Latest wolf totals show population decline in 2012

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LEWISTON — The latest population tally shows an 11 percent decline in the number of wolves roaming the state.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reports 683 wolves in 117 packs at the end of 2012. That total is down from 746 wolves in 104 packs in 2011.

State wildlife officials attribute the downsizing to continued pressure through hunting, trapping and agency control methods.

State Big Game Manager Jon Rachael (RU’-shell) says the latest tally is encouraging, especially with efforts to reduce wolf impacts on livestock and big game animals like elk.

For now, it’s the official policy of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to reduce the state’s wolf population.

Last year, the commission increased bag limits, extended hunting seasons in some areas and allowed hunters to use electronic calls.

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