Helo Wolf Hunting In Idaho

LEWISTON, Idaho (via AP) -- Wildlife managers plan to use helicopter gunners and government trappers to kill wolves roaming the Lolo Zone, a remote, rugged area in the north-central part of the state once populated by some of Idaho's biggest elk herds.

Trapping efforts will begin later this month, coinciding with the current hunting and trapping season for wolves, said Dave Cadwallader, regional supervisor for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Helicopter gunning will begin later this winter.

Both efforts are part of a new multipronged strategy designed to better manage and control wolves in the region where elk herds are struggling to maintain historic population numbers.

"My goal is not to wait," Cadwallader told the Lewiston Tribune in a story published Friday. "Let's layer all of those tools over the top of each other and try to implement each of them."

Idaho's wolf-hunting season opened in late August, but so far only six wolves have been killed in the Lolo Zone, which includes the Upper Lochsa and North Fork Clearwater river basins. State wildlife managers had hoped to remove up to 60 wolves this season from the area, which has seen its elk numbers decline from a high of about 16,000 in the late 1980s to about 2,000 today.

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