ELK CITY, Idaho -- Four more wolves were killed near Elk City last month as part of an ongoing effort to push the animals away from the small mountain hamlet.
Dave Cadwallader, supervisor of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's Clearwater Region at Lewiston, said four wolves have been caught in foot-hold traps since late June when another wolf was shot and killed by Idaho County deputies.
The traps were set by agents from the federal Wildlife Services Agency and are being monitored by the agents, conservation officers from the department and sheriff's deputies.
"It's so far up there and Wildlife Services is so undermanned," he said. "The local guys are checking the traps on a daily basis."
Cadwallader issued kill permits to the deputies shortly after Congress removed Endangered Species Act protections from Idaho and Montana wolves last May.
The effort to target wolves there came following months of complaints from Elk City residents who reported frequent wolf sightings over the winter. Those reports included domestic dogs and cattle being attacked by wolves.
In June, after only one wolf had been shot by deputies, Cadwallader approved the trapping effort.
He said Monday two large calves were attacked and killed within the Elk City Township even after the four wolves were trapped and killed.
The town of Elk City sits within the 36-square-mile township that is a mix of private property, state land and federal ground overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. The city sits in the southeastern corner of the township, and Cadwallader said the trapping occurred about two miles north of the town.
He extended the order that allows the trappers, deputies and conservation offices to kill wolves until Aug. 29, just a few days before the start of wolf hunting season. "I didn't see any reason to continue the kill order once the season opens," he said.
Last week the Idaho Department of Fish and Game approved a wolf hunting season that will run from Sept. 1 to March 31 in most of the state, including the Dworshak-Elk City Zone.
The Lolo and Selway zones will remain open through June 30. Trapping will be allowed in the Lolo, Selway and Middle Fork zones and parts of the Dworshak-Elk City and Panhandle zones. The season will run from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.
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(c) 2011, Lewiston Tribune, Idaho
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