Justus Caudell/Tribal Tribune
NESPELEM – In January when the Colville Business Council voted unanimously to approve a Gray Wolf Management Plan on the Colville Reservation, wildlife managers had decided to wait on creating hunting regulations on the North Half of the Colville Reservation, according to CTFW director Randy Friedlander.
The Colville tribes had opened gray wolf hunting within the reservation three years previous and only months before, in November, the first wolf harvest was reported.
Now Thursday, CBC will vote on an amendment put forth by CTFW to add a North Half wolf-hunting season to the previously approved plan.
“That will incorporate the ability for a Colville tribal member to hunt wolves in the North Half,” said Friedlander in CBC’s Natural Resource Committee, Tuesday.
The Colville tribes share management of wildlife with state agencies on the North Half of the reservation.
“I think we’re aware of the state. The state has a wolf management plan… Their plan does allow for lethal removal of wolves if they have so many depredations on cows. I think right now there are two packs on the North Half that fall within that category… Potentially, if the state goes up and shoots multiple wolves, they may use up what we consider our allowable harvest.”
The North Half wolf season is similar to the management of wolves on the Colville Reservation. The gray wolf management plan calls for human-harvest quota of wolves to be between 20 and 24 percent of the animal’s annual population.
State wildlife managers have listed the wolf population on the North Half to be 16, CTFW’s Rich Whitney told CBC, but if the state kills any wolves for depredation concerns the quota may drop.
An allocation table attached as an appendix to the plan suggests if the population is between zero and nine wolves on the reservation, no hunting should be permitted, but if there are 10 wolves, CTFW regulations should permit killing one. If there are, 13 wolves, the table suggests an allocation of three, which would be 23.1 percent of the overall population.
CTFW staff suggested the hunt will be similar to other North Half hunts, requiring a transport tag from CTFW.