BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho wildlife officials are considering hiring private trappers to kill wolves roaming in important elk zones in the state. Idaho Department of Fish and Game bureau manager Jeff Gould says several trappers have built up some pretty good skills for trapping wolves. The Idaho Statesman reports the agency is mulling a range of ideas for using paid trappers as a way to lower costs and better manage and reduce the population.

State wildlife officials are still seeking to reduce wolf numbers — now estimated at more than 500 at the end of the 2012 hunting season. Gould says trappers are needed to also catch and fit wolves with radio collars. A Defenders of Wildlife official questions how the state can defend the idea as responsible wolf management.