NESPELEM—After three hunting seasons without harvesting a wolf, a Colville Tribal member has taken the first.
Duane Hall, 37 of Omak, brought a gray wolf into the Colville Tribal Fish & Wildlife office for sealing on Friday, CTFW confirmed Monday.
Just three of the estimated 18 to 20 wolves—spread out among at least three packs—are allowed to be taken, per CTFW's predator hunting regulations.
"I didn't really have a reaction," CTFW director Randall Friedlander said.
Hunting group Rez Bucks, Bulls & Predators, operated by tribal member Sean Gorr, published the news on Nov. 17 at 12:45 p.m.
A share to Tribal Tribune's Facebook was met with mixed reviews.
"Terrible," tribal member Lorin Hutton said.
"Nice kill," tribal member Ted Piccolo added.
"Wildlife management is a must," Gorr stated in the conversation. "Predator control is a must. Regulated hunting seasons is a must. All that needs to happen to sustain enough big game to feed our families for generations."
Wolf hunting season started Aug. 1 and ends Feb. 28. Three known packs exist on the Colville Reservation: The Strawberry, the Whitestone and the Nc'icn. A collared wolf was accidentally slain on the Colville Reservation during a recapturing effort by CTFW in January 2015.
Friedlander said the amount of wolves harvested—by way of rifle or trap hunting—are determined by the number of wolves.
"We try to manage for the total population," he said, "and that's why we allow three per year. That's based on a percentage of the overall population (of wolves)."
He reiterated the right to hunt is an ancestral right.
"We try to create opportunities for tribal members to practice their traditional, cultural way of life," Friedlander said. "That includes the harvesting of some predators for some tribal members. Not all tribal members harvest predators, but some do."
In May, CTFW reduced the number of wolves that could be taken from 12 to three each season, but allowed traps to be used for the first time.
Last month, a Washington wolf from the Huckleberry Pack, which was thought to range from the Spokane Reservation north, was killed after a 700-mile trek from Washington to Idaho, Canada and then central Montana.
The Tribune has reached out to Hall for an interview.