (wolves not restrained by traps): Persons with valid hunting licenses may use valid wolf tags bought under either hunting licenses or trapping licenses to take wolves in compliance with hunting seasons and rules.

Tag Use for Wolf Trapping: Persons trapping for wolves must possess a valid trapping license, with a Wolf Trapper Education course validation. Trappers meeting these requirements may use valid wolf tags bought under either hunting licenses or trapping licenses to take wolves by trapping in compliance with trapping seasons and rules.

General Rules for Hunting and Trapping

Tags: Tags must be validated and securely attached immediately upon killing a wolf.

Mandatory Check and Report: Any hunter or trapper killing a gray wolf must, within 10 days of date of kill:

  • Present skull and portion of the hide with evidence of sex attached to an Idaho Fish and Game office or a Fish and Game conservation officer (for removal/retention of premolar tooth and tagging of the hide with an official state export tag). No person may possess any raw gray wolf pelt, except during the time period after lawful harvest allowed for mandatory check, without an official state export tag attached, unless that person possesses a furbuyer or taxidermist license or appropriate import documentation.
  • A hunter or trapper may authorize another person to comply with the mandatory report, provided that person has enough information to accurately complete the necessary form. Proxy statement required, see page 102.
  • Please thaw your gray wolf hide and skull before bringing it in for tagging. Staff members may not be able to check a frozen hide or skull.

Wolves with Radio Collars: Return any radio collars on harvested wolves at the time of mandatory check. Biologists use radio collars to monitor wolf activity, assess population status and help determine future harvest opportunity.

Evidence of Sex: External evidence of sex (scrotum, penis, or testicles for males, or udder or vulva for females) must be left naturally attached to the hide, or portion of the hide, until the mandatory check requirement has been satisfied.

Retrieving Meat: There is no requirement to retrieve meat from a harvested wolf.

Big Game Feeding Sites: It is illegal to hunt, trap or pursue wolves within one-half mile of any active Idaho Fish and Game big game feeding site.

Weapons Restrictions: Same as for other big game animals, see page 100. Except it is legal to dispatch a trapped gray wolf with any rifle or handgun.

Electronic Calls: E-calls may be used to attract wolves.

Telemetry: It is illegal to take wolves using radio telemetry.

Dogs: It is illegal to use dogs to pursue wolves.

Bait: Hunting big game over bait is illegal, except for black bears. Wolves may be taken incidentally to bear baiting. See pages 71-72.

Hunting with Aircraft: The Federal Airborne Hunting Act and regulations (50 CFR 19) prohibit recreational hunting with the use of aircraft.

Poison: It is illegal for hunters or trappers to use poison to take wolves. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and regulations restrict the use of poison for killing animals.

Sanitary Landfill or Designated Dump: It is illegal to hunt wolves within 200 yards of the perimeter of any designated dump or sanitary landfill.

Hunting Hours: Hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Special Wolf Hunting Seasons Allowing Expanded Methods of Take

During only those hunting seasons designated on page 82 as “Expanded methods of take allowed”:

  • Weapons: Weapons restrictions (page 100) do not apply.
  • Bait: Bait for wolf hunting is allowed on private lands. It is not legal to use edible meat portions of any game bird or animal, except legally salvaged road kill. For more information and to complete the required form to legally salvage road kill visit idfg.idaho.gov/species/roadkill or call a Fish and Game office, see page 4. Except for wolf hunting incidental to legal baiting with a black bear bait permit or incidental to legal trapping, placing bait on federal land for hunting wolves is subject to federal prosecution (as illegal dumping). Hunting over carcasses or animal parts that have not been placed as bait for hunting is legal.
  • Hunting Hours: A hunter may take wolves outside of hunting hours, only if:
    • On private land, the hunter has written permission from the landowner to hunt outside of hunting hours.
    • On public land (government-owned land), the hunter has obtained a permit from IDFG to hunt outside of hunting hours. IDFG permits may be obtained from Regional Offices. See Page 98 for public lands closed to hunting.
  • Motorized Vehicles: Motorized vehicle restrictions (see pages 104-106) do not apply. Idaho law still prohibits shooting from or across any public highway (the traveled portion of, and the shoulders on each side of, any road maintained by any government entity for public travel, including all bridges, culverts, overpasses, fills, and other structures within the limits of the right-of-way of any such road).
  • Dogs: Hunters may use dogs to pursue wolves. No hound hunter permit is required.
  • Mandatory Check: The 10-day mandatory check requirements still apply. See General Rules.

Wolf Trapping Rules

A person must attend a wolf trapper education class and have a valid trapping license before trapping for wolves. Information on Wolf trapper classes is posted on the Fish and Game at idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/education.

Methods of take: Ground sets are the only legal set allowed for trapping gray wolves. Ground sets are defined as any foothold trap or snare originally set in or on the land, including any traps elevated up to a maximum of 36 inches above the natural ground level. (Size restrictions on body-gripping traps mean they are not allowed for wolves.)

It is illegal:
  • To use any set within 30 feet of any visible bait.
  • To use a dirt hole set with bait unless the bait remains covered at all times to protect raptors and other meat-eating birds from being caught accidentally.
  • To place any ground set on, across, or within ten (10) feet of the edge of any maintained unpaved public trail designated by any city, county, state, or federal transportation or land management agency on the most current official map of the agency.
  • To place any ground set on, across, or within any public highway; EXCEPT ground sets may be placed underneath bridges and within and at culverts that are part of a public highway right-of-way. Public highway is defined as the traveled portion of, and shoulders on each side of, any road maintained by any governmental entity for public travel, and includes all bridges, culverts, overpasses, fills, and other structures within limits of the right-of-way of any such road.
  • To place any ground set incorporating snare, trap, or attached materials within three hundred (300) feet of any designated public campground, trailhead, paved trail, or picnic area. Cage or box live traps are permitted within three hundred (300) feet of designated public campgrounds, trailheads, paved trails, or picnic areas as allowed by city, county, state, and federal law.
  • To place any ground set snare without a break-away device OR cable stop incorporated within the snare loop.
  • To place any foot-hold trap with an inside jaw spread greater than nine (9) inches.
  • To place any ground set body-gripping trap that has a maximum jaw opening when set, of greater than seven and one-half inches measured from the inside edges of the body gripping portions of the jaws, within thirty (30) feet of any bait, lure or other attractant.
  • To trap wolves within 200 yards of the perimeter of any designated dump or sanitary landfill, or within ½ mile of any active Department big game feeding site.
  • To use the edible portions (meat) of a domestic or wild origin game bird, big game, upland game, game fish or any part of protected nongame wildlife, or to use live animals as bait or an attractant. See the following exceptions.
Except it is legal:
  • To trap wolves beyond 30 feet of a naturally killed big game species as long as the carcass is left undisturbed.
  • To trap wolves beyond 30 feet of a legally-salvaged road kill. For more information and to complete the required form to legally-salvage road kill visit our website at idfg.idaho.gov/species/roadkill or call a Fish and Game office, see page 4.

Dispatch: Trapped gray wolves may be dispatched any time of day or night with any rifle or handgun.

Bait: Bait for trapping is any animal parts; except bleached bones or liquid scent.

Incidental Wolf Take: Trappers who do not have wolf tags, but capture a wolf while targeting other species, should contact the nearest Fish and Game Office immediately. If trappers are unable to contact Fish and Game, they should release the wolf and report the capture to the nearest Fish and Game Office as soon as possible.

Caution about Non-Target Catch of Endangered Species: Non-target capture of endangered species (such as grizzly bear and lynx) or other federally protected animals is not authorized for trappers targeting wolves, and non-target captures are subject to federal prosecution. Wolf trappers should avoid locations (such as the Panhandle and Greater Yellowstone Area) at times when endangered species may be captured (such as when grizzly bears are out of dens).

Trappers who capture endangered species should contact the nearest Fish and Game Office for help with safe release of the animal or other assistance, see page 4.

Release of Non-Target Catches: Non-target species are defined as any species caught for which the season is closed or is in excess of the trappers limit. All non-target species caught alive shall be released immediately. If difficulty is encountered releasing a trapped fisher, wolverine, lynx, mountain lion, or wolf please contact Fish and Game immediately for assistance, see page 4.

Any trapper who catches a non-target species that is dead shall:

  • Promptly record the date and species of the animal caught.
  • Report the catch on the mandatory furtaker harvest report form.
  • Remove the animal from the trap and take it into possession.
  • Notify Fish and Game through the local conservation officer or the nearest Fish and Game Office within 72 hours to make arrangements, see page 4.
  • Fish and Game will reimburse trappers $10 for each lynx, wolverine, bobcat, or fisher caught accidentally and turned in. A $10 reward will also be paid for otters accidentally taken after the regional quota has been met.

Closed Statewide: There is no open season for fisher, kit fox, lynx or wolverine.

Traps

Checking Traps: Wolf trappers must visit every trap or snare at least once every 72 hours and remove any catch therein.

Removing Trapped Wolves of Another: No person shall remove a wolf from the trap or snare of another except licensed trappers with a valid wolf tag issued to the individual removing the wolf, wolf trapper certification and written permission from the owner of the trap or snare.

Tags for Traps

All traps or snares set for wolves must have attached to the snare or the chain of every trap, a metal tag bearing in legible English the name and current address of the trapper; or a six- digit number assigned by Fish and Game as it appears on your trapping license adjacent to TRAPPER ID.

For additional trapping rules, see the current Upland Game, Furbearer & Turkey Seasons and Rules.

Printable Version

Download a PDF of the proposed changes to the wolf section of the 2021 Big Game Seasons and Rules Proclamation.
Download Section [PDF 1MB]

Proposed Hunting Seasons

Private Land - Wolf Hunting Seasons July 2021 - June 2022

Units

Season Dates

Notes

Statewide

July 1 - June 30

Expanded methods of take allowed, See page 80

 

 

Public Land - Wolf Hunting Seasons July 2021 - June 2022

Units

Season Dates

Notes

1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 8A, 11, 11A,

13, 19A, 25, 48, 60, 60A, 61,

62A, 63, 63A, 68, 68A, 71,

73A, 74

Aug 1 - June 30

General hunting rules apply (Expanded methods of take not allowed)

4, 4A, 6, 7, 9, 10, 10A, 12, 14, 15,

16, 16A, 17, 18, 19, 20, 20A,

22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31, 33,

34, 35, 36, 36B, 39, 43, 44,

62, 64, 65, 67

Apr 1 - Nov 14

General hunting rules apply (Expanded methods of take not allowed)

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Expanded methods of take allowed, See page 80

21, 21A, 38, 40, 41, 42, 46,

54, 55, 57

July 1 - June 30

General hunting rules apply (Expanded methods of take not allowed)

29, 32, 32A, 36A, 37, 49, 50

Apr 1 - Nov 14

General hunting rules apply (Expanded methods of take not allowed), Motorized Hunting Rule Applies August 30 - November 14 only,

See Pages 104 - 106

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Expanded methods of take allowed, See page 80

30, 30A, 37A, 47, 53, 56

July 1 - June 30

General hunting rules apply (Expanded methods of take not allowed), Motorized Hunting Rule Applies, See Pages 104 - 106

45, 51, 52, 52A, 58, 59, 59A,

66, 66A, 69, 70, 72, 73, 75, 76,

77, 78

Aug 1 - June 30

General hunting rules apply (Expanded methods of take not allowed), Motorized Hunting Rule Applies, See Pages 104 - 106

 

 

Proposed Trapping Seasons

Private Land - Wolf Trapping Seasons July 2021 - June 2022

For legal methods of take see page 81

Units

Season Dates

Notes

1, 2, 3, 4, 4A, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8A,

9, 10A, 11, 11A, 13, 14, 15,

16, 18, 19A, 20A, 21, 21A,

Apr 1 - Nov 14

Foothold traps only

22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28,

29, 30, 30A, 31, 32, 32A,

33, 34, 35, 36, 36A, 36B,

37, 37A, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42,

43, 44, 46, 47, 50, 51, 54,

55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 59A,

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used

60A, 60, 61, 62, 62A, 64,

65, 66, 67, 69

10, 12, 16A, 17, 19, 20, 45,

52, 52A, 53, 63, 63A, 66A,

April 1 – Oct 9

Foothold traps only

68, 68A, 70, 71, 72, 73,

73A, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78

Oct 10 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used

48, 49

July 1 - June 30

Foothold traps only

 

 

 

Public Land - Wolf Trapping Seasons July 2021 - June 2022

For legal methods of take see page 81

Units

Season Dates

Notes

1

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used

2

Oct 10 - Nov 14

Foothold traps only, See note 1, Page 84

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used, See note 1, Page 84

3

Oct 10 - Nov 14

Foothold traps only, See note 2, Page 84

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used, See note 2, Page 84

4, 4A, 7, 9, 15, 18, 20A, 21,

21A, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28,

Sep 10 - Nov 14

Foothold traps only

29, 30, 30A, 31, 32, 32A,

33, 34, 35, 36, 36A, 36B,

37, 37A, 43, 44, 50, 65

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used

5, 8, 8A, 10A, 11, 11A, 13,

14, 16, 19A, 25, 40, 41, 42,

Oct 10 - Nov 14

Foothold traps only

45, 46, 47, 51, 52, 52A, 53,

54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 59A,

60A, 63, 63A, 64, 66, 66A,

67, 68, 68A, 69, 70, 71, 72,

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used

73, 73A, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78

 

 

 

Public Land - Wolf Trapping Seasons July 2021 - June 2022

For legal methods of take see page 81

Units

Season Dates

Notes

6

Sep 10 - Oct 9

Foothold traps only, See note 3, Page 84

Oct 10 - Nov 14

Foothold traps only

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used

10, 12, 16A, 17, 19, 20

Sep 10 - Oct 9

Foothold traps only

Oct 10 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used

38

Oct 10 - Nov 14

Foothold traps only, See note 4, Page 84

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used, See note 4, Page 84

39

Sep 10 - Nov 14

Foothold traps only, See note 5, Page 84

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps and snares may be used, See note 5, Page 84

60, 61, 62, 62A

Nov 15 - Mar 31

Foothold traps only

48, 49

None

 

 


Notes:

  1. Only that portion of Unit 2 north of Highway 53 is open.
  2. Only that portion of Unit 3 within the Little North Fork Coeur d'Alene River drainage is open
  3. Only that portion of Unit 6 within the North Fork of the St Joe River drainage is open.
  4. That portion of Unit 38 within Ada County closed.
  5. That portion of Unit 39 within Ada County is closed, Trapping open in that portion of Unit 39 within Boise and Elmore Counties only.
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