A wolf has been harvested on the Washington reservation where the first hunt in the state opened four falls ago.
The news was first posted to Rez Bucks, Bulls & Predators on Facebook the morning of Nov. 17, with the kill credited to hunter Duane Hall.
The Tribal Tribune followed up with a report yesterday.
“We try to manage for the total population,” Colville Tribal Fish and Wildlife manager Randy Friedlander told the paper, “and that’s why we allow three per year. That’s based on a percentage of the overall population (of wolves).”
Wolf hunting began on the sprawling reservation around this time in fall 2012 with a quota of 12 per season (three each in four different zones), but the limit has since been reduced to three overall with the addition of trapping to the management tool box earlier this year.
Hunters on the smaller Spokane Reservation to the southeast have fared better since seasons opened there several years ago, with one killed this September and one in July.
Both tribes require hunters to quickly report their wolf kills.
When the Colvilles made it known back in fall 2012 they would hold seasons, federal wildlife officials said they would be one of if not the only tribes in the Northern Rockies hunting wolves.
While the Colvilles have a spiritual connections to the animals — the name of their first pack, the Nc’icns (pronounced nn-seetsin) means wolf in Okanogan — they rate the availability of deer, elk and moose for their members highly as well.
In a lengthy set of comments on the Rez Bucks, Bulls & Predators’ post, page operator Sean Gorr reportedly noted, “Wildlife management is a must Predator control is a must. Regulated hunting seasons is a must. All that needs to happen to sustain enough big game to feed our families for generations.”
There are at least three packs on the reservation and 16 total in the federally delisted part of Eastern Washington.