Wolverine killed by Idaho Trapper

Tuesday, January 14, 2014  


Idaho Falls, ID
Date: January 10, 2014
Contact: Gregg Losinski 
(208) 525-7290
Trapping Of Non-Target Species Has Mixed Outcomes
Fur trapping was one of the major reasons for exploration of Idaho and is still a legitimate wildlife management tool. Advances in trap design have resulted in more efficient traps capable of either catching and holding animals for later release or delivering a quick humane death. Despite all of the caution used to capture only targeted species, unintended species sometimes are caught. The Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) works with trappers to minimize non-target catches and pursue the best possible outcomes.
On January 5th, Regional Conservation Officer Doug Petersen responded to a call of a black bear cub caught in a foothold trap that had been legally set for wolves. The trap was located on private land in the Island Park wolf trapping zone, north of Tetonia, Idaho. The trap had been placed on Friday, the 3rd of January and checked after 48 hours, 24 hours in advance of the 72-hour required trap checking period. The cub that should have been hibernating with its mother was still wandering around at the start of January, its chances of surviving the winter were basically zero. Getting caught in the trap was probably the best thing that could have happened to the cub.The cub was transported by volunteers to be the Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary near McCall, Idaho. Rehabilitation experts will determine the best course for its future.
Another incidental trapping occurred at the start of the month in the Upper Snake Region when an adult male wolverine was captured in a legally set bobcat trap on public land in Unit 50, ten miles west of Arco, Idaho. Because the trap used was a Conibear, a body-gripping trap designed to immediately kill, the wolverine was dead when checked by the trapper. The trapper immediately contacted Idaho Fish & Game to report the non-target species. The animal will be taxidermied and used for educational purposes with hunter education classes and to help inform the public about this seldom seen species. DNA samples from the animal will be sent off for laboratory analysis to help expand the genetic catalogue for wolverines in Idaho.
Because all trapping regulations related to these situations were properly followed no further action will be pursued by the Department. Voluntary general trapper education courses are available to the public and mandatory trapping courses are provided for those individuals wanting to trap wolves.
To learn more about trapping courses visit the IDFG website at: