Idaho's wolf hunt on for now - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho's wolf hunt on for now

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BOISE, Idaho. - Idaho's wolf hunt is on, at least for now.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is overseeing hunts in selected parts of the state Tuesday, the first day of the wolf hunting season.

Hunters could be stopped in their tracks if a federal judge in Montana sides with environmentalists seeking to stop the hunts.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy is considering a motion for an injunction sought by groups opposed to the hunts in Idaho and Montana.

The wolf hunting season in Montana is scheduled to open September 15. Hunters began buying Montana wolf tags Monday.

Idaho's season is limited for now to a handful of districts in the central and northern mountains.

Idaho set a quota of 220 wolves this season as part of its plan for managing the population, now estimated at more than 800.

If a hunter kills a wolf in Idaho, the kill must be reported within 24 hours.

MT hunters buy nearly 2,600 wolf hunting license

Hunters purchased nearly 2,600 wolf licenses Monday, the first day they went on sale in Montana.

The sales occurred on the same day U.S. District Judge Mike Molloy of Missoula heard arguments from animal rights and environmental groups seeking to block hunts in Idaho and Montana.

Idaho's hunt started Tuesday as Molloy took the arguments under consideration.

Hank Woersch, licensing bureau chief for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks says the slower sales, compared to the 4,000 sold on the first day licenses were available in Idaho, might have been due to the uncertainty of the court decision.

If the hunt is halted before the season starts, holders will be refunded their $19 license fee.

Three nonresident licenses were sold for $350 each.

Montana's hunt begins Sept. 15 in four wilderness areas while the regular wolf hunting season statewide begins October 25. The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks set a quota of 75 wolves.

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