Tribal wildlife managers say that a wolf hunt in North-central Washington has closed now that the annual quota was recently met.
The Fish and Wildlife Department of the Colville Confederated Tribes made the announcement after a third wolf was harvested on their reservation, filling the limit, according to the Tribal Tribune newspaper.
Today was the last scheduled day of the season, which began Nov. 1.
It’s also the last day wolf hunting is open on the “North Half” — that is, federal, state and other lands north of the sprawling reservation’s northern boundary.
There, the quota is also three wolves, but any removed by state wildlife managers for livestock depredations count towards that. The Sherman Pack male was killed in late summer for attacking cattle in the Kettle Range. It wasn’t immediately clear if tribal hunters had taken any others.
The Colville Tribes opened its first wolf hunt in 2012 but it wasn’t until November 2016 that an animal was reported taken. The original quota was 12, but that was subsequently reduced to three on the reservation.
In other Washington wolf news:
* A rancher in northern Ferry County shot a wolf attacking calves in late October. The case only recently came to light in the Capital Press. It’s the third case of legal use of lethal caught-in-the-act provisions in the federally delisted eastern third of the state, two of which have involved ranchers and the other a dog owner at his cabin in the Blue Mountains.
* The Cattle Producers of Washington protested after the organization was denied grant funding for wolf work in the state’s northeast corner. More from the Press.
* Rep. Joel Kretz’s wolf translocation bill stalled in the state Senate after it passed the House on an 85-13 vote.
* And we should learn the latest minimum estimated number of wolves in Washington in the coming weeks, when WDFW releases the 2017 year-end count. It will likely show an increase over the 115 known wolves in 20 packs and 10 breeding pairs observed at the end of 2016. The agency’s next Wolf Advisory Group meeting is March 21-22 in Ellensburg.