Wolf 341F from just north of YNP didn’t find a mate in Colorado. Did she find a bullet?

The cause of death hasn’t been established yet, or at least released to the public. We have done several stories on her long wandering.

Long-Wandering Wolf Found Dead. Thousand-mile trek ends in death for lone wolf. By David Frey. New West.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

35 Responses to Long-Wandering Wolf Found Dead in NW Colorado

  1. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Hopefully this wasn’t a shooting.

  2. avatar ChrisH says:

    Unfortunately, although I hope foul play was not the cause, I suspect it is. Hopefully it’s just me feeling misanthropic.

  3. avatar Drew says:

    Can a more exact location be printed? ie near/south/west town xyz or between colorado roads A and B

  4. avatar Save bears says:

    The authorities investigating have chosen to not disclose the location or the method of death at this time.

  5. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    I saw a large dead coyote in a irrigation ditch along side the airport in Craig in mid-March. It did not have a collar. So I did not give it a second thought. Our coyotes get pretty large and can be mistaken for wolves.

    Rick

  6. avatar vickif says:

    so 26 out of 100 is the mortality ratio for wolves? Any idea on how many elk or deer out of 100 are killed by DOW or poachers?

  7. avatar kchester says:

    What amazes me most these days is the incredible arrogance of the human species. “Wolf haters” need to get a grip. The greatest threat to all life on this planet isn’t lions and tigers and bears (oh my!)…not even wolves…it’s US! And we, as humans, are not the only life form that matters here. If all human life on this planet ceased to exist..life would go on as nature intended.

  8. avatar Jay-k says:

    kchester, out of curiosity do you believe in God?

  9. avatar mikarooni says:

    Get a life, Jay-k.

  10. avatar Jay-k says:

    Hey mika, I think that GOD created all of this for all that exist, not just your furry friends.

  11. Jay-k,

    I don’t think mikarooni raises “furry friends.”

  12. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Jay-k what does kchester believing or not believing in God have to do with anything? The subject of this thread is about wolves, not religion. (And yes, I do believe in God).

  13. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Oh, and kchester, I do agree with you. 🙂

  14. avatar Jay-k says:

    ProWo, those of you that prefer the wolves existance over human indicates some sort of morbid affiliation to animal attraction. Maybe after you approve Gay marriage we will all acceppt animal lust too. You put an animal on a pedestal to idolize and you relinquish all moral value. Its not about religion. All creatures and things are GOD given and man is the steward of his environment, animals dont read. Least as I can tell the environment isnt wrecked. If Man is the cause of all that is wrong then why dont you be the first to become the martyr that you all so want to follow?

  15. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Woah –

    That’s sad …

  16. avatar John d. says:

    Sorry Jay-k you’ve missed the 1800’s by about 200 years.

  17. avatar Jack Simmons says:

    I had told my granddaughters about the wolf who had arrived in the same county we had been camping in. They were quite excited about sharing the area with all the other animals, at least for the day or two we were up there. Knowing there was a wolf in the same area was icing on the cake.

    Now we know the animal is dead. Unfortunately, one of the granddaughters is a skilled user of the Internet and is already aware of the death of the wolf. So we will not be able to hide this little tragedy from the other girls. My granddaughter came to the conclusion the wolf had been killed by man.

    I agree the evidence points to that conclusion. Here was an accomplished animal, capable of making a journey very few humans could carry out. But the minute her presence was known, she winds up dead.

    The authorities are treating this as a crime scene. Only they and the person responsible know where this took place. They also have ruled out natural causes, or at least, with the initial inspection of the animal, know it was unlikely. No doubt an autopsy has been or will be done. Search for poisons and wounds.

    If there is conclusive evidence, there will be rewards offered, etc. There are two possible categories the killer falls into. Great White hunter type or Cowboy/Rancher type.

    Great White hunter wants to feel like a hero. A while ago one of these types killed a large elk in the Estes Park area. Others will risk thousands in fines just to be able to say they killed something. We had a bunch of clowns down in South Park who allowed themselves to be talked into killing some buffalo on private land over some sort of dispute about trespassing. And so what is the thrill in walking up to animal and just shooting it? I don’t know, but there is something pathological about it.

    This type will have to share his story with others. Some time in the near future, at some bar, he will boast. He’ll eventually be caught. Don’t just fine him. Confiscate his weapons and forbid future hunting and fishing. He does not deserve to share the experiences with those who cherish them as the privileges they are.

    Rancher types who kill wildlife are acting in their financial self interest. I greatly admire ranchers and many of the values it takes to run a ranch. It is a very hard life and you will not get rich owning a typical ranch. However, they have to recognize the public has a say on what goes on with public land. For one thing, the public is the market for the products they produce; meats and other products of the ranch. Tick off the public, and you have no market. The second important factor is the rancher does not own the public lands he depends on. The public wants to see wolves, bears, and other ‘critters’ inimical to ranching on those lands.

    There will be costs in running livestock on public land where the public wants to see wildlife. Deal with it. I know there are already programs compensating ranchers for losses due to wildlife. If its not good enough, I guess economic realities dictate another approach. Perhaps a change in careers.

    If the person killing the wolf, assuming my conclusions on this matter are correct, is a rancher, it will be a little more difficult to catch him. He will be a little more discrete than the Great White hunter type. Depending on his personality, it may be not a single word will pass his lips. But he just might share it with those he knows. Someday, if he shares the secret, some sort of dispute will surface in the community. Ranchers are always fussing with one another about something. Water rights, broken fences, etc. Someone just might let the word out. Then we’ll know.

    Ranchers are easily punished because of their financial interests. A $100,000 fine will do just fine. It might even shut down the ranch. That’s life. There’s consequences to our decisions, as every rancher learns early in life.

    People are more important than animals. But people also love animals and we have decided, as a society, to set aside parts of our world for animals. Tourists visiting these spots make the set asides very valuable to the local communities. The greater Yellowstone region receives about 3 million visitors per year. If each visitor spends only $100, that translates into $300 million per year. There is a total of 4,000,000 cattle in Wyoming and Montana. Most of these are outside of the Yellowstone area.

    http://www.cattlerange.com/cattle-graphs/all-cattle-numbers.html
    http://www.cattlerange.com/cattle-graphs/cattle-map.html

    Value of the entire production for one year in the state of Montana of livestock is slightly over 1 billion.

    http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/09s0830.pdf

    Let’s say 5% of that is in the Yellowstone region. So, if every cow and sheep was lost in this region, the tourist value is still six times greater.

    Not hard to guess what makes economic sense, wouldn’t you agree?

    Financial self interests, enlightened self interests dictate we continue to protect these shared resources.

  18. avatar vickif says:

    Jay-K,
    I think your comments are an argument for more stewardship over the animals most in need, humans.
    I find it not only shocking but sad that you would think that Biblically appointed stewardship would be an excuse to be the destruction of any of God’s creations.
    What is most sad is that you haven’t taken time to look up from your Bible. Had you done that, you may have felt compelled to use some of your faith and fortitude to protect what is pure and real, and without sin, our natural world.

    Perhaps you are trying to paint a very strong contrast between pro and anti-wolf opinions. But beastiality and idol worship? You’d be better off attacking a statue of Mary in a Catholic church, that would be more fitting to your arguement.

    The environment, and indeed the human population, is in great perril. Narrow minded thinking, fueled by greed and great disregard for life (wild and tame) has lead us to this. Our biggest plight is not global warming, it is global ignorance.

  19. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    ProWo, those of you that prefer the wolves existance over human indicates some sort of morbid affiliation to animal attraction. Maybe after you approve Gay marriage we will all acceppt animal lust too. You put an animal on a pedestal to idolize and you relinquish all moral value. Its not about religion. All creatures and things are GOD given and man is the steward of his environment, animals dont read. Least as I can tell the environment isnt wrecked. If Man is the cause of all that is wrong then why dont you be the first to become the martyr that you all so want to follow.

    Jay-K, where did I once say that I prefer the wolf’s needs over humans’? Where did I once indicate anything that would tell you some sort of animal lust? What does gay marriage have to do with any of this? The topic on here is wolves and other wildlife, not the politics of gay marriage or religion which I have no desire to discuss with you at all. My position on gray wolves is that they have a place in the ecosystem as an apex predator and that they deserve to be treated like other wildlife and not vilified with this 19th century fire and brimstone, Little Red Riding Hood fear and misunderstanding that is keeping western states in the 19th century. THAT IS IT!. There is nothing else to my beliefs than that. I am not opposed to responsible hunting of wolves as part of wildlife management nor am I opposed to ranchers being compensated provided they are proactive in their protection of their livelihood. I will agree that people are the stewards of the environment and that we have a great responsibility to use this power we have wisely. The environment does have problems that we have caused and reintroductions and other activities like it are righting a wrong. And do you know what martyr means? Because I have not indicated that in any post I have written. Think before you put words into people’s mouths.

  20. avatar Jay-k says:

    This statement burns my ass!
    “If all human life on this planet ceased to exist..life would go on as nature intended”.

    My thought is that God did not intend for this to be. I dont dispise wolves, and I dont thump the bible. I think that all of us are responsible for our own actions. Putting human life in the light of being the reason for all that is wrong is a false ideal. Humans have a choice. The person that killed the wolf is an ass! When you lump everyone into the same catagory its not fair. I take personal offense to people that promote this kind of crap and conceptualize “The great white hunter” or “the rancher mentality” how about just “the guy is an ass”? As far as encroaching on wolves habitat thats the way that it is. Until God reduces the human population or man chooses to do it, there are going to be more and more people. If you keep pushing those that grow the food out what are we going to do, eat each other?

  21. I think the more objective statement is, “if human life ceased, life on this planet would continue.”

    Life as a whole on this planet is not threatened by what humans are doing (at least not now). However, human life, especially civilized human life, and the life of many kinds of organisms is threatened by what humans are doing. Our actions could make the future very miserable for us, and living in a world where nature has become unstable and very dangerous doesn’t seem great to me.

  22. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Jay-k,

    People not afflicted with the Livestock Culture of Death should not take offense at its mention. I am comfortable with you taking offense. Keep your twisted sexual fantasies about the correlation between compassion for wildlife and Gay Marriage, or your ego-centric, hyper-self-aggrandizing, bible-thumping notion of being annointed by God to disgrace all of Creation to yourself.

    XOXO

  23. avatar Jay-k says:

    Brian Ertz, I dont claim to be annointed I just dont apologize for for my existance. My only ties to cattle growers are to use the products they produce. The midget minded mentality that all we need to do is sprinkle fairy dust and wave a magic wand to produce food is absurd. Maybe if your compassion for humans were at the level that your compassion for animals are at we wouldnt be having this discussion and God wouldn’t be frowning at you. XOXO

  24. avatar JB says:

    “My thought is that God did not intend for this to be.”

    I think it is rather presumptuous to make assumptions about God’s intentions.

    “The midget minded mentality that all we need to do is sprinkle fairy dust and wave a magic wand to produce food is absurd.”

    Losing the livestock industry in the entire Western United States wouldn’t even put a dent in our capacity to produce food…fairy dust, or otherwise.

  25. avatar Save bears says:

    JB,

    I think it is very presumptuous for either side to make assumptions about God’s intentions! But they seem to flow freely on both sides most of the time..

  26. avatar vickif says:

    Jay-K,
    No one is asking for an apology for the existence of man. But man largely owes one another an apology for their inappropriate actions.

    We cannot ask man to apologize for an existence which was, by God or by nature, intended too. What we can do is expect more thoughtful choices to be made. If no one wants to choose on behalf of nature, they can choose on behalf of man. There in lies the primary distinction between man and beast, right? The ability to reason and choose based on logic and not instinct alone?

    I think that people often fall into the preception that wolves and humans are an either/or scenario. That is completely false.

    There are other cultures that exist quite harmoniuously with wolves. If you look closely at the conflict, it has historically been rooted in a history that involved agriculture or territorial dispute. The reality is, wolves don’t eat potatoes, or corn (though they eat grapes in Spain). They don’t raid our carrots or green beans. They also don’t see man as prey (spare me the “they have eaten humans”, I am referring to the norm of their behavior-not the exception that occurs in their degradated state of hunger or illness).

    Therefore, we have the capability to live with wolves, just as we do with spiders, snakes and mice. It is a matter of knowing what to do when there is a threat of loss of life.
    It is a matter of knowing that aside from ranching, not many people are truly affected by wolves. It is a matter of knowing that if you are a rancher it is about convenience and greed (not all ranchers-but those who come out swinging), as the minute funds required to lease public land becomes jeopardized, and range riders may be required.

    It is knowing that if you hunt, you will face a challenge , which is why it is called hunting and not shopping. But it is also a matter of knowing those challenges are not any more profound than they should be, given that we already tip the scales of balance by limiting habitat and using artificial means to inflate numbers to accomodate hunters (myself included).

    It is a matter of CHOICE. Many here believe the better choice is for man and wolves to both exist. But I don’t think many(if any) see this as a choice of wolves or man. What I can say with absolute certainty is that wolves have no choice, but we all do.

    I agree, this is not a story about ranchers being asses, it is about this person being an absolute idiot. But, it is another piece of evidence in the arguement that uneducated and inhumane people’s effect being allowed to rule society is very present, and it speaks to the need to change that.

    It is a story about a wolf, all alone, who wasn’t killing livestock or people, that died. It is another sory, in a long line of stories, that sheds light on an ever present problem, man’s conflict with not only nature, but himself.

  27. avatar JB says:

    “I think it is very presumptuous for either side to make assumptions about God’s intentions! But they seem to flow freely on both sides most of the time..”

    Agreed; though I think one “side” tends to do a lot more of the assuming. People who claim to know the intentions of God are only a short skip, hop, and jump from speaking for him/her/it. In my view, the most dangerous people in the world are those who claim to speak for God…especially when they speak eloquently.

  28. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    To try to change the topic back to the wolf, is there any news as to how it died?

  29. Not yet, ProWolf in WY.

    Note: I removed Jay-k from further posting because of his tendency to start religious arguments.

    My view is that if people want to argue about religion, it shouldn’t be on a wildlife blog because the argument will be endless and divisive.

  30. avatar Virginia says:

    Thanks, Ralph – I, for one, have no interest in reading about people’s religious/ideological beliefs.

  31. avatar jdubya says:

    This kind of reminds me of a religion….

    “”The .284 is a necked down .308, which fits in short actions. Or medium action if you’re familiar with the old Sako’s which came in short, medium, long. I love my Sako L461 Vixen in .222″”

    Or was that a golden calf? I am weak on my Bible stories.

  32. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Thank-you Ralph.

  33. avatar davej says:

    Over time, perhaps FWS’s order to kill the 2 wolves south of Casper will prove to be more significant than the death of 341F. I think the order to kill these two wolves is a significant signal from FWS that they will not tolerate wolves outside of the area where the population is already established. No reason to think they’d stop if a pack were to become established in colorado. Recently I found myself pondering a sad thought: did someone leak the GPS location of 341F? Very unlikely, but not impossible. (Hope we don’t find out she was poisoned.)

  34. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Here’s hoping public attitude will change.

  35. avatar Jay Barr says:

    Dispersal for wolves is inherently a very dangerous activity, so without proof positive there was an illegal act involved I’d say any speculation on illegal activity is pointless. It is almost next to impossible that someone leaked the location to a “shooter”- these locations are likely downloading from the satellite once every week or two, so any information would be outdated for all intents and purposes of someone trying to hunt the animal down. And why would a researcher who has significant time/effort/expense/reputation invested in a study animal want to see it dead from any cause?

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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