Phantom Hill Wolf Killed….Idaho Count Goes Up to 29

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Phantom Hill wolf killed

29 wolves shot in Idaho this season

By JON DUVAL
Express Staff Writer

A member of the Phantom Hill wolf pack pauses for a rest in the central Wood River Valley last winter. Photo by Courtesy photo

A female member of the Phantom Hill wolf pack was killed Monday, the first wolf to be shot in the Wood River Valley since hunting opened in the region on Thursday, Oct. 1.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Lee Garwood confirmed that the kill occurred in the Eagle Creek drainage, north of Ketchum. He said the wolf, which had been collared for tracking purposes, was about 2 years old. Garwood said a second wolf may have been close to the female when it was shot.

“There’s at least nine or 10 wolves remaining in the Phantom Hill pack,” he said. “It’s difficult to say exactly, as we didn’t see them in a group the last time we flew over the area.”

The wolf was the second killed in the state’s Southern Mountains wolf zone, which includes the Wood River Valley and extends east across the Pioneer, White Knob, Lost River, Lemhi and Beaverhead mountain ranges to the Montana border. Ten wolves can be killed in that zone.

Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Ed Mitchell said the first wolf killed in the zone was shot in Unit 51, northeast of Mackay, which is over Trail Creek Summit northeast of Sun Valley. Mitchell said he did not believe that that wolf was part of the Phantom Hill pack due to the distance from the pack’s usual territory in the Wood River Valley.

The Phantom Hill pack became well known to the public last winter when it traveled near residential neighborhoods.

To date, 28 wolves have been killed in Idaho this season, with a high of seven taken in the Sawtooth Zone, north of the Wood River Valley. The state quota is 220, plus another 35 that can be killed by the Nez Perce Tribe.

In Montana, where wolf hunting opened Sept. 15, 11 wolves have been killed. The state’s quota has been set at 77.

Mitchell said the recent spike in the number of wolves killed, which jumped from 15 for all of September to almost double that in the span of a week, was due to the fact that two-thirds of the 12 zones opened last Thursday.

Mitchell said he expected the numbers to jump again once other big-game hunts open. He said that although the dates vary among hunting zones across the state, deer season opens in most areas Oct. 10 and elk season on Oct. 15.

“The only surprise would be if we don’t see a spike when these hunters get into the field,” Mitchell said.

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.

“It’s sad because it was the pack we were using for education,” she said.

Stone said she saw another wolf near Eagle Creek on Monday and shot in the air to scare it farther away from state Highway 75.

The wolf hunt in Idaho started earlier this year after the federal government removed the state’s wolves from the federal endangered species list.

Jon Duval: jduval@mtexpress.com

http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005128163

Categories posted in: Idaho wolf hunt, Let wolves live in peace, gray wolf 

Tags: Idaho wolf hunt,  wolf intolerance

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear wolf lovers, i dont understand why you are so upset about opening hunting for wolfs. There in no predetor to keep wolves in check. Someone has to do it.I am a huge lover of all animals and that is why i believe the opening of wolf hunting is a good thing. I will share a story of the effect of wolfs in just one small area the i have hunted for several years. We havent had wolves in this area until last year. This area has been a place where elk come to breed and there have been an abundance of elk in this area. The first week i was in the hunt, i was surprised to find very little sign of elk and thought maybe they hadnt moved in yet. But after several long days of hiking throughout the season, elk were still very scarce and i came across many wolf droppings.
    I’m not saying that they totally ate all the elk but they definitely disturb their breading grounds. What i did see was the extremely low grouse and squirrel population, also 3 dead coyotes, and two massacred sheep and this is in less than a five mile radius. Wolves dont just kill to eat they also kill for fun. Im sorry but if i had to chose i would chose the many for the few. I dont know if you all are against hunting or not, but i am a hunter i was raised with this lifestyle and i would not know what i would do with myself without hunting and fishing. Just so you know i did not by a tag for wolf because i have never seen a wolf just the aftermath and i guarentee you that the hunters will never be able to control the wolf population because they are too illusive. The reason wolves became non existent in our area was because they trapped and poisoned them, they are here to stay now. My guess is that they will eventually have to resort to helicopter population control like in Alaska, Russia and other areas.

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    • Hi Casey,
      I respect your view but obviously if you read my blog you know I strongly disagree with you. I have said this over and over but elk have changed their browsing behavior due to the presence of the wolf. So they may not be as visible but there are 150,000 of them living in the state of Montana. I always marvel at the irony of hunters who are so concerned about elk because they want to kill them and not the wolf. Hunters see wolves as their competition. But I’m sorry to say the wolf has done more for the elk then hunters ever could.

      “Few prey species have been more closely honed by the strengths of the predator then the elk by the wolf. In size, speed, grace, all the way down to her lightening quick hooves, the elk owes much of her streamlined design to the great canine’s pursuit through the ages.

      Her extravagant trot and nose up posture, may have evolved not just to keep an eye on predators but to impress them with her fitness. During calving season the elk have every keen sense attuned to ambush in the deep grass.. Elk are fierce defenders of their newborns and many a wolf has been trampled by an outraged elk mother.”NG…Return of A Legend

      How ironic you think wolves kill for fun when over twenty thousand plus wolf tags have been sold for the right to kill 295 wolves. I think trophy hunting a wolf qualifies as killing for fun. Humans love to kill animals for fun. So to accuse the wolf of it seems a little hypocritical, don’t ya think? Wolves are predators and their business is killing. I don’t assign motives to it.

      The states and feds have managed predators and other wildlife exclusively for hunters and ranchers to the exclusion of everyone else. It’s time for other voices to be heard. Every American has the right to view wildlife and most aren’t interested in shooting them. So you may find “wildlife management” to your liking but I certainly don’t and I can attest there are many more people in this country that don’t appreciate America’s wildlife being blown away for the benefit of Agriculture and hunting interests. And I’m specifically directing this at Wildlife Services who kills so much of our wildlife every year. It’s not acceptable.

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