July 19, 2012

Commission oks limited bait use for wolf trapping

By Niels Nokkentved, IDFG

   The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved the limited use of legally salvaged wildlife as bait for trapping wolves in Panhandle wolf management zone.

   The rule will apply only to units 1, 4, 4A, 5, 6, 7 and 9 in the Panhandle wolf management zone, which are open to trapping during the 2012-2013 wolf trapping season.

   Fish and Game staff had recommended holding the proposed rule while evaluating the results of the first year of wolf trapping.

   Commissioner Tony McDermott, however, expressed concern of hunters in the Panhandle about the number of wolves in the region. Additional wolves are coming in from Canada and from Montana.

   Commissioners approved the proposal and an amendment to the 2012-2013 wolf trapping season in the Panhandle seasons and rules approved in March. Wolf trapping in the Panhandle will be open from Nov. 15, 2012, to March 31, 2013.

   Salvaged road kill is not allowed for use in hunting wolves or for trapping of other animals. The commission allowed its use only in the Panhandle. Using salvaged road kill as bait for hunting or trapping wolves in the rest of the state is illegal.

   Commissioners also approved a proposed rule that would allow the use of wolf carcasses as bait for trapping in units open to trapping.

   In other action, the commission approved a list of proposed rule changes including rules that would:

   Allow trappers to use a rimfire rifle or handgun or muzzle-loaded handgun to kill a gray wolf in a trap or snare.

   Allow trappers to dispatch a wolf in a trap or snare outside big game hunting hours.

   Clarify the kind of trap sets legal for wolf trapping and snaring.

   These are all temporary rules that go into effect immediately, but they must be approved by the 2013 Legislature to remain in effect.