Wednesday, October 14, 2009

3rd wolf killed in Southern Mountains zone

Statewide number of wolf kills rises to 47

Express Staff Writer

A third wolf has been killed in Idaho's Southern Mountains 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.

Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Ed Mitchell said the wolf was killed Saturday in Squaw Creek Canyon near Challis. He said the location is far enough from the Wood River Valley that the wolf was not likely to have been a member of the Phantom Hill pack.

During this hunting season, 10 wolves can legally be killed in the Southern Mountain zone and 220 in Idaho.

So far, 47 wolf kills have been reported in the state, with 10 taking place between Friday and Monday. Mitchell said that the jump wasn't a surprise as deer hunting season opened Saturday.

"There are a lot of people afield," Mitchell said. "I'm actually a little, tiny bit surprised that the number is this low."

In Montana, where wolf hunting opened Sept. 15, 11 wolves have been killed. The statewide quota is 75.

Because nine of the wolves were killed along the border of Yellowstone National Park, Montana wildlife commissioners have suspended wolf hunting in that area and are considering other options for the remainder of the season.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the commissioners, concerned about the concentrated kills, are considering reallocating the state's quota or shutting down the hunt in a portion of the state.

Jon Duval:

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