News of the Idaho wolves has been quiet and non-controversial
for months, but one of the new 1996 wolves was caught in a
trap set by the federal agency Animal Damage Control near
Cascade, Idaho. The two year old wolf tried to drag the trap
across an adjacent stream and drowned. The wolf died on June 23.
Layne Bangerter of ADC said he was sure the dead wolf was the
same animal that attacked livestock owned by Brad Little; and
several miles away, by Phil Davis.
The attack on Little's calf was witnessed by a neighbor who fired
a shot and drove the animal away. Bangerter claimed that the
wolf likely killed two of Davis' calves.
Little, a well known Idaho rancher, said the calf would be worth
about $300 at maturity. If the wolf dies, he said he wouldn't
ask Defenders of Wildlife for the compensation payment they give
to all who lose livestock to wolves. "I'm not a big fan of compen-
sation," said Little, in the story in the Boise "Idaho Statesman"
Cascade, Idaho, is on the western side of the state. About 4 or 5
of new wolves have been inhabiting the Lick Creek Mountains and
Secesh River areas several miles east of Cascade.
Bob Sears, outspoken head of the Idaho Cattle Association, said
he would complain to the Idaho congressional delegation. He also
said he hoped that something could be done to stop plans to re-
introduce grizzly bears into central Idaho, a plan that is being
studied by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He was quoted in
a second "Statesman" article as expressing his belief that wolves
will move closer to Cascade and McCall (a thriving tourist town),
and attack pets and children as well as livestock (shades of
Senator Conrad Burns who claimed a Yellowstone wolf would kill a
child before 1995 was over).
Assuming that B21 actually attacked the calves, it was the first
attack by a wolf in Idaho (unless one counts the "attack" on Gene
Hussey's calf back in late January 1995 near Salmon, Idaho. The Fish
and Wildlife's Services lab in Ashland, Oregon, concluded that
wolf B13 was eating a stillborn calf when it was shot by an unknown
The death of B21 is the third death of an Idaho wolf: B13 was shot,
B4 was killed by a cougar in Montana, B3 disappeared in March 1995.
Its fate is unknown.
The gray wolf recovery plan for Idaho estimated that when the Idaho
wolf population was recovered, an average of 67 head of livestock
per year would be killed by wolves. Defenders of Wildlife has
promised to reimburse for any livestock killed by wolves. Last winter
Defenders gave about $250 dollars to an Emigrant, Montana couple when
two, and perhaps more, of their sheep were killed by a dispersing
Yellowstone Park wolf. When the offending wolf returned a second time,
it was shot by ADC.
ADC also accidentally killed a wolf in nothern Idaho early in 1995. This
wolf was not a reintroduced wolf, but a wild wolf under the full pro-
tection of the Endangered Species Act.
© 1996 Ralph Maughan
Not to be reprinted, archived, redistributed, etc., without permission.
© 1996 Ralph Maughan