In an effort to lessen the impact of predation on elk in game areas, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is considering a plan to pay trappers to eliminate wolves from those units.
Regional managers for the DFG are still only considering the option as they look for a way to lower costs associated with wolf management. The proposed plan would allow the department to pay trappers’ expenses to hunt wolves.
Trappers may not just be responsible for trapping and killing wolves, but for placing radio collars on them as part of the job description. This is meant to balance management of the predatory species. DFG wants more wolves gone from game elk areas, but it doesn’t want to kill too many wolves.
Trapping is already allowed until the end of March in parts of north and central Idaho, but DFG needs wolves to be targeted in the elk hunting units where not enough wolves are being harvested.
The department contracted the USDA Wildlife Services agency in 2010 to do aerial shooting of the predators, but trapping has proven to be more effective and cheaper, according to the Idaho Statesman.
The agency has already come under fire from the group Defenders of Wildlife which claims this method is not responsible wildlife management. DFG estimated the wolf population to be around 500 at the end of the season last year.