If you want to post about dead wolves, do it here.

Please move discussion about recent wolf killings/controls, etc. here.






  1. Overlander Avatar

    From the other thread

    Another killing, supossedly in self defense.


  2. jerry b Avatar
    jerry b

    Let’s start with NW Montana….
    On May 2, someone hung a battered wolf from a sign in Helmville(about 40 miles NE of Missoula). I received a letter from FWP that says they’re investigating. They also mentioned another investigation into what appears to be the illegal killing of a wolf in the lower Thompson River area.
    Wildlife Services “mistakenly” killed the alpha male of the Willow Creek Pack west of Hall (Lots of wolves killed in that area in the last year by WS). By killing the alpha male that leaves only the alpha female to fend for the pups.
    In the Big Hole area, WS has been authorized to kill the denned pups.
    And I keep hearing how “wonderful” the Montana wolf management plan is. BS!!

  3. Chris H. Avatar
    Chris H.

    Well that was cetainly a gruesome start Jerry. It will or would be interesting to see the result of the “investigation” by FWP. If you are lucky enough to get an actual copy of the “investigation” Jerry please post it – it will be interesting to see the FWP’s reaction (or lack thereof).
    Several years ago when I worked at the Grand Canyon someone did essentially the same thing except that the victims were coyotes and there were a lot of them. He (she?) owned a gas station at the corner of AZ 64 and US 180 so it had tremendous exposure.

    Sorry about the lyrics below but I attended a Beatles Festival last weekend and it semed pertinent to the subject matter of this thread.

    Hey, Bungalow Bill
    What did you kill
    Bungalow Bill? (2x)

    HE WENT out tiger hunting with his elephant and gun
    In case of accidents he always took his mom (pronounced “mum”)
    He’s the all American bullet-headed saxon mother’s son.
    All the children sing

    Hey Bungalow Bill
    What did you kill
    Bungalow Bill? (2x)

    Deep in the jungle where the mighty tiger lies
    Bill and his elephants were taken by surprise
    So Captain Marvel zapped him right between the eyes
    All the children sing

    Hey, Bungalow Bill
    What did you kill
    Bungalow Bill? (2x)

    The children asked him if to kill was not a sin
    But when he looked so fierce, his mummy butted in
    If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him
    All the children sing

    Hey, Bungalow Bill
    What did you kill
    Bungalow Bill?

  4. Alan Sachanowski Avatar
    Alan Sachanowski

    May 30, 2008.

    From Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks:

    A black bear hunter shot and killed a wolf on May 27 five miles north of Olney. Zachary Harms of Kalispell was driving his truck up a forest road when he saw movement on the side of the road. He walked along the road carrying his rifle, thinking that he may have seen a black bear. Two wolves then ran out from the side of the road. The larger wolf ran across the road and up the hillside. The smaller wolf ran down the road directly towards Harms. The wolf closed to approximately 10 feet and Harms fired his rifle, hitting the wolf in the front of the head. The hunter contacted the sheriff’s office later that day and reported that he had killed a wolf.

    FWP Warden Chris Crane and Warden Captain Lee Anderson returned to the scene with the hunter to investigate. The wardens found that the evidence was consistent with Harms’ description. Harms said that the wolf was not growling as it ran towards him, but he still felt that the wolf was a threat to his life.

    “Based on the evidence, this was a justifiable self-defense shooting as allowed for in state law,” said Anderson. Anderson said the wolf was a female that appeared to be in good condition.

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It’s funny how most people in the woods are usually not carrying rifles, but as “luck would have it” the 2 actual near attacks by a wolf (Sundles, and now this guy), they were fortunate to have their rifle.

    Was is really their good future or are the stories made up or exaggerated?

  6. Ryan Avatar

    “It’s funny how most people in the woods are usually not carrying rifles, but as “luck would have it” the 2 actual near attacks by a wolf (Sundles, and now this guy), they were fortunate to have their rifle.”

    Which woods are you in? Most of the woods I’m in the vast majority of people are armed in one way or another. Espicially during hunting season which is going on right now for both Turkeys and Spring bear.

    In the popular hiking areas, less people are armed (in my locale for instance, mt rainier, mt hood, mt saint helens, Three finger Jack to a certain extent) are mostly hiker dominated in summer. The rest of the state though the vast majority of forest users that I see are hunters, loggers, and ranchers. These areas are usually less scenic (which is about 95% of Oregon and Washington)

  7. Sara O. Avatar
    Sara O.

    This killing occurred between Togowotee Pass and Moran Junction

    By Kathy Weber & The Associated Press
    Story Published: May 15, 2008 at 6:35 PM MDT

    Story Updated: May 15, 2008 at 6:35 PM MDT

    BILLINGS – Wyoming officials say someone has illegally shot a wolf in the northwest part of the state.
    The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is offering a $3,000 dollar reward for any information on the shooting. It is the first known illegal killing of a wolf in the state since the animals were removed from the endangered species list.

    Sixteen other wolves have been killed legally in Wyoming since late March.

  8. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    By carrying rifles, I meant that — rifle on your shoulder ready to shoot in case of your game or that rare attacking wolf.

    I’m usually armed in the more general sense that I have a pistol in camp, but I’m not usually carrying a rifle. If a wolf decided to suddenly run right out of the trees for me, it would get me.

    Most of my trips to “the woods” are just 15 minutes away and are for short hikes to continue the “therapy” for my knee injury. Most of the people I see are bikers, hikers, campers, ATVers; but that’s the Caribou National Forest next to Pocatello, ID

  9. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    Is it just me, or is the account of a black bear hunter being “charged” by a wolf a bit of a stretch?

    Years ago I worked as a fire lookout on the Stillwater State Forest, with Olney, MT as home base. I was on a ridge, and on one side of the divide, I looked down on Olney & Kalispell, and the other side of the divide was the North Fork of the Flathead, Glacier NP, and Canada. This was when wolves first started drifting into the states from Canada. I never understood the need to trap them or chase them down, put radio collars on the poor beasts, and “study” them. We already knew the essentials on wolves, it was just the same ol’ wolves in a new neighborhood. Has one wolf study of the North Fork Wolves or wolves in Yellowstone, made one bit of difference in how Montana, Wyoming, or Idaho are now “managing” wolves?

  10. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    No, Dave.

    In fact techniques learned that avoid conflict were put to use for a while, but now dropped.

    If any livestock are killed, some nearby wolves have to die. It doesn’t particularly matter which ones.

    I think this method has been used for thousands of years.

  11. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    Ralph: I should not have gone off on a tangent and combined wolf charges hunter with my concerns about research. Do you think a wolf charging a hunter, a hiker, a birder, or anybody else, is plausible?

    I could see a wolf pausing to watch people–then getting shot head on, with the shooter knowing it would be impossible to prove the wolf wasn’t approaching–but a wolf startled by someone and then running directly toward that person until it was only 10 feet away? That seems a bit far-fetched. What do you think?

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    It’s OK. A mixed topic thread is a problem to follow.

    Good forensics might determine this. Presently Montana has a very strong incentive to “look good” because it appears Judge Molloy might give Montana a thumbs up and Idaho and Montana the opposite.

  13. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    On the grizzly 399 thread, “Save bears” said this might have been a situation where bear spray could have been used as a non-lethal alternative to a firearm–who said bear spray works on wolves? Is this just more shilling by a sales rep for a bear spray company? Has bear spray been tested on wolves? What next, bear spray for surfers to ward off sharks? Bear spray for boaters in Africa who fear hippos? Part of the reason bear spray “works” is that grizzly bears have such sensitive noses. Maybe it won’t work as well, or maybe it won’t work at all, on critters with a less developed sense of smell. I wish there was a way to get rid of TV salespeople who want you to buy products like the world’s greatest vacuum cleaner, bear spray, the $12.99 a bottle cure for pimples, diet pills that burn fat, etc.

  14. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I said, could, I did not say would…I was thinking out of the box, that is all, what is your problem?

  15. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    By the way, I don’t work for any bear spray company, in fact, I have never seen a can of bear spray in person…so I really have no clue as to what you are talking about….I don’t really even know, I based my statement on what I have read on the internet as well as in newspapers….so now I am really at a loss

  16. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Well, I don’t know anything about folks working for bear spray companies or not, but I suspect it would work on a wolf.

    But, hey, we are mixing up the new thread if we change to this topic. So let’s not discuss it here.

  17. Linda Hunter Avatar

    a wolf charging a hunter who has a rifle . . is it plausible? It always makes me wonder when I hear these words “The wardens found that the evidence was consistent with Harms’ description.” I would love to know if the wardens can track. Can they go to the scene and even find it? I don’t know many wardens who can track. . that said, there are some notable exceptions. There are some members of ISPT who are game wardens and in whose area people do not get away with telling versions of the truth.

  18. Linda Hunter Avatar

    By the way, I just got back from a drive around the west which included a fast passage of southern Wyoming. . . there are not many RV’s on the road there . . only a few and I do not think it is because of Wyoming’s game policies so any boycott efforts would be lost in the void of people who has stopped taking trips because of gas prices. . . I was checking out road kill at 70 MPH and saw antelope, bager, rabbits, moose, and german shepard . . whoa look at those feet!! Couldn’t go back. I hope it wasn’t a wolf.

  19. Nathan Hobbs Avatar


    Not good news at all,
    I have a questions for those that know, has there been any evidence or cases where wolves have been fed by Joe Tourist?

    In the park two days ago I came across a young yearling wolf near sheep eater cliff, Rick the biologist working in Lamar valley had told me he had survived Mange that
    winter, he was very lonely looking and his howl was mournful, one of the tourists there said he looks so sad I wish we could feed it, needless to say she got a very stern look and I told her Never Never feed anything…..

    Bear spray will work on just about anything that has a nose. Depending where I am I will either have a full size grizzly can or a smaller personal size.

    Why this person did not fire a warning shot or scream or kick a rock towards the wolf when he was at 20 feet is a mystery to me, did he wait until the wolf walked up to 10 feet and just shot? He obviously had his sight drawn and was preparing to kill that animal long before it reached that distance to him.

  20. Mike Avatar

    So a wolf trotting towards you with no signs of agression at all is allowed to be killed? Why wasn’t this person wearing bear spray? He was in grizzly country.

  21. vicki Avatar

    Police officers have been pepper sraying dogs for years, so I am sure bear spray would be effective on a wolf. It would undoubtedly burn their mucousa as it would with bears.

    A man shooting anything in self defense using a rifle is a stretch. It would require a great deal of effort and premeditation to put a rifle to your shoulder, aim and then accurately fire it at a rapidly approaching target. Soldiers have difficult time doing it, and their enemy doesn;t run nearly as fast as wolves do.

    If the wolves had been shot with pistols or shot guns, I might consider the story, but I am dismissing this as a case of ego-boosting defense of a testosterone overload…a/k/a crap!

  22. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    If I remember correctly, there was an accusation of people feeding the wolves in the Hayden Valley area a couple of years ago, because they had become very habituated to people and were approaching snowmobiles as well as cars and people

  23. Linda Hunter Avatar

    OK I know Ralph said this is off the subject but Dave Smith I would really like to know, since you seem so sensible in every other aspect, what you have against pepper spray? Is there some personal experience that makes you so adamant against it. . as far as testing it on various animals those tests have been misinterpreted widely in in the past, i. e. the one where bears were attracted to it on the ground when it began to smell more like pizza. Although I have carried it for bears I have used it on a swarm of bees (good result), racoons (good result) and dogs (good result). And though nothing replaces common sense, which they don’t sell in a can and I don’t remotely work for a pepper spray company, I still find it is the best alternative to a firehose, gun, helicopter, bomb, fire extinquisher, or AK47. It is lighter and easier to operate than any of those.

  24. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Let’s close this thread. If you want to do one on pepper spray, emai me.



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