"The state of Idaho initially withdrew from participating with the Federal government in wolf management last year, but it rejoined the process this year with a plan that calls for the maintenance of at least 15 wolf packs in Idaho. Those wolves will be classified under `big game, furbearer, or special classification of predator,' allowing for hunting and trapping the animals when the packs exceed 15 in number. Montana's plan, which is slated for publication later this year, will be essentially the same.
"As for Wyoming, its plan (published back in July) calls for allowing only 15 wolf packs overall, with no more than seven allowed outside the parks and parkways. Wyoming will give wolves the status of either `trophy game' or `predator,' with predators being any wolf found outside the parks or wilderness areas surrounding them. For those wolves classed as predators, the take will be `unlimited.'
"To be sure, legal challenges will be made to all these plans, but it seems that the wolf's delisting under the Endangered Species Act and legal hunting of them is all but inevitable in that trio of Rocky Mountain states. The question now is whether this will create interest in the wolf as a trophy animal. At the moment, SCI has a category for wolves in its records book, so there is no reason not to expect wolves from Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to be allowed in once they are legal game. Over at Boone & Crockett, on the other hand, there is virtually no chance of its records committee establishing an entry for wolves. Wolves from Canada and Alaska have never been considered acceptable because of the large numbers of the animals that over the years were........(continued)