Recently there was an email that circulated around entitled “Steve’s Wolves”, where a man had killed 4 wolves with no reference to the location.
Eventually I track down this legendary wolf slayer and I found him in Northern Alberta.
I asked my new hero if he would be so kind as to answer some questions about Alberta’s wolf hunting season and how wolves are dealt with up North. As of today we have only harvested 6 wolves in the Lolo Zone in Idaho and this is after 3 months of hunting. Our poor elk herds can’t survive unless we take more aggressive measures and learn some new techniques.
Fortunately he was more than willing to cooperate and below are his answers in Blue:
(1) How long is your wolf season? Our wolf season opens the same time that the 1st big game season opens in that management unit. If there is sheep hunting, it is the end of August or else by the 15th of September. It does not close until the 1st of June or the 15th of June if the bear season goes that long.
(2) How many wolves are you able to harvest per year? There is no bag limit and residents don't need a license or a tag to kill wolves in Alberta.
(3) What methods are you able to use to kill wolves? Baits and calls. Shooting them is my method, you must have a trappers license to trap them.
(4) How aggressive is your Game department on killing wolves, Do they trap, aerial gun or gas dens? They offer bountiesin most areas for the skull.
(5) Left unmanaged, how damaging our wolves to your big game and wildlife? Very damaging and they are trying to be managed. I cannot imagine them unmanaged.
Elk herds in valleys that were 5-600 20 years ago are below 50 just because of predators like the wolves and mountain lions. Now the sheep herds are being damaged and their numbers are low. The government is not smart enough to realize that this is predators and not hunters.
(6) What is your advice to Idaho on how to best manage wolves? They are very smart as I'm sure you know, so an open season like ours would be the best I think. They are going to adapt to hunting pressure. With the trapping and the open season here you barely keep them in check if not still losing ground.