Published: Friday, February 10, 2012
The hunter's Idaho wolf tag was no longer valid when he killed the Oregon wolf identified as OR-9 on Feb. 2 near a cattle feedlot and winter calving area north of Emmett, said Mike Keckler, spokesman for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The hunter's wolf tag was good only through 2011, Keckler said. The department issued a warning, but stopped short of giving him a citation because he received "incorrect information from a clerk from one of our vendor stores," Keckler said.
The hunter was led to believe his 2011 tag was good through the remaining months of the current wolf season, the spokesman said.
OR-9 was born to the alpha female of the Imnaha pack, Oregon's first wolf pack. He was collared Feb. 26, 2011, east of Joseph in the Grouse Creek area when he was about 1 1/2 years old and weighed 90 pounds.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said OR-9 left Oregon last July, two months before his Imnaha pack relative -- the more famous OR-7 -- began an epic 730-mile trek west to Crater Lake and then south into California. It was about that time that state wildlife officials handed down a kill order on the Imnaha pack's alpha male sire and a sibling of OR-7 for attacking cattle. The order remains on hold pending resolution of a lawsuit by conservationists.
Biologists say OR-9 headed east, swam Brownlee Reservoir into Idaho and traveled south toward Weiser, at the edge of the agricultural Treasure Valley. From there, he trotted into the Cuddy Mountains and Sun Devils area, where he stayed into last autumn.
His radio collar, designating him as the ninth wolf collared in Oregon, is being returned to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said Michelle Dennehy, department spokeswoman.