PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A hunter in Idaho has shot and killed a sibling of an Oregon wolf that became a celebrity by wandering hundreds of miles from Eastern Oregon and into Northern California looking for a mate.
Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman said the wolf shot in Idaho, tagged OR-9, came from the same parents as his famous brother, OR-7.
OR-9 was shot on Feb. 2, said Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman Michael Keckler.
"The hunter checked here after (the wolf) was harvested," Keckler said. "The hunter followed the proper protocol, brought the hide and skull to the Fish and Game office."
The wolf was taken between Emmett and Banks. Its collar is being returned to Oregon.
Keckler said the hunter's tag was out of date and he was given a warning. The hunter had valid tags through the end of 2011, but was incorrectly told he didn't need new tags in 2012.
Under new Idaho legislation, the hunter's name is not considered public record.
The wolf hunting season in most of Idaho lasts from Aug. 30 to March 31. The wolf was last seen in Oregon last summer, and is believed to have crossed into Idaho with two of his siblings, including OR-7.
OR-7, Oregon's famous wandering wolf, became a media celebrity while looking for a mate last year.
OR-9's hide may be kept by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game or sold at auction. The two wolves are part of the Imnaha pack.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has issued a kill order for two members of the pack, but a federal judge has blocked it. The Legislature is considering a bill backed by ranchers that would give the state explicit authority to kill the wolves.
The measure, opposed by conservationists, is in a state House committee and could be advanced Tuesday, but it would face an uphill climb in the full House and Senate.
A separate measure would create a new tax credit to feed money into an account that would compensate ranchers for livestock killed by wolves. That bill has been approved by one legislative panel and is now awaiting action in the House Revenue Committee, which oversees tax credits.
Wolves started moving into Oregon from Idaho in the late 1990s, from packs introduced into the Northern Rockies as part of a federal endangered species restoration program. From trail cameras, radio tracking collar data, and sightings, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife figures the state has at least 23 wolves. All four packs are in the northeastern corner of the state. Two produced pups last year.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.