Hunting Wolf in Idaho


Contrary to what you might think, wolf hunting and trapping is a thriving sport within the state of Idaho. The wolf population is healthy, and because few enough hunters go out looking for wolves, the harvest limit is surprisingly high. Each year you are allowed to purchase five wolf tags for active hunting which, unless you are a voracious wolf hunter, is probably more wolves than you will ever see during a single year, let alone get the chance to shoot at. For those that have never heard of wolf hunting but might like to try it out, here are some tips and tricks to hopefully make your first hunt a successful one.

First, you are probably not going to have a whole lot of success just going out and purposefully looking for wolves to hunt. They are elusive, and though their population in Idaho is healthy, that does not many they are all over the place, and you cannot go a few feet without tripping over one. It takes serious skill and tracking expertise to find wolves, and even then, nine times out of ten you are going to go home without even seeing paw prints in the snow. Most wolf hunting for inexperienced hunters is done while hunting some more common animal like deer, elk or moose. If you are out in terrain looking for one of these, just keep an extra eye out for signs of wolves in the area, usually tracks left in the snow, and make sure you have your wolf hunting tags with you. 

You probably still will not encounter any wolves, but at least you have something to occupy your time and energy and you will have the chance to bring home meat. If you are planning on actively hunting wolves, the only time you can do it is during the night (Which adds an extra layer of complication to an already difficult task). The biggest reason for this is that Idaho does not allow the hunting of wolves during the day, a measure to reduce the strain on the wolf population. Luckily for you, the night is also the only time wolves are very active. You can get their attention during the day, but the night is when they do their own hunting, so it is really the ideal time. They will be more difficult to spot in the dark, but at least they will be there for you to see.

The most reliable way to hunt a wolf is not necessarily to chase after it. Wolf calling is a very important part of the hunt, bringing the animals to you, and for different reasons based on the type of call. The way I described the call above is actually a feasible method, though for the best results you should buy and learn to use a real wolf call. Wolves are extremely territorial, so if they hear the sound of a foreign wolf infringing on their territory they will come to check it out, and maybe drive away the intruder. Another way to call a wolf to you is to mimic the sound of a dying or in distress animal. 

Thinking there is an easy meal, a wolf might come loping out of the woods to find this poor animal, only to find you instead. Keep in mind that wolves are better predators than you. I am not saying they are dangerous (Though they are if you are not careful), but that they are wise to human tricks and signs. They are probably going to know where you are before you know where they are, so you have to rely on looking non-threatening. Keep still, and make no noise, and you will have a successful hunt.