Idaho and Montana are still doing “wolf weeklies” or bi-weeklies to inform citizens.

Wyoming has done zip since June.

Montana Wolf Weekly. Aug. 23-29, 2008. This is a publication of Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

These state reports are mostly about killing wolves for alleged attacks on livestock. I’m worried what the final toll will be at the end of the year. See the comments below. Folks, we are getting almost no information.

Earlier. Wildlife officials kill two wolves Friday near Hall. Posted on August 15. These were Willow Creek Pack wolves. Hall, MT is near Drummond, MT (better known).

Montana wolves eradicated because of livestock depredation. By Lee News Service. I hadn’t been following this, but I just realized they have gradually killed 13 wolves, eliminating the Willow Creek pack. The individual stories are pretty minor — a lamb here, a calf there. FWP had gone to trouble to deploy fladry.

Update. Sept. 6, 2008. Wolves killed near Eureka, Montana (Murphy Lake Pack). Missoulian. By Michael Jamison. This is a pack dating to 1989 (remember that wolves were reintroduced in 1996 and 6). They killed a few sheep in 1997. Eureka is near the Canadian Border.  My photo of Dickey Lake, close to Murphy Lake (my one trip to the area).

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

17 Responses to Montana wolf weekly Aug 23-29. Willow Creek Pack wiped out, 13 wolves over time.

  1. Buffaloed says:

    Here is Idaho’s wolf report.

    The last two reports have contained absolutely no useful information just figures on how many have been killed but nothing on where control actions are happening and very little information about monitoring. It’s B.S. if you ask me. I wrote to them a couple of weeks ago to request that they use the old format with more information but it appears that they are not going to honor my request.

    I suggest that you all send an email asking for more information to be included in the reports.

  2. Thanks, Buffaloed.

    . . . and as I said, Wyoming produces no information at all!

  3. Jay Barr says:

    ID’s switch to this generic format, that provides no useful information to the interested reader, smacks of secrecy. What’s to hide? IDFG and Wildlife Services in cahoots to keep the tax-paying citizens of this country from knowing how many wolves are being killed to further subsidize the livestock industry?

  4. John says:

    “Alleged killing”
    Shouldn’t lethal control only be used for confirmed livestock kills that are truly making a critical dent in the farmer’s livelihood?

  5. I think control should be for something significant, not a lamb here and a calf there.

    The fact that these were on private land, rather than public land, in the view of many people, reduces the sympathy for wolves (or increases sympathy for whoever owned the livestock).

  6. Andy says:

    As far as I know, they’ve been hunting wolves all summer in the area where I’ve been working, the Blacktail Range south of Dillon. This range is a complicated mess of BLM, state and private lands, which makes management as far as range or wildlife practically impossible. Here’s a story from the latest incident. While the story mentions all the protections for sheep, I was working up on the highest part of the range on BLM lands (supposedly a wilderness study area) and saw hundreds of unsupervised sheep with no visible protection, and no herder in sight.

  7. I agree with you Buffaloed.

    However, the latest Idaho report does give wolf mortality data. It reads:

    From January 1 – August 29, Idaho Fish and Game and the Nez Perce Tribe have documented 102 dead wolves. Of those, 63 were depredation control actions, five illegal kills, 13 legal kills, three natural kills and 17 other. An additional nine wolves were suspected dead – reported road kills not verified, collars on mortality not picked up, etc. Depredations are at record levels this year nearly doubling levels incurred last year at this time.

    I suspect, but can’t prove that depredation levels are at a record because or one or more of the following

    1. livestock owners are sloppy because they know there are no legal consequences under state management.

    2. Wildlife Services is now more willing to call possible wolf kills “confirmed wolf kills.”

    3. the population of wolves has grown a lot.

  8. heather says:

    I thought Ed Bangs was retired after a ‘successful’ wolf reintroduction program?? why is he still the contact? I am reading Buffaloed’s first comment

  9. natehobbs says:

    Could the lack of information and the change of formats from the states reporting be related to the pending lawsuit?

    Perhaps a court order is in order to wrestle accurate information from Wyoming and the other states.

    Sounds to me that even with wolves under court ordered ESA protection there is plenty of killing going on and lots of it is being shrouded in vagueness.

  10. John says:

    By any means necessary…

  11. Save bears says:


    There is Going to be plenty of killing as well as shrouded in mist..People wanted them back on the list, unfortunately, the states still have the right to “Manage” them, I knew this was going to happen and I suspect the longer this lasts the worse it will get..

  12. Barb says:

    that’s the problem with allowing certain states that are historically hostile to predators like wolves to “manage” their own populations. Their idea of “management” is kill early, kill often.

    Outrageous that this is legal.

    This must be brought into the light for all the country to see and understand what is going on.

    Taking wolves off the endangered species list is like opening up year round hunting season on them. Wolves need permanent protection from those hostile towards them.

  13. Save bears says:


    The problem is, other than those of us that frequent websites like this, really don’t care, they watch a story about wolves on Animal Planet or NatGeo and oh and awe, they spend a week or two in Yellowstone, then completely forget about the wolves, bear and bison, until the next whim of visiting nature crosses their mind.

    For the most part, they don’t think about wildlife issues unless it is conducive to their current and immediate plans..

  14. Barb says:

    And your take on that?

  15. Save bears says:

    My take on my comments? It is just that, I have worked in the wildlife biological field for a number of years now, including in an official state government capacity, and have found that the majority of Americans don’t think about it…they think about health care, the economy and how to keep the kids fed. It is amazing, how many don’t even have comprehension on where Yellowstone is, let alone what the wildlife issues are..

    Lets just take or example, how many Bison have been killed in the last 20 years? and how many Americans have actually taken a stance, or even know about it? less than 1/10% of 1% are even aware of it, we have a country of 300 million people and still only about 3 million people visit Yellowstone each year, and it is estimated that about 32% of those are people reside outside the US, there were more bison killed just last winter, than the whole of the wolf population in the lower 48!

    Wildlife issues are important, to those of us, that visit and watch and read, but I am just sorry to say, the vast majority have bigger priorities on their mind that how wolves are killed or how many are killed.. It is sad, but unfortunately it is reality, until it is shown how it affects their life, I just don’t see it changing much, and that is from one that has worked in the field..

  16. Barb says:

    Yes, unfortunately you are right. The Democrats like to pride themselves for being environmentalists, but really, if you look at many of their voting records, they are failures.

    Ken Salazar, one of Colorado’s senators and a Democrat, who comes from 3 generations of ranching families, believes horse slaughter is the ONLY solution to so-called overpopulation — which is ridiculous. It’s not as if you see wild horses all over the U.S.!

    Maybe if people would start actually looking at candidate’s records, they would get a better look at who they are actually voting for. If candidates dismiss wildlife issues, I think that says something about their character or lack thereof.

    People are so consumed by their own problems and sometimes it is understandable. But many others are so focused on themselves, their needs, that they forget others including animals. In my mind, animals are not just objects to be exploited. They are a precious resource intrinsically valuable in their own right and need to be protected.

    I found this posting on another blog and thought it was interesting:

    Prior to her one year as governor of Alaska, she was mayor of Wasilla, a small red neck town outside Anchorage.The average maximum education level of parents of junior high school kids in Wasilla is 10th grade. Unfortunately, I have to go to Wasilla every week to get groceries and other supplies, so I have continual contact with the people who put Palin in office in the first place. I know what I’m talking about.

    These people don’t have a concept of the world around them or of the serious issues facing the US. Furthermore, they don’t care. So long as they can go out and hunt their moose every fall, kill wolves and bears and drive their snow mobiles and ATVs through every corner of the wilderness, they’re happy. I wish I were exaggerating.

  17. vicki says:

    I have said this before, and I will keep saying it. The generation you need to effect is still in school people. You can preach and teach environmentalism all you want to people that vote right now, but you are trying to get old dogs to learn new tricks.
    If you want to impact the future, impact those who will vote in it. You have got to bring the outdoors to schools, and the students to the outdoors. There are few people who appreciate the environment who didn’t have that influence from childhood.
    The number of people who are environmentally inclined is increasing. But we will not get government funds to teach conservation in schools-as a general rule. So people like those who value conservation here are going to have to volunteer, give free lectures and mentor students in your area and surrounding areas. If you are really gung-ho take the outdoors experience to inner city shut ins or take them to the outdoors. You may give a kid a chance to avoid a very negative outlook and even jail time by sharing your love for nature.
    Sadly, Save Bears is right. Not just because people don’t care though, most people have to choose what they have time and money to support. That doesn’t leave much for conservation whenyou have mouths to feed. I don’t think the majority have a blatant disregard, they have a sad necessity to pick between voting for the lesser of two evils.

    You could mentor at local schools. There is always the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization. You could give a lunch time slide show to grade schoolers. You could establish a small non-profit that would gather donations to then be used to take a small group of students to YNP, or any other national park…who would not otherwise have known the joys of the great outdoors. It requires some effort from each of us. You effect change by effecting how people perceive value in things.


September 2008


‎"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