Wolf In Idaho: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Wolf In Idaho
Wolf In Idaho: Everything You Need To Know

The reintroduction of wolves into the state of Idaho has only generated a lot of debates between stakeholders. Especially now the state has seen more problems than before with the effects of the population increasing.

So, what exactly are the reasons for these controversies? 

Below I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the wolves in Idaho and the problems prevailing because of both the anti- and pro-wolf sides.

Are There Wolves In Idaho?

Gray wolves were once found throughout the state of Idaho; however, mistreatment and, ultimately, poisoning started soon after European settlement. 

Then, wolves were again introduced into major regions of Idaho in 1995 in a measure to promote healing of the gray wolves in the Northern Rockies regions. 

Currently, there are wolves present in Idaho, with most of them occupying the central and northern areas of the state, as well as Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem 

How Many Wolves Are In Idaho Now? And Which Counties Have Wolf?

The estimated population of wolves in Idaho is about 1,500 inhabitants. Wolves can be seen throughout the state in many counties, but the highest engagements are in the central and northern parts of the state. 

A few of the counties with substantial wolf populations are Blaine, Boise, Custer, Lemhi, Valley, Adams, Clearwater, and Bonner Counties.

It is important to note that the wolves are in these areas of Idaho, their allocation is not consistent and they prefer to live in locations with appropriate prey and habitat availability. Besides, wolves are also well-known to move around in long stretches and their settlements can coincide with numerous counties.

When Did Wolves Go Extinct In Idaho?

Wolf In Idaho
Wolf In Idaho: Everything You Need To Know

Wolves were not totally extinct in Idaho, however, they were eliminated from the state in the earlier 1900s. During the 1930s, they had been eliminated from almost all of the southern 48 states in the U.S. because of trapping, hunting, and government-mandated predator management projects.

The final documented wolf sighting occurred in 1946 in Idaho when a gray wolf was hunted in the central region of the state. From there on, there were no documented sightings of wolves in the state until their reintroduction of wolves in Idaho in the mid-1990s.

Also Check Our Guide On Wolves In US

What Was The Big Wolf Killed In Idaho?

The biggest wolf killed in Idaho was in the year 2002 in the St. Joe region and was estimated to weigh around 180 pounds. 

Are Wolves A Problem In Idaho?

On average, there are about 1,500 wolves habited in Idaho, though the population of wolves keep fluctuating over the decade. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game  desires to keep the number nearer to 500.

This is because the hunters and ranchers view wolves as a problem as they prey on their gaming animals and livestock, which can result in reduced possibilities for hunters’ financial failures for ranchers. 

Additionally, a few people might see wolves as a possible danger to human safety, though there have been only a few reported cases of wolves attacking people.

On the other hand, wolves play an important role in the ecosystem and in maintaining fit populations of other animals. They also help in the management of smaller predators  populations like coyotes, which can aid ranchers by decreasing predation on livestock.

On the whole, the managing of wolves requires balancing the requirements of various stakeholders and taking in a few factors, like the wolf population size, the prey availability, and the possible consequences on other wildlife animals and ecosystems. 

How Big Is A Wolf In Idaho?

The gray wolves that inhabited Idaho are anywhere from 26 to 36 inches tall in height at shoulder level and are from 4 to 6 feet long in length from the tip of the nose to their tail.

Usually, male gray wolves are larger than the female ones. With the males weighing up to anywhere between 100 to 130 pounds and the females weighing up to 80 to 110 pounds. The biggest male wolf weighed 180 pounds. 

Also Check Our Guide On Wolves In Illinois

Why Is Idaho Killing So Many Wolves?

Idaho has been actively working on its wolf population through a mix of trapping hunting, and other non-lethal techniques like education and deterrence.

The state’s control goals include keeping a tolerable wolf population that is harmonious with human movements and assuring that wolves will not have substantial harmful effects on livestock, gaming inhabitants, or other wildlife animals. In its wolf management plan, the state has set a target population of 500 wolves.

Can You Kill & Own A Wolf In Idaho?

It is legal to kill a wolf in In Idaho during the established trapping and hunting seasons. The trapping and hunting of wolves are controlled by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, which imposes allotments and season dates that rely on population size and various other factors.

It is lawful to own a domestic wolf in Idaho, but this is possible only under specific circumstances. A special ticket must be received from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game wolves are categorized as “predatory animals.” The permit will look for the primary wolf characteristics and take photos to evaluate if the animal is compiling with specific rules for safety.


And that was everything you need to know about the wolves in Idaho. I hope this article was informative enough and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

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