Wolf sightings rise near Casper, Wyoming

Some good news from central Wyoming-

Wolf sightings rise near Casper. By Wes Smalling Casper Star Tribune.

This is deep in Wyoming’s “kill-them-all zone,” but with the wolf relisted, they can’t do it.



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  1. Layton Avatar


    Wolves have reached places like Denver, Rock Springs, Casper, Ogden, and Idaho — from Yellowstone, BUT it must be just the “missionary” or “chaste” ones, cuz’ Judge Malloy sez no genetic exchange is occuring.

    How come just the ones that don’t “do it” are traveling?

  2. Salle Avatar

    If it is a new mating pair on the move from Yellowstone DPS

    a) they haven’t reproduced yet.

    b) there would be genetic mixing since they both came from the same population.

    c) a pair of wolves breaking into new territory that far from the Yellowstone DPS recovery area in fifteen years doesn’t exactly sound like the “breeding like rats” scenario we hear so much about.

    Truly, dispersion is probable~eventually~but there hasn’t been a mass migration by any stretch of the imagination. And just where are the other wolves with which they are supposedly mixing their genes, pray tell?

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    We need more missionaries going to Utah 😉

  4. Salle Avatar

    “b) there would be genetic mixing since they both came from the same population.”

    Ooops, I meant to say there would NOT be any genetic mixing since they came from the same population.


  5. Ken Cole Avatar


    The issue with genetic exchange continues to be that there have been no wolves from the northwest Montana or Central Idaho populations which have successfully entered the GYE breeding population. There have been Yellowstone and northwest Idaho wolves that have bred with the Idaho population and Idaho wolves have contributed to the northwest Montana population.

    It’s all there except contribution to the Yellowstone population.

    That being said, wolves won’t be delisted until Wyoming comes up with an acceptable management plan and there is successful genetic exchange between NW Montana AND Central Idaho.

    See my latest post.

  6. Layton Avatar

    I SEE your latest post Ken, I think it goes something like this:

    Idaho Wolf Rediscovered in Wyoming
    January 29, 2009 — Ken Cole
    Idaho wolf B-271M, which was born to the Steel Mountain Pack, has shown up again west of Cody, WY after disappearing from Yellowstone’s wolf watchers last summer.

    Will he form a successful pack?

    Also, there is a wolf from NW Montana in Southeast Idaho which is part of the GYE DPS.

    Now, If he was in Yellowstone for awhile and now he’s in Wyoming, he has surely had a chance to do some “genetic exchanging” if he is so inclined.

    This genetic exchange thing has been a red herring from the word go — is the next buzzword/road block to delisting going to be something about “mass migration” or “breeding like rats” that Salle speaks about??

    Just curious.

  7. Ken Cole Avatar


    Wolves only reproduce once in a year and January to February is breeding season. These wolves may breed this year but for this to actually count their pups must survive until next year.

    Unless there is genetic evidence to show that Idaho or NW Montana wolves have bred then the case is going to be tough to make. I’m sure there will be great scrutiny on each of these wolves.

    You should be excited Layton, there are Idaho and NW MT wolves in the GYE DPS. I’m happy about it but that doesn’t ensure that Wyoming will change its plan which is the remaining hurdle for delisting if these wolves do successfully breed with GYE wolves.

  8. cobra Avatar

    I live in north Idaho not to far from the border of Montana. Although I haven’t seen any wolves packin a box of candy and a bunch flowers I’m pretty sure their still getting it done no matter what the others think.

  9. Ken Cole Avatar

    Actually cobra,

    The population of wolves north of I-90 has grown significantly in the past year outpacing the population growth to the south. I don’t have actual numbers to say exactly how much it has grown but when they are removed from the population numbers the growth rate for the whole state drops from a 7% increase to a 5% increase.

  10. cobra Avatar

    Ken, I live here and hike a lot of country as all my friends do. The numbers north of I-90 have been growing for the last three years. I would like to see a recent map of the state that outlined all active areas. I know thelast map that I saw was missing quite a few places that has had activity.

  11. Ken Cole Avatar

    I would like to see that information too. It is usually published in the spring of each year in the annual report. Recently though the IDFG has stopped giving out any specific information about wolves.


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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