Rare justice for a dead Mexican wolf-

NM man pleads guilty in wolf death. By Susan Montoya Bryan. Associated Press Writer

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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 past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

11 Responses to NM man pleads guilty in Mexican wolf death

  1. avatar chris says:

    This lame excuse of “I thought it was a coyote” has been a problem with both Mexican and red wolves. It has been suggested to the feds and states that they ban hunting of coyotes in wolf recovery areas. The idea has been resisted due to a fear of a backlash from folks so accustomed to shooting every coyote they see.

  2. avatar Maska says:

    The Final Rule governing the Mexican wolf reintroduction clearly states the following:

    “Taking a wolf by shooting will not be considered unavoidable, accidental, or unintentional take. Shooters have the responsibility to be sure of their targets.”
    See 50 CFR 17.84(k)

    The following statement attributed to Norm Cairns from the U. S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque is puzzling, given the clear language in the rule:

    “Norm Cairns, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said Van Hout wasn’t charged with shooting the wolf because he claimed he didn’t know it was a Mexican gray wolf when he shot it.”

  3. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    I agree that coyote hunting should be banned in these areas. But like you said Chris, people are accustomed to shooting every coyote they see. It is like a requirement in Montana and Wyoming. I’ve seen people pretend like they are shooting them.

  4. avatar Jeff N. says:

    I’m curious where this shooting specifically took place, which pack this wolf belonged to, or if it was a disperser/loner.

    Bad news but it does explain something. The “real experts” of the anti-wolf faction living in the recovery area always claim there are many, many more wolves than the recovery program claims are in the wild. This finally makes sense since, apparently, these nitwits cannot tell the difference between a coyote and a wolf…….hundreds of lobos running around out there.

  5. avatar Maska says:

    The wolf shot on 8/6/08 was AM1008 of the Laredo pack. His mate, F1028, continues to roam the recovery area alone. The pair had been placed into a pen at McKenna Park on 6/17/08 and self-released on 6/19/08.

  6. avatar jerryB says:

    Brian or Ken…..any respose from Tuggle to the letter sent by Jon Marvel concerning the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan? Believe it was about a month ago.

  7. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Thank you Maska. I should have looked at the date more closely. I thought it read 8/06/09. At first I thought it was a recent killing.

  8. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    Well, it’s about time someone got prosecuted for shooting a wolf. The coyotes in NW Colorado are tall, long legged but have long snoots and pointy ears. Pretty hard to mistake them for wolves. Look before you shoot.


  9. avatar Brian Ertz says:


    I’ve been away from the office for the past 2 weeks but nothing as of then. I’ll let you know soon.

  10. avatar JW says:

    Once again my idea for a National Canid Protection Act would stop people for shooting coyotes for the hell of it, especially on our public lands. It is time the federal gov’t make this inexcusable practice illegal. Hopefully Defenders or a group will jump on this idea:

  11. avatar Paul Bego says:

    “The coyotes in NW Colorado are tall, long legged but have long snoots and pointy ears. Pretty hard to mistake them for wolves.”

    Very true, especially when you consider that it WAS wearing a radio collar.



‎"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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