One of the best things about living in Idaho is easy access to the outdoors and family-friendly opportunities to hike, run, or ski with your dog. Now, a proposal from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) threatens those recreation opportunities. IDFG is planning to expand wolf trapping from October to early September, posing recreation and safety concerns for all Idahoans (and their beloved pets) that take to Idaho’s outdoors. 

Late summer is a time when Idahoans love to set out with family and friends to recreate on public lands. Allowing wolf traps to be set so early poses safety risks to people, their dogs, and other unintended wildlife. 

Expanding dates of wolf trapping isn’t the only problem. Traps can be set within 10 feet of the centerline of unpaved trails. For anyone who walks a dog – even on a leash – that is clearly not a sufficient distance to protect the pet. IDFG should increase this distance to at least 30 feet. 

Concern over these risks has been repeatedly identified in public comments to IDFG for many years. After IDFG expanded the year-round hunting, trapping and snaring of wolves in 2020, there was a series of tragic encounters with pets severely hurt or worse after becoming caught in traps and snares intended for wolves. All Idahoans, our pets, and our wildlife deserve better.

The bottom line is that IDFG’s plan for early September trapping seasons invites more conflict with the general public. The public must voice these concerns to the IDFG, showcasing our shared values of safe recreation on our public lands.

Public comments on these regulations must be submitted by Wednesday, February 22.

To submit your comments, 1. click the ‘Take Action’ button below, 2. choose the region you live in, 3. select ‘gray wolf,’ and 4. Click ‘view and comment.’ 

Take action today, and tell IDFG:

  • Trapping season should not be further expanded due to public safety and wildlife concerns.
  • Expand the distance to at least 30 feet from unpaved trails or public highways where traps and snares are allowed.
  • IDFG should require placement of signage by trappers in areas where traps are present (including specific trap locations and trailheads). 
  • IDFG should require that trappers report catches of any non-target species (live or dead).


Stay tuned in the coming week for another opportunity to comment on how Idaho plans to manage wolves over the next five years. Sign up for our Wildlife Program email updates to stay updated.