Rancher claims wolves harass cattle gets permit to kill 4 wolves in Wyoming's "protected" zone

Two more take permits have been issued for probems near Dubois.

Here’s the other side of Wyoming’s new kill-a lot-of-wolves policy. Generous killing of wolves where they are supposed to be protected because of minor or vague wolf problems with livestock — kill permits in the wolves are “trophy game” zone.

Cody rancher receives first ‘kill’ permit. Cody Enterprise.

Given the relative numbers, killing 6 wolves in Wyoming (where there are 150 outside the national parks) is like killing about 26 wolves in Idaho.



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  1. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Mack has posted a couple of times about the provision in Wyoming game statutes that states, to paraphrase,”any animal classified as a game animal may have its status changed to that of predator and may be hunted as such.”
    Their just getting started folks.

  2. HAL 9000 Avatar
    HAL 9000

    To echo comment posted on the thread about wolf 253M, the way to get Wyoming’s attention is to hit ’em in the tourism industry. I think most people planning to visit Yellowstone this year would agree to boycott of the Wyoming side it they knew this was going on.

  3. Jon Way Avatar

    I agree HAL but then you would be giving your money to MT, a state which has the most backwards policy for bison management. The ultimate catch 22 scenario – which is the lesser of 2 evils.

  4. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    The lesser is to bring as much as you can with you as far as food or only patronize those establishments that are against the present state of affairs. Maybe some letters to the gateway town chamber of commerce’s to suggest that business make known what way they feel about the issue.

  5. JB Avatar

    “I agree HAL but then you would be giving your money to MT, a state which has the most backwards policy for bison management. The ultimate catch 22 scenario – which is the lesser of 2 evils.”

    Here’s a suggestion: write all three states and tell them you’re going to Utah to visit Canyonlands, Arches, Zion, & Bryce NPs instead. And make sure and mention that you don’t plan on spending your tourists dollars in any of the three states until they fix their backward policies.

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Why single out a state when it is only parts of a state that are the major attitude problem areas.

    I’d say avoid Cody above all places in Wyoming, except of course, Sublette County (Pinedale) and the adjacent Wind River Range and its outfitters.

    If there is some obnoxious plan regarding wildlife or Yellowstone Park, it seems to generate in Cody.

    Teton County, WY has the right attitude. Why punish them?

  7. Rick Hammel Avatar
    Rick Hammel

    Good point, Ralph. When I go to YNP, I gas in Rock Springs and Jackson. Not in Pinedale. However, we like to fish on the Big Sandy River and the western Wind River Range. For that, we need to gas in Pinedale to have a full tank of gas going into the backcountry. But by fuelling in Rock Springs keeps the fuel needed in Pinedale to a minimum.


  8. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    I admit, I´m a little bit frustrated and that is why I´m also a bit unfair and deliberately cynical in the following: Yes, I will boycot Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, New Mexico despite the exchange rate has never been so favourable! But: Recently I came upon an online article about the Everglades and Florida Panther conservation. What did I discover? Panther haters! The same “quality” of comments you find on Billings Gazette. Time to boycot Florida also now? Who´s next, Oregon? Always remember, at the end, not the legislative level triggers the bullets that kill wolves and bison and lynx and cougars and coyotes and, and (did I forget as species that you like to kill, oh sorry, manage!). It is always an individual, your neighbor, your friend, wo does! The root cause is still deep in the society! Enlist the wolves again and you still have not eliminated the root cause! If wolf killing is illegal again they´ll shoot and shovel anyway! Read the comments of the Billings Gazette comment freak show and you´ll know what I mean, that you have a severe problem with a sick society out there! Plus, you got a trigger happy trophy hunting community with a legendary history of weapons fetishism! Sorry folks, as long as there are animals to kill out there you will kill them and always find an excuse why you have to. It´s just a mirror image of your society! The legslative just satisfies the public demand.

  9. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    I don’t know who the Cody rancher is who got a kill permit from G&F but my best guess for the Dubois area rancher who got a G&F kill permit is Bob Lucas, who has the most recent Upper Country calf losses at the head of Tappan Creek to wolves of the Washakie Pack.

    There was a lot of hush-hush calling back forth on cell phones to Lucas–I did manage to overhear that the calls were to Lucas–during the recent G&F season setting meeting in Dubois the night before the management handover occurred. (The night of the 27th). No one would tell me what the calls were for, but it’s clear now what they were for. They were talking about kill permits.

  10. Catbestland Avatar

    Come to Colorado and to Rocky Mountain National Park and make comments at the trail heads that you would love to see wolves here. Colorado has a decent wolf plan IF they ever get here.

  11. kim kaiser Avatar

    i wonder if a coulple of news reports such as the ones regarding wolf 253 will cause some sort of silence or lack of reporting on just how many wolves etc are killed. It would seem the state govts would not want this put out on a regular basis to stem controversy

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It’s going to be very hard to get information. It will require lawyers filing legal requests.

  13. Gerry Miner Avatar
    Gerry Miner

    This newspaper story is misleading–well, really a BLATANT lie. According to some rancher friends of mine who live just outside of Cody, the rancher who obtained the kill permits actually put down 2 of his horses and left them in his pasture–and the wolves came in and scavenged. THEN G&F issued him 4 shoot on site permits. Ummmmmm, i smell foul here. They didn’t kill, or even harass his horses, maybe the wolves are now eyeing up the cattle, but they were essentially baited.

  14. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Regarding boycotts. Boycotting entire states can’t work. If people want to leverage the value of their money, certain towns need to be selected and certain business given favorable publicity.

    For example, I’d say thumbs up to Gardiner, Montana, but not to every business establishment there.

  15. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    We ran a campaign in the 90’s when I was involved with the Bison Belong organization, in which we had little signs printed up and we asked business owners in the towns around the park if they would place them in their front windows of the business, we hit virtually all of the business in both Gardiner as well as West, you still see some of these signs to this day, denoting who as for Bison, I am sure that if a group wanted to organize and effort to do the same for wolves, it would be a quick way to check a business that supports wolves and if they don’t have a sign in the window, don’t shop there, I don’t see boycotting all business as being productive, because there are business owners out there that do support wolves, and if they identify themselves as such, they should be supported.

  16. Gerry Miner Avatar
    Gerry Miner

    “i wonder if a coulple of news reports such as the ones regarding wolf 253 will cause some sort of silence or lack of reporting on just how many wolves etc are killed. It would seem the state govts would not want this put out on a regular basis to stem controversy”
    It might make them more secretive, but secrecy means lack of credibility for them. USFWS was long accused of being secretive, but they chose to be up front with lethal control, and while it may have made them not very popular, it was wise of them to at least report it. Game and Fish would be wise to follow suit.

  17. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    If your information about these wolves being essentially baited in is true, it is blockbuster news!

  18. Gerry Miner Avatar
    Gerry Miner

    I am sure they won’t call it baiting as I assume they can dispose of dead animals as they like. Actually, I wonder if Wyoming has any animal disposal laws? I will look into that.

  19. Layton Avatar

    Jeff E.

    A while back you wanted some pictures — I figured out where they are — but the Email address I have for you won’t work. Send me one.


  20. Catbestland Avatar

    I can just about guarantee you that there are disposal laws. Oh but wait, we are talking about Wyoming. In Colorado, you cannot even have horse carcasses picked up by rendering plants anymore. You have to have them cremated.

  21. Catbestland Avatar

    I just called the animal control shelter in my area and was told that if an animal is PUT DOWN, there is a Federal law that requires that the animal be cremated or burried at least 4 ft deep. For 2 reasons. One, if the animal is put down with drugs, secondary poisoning will occur in any animals that feed on the carcas and second to keep from inticing (baiting) predators, which might becoming a nuisance or causing further conflicts with livestock or humans.. This is a Federsl law.

  22. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I just did a search and there is nothing in the Federal Register about animal disposal, there are however many state laws that vary depending on locations…but again, nothing in the federal register on how an animal has to be disposed of.

  23. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    I know here in Montana, it depends on where you live, on how you can dispose of an animal, if your in a recognized endangered species recovery zone, you have different rules than you do if your outside of one…

  24. Craig Kenworthy Avatar
    Craig Kenworthy

    before we label this situation as the same as the jerks in Sublette- it is my understanding that the South Fork rancher tried using cracker shells and other non-lethal methods throughout this winter. This area has had ongoing livestock conflicts and wolves killed there most every year under fed management.

  25. Catbestland Avatar

    Save Bears,

    Theis is from the USDA, there seems to be tons of authority cited here. On the page before there was even more, specifically referring to horses and other types of animals. But as you can see the disposal of carcasses is strictly (suposedly) regulated


  26. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Thank you Cat,

    I did not find that one, of course it addresses “production” animals, and I agree, animals should be disposed of in the proper manner…

  27. Sara Avatar

    Regarding the Kill permits issued in Dubois- the last I read the Washakie Pack had 11 or 12 pack members- Can the rancher kill the entire pack under the new state rules?

    The kill permit was for 2 wolves. He can’t kill the whole pack in this part of the state unless he has a kill permit for all of them. Ralph Maughan

  28. Kathie Lynch Avatar
    Kathie Lynch

    Just a thought regarding patronizing businesses in Yellowstone’s gateway towns, such as Gardiner and West Yellowstone, Montana. If you pay with cash, try writing “Wolf Money” or “Bison Bucks” on the currency. Perhaps you can make a similar notation when you sign credit card receipts. It might make the business owner wake up and take notice of just how much money wildlife supporters contribute to the local economy. You can also make your views well known during casual conversations with the proprietors. They don’t want to lose customers, so they’re not likely to argue–and at least you get to make your point.

  29. sal Avatar

    Having personal knowledge of the attitudes of a large number of business owners in West Yellowstone, I do know that most of them are pretty upset about how the bison are treated and others are just not knowledgeable about the facts, the biological facts and how they turn our to mean little in the politics of the issue. It’s very frustrating for those of us who live and work in the area. Others are glad about wolf reintroduction but are not loudly saying so. Then there is the crowd, some are state employees even, who wear bumper stickers that have a wolf image in crosshairs and some smarmy saying like: Smoke a pack a week. Or Save and elk, shoot a wolf.

    Ahhh, life in the northern Rockies 2008.

  30. Gerry Miner Avatar
    Gerry Miner

    from http://www.pinedaleonline.com/#wolfcomments

    Make that five wolves (posted 4/2/08)
    Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
    Apparently there have been five wolves killed in Sublette County, in the predator management area, since wolves were officially delisted on Friday. Three were killed in the Daniel area, one near Cora, and one in the Middle Piney area.

  31. Lynne Stone Avatar
    Lynne Stone

    Re. Jeff E’s post about story in Casper WY paper on Defenders compensating ranchers for losses. Here’s two responses from the Idaho Statesman blog on the story:

    Compensation of another color
    Submitted by XGoodWolfX on Thu, 04/03/2008 – 5:42pm.

    “There is talk of a $500.00 bounty for wolves……Which i think will be a little more popular than the SMALL chance of recieving compensation from “conservation” wolf lover groups. ….. Encourage ranchers to shoot all the wolves they can !!!!!!!!!!!!
    253 first…who else is popular…im targeting that one!!!!!!!!

    Can I Go With You?
    Submitted by wisdomman on Thu, 04/03/2008 – 5:47pm.
    I am sure I could “Help” you…….

  32. Brian Ertz Avatar

    wondering when the bounties will begin has been in my mind for some time.

  33. Jennifer Avatar

    We live in a world where money talks, and he who has the most money wins. Maybe we should be putting our money into a fund that offers rewards to people who “rat out” their neighbors who kill wolves. I’m sure I’m not the only person would be willing to put up a bounty for the name of the person who killed 253M.

    Gerry, can the info you have on the wolves being baited be substantiated, or was it just a thru the grapevine thing? It seems to me that they should be able to press charges and/or fine anyone who is proved to be baiting them in. (I know, easier said that done).

  34. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    Bounties? Who’s offering bounties on wolves?

    Is Some Sportsmen for Some Fish and All The Big Game and Predators We Can Legally Kill of Idaho offering bounties?

    Is Some Sportsmen for Some Fish and All The Big Game and Predators We Can Legally Kill of Wyoming offering bounties?

  35. Brian Ertz Avatar

    no bounties yet Mack, at least not of the of the public sort that i am aware of.

  36. Nathan Hobbs Avatar

    All this talk about boycott and heading south is concerning.
    There is such a huge amount of tourists from all over the world that to get them all to boycott to such a number that it would create a impression on the pockets of Wyoming and Montana is unlikely. Truth be told the majority of the tourists in the region are most likely clueless to the issues that are going on in this region.

    We are the ones that need to BE in this area. We understand the situation, we can educate others who are visiting from other parts of the world. Do your best when you are in the park sharing a glimpse of a wild animal to share what you know with a tourist, point them to sites such as this that can further there understanding of the need for change. We have got to enlist others to help us and make our numbers stronger.

    Packing our bags and heading south to Utah is a bit like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand. We have got to stay in this area.

    If you want to direct your dollar we need to establish the importance of PRO-Wildlife tourism,
    What needs to be done is identify local businesses that are anti-wolf and pass the word along not to patron them. Also find establishments that have a prowildlife standpoint and give them our support, tell them part of the reason you are at there establishment is you have heard they are a friend of wildlife and you appreciate there support.

    just my 2 cents on the subject myself personally will be at the park gates the moment it reopens this season.
    I agree, although I haven’t given up the idea completely of boycotting a particularly bad town. Ralph Maughan

  37. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    Nathan, you’ve got some good ideas; I’m going to comment on the Wildlife Watchers thread.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan