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David Sparks Ph.d Managing Wolves
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Sportsman's Spotlight
Date: June 27, 2019

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A chat with Idaho Fish and Game public information supervisor Rodger Phillips about managing wolves. “There are all kinds of different ways in which various states are handling the wolf problem. These are my words, I under score the term problem. Wondered what's your position on handling the wolf problem.

We manage wolves just like we do our other major predators which would be black bears and mountain lions. We've been hunting, and unlike other big game animals, trapping wolves for about a decade now. So we've been kind of adjusting our management as we go along. We have some pretty liberal hunting seasons and some fairly liberal trapping seasons for wolves as well and part of the strategy is to maintain those populations and where we think that we need less wolves, be able to take a few more each year unchecked.

Wouldn't these guys just run rampant.

I don't know about run rampant because when they were still federally protected we saw that those populations increased to pretty good levels and then we started hunting and trapping and we've seen them kind of stabilize or go down a little bit. So it's awfully hard to say what would happen because wolves also happen to be territorial. And when you get x number of wolves in a given area they're going to start turning on each other. So we started seeing some of that wolves. I wouldn't say managing their own populations at all. But there's not unlimited growth there for them as a species because of their territorial nature.

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