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Two Idaho hunters kill wolves on opening day

Two Idaho hunters shot wolves in opposite sides of the state opening the state’s first wolf season.

Robert Millage of Kamiah said he was surrounded by a pack of wolves before dawn and waited until light to call them with a hand call that sounded like a wounded coyote. The 80-pound female wolf came fast to him 25 yards before Millage shot her with his .243 rifle in the Lolo Zone.

"The whole area is lousy with them," Millage said. "But I guess it was the luck of the draw."

Meanwhile, shortly after sunrise archery hunter Jay

Mize of Emmett walked out of his tent to see a wolf harassing his horse

at Bull Trout Lake near Stanley. He walked back into his tent, put his

rifle together and shot the wolf, said Jon Rachael, Idaho Department of

Fish and Game wolf manager.

"He said he had bought a wolf tag but never planned to use it," Rachael said. "He was going to have it framed."

Millage went to Lewiston to show the animal to Fish and Game and to take it to a taxidermist.

"I figured I had complained so much in the last few years we didn’t have a season I thought I’d better go," he said.


Department of Fish and Game officials reported few hunters and no

action early Tuesday in the Idaho City and Lowman areas.


observers said there were few hunters in the Sawtooth Valley

participating in a hunt that remains under a cloud of uncertainty as a

federal judge in Montana decides whether to close it.


thought we’d cruise around and (see) if we could see any wolves," said

Boise hunter John Huddleston. "We really weren’t expecting to see


Huddleston, his son and another hunter drove

to the Thorn Creek Butte Summit above the Middle Fork of the Boise

River near Idaho City looking for wolves. Warden Matt O’Connell, who

checked their tags, found fresh wolf tracks and scat on roads in the


"You guys are in the right ballpark," O’Connell told them.


District Judge Donald Molloy took under advisement a request by 13

environmental groups to stop the hunt while their lawsuit seeking to

return wolves to the federal endangered species list is considered.

Molloy said he would decide quickly.

Nearly 10,000 wolf

tags were sold in Idaho so far. But hunting only began Tuesday in the

Sawtooth Zone and from Boise up to the Sawtooth Valley and in the Lolo

Zone in northcentral Idaho.

Idaho will allow 220 wolves

out of a population of an estimated 1,000 wolves to be killed this

year. Montana also has a wolf season with a 75-wolf limit.

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