Wolf concerns: Part two | TSLN.com

Wolf concerns: Part two

Ranchers experiencing livestock losses or injured animals should contact the state Department of Fish and Game, or USDA Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as soon as possible, according to Todd Grimm with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Our guys answer phones on weekends and at night and will come help you determine whether it’s a wolf problem,” he said. If USDA officials determine it was a wolf kill, the rancher can be compensated.

If it will be awhile before the government agent can arrive, try to preserve the evidence, such as tracks or carcass. “If you can throw a tarp over it to keep other animals from feeding on it, this helps. Some ranchers bring the carcass to us, or put it in a freezer until we get there,” said Grimm.

Sometimes there’s no way to preserve the carcass for examination, or even find it, as when cattle disappear on summer range. “In Idaho there’s a missing livestock fund, available through the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation. Ranchers can obtain claim forms. There’s a $100,000 fund that can be distributed to stockmen. Last year they paid 42 cents on the dollar, for missing animals,” Grimm said. This can help a rancher who has an abnormal loss, but there must be firm evidence that losses were due to wolves.

“The Defenders of Wildlife still compensate ranchers for confirmed kills, and 50 percent of probable kills. To confirm a kill, USFWS has to be involved. We fill out a form on every depredation investigation, stating whether it’s confirmed, probable, possible or other,” Grimm said.

USFWS has state offices that can help ranchers with questions or depredation problems. In any state, dial 866-487-3297 to be routed to the Wildlife Service’s office in your state. Local game wardens also have contact numbers for USDA people who will examine a suspected wolf kill.

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While wolves were fully protected by the federal government, the 10-J rule allowed for management of problem wolves (relocation or removal) in certain regions. But until wolves were established as a breeding population, it was illegal to kill any, even if they were killing livestock.

“After numbers rose above the USFWS objective, then if you caught them in the act of biting and grasping livestock that were still alive, you could shoot at them. But you couldn’t kill a wolf that killed your animals. Then they changed the rule again, and you could shoot wolves that were chasing or harassing livestock, but not if the wolves were merely on your place,” said Grimm.

As of May 4, 2009 wolves were delisted as an endangered species in Idaho, Montana and parts of eastern Oregon and Washington, which put them under control of those states, and the 10-J rule does not apply anymore. “The state has total authority over management of wolves and is allowed to set a hunting season,” Grimm said.

“If a person has wolf problems they can still call us. Now, however, the wolf is a game animal, with hunting rules set by each state,” he says. In Idaho, an unlimited number of tags can sold, but there are quotas for each hunting unit and the season closes in a unit once that number is met.

Ranchers cannot shoot wolves out of season, as its considered a game violation. In Idaho, ranchers who suffer livestock losses can work with Fish and Game Departments and get “shoot on sight” permits, valid for 45 days.

Without a special permit, it is illegal in Idaho for animal owners to shoot a wolf, unless it is actually in the act of attacking or killing domestic animals. If a wolf is attacking animals and shot at, the incident must be reported to Fish and Game within 72 hours.

Ranchers experiencing livestock losses or injured animals should contact the state Department of Fish and Game, or USDA Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as soon as possible, according to Todd Grimm with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Our guys answer phones on weekends and at night and will come help you determine whether it’s a wolf problem,” he said. If USDA officials determine it was a wolf kill, the rancher can be compensated.

If it will be awhile before the government agent can arrive, try to preserve the evidence, such as tracks or carcass. “If you can throw a tarp over it to keep other animals from feeding on it, this helps. Some ranchers bring the carcass to us, or put it in a freezer until we get there,” said Grimm.

Sometimes there’s no way to preserve the carcass for examination, or even find it, as when cattle disappear on summer range. “In Idaho there’s a missing livestock fund, available through the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation. Ranchers can obtain claim forms. There’s a $100,000 fund that can be distributed to stockmen. Last year they paid 42 cents on the dollar, for missing animals,” Grimm said. This can help a rancher who has an abnormal loss, but there must be firm evidence that losses were due to wolves.

“The Defenders of Wildlife still compensate ranchers for confirmed kills, and 50 percent of probable kills. To confirm a kill, USFWS has to be involved. We fill out a form on every depredation investigation, stating whether it’s confirmed, probable, possible or other,” Grimm said.

USFWS has state offices that can help ranchers with questions or depredation problems. In any state, dial 866-487-3297 to be routed to the Wildlife Service’s office in your state. Local game wardens also have contact numbers for USDA people who will examine a suspected wolf kill.

While wolves were fully protected by the federal government, the 10-J rule allowed for management of problem wolves (relocation or removal) in certain regions. But until wolves were established as a breeding population, it was illegal to kill any, even if they were killing livestock.

“After numbers rose above the USFWS objective, then if you caught them in the act of biting and grasping livestock that were still alive, you could shoot at them. But you couldn’t kill a wolf that killed your animals. Then they changed the rule again, and you could shoot wolves that were chasing or harassing livestock, but not if the wolves were merely on your place,” said Grimm.

As of May 4, 2009 wolves were delisted as an endangered species in Idaho, Montana and parts of eastern Oregon and Washington, which put them under control of those states, and the 10-J rule does not apply anymore. “The state has total authority over management of wolves and is allowed to set a hunting season,” Grimm said.

“If a person has wolf problems they can still call us. Now, however, the wolf is a game animal, with hunting rules set by each state,” he says. In Idaho, an unlimited number of tags can sold, but there are quotas for each hunting unit and the season closes in a unit once that number is met.

Ranchers cannot shoot wolves out of season, as its considered a game violation. In Idaho, ranchers who suffer livestock losses can work with Fish and Game Departments and get “shoot on sight” permits, valid for 45 days.

Without a special permit, it is illegal in Idaho for animal owners to shoot a wolf, unless it is actually in the act of attacking or killing domestic animals. If a wolf is attacking animals and shot at, the incident must be reported to Fish and Game within 72 hours.

Ranchers experiencing livestock losses or injured animals should contact the state Department of Fish and Game, or USDA Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as soon as possible, according to Todd Grimm with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Our guys answer phones on weekends and at night and will come help you determine whether it’s a wolf problem,” he said. If USDA officials determine it was a wolf kill, the rancher can be compensated.

If it will be awhile before the government agent can arrive, try to preserve the evidence, such as tracks or carcass. “If you can throw a tarp over it to keep other animals from feeding on it, this helps. Some ranchers bring the carcass to us, or put it in a freezer until we get there,” said Grimm.

Sometimes there’s no way to preserve the carcass for examination, or even find it, as when cattle disappear on summer range. “In Idaho there’s a missing livestock fund, available through the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation. Ranchers can obtain claim forms. There’s a $100,000 fund that can be distributed to stockmen. Last year they paid 42 cents on the dollar, for missing animals,” Grimm said. This can help a rancher who has an abnormal loss, but there must be firm evidence that losses were due to wolves.

“The Defenders of Wildlife still compensate ranchers for confirmed kills, and 50 percent of probable kills. To confirm a kill, USFWS has to be involved. We fill out a form on every depredation investigation, stating whether it’s confirmed, probable, possible or other,” Grimm said.

USFWS has state offices that can help ranchers with questions or depredation problems. In any state, dial 866-487-3297 to be routed to the Wildlife Service’s office in your state. Local game wardens also have contact numbers for USDA people who will examine a suspected wolf kill.

While wolves were fully protected by the federal government, the 10-J rule allowed for management of problem wolves (relocation or removal) in certain regions. But until wolves were established as a breeding population, it was illegal to kill any, even if they were killing livestock.

“After numbers rose above the USFWS objective, then if you caught them in the act of biting and grasping livestock that were still alive, you could shoot at them. But you couldn’t kill a wolf that killed your animals. Then they changed the rule again, and you could shoot wolves that were chasing or harassing livestock, but not if the wolves were merely on your place,” said Grimm.

As of May 4, 2009 wolves were delisted as an endangered species in Idaho, Montana and parts of eastern Oregon and Washington, which put them under control of those states, and the 10-J rule does not apply anymore. “The state has total authority over management of wolves and is allowed to set a hunting season,” Grimm said.

“If a person has wolf problems they can still call us. Now, however, the wolf is a game animal, with hunting rules set by each state,” he says. In Idaho, an unlimited number of tags can sold, but there are quotas for each hunting unit and the season closes in a unit once that number is met.

Ranchers cannot shoot wolves out of season, as its considered a game violation. In Idaho, ranchers who suffer livestock losses can work with Fish and Game Departments and get “shoot on sight” permits, valid for 45 days.

Without a special permit, it is illegal in Idaho for animal owners to shoot a wolf, unless it is actually in the act of attacking or killing domestic animals. If a wolf is attacking animals and shot at, the incident must be reported to Fish and Game within 72 hours.

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