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$1,000 for shooting a wolf?

 

Get paid to shoot a wolf? Well, not quite, but it’s the next best thing. If you are planning to hunt or trap wolves in Idaho you can take advantage of this program and get a reimbursement of up to $1,000 per wolf if you are successful! That’s right, keep your receipts, successfully hunt or trap a wolf and get a check to reimburse your costs! The Foundation for Wildlife Management or F4WM was launched back in 2012. While this is nothing new to many of us, it is worth taking note of, especially since wolves are more prevalent in many of the places we hunt, and for some of us wolves are at or near the top of our big game hitlist. Idaho has plenty of wolves; with well over 1000 canis lupis statewide, there are many reasons for a group like this to exist, and the benefits from their success speak volumes. Participants have been reimbursed for over 700 wolf harvests through this program, and total payouts are only $430k! When you break this down by unit cost, it amounts to just over $600 per wolf which is incredibly low, especially when you compare it with the cost of 7-9k per wolf that state agencies such as IDFG pay for the same result. Not only do hunters and trappers come out with an extra incentive, but we as sportsmen and conservationists are winning as well. Anytime we can manage these predators and keep costs down, it’s a win-win across the board. What is the catch? Well, you’ll have to join up and become a F4WM member before you harvest a wolf (*when funding is available from IDFG this is not required, see website for details). The cost is $35 per/year and MUST be done prior to harvesting your wolf. After that you hunt or trap and when you are successful you submit your harvest slip along with receipts and the area/region of which you shot the wolf and you will be reimbursed for your hunt! If you check out the system online it is pretty straight forward. There is a sliding scale for payment which is calculated by region and the need for wolf removal therein. For example, a wolf taken in “any region” statewide is reimbursable up to $450 however, if you hunt or trap a wolf in the Panhandle unit 1 or Lolo units you can receive up to $1,000 or if you knock one down in the Panhandle in any unit not meeting elk population objectives it is reimbursable up to $750.

Wolves have a place in the chain, that is not being questioned here, that is a topic for another day. However, wolves left unmanaged will multiply as much as 40% annually, and currently with hunting and trapping efforts we still see wolf populations growing by roughly 25-30% annually. This means we are not keeping up with the reproduction rate! If you look at elk population statistics, especially in areas such as the Lolo region in Idaho or the Gardiner/Yellowstone elk herd in Montana you will find a story of devastation and unsustainable loss. Don’t take my word for it, dig in and read the stats yourself. The wolf is an amazing apex predator, cunning, beautiful and more effective at killing than we could have ever imagined. While the beauty of these creatures is one to behold, we also must strive for balance. As mentioned previously, when we as hunters keep populations in check we save money, elk, deer and livestock and create a sustainable hunting economy for ourselves and future generations. F4WM makes this process easier and rewarding; it is definitely something to check out and add to your options if you plan to hunt or trap in Idaho. 

About Jordan Breshears

Jordan Breshears

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9 comments

  1. You are so wrong. Sadly. Unlike caribou or moose, or deer, wolves are far less populated and killing the members of the pack (family) especially the alphas, destroys the family unit. Would you be so quick to hunt your dogs? Wolves were once hunted to near extinction as a result of fear, ignorance, greed, and/or misunderstanding their importance to the balance of their local ecosystem. As a result Zion & Bryce Canyon experienced an explosion of deer populations, which in turn led to extreme disease and death in the deer population. It wasn’t until the wolf was re-introduced that the ecosystems balance themselves out. The same thing happened in Yellowstone. The same thing happened in many other locals around the world. It breaks my heart and puts a pit in my stomach when I encounter fellow hunters who still feel they need to hunt the wolf as if it needs to be a controlled population (like caribou or deer). It is wrong. Very very wrong.

    • Couple things, you can’t hunt a domestic dog. They have no idea what it is to be hunted. You could certainly kill one though.
      Also when were wolves introduced to Zion and Bryce?
      If your heat is broken go fix it. There’s doctors who specialize in that sort of thing.
      If a wolf kills another wolf or a wolf cub does the family unit suffer? Or do they just keep breeding?
      If a wolf eats a deer with CWD and travels fifty miles and takes a shit. Isn’t that ground now infected with prions that further spreads the disease?
      So many questions and opinions. I guess we’ll just agree to disagree.
      I hope to kill a wolf someday.

    • Kat,

      Respectfully, I think you should continue to look at all sides of this conversation. If you want to be better informed, please review packs of Timber Wolves and Elk, Deer herds in the same area over 5 to 10 years and understand that all species ecosystems have been changed by man. The only way to have all species is to control all in some areas. MN, WI, upper MI have no problem with Timber Wolves because they will simply run out of prey (food) and have to move on. The prey there doesn’t migrate all together, herd up together etc. In the western US, that problem exists and to manage the prey without managing the predator is not management.

      Living in Northern MN, I certainly enjoyed seeing Timber Wolves. The pack ebbs and flows in population and individuals, like most species. Its a good place for them mostly not managed.

      Seeing what has happening in Idaho, MT, WY, its simply not managing the species and a problem as herds move well below carrying capacity, while the Timbers move high above carrying capacity in the same units. The wildlife biologist don’t get it right on these numbers every year, but there isn’t any state moving the needle in controlling this apex, top of the food chain predator, towards any number other than up and more animals.
      Colorado where I live now, is thinking they need to re-introduce Timbers.

      My vote is show me a western state managing them and hitting states wildlife biologists goals and I am in.

      I haven’t seen that in the above mentioned states, so instead as we “love” animals to be left alone, we are slowing working on being out of prey, which will lead to predators starving off as well.

      I think the states wildlife biologist job is hard enough. Lets figure out how to control the species and then figure out the correct number to achieve a balance.

      By the way, to my knowledge there is no Timber Wolves or Grey Wolves in Zion or Bryce Canyons. There are a lot of Coyotes. I suspect someday there will be, but my search shows nothing confirmed. Most of the Timber Wolves in MN are between 90 – 110 # and stand as tall as a Weimaraner. Coyotes are 1/2 that size and at distance can look similar. I can say that I have confused the two a few times myself. The same problem also exists with Bobcat and Lynx. Last Lynx I saw in the wild was over 90#, but its feet where simply huge…..again very tall. Bobcats last elk season were close to 30#. Very cute and fast.

      I also agree that we don’t need more disease with the prey species. I am un sure if Chronic Wasting Disease would have been prevented or even slowed with having more predators. I would like to think so. We also have problems with Elk, Moose, Deer and Bison with other diseases. Again balance would be very useful.

  2. I have tried for many years to get wolves as a recognized trophy species with B&C and P&Y so far to no progress.
    Don

  3. Jordan’s article and comments are logical and simply based on good Wildlife science ! We all understand maintaining balance – that applies to life and wildlife. Barring eradication hunters/trappers will not be enough to manage wolves to a perfect carrying capacity, we’re an element/variable in the total equation, not the total solution. Remember – wolves in lower 48 were eliminated more by effective introduction strategy of using disease introduction into wolf population – u idiots that think they were hunted to extinction are clueless. Getting mange, scabies into wolves is waaay more effective than bullets and traps, it’s been proven long time ago, it’s how it was done ! Been hunting / trapping wolves in Alaska forever and It never fully manages their numbers at ideal balance levels with ungulates.

  4. the only impact hunting wolves has is it reduces what the state has to pay out and reduce the states cost to remove problem wolves. look at the quotas and harvest data over the last several years. The quotas aren’t being met and continue to go higher. It’s guaranteed the states pay professional hunters and trappers. It’s just a growing problem!

  5. Thank you for the write up and support!
    A few minor corrections:
    Reimbursements are currently $500 statewide
    $750 in all units not meeting elk management objectives statewide (not just Panhandle units)
    $1000 in units 1, 10 & 12.

    (Next season reimbursement amounts will be announced soon)

    We have now removed more than 800 wolves from Idaho with a little less than $525,000, saving more than 7 million dollars should the Idaho wolf control board have been required to remove those same wolves. 65% of that being state tax funded ($4,680,000). We have worked diligently to unite Sportsman organizations with concerned citizens including the farming and ranching communities to create one United voice which we has been brought to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to promote liberalized Wolf hunting and trapping seasons. As a result, sportsmen are currently setting records for Wolf Harvest in the state of Idaho. Our hope is that this may be the first year in history where Sportsman actually Harvest more wolves than were born during a single season.
    Please join and support our program at F4WM.ORG ! Thank you for your support

    Sincerely,
    F4WM Executive Director
    Justin Webb

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