Months after winning a protracted and bitter political battle over wolf management, Idaho hunters are now finding precious few wolves to hunt.

From this AP story:
A plan by state officials to kill up to 60 wolves in north-central Idaho to protect elk herds has had little success so far, after aerial gunners and now state officials and hunting outfitters report limited results. A reported six wolves have been killed so far, five by aerial gunners in May before that method was abandoned because of low success due to the wolves being in thick timber. An Idaho Department of Fish and Game conservation officer shot another wolf near Powell on July 18. “I would have thought we would have had more, but that is it,” Dave Cadwallader, supervisor of the department’s Clearwater Region, told the Lewiston Tribune.


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State officials want to kill up to 60 wolves in the region, leaving about 20 or 30, after the Obama administration removed the predators from Endangered Species Act protections earlier this year. With the aerial gunning from a helicopter having less success than officials hoped, officials have turned to hunting outfitters and their guides in the Lolo Zone. They were authorized to shoot wolves during the spring bear hunting season, but that hasn’t panned out. “Most of the outfitters I have talked to just aren’t seeing any wolf activity,” Cadwallader said._

Thoughts? Do you think hunting pressure is causing formerly-protected wolves to act more like a game animal?