Wolf's death stirs fears for species' fate. Utahns mourn loss of 253M; advocates heat up criticism of delisting

Wolf’s death stirs fears for species’ fate. Utahns mourn loss of 253M; advocates heat up criticism of delisting. By Patty Henetz. The Salt Lake Tribune.

This is Patty Henetz’s second artice on 253.

I see she contacted a number of folks who post here.



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  1. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    I had hoped this story would have emphasized that most of the wolves confirmed killed in Sublette County were killed in the vicinity of elk feedgrounds, probably five of the six, the sixth having been confirmed killed on a private ranch near Cora.

    These feedgrounds are: McNeel, in the Hoback; Jewett, west of Daniel; and Finnegan, west of Big Piney in the Middle Piney drainage.

    Feedgrounds are wolf magnets: another reason to shut them down.

    Two more wolves have been reported, but not confirmed, as having been killed in the South Pass area at the southern end of the Wind River Range.

  2. HAL 9000 Avatar
    HAL 9000

    The comment section in following that article is interesting as well. It mirrors the reactions I’m seeing to this story in several papers. People generally are upset. Wyoming’s reputation is really suffering over this.

  3. Catbestland Avatar

    Utah just earned the right to my tourist dollars. I am amazed at the difference in the comments on this article compared to the ones in the Billings Gazette and Wyoming newspapers. I guess it is to be expected considering that Wyoming is ranked 43rd in the US in terms of Adults possessing higher education according to the US census. It shows.

  4. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    We should all be working toward making sure that Wyoming’s reputation suffers over this.

  5. SmokyMtMan Avatar

    253m was one of the first wolves I got on video when I spent the spring and summer of 2002 in Yellowstone. I got great footage of the Druids, then some 30 animals strong, running together through Lamar.

    When I edited my video footage, 253m stood out because of his limp. Since that time, I have become very familiar with him and his travels, like all the rest of us.

    And now he has been killed for no reason at all, other than being a wild wolf.

    These weak Western politicians have little heart, less brains, and no appreciation for the beauty of GYE’s ecology.

    Damn them all.

  6. vicki Avatar

    I think that the permit for each wolf should equal the monetary investment for the wolf. SO a permit should be a minimum of 18,000 dollars.
    I am also impressed that the Utah paper allowed such an article.
    However, I don’t think the article would be representive of the majority in Utah.
    There is no end in sight to the slaughter of wolves. I am braced for the worst.

  7. Gerry Miner Avatar
    Gerry Miner

    Four more down–posted at http://www.pinedaleonline.com
    At least they were killing cows and it wasn’t just for sport.

    Four wolves killed for livestock depredation (posted 4/7/08)
    Federal animal damage control officials, working closely with a rancher, his personnel and the Sublette County Predator Board, killed four wolves Monday morning in the Cora/Pinedale area. The control effort was in response to livestock predation on the ranch, in which four calves have been killed and the wolves continued to return to the calving pastures during the night since at least last Thursday.

  8. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    Smoky MtMan,

    “These weak Western politicians have little heart, less brains, and no appreciation for the beauty of GYE’s ecology.

    Damn them all.”

    Let’s also not forget how cowardly and how unwilling to learn, these anti – wolf people, politicians as well as just ordinary people, are. I read today in an unrelated story concerning Mexican Gray Wolves that the fine folks of Reserve New Mexico are building 2-3 more wolf proof bus stop shelters for the school children (not making this up, they already have one, I can imagine a littlle plywood hut stuffed w/ a half dozen terrorized kids, surrounded by rows of razor wire with the local bubba sitting in the watch tower on top of said shelter, gun in one hand, thermos of Jack Daniels and coffee in the other). Can you imagine putting your children thru this type of ritual every school morning. These parents are literally promoting fear tactics by using their children as pawns in order to rid the area of an animal that in 10 years has never harmed anyone. These people will stop at nothing…….using their own children…how cowardly and shameful.

  9. mikarooni Avatar

    I guess that I should have a more strategic outlook; but, I just can’t get past a simple low-brow question. What kind of trailer-trash nimrod would stoop so low as to get his kicks from shooting a three-legged wolf?

  10. izabelam Avatar

    I have read the Utah posts and some of them are just a retarted as in WY or ID.
    Keep the wolves hiding here in Uintas, tell them not to show up at campground high in Uintas or in Ogden area.
    I know some pretty retarted’ so called hunters’ and they will go for it.
    Permit no permit…who is going to check if they shoot some of the owlves in the depp boonies.
    How much is the fine for shooting wolf without the permit versus shooting elk without the permit.

  11. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    Here’s the story concerning Mexican Gray Wolves and Reserve, NM that I referenced above.

    Ralph – If you feel it’s necessary to start a new thread, please do, or don’t.


  12. Maska Avatar


    The original Albuquerque Journal article you cite above was accompanied by a couple of great photos of kids from Las Cruces enjoying an outing in Mexican wolf country with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish wolf biologist. They won the trip as part of their prizes as winners of a Mexican wolf art and essay contest sponsored by a local conservation organization. Not one kid was eaten or terrorized, and from all reports, everybody on the two outings had a great time.

    We happened to be out camping in the Gila at the same time that the kids came out. We found some beautiful Mexican wolf tracks about a mile from our camp, but we, too, lived to tell the tale.

  13. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    Maska – Like you, I have ventured into this danger zone dozens of times, with my wife and 2 kids, and we’ve never had a problem. I guess we were just lucky or maybe the fine folks of Catron County have a different scent about them that draws in these blood thirsty devil dogs. It might be a local condition and based on all the bullshit these people ooze it wouldn’t surprise me.

  14. vicki Avatar

    The situation in Wyoming is bad, horrible in fact.
    The situation on New Mexico and Arizona is, if it’s possible, worse. Who does that to their kids? What a bunch of maniacs. This is the type of hysteria that fueled the placement of Asian-Americans into camps during WWII.
    Sick, insanely sick. To take your hatred and use it to terrorize your children in an attempt to gain leverage is deplorable and should be prosecutable. Can anyone see the emotional abuse here?

  15. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    A few years back in the Alpine, AZ area 2 local child molesters were arrested within a matter of months. One worked at a local gas station and another at a lodge in the area, and last I heard one was a repeat offender doing time at a prison in the Clifton, AZ/Morenci, AZ area. For those of you not familiar with the area, Alpine-Clifton-Morenci-AZ are within the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Area and like Reserve, NM have a segment of anti-wolf hystericals (also some very decent people). My point is that the real danger could be right next door but I wonder if the lunatic segment would even consider this very real threat to the children. But we do know that they will build, with great fanfare, “wolf proof” structures at school bus stops to protect/terrorize the children. Something is very wrong here.

  16. dbaileyhill Avatar

    Let’s not forget the Aleuts/Unangax in the Pribilof Islands of AK. Almost 1,000 were taken away on a ship to internment camps during WWII. (1942-45??), with no supplies for the harsh winters. The US gov didn’t even acknowledge them until the 1990’s (not sure about the date.)

  17. vicki Avatar

    Hi all. I have some good news. I wrote an editorial to The Greeley Tribune, about 253M and Wyoming’s policies.
    They are publishing it, yeah!!! More press. I love it.

  18. Catbestland Avatar

    Yeah Vicki!! When will it be in the paper?

  19. vicki Avatar

    They said it was so long, ha ha ha, that it has to be a guest columnist. The assistant said look forward to weekend or first of week. I hope weekend, as I know there are more subscribers!

  20. Straydog Avatar

    Hi there everybody ! I’m new here I’m going to post a comment I call “To the Ranchers” but first I was just reading what you folks have said. And of course I have a comment . – OK here goes… Yes it’s true wolves hang around Elk (and other herding animals) feeding grounds. But let me remind you that they have been doing this for about 20,000 years. It’s man that’s getting in the way. If the wolves kill and eat elk, well sorry, but that’s what the are supposed to do. With the wolves back we don’t need to sell has many hunting permits. You know hunting permits where humans get off their recliner and onto a 4-wheeler and ride out to shoot and kill the biggest and strongest Elk that they can find. While those wolves are looking for the weak and the sick. – just a thought

  21. vicki Avatar

    Let’s not forget them. It is a marvel to me that there are still people who would be this backward mided or dillusional. I think some one should study these people. Perhaps there is a syndrome linked to their mentality. Like Stockholm syndrome, or the same type as those who all commit mass suicide in churches, or join cults.

  22. Layton Avatar

    “Let’s not forget the Aleuts/Unangax in the Pribilof Islands of AK. Almost 1,000 were taken away on a ship to internment camps during WWII. (1942-45??), with no supplies for the harsh winters. The US gov didn’t even acknowledge them until the 1990’s (not sure about the date.)”

    And that MUST have something to do with the current redneck, black helicopter, Bush administration inspired conspiracy against the noble wolf!!!

    Was this the same anti-wolf, backward, inbred, low rent, trailer trash, republican driven conspiratorial network that invented the common cold as a method to eliminate opposition to the introduction of wolves and to further the agenda of the Public Land Ranchers in the Northwest??

    Please, give me a break!!

    Oh, and I almost forgot, they ALL live in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming!!


  23. vicki Avatar

    First of all, we shouldn’t forget, because it was a terrible injustice.
    Secondly, read back, it is a comparison of mentality, and had absolutely nothing to do with trailer trash, or Bush. It was a comparison of hysterical thinking.
    The terms you used previously are quite offensive, and I personally feel that ignornace comes in all income brackets and political parties.
    By the way, the people who we were commenting on are from Arizona and New Mexico.(Not Idaho, Montana or Wyoming) It was a reference to them making shelters to guard their children against the wolves.
    I find that the attitudes of many people (not all), about either issue seem to be extreme and leave little room for compromise.
    But hey, if it makes you feel better to be so offended, with out having read what commented in its’ entirety…by all means, proceed.
    It will not change the fact that the people in question have deliberately placed terror into their children’s minds, without scientific basis.
    And, I will still wonder if certain people are more pre-disposed to mass thoughts, and why people of all walks are so easily sucked into paranoia. That is, in my humble opinion, what many of these people are acting on…paranoid thoughts with out merrit.

  24. dbaileyhill Avatar

    Your interpretation I find to be….well, odd. Taken out of context and being insulting as well. Having said that, I don’t know what the “black helicopters” are about. (I have spent most of the last ten years being extremely ill.)
    I was using the Aleut info to point out yet another example of the government’s “outstanding”decision making. Also the mentality–as Vicki mentioned– that leads to the abuse of power. This country has an extensive history of atrocities committed against people and animals. (The bison issue being just one of the topics I have studied in depth.)
    If you are having a bad day, i hope your tomorrow is better.
    Of course you are free to imagine all sorts of crazy scenarios and assumptions, but you can hold the insults. I didn’t insult you nor have I made assumptions, or have been rude. I would appreciate the same in return.

  25. dbaileyhill Avatar

    your last two sentences reminded me of a story in the news this evening. I won’t waste time telling the story, just mention it related to the effects of the “gang mentality”. Some people, when in a group, will do things they would never do alone. They feel powerful.

  26. vicki Avatar

    True dbh, they do. We have one of those issues in the news in CO right now as well.
    Sad, and nearly impossible to change once it has begun.

  27. Catbestland Avatar


    Ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds paranoia. Paranoia breeds irrational behavior. Case in point, the senseless slaughter of these wolves.

  28. Susan Rediger-Blackburn Avatar
    Susan Rediger-Blackburn

    I haven’t visited the site for awhile. So to see so many concerned for the wolves in WY is refreshing. See I live in Sublette co. (Cora/ Daniel). It is almost No it is embarrassing to admit that. I routinely see a pack of wolves and for their safety will not disclose this location. They play and rest then leave to do what they do. My point is get the Pinedale Roundup or the Examiner. Just about every week someone has something to say even including local fish and game who earlier about 2/3 months ago almost appeared to brag about preemptively killing 40 wolves this year. I used to call and tell this person where I located new friends in the wild but now wonder how must I was used or my info was used in the demise. Now with the delisting I know of more than enough people that are cleaning the guns while foaming at the mouth. The local comment was “they couldn’t wait until that weekend because they were going to get them a wolf” I am leaving this god forsaken part of WY because of the love to hate. What a waste of 5 years. I know the wolves are in peril in the county and area.God help them. I am there are a few less wolves because of an article in mentioned papers. There is one “writer” who is allowed a section like club so everyone can tell area people where to hunt or “locate” packs and a bunch of horrible wrongs. I fear this area will ever change.

  29. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Thank you for your brave post. There might be more people who feel like you in the area than you think, but it is hard to get them organized and willing to speak when the dominant ideology seems so entrenched.

  30. C. Walton Avatar
    C. Walton

    I am from Show Low, Arizona, which is very near the mexican wolf recovery area. The hysteria and ignorance of some people in these communities with regard to the mexican wolf is astounding.

    A recent article in a local paper (The Pioneer) was titled ‘Wolf Problems Growing in Nutrioso and the West’ and it basically repeated all the tired old falacies about wolves being a serious threat to people and livestock, and how they have decimated elk herds in the Northern Rockies. At the end of the article the author was even naive enough to give web addresses to sites like saveourelk.com and wolvesgonewild.com for the edification of her readership (yeah, those are some great websites there lady). Based on the stance of nearly all of this papers articles you might as well call them the RDF or Ranchers Defense Force.

    It seems the recent delisting of the Northern Rockies wolves has emboldened all the loony wolf-haters in the southwest and they are pushing harder than ever before to see the wolf re-eliminated.

    This is all very sad. The wolves are hunting and breeding in the wild quite well and would be a recovered endangered species success story if it weren’t for the intolerance of a vocal minority of ignorant people in this area. 23 mexican wolves have been killed illegally and the severe management practices have killed or removed dozens of wolves over the past ten years. In 2007 alone 22 wolves were removed. This has left us with perhaps 50 wolves.

  31. YNP4me Avatar


    CAMPAIGN: Wolves in Danger

    Feature – Hoppy: The Story of Wolf 253

    Wolf 253 was one of the first casualties as the federal government stripped Endangered Species protections for gray wolves in the northern Rockies. But this particular wolf was unique.

    He was known by the nicknames of “Limpy” or “Hoppy,” depending on who you talk to; the name comes from an old injury that left him crippled for life. His official designation was Wolf 253, part of the wolf population brought back from the verge of extinction in the Northern Rockies, and one of 1,500 gray wolves that lost federal protections in March when the federal government “delisted” wolves from the Endangered Species Act.

    And on March 28, he was shot dead.


  32. YNP4me Avatar

    The life and death of wolf 253M
    Sunday, April 13, 2008


    A wolf died the other day in Wyoming. Along with three others, it was shot and killed on the first day that wolves in most of the state lost the protection of the Endangered Species Act. These were legal kills made by people simply because they could. Nothing more was required of them but to report the kills to state officials — no license, no fees, no restrictions.

    For sportsmen, one of the proudly held rules is: “Know Your Target.” What did these hunters know about their targets?


  33. YNP4me Avatar

    Hi everyone!

    This was just added to the Earthjustice website!

    A slideshow on Yellowstone Wolf 253!


    ~ Vicky

  34. Ryan Avatar

    I could not disagree more. The feed grounds are an integral part of managing elk to minimize crop damage. Without the feed grounds the elk would raid hay stacks and damage farmers property almost ensuring the elks demise in the form of damage removal permits being issued.
    Less Elk means less wolf food which also correlates with to more livestock take which will lead to more wolves being killed for depradation. Just an FYI

  35. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Wow Ryan, all I can say is WOW!

  36. Gerry Miner Avatar
    Gerry Miner

    Nice pictures of 253M, but i don’t think it really does anyone any favors to so personify this wolf. I agree, he had some really neat travels and was a “cool” wolf. But, I hope Earthjustice isn’t planning on using the killing of 253 in their defense of delisting. i hope they just posted these pictures to show some good wolf pictures.
    Like when people say a wolf was “murdered”–to me, they lose credibility.

  37. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    253 was not much more important than other wolves. You are correct, biologically speaking, but a well known wolf focuses attention in a way that an unknown wolf would not.

    Many people believe attention needs to be generated on this issue, just as others wish the public concern would go away.

  38. vicki Avatar

    253M was important in his life because his trials in life drew attention to a much larger issue.
    He is just as important in his death, because HOW and WHY he died also sheds light on a much bigger issue.
    They are calling wolves vermin, and they place no value upon them. They are saying “sportsmen” will hunt them.
    The joke is that some person killed a wolf who was crippled…and probably went home and bragged about what a marksmen they were. No one should call that sporting.

    Ryan, I agree…wow. Do you really think that argument holds water? I imagine you do. Too bad. But atleast you are trying to think outside the box, I guess.

  39. Ryan Avatar

    Save bears and Viki,

    How does it not hold water? I fail to see the problem with my logic or facts. It happens in almost all western states. How would you propose the goverment deal with Elk depredation on private agricultural lands?

  40. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    Ryan wrote: “How would you propose the goverment deal with Elk depredation on private agricultural lands?”

    Governments shouldn’t have to do a damn thing. On their private property, livestock producers should fence elk out ~ at THEIR expense, not at the expense of the citizens of the respective states.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  41. Ryan Avatar

    Interesting theory Mack, but what about migration routes for all animals that would be blocked by miles of 8 ft tall elk proof fence?

  42. Ryan Avatar

    Any answer yet Mack?

  43. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    Livestock producers should should fence elk out ~ at THEIR expense ~ of their property that is NOT part of a migration route; otherwise they should fence in/secure their hay so elk can’t get to it.

    Brucellosis is more prevalent in elk that use Wyoming’s feedgrounds and CWD is on the way.

    Wyoming’s feedgrounds should be shut down.

  44. Heather Avatar

    Ryan: your logic is based on the feeling that human needs are more important than anything else. That is why it is failing here…
    Wyoming’s feedgrounds act as bait for wolves. However, Wolves have a right to Elk just as the hunters in this state, and out of state do. Elk numbers are high and this arrogant regulation killing wolves if they prey on elk Elk is ridiculous. And now that wolves are delisted, they have no chance. and I think that was the intention all along… Thanks for the injury to me and what I want!

    253 was special… I am glad he is standing out as the model wolf and I personally call his killing a murder. That wolf was more courageous and brave then most humans I know…he has my respect. Its time to move away from anthropocentricism.


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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