Rare justice for a dead Mexican wolf-

NM man pleads guilty in wolf death. By Susan Montoya Bryan. Associated Press Writer

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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.

11 Responses to NM man pleads guilty in Mexican wolf death

  1. chris says:

    This lame excuse of “I thought it was a coyote” has been a problem with both Mexican and red wolves. It has been suggested to the feds and states that they ban hunting of coyotes in wolf recovery areas. The idea has been resisted due to a fear of a backlash from folks so accustomed to shooting every coyote they see.

  2. Maska says:

    The Final Rule governing the Mexican wolf reintroduction clearly states the following:

    “Taking a wolf by shooting will not be considered unavoidable, accidental, or unintentional take. Shooters have the responsibility to be sure of their targets.”
    See 50 CFR 17.84(k)

    The following statement attributed to Norm Cairns from the U. S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque is puzzling, given the clear language in the rule:

    “Norm Cairns, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said Van Hout wasn’t charged with shooting the wolf because he claimed he didn’t know it was a Mexican gray wolf when he shot it.”

  3. ProWolf in WY says:

    I agree that coyote hunting should be banned in these areas. But like you said Chris, people are accustomed to shooting every coyote they see. It is like a requirement in Montana and Wyoming. I’ve seen people pretend like they are shooting them.

  4. Jeff N. says:

    I’m curious where this shooting specifically took place, which pack this wolf belonged to, or if it was a disperser/loner.

    Bad news but it does explain something. The “real experts” of the anti-wolf faction living in the recovery area always claim there are many, many more wolves than the recovery program claims are in the wild. This finally makes sense since, apparently, these nitwits cannot tell the difference between a coyote and a wolf…….hundreds of lobos running around out there.

  5. Maska says:

    The wolf shot on 8/6/08 was AM1008 of the Laredo pack. His mate, F1028, continues to roam the recovery area alone. The pair had been placed into a pen at McKenna Park on 6/17/08 and self-released on 6/19/08.

  6. jerryB says:

    Brian or Ken…..any respose from Tuggle to the letter sent by Jon Marvel concerning the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan? Believe it was about a month ago.

  7. Jeff N. says:

    Thank you Maska. I should have looked at the date more closely. I thought it read 8/06/09. At first I thought it was a recent killing.

  8. Rick Hammel says:

    Well, it’s about time someone got prosecuted for shooting a wolf. The coyotes in NW Colorado are tall, long legged but have long snoots and pointy ears. Pretty hard to mistake them for wolves. Look before you shoot.


  9. Brian Ertz says:


    I’ve been away from the office for the past 2 weeks but nothing as of then. I’ll let you know soon.

  10. JW says:

    Once again my idea for a National Canid Protection Act would stop people for shooting coyotes for the hell of it, especially on our public lands. It is time the federal gov’t make this inexcusable practice illegal. Hopefully Defenders or a group will jump on this idea:

  11. Paul Bego says:

    “The coyotes in NW Colorado are tall, long legged but have long snoots and pointy ears. Pretty hard to mistake them for wolves.”

    Very true, especially when you consider that it WAS wearing a radio collar.



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