First Montana wolf hunt kill recorded

Wolf was shot north of Yellowstone Park-

First wolf hunt kill recorded. By Eve Byron Helena Independent Record

Few details are available on-line so far.



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  1. Ken Cole Avatar

    The bigger story in the article is that the judge declined to speed up the process in the bigger case.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Thanks Ken,

    Well, assuming those opposed to this delisting win, a full discussion of the issues might be better than an quick win with a summary judgment.

    A win now through a summary judgment regarding Wyoming’s exclusion from the delisting would simply make a Wyoming wolf plan a big issue in the next Wyoming legislative session. If they pass something crappy that squeaks by USFWS, we are back at the bad delisting.

    If wolf recovery is to last, the problem is not wolf hunts, it is Wildlife Services and their plan to kill off the wolves using livestock depredations as an excuse.
    – – – –
    I should add that this likely means a full wolf hunt in both states.

  3. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I should add that this likely means a full wolf hunt in both states.

    What do you mean by a full wolf hunt Ralph?

  4. JimT Avatar

    Ralph, it will depend on the remedy the Judge fashions as to whether or not we are back at a bad delisting decision, or whether he just says the species deserves listing until the scientific parameters are met. I haven’t seen the actual pleadings in all stages of the cases, so don’t know what is in the minds of the enviro clients and lawyers on this issue.

    And even then, I am hoping and praying there is put in place a “kill switch” for any state program that comes up short in monitoring and ensuring the continued health and growth…remember, a healthy population of anything isn’t stagnant…of the wolf. Not that I trust USFWS a hell of a lot, but this debacle exhibited by all three states give me NO faith in their ability to do anything but find a way to kill all the wolves again.

    The elk issue may be resolved on its own with the news of the wasting disease and its seemingly permanent presence. Cows and sheep..we all know the answer to that issue as well…get them the hell off of public lands. If there are going to be livestock on the public lands, let it be bison and bison alone.

    I agree about WS; easiest way to just de-fund them as a cost cutting measure; surely that is something folks in DC can use as an excuse to finally undo this dinosaur of an agency.

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    JimT and others,

    I think this means the hunting season, for good or ill, will likely be completely (or nearly so).

    Regarding the reassumption of management of USFWS my view is that they had two good wolf managers in the whole of their control of the program. Both were in Idaho. The first was Roy Heberger, who was followed by Carter Niemeyer when Heberger retired.

    I can’t speak highly of the results under Joe Fontaine in Montana or Mike Jeminez in Wyoming. The large growth in wolves in Montana has actually taken place while Carolyn Sime has been managing wolves as part of the Montana Dept. of Fish Wildlife and Park.

    The wolf population in Montana stagnated for a long time. It grew in Wyoming and stopped with Jimenez’s growing willingness to order removals for livestock depredations and lack of interest in any recovery outside of the Wyoming’s always illegally designated area.

    On the other hand, Heberger and Niemeyer saw a large population growth, and under Niemeyer relative comity between the various parties. Niemeyer has a knack for bringing people together. Under Niemeyer livestock depredations were also low, especially compared to the wolf population. I know he worked hard to get livestock interests to do the right thing. Because he worked for Wildlife Services at one time, I think he knew the people and had influence with them to keep their bad implulses under control.

  6. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Interesting how Montana has not opened up everything to hunting like Idaho has.

  7. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Idaho has not opened everything up yet. Can you clarify?

  8. Cris Waller Avatar
    Cris Waller

    Here’s a slightly more informative story-

  9. Craig Avatar

    ProWolf, maybe you should look at Idaho’s F&G website.

  10. Ken Cole Avatar

    I understand that the wolf reportedly taken from the Middle Fork Zone was the only collared wolf of the Hoodoo Pack and it originally came from the Washakie Pack in Wyoming.

    There is also a proposal by the USFS to allow the IDFG to dart and collar wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness using a helicopter. This would require landing in the Wilderness which is illegal under the Wilderness Act. This needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

  11. Cris Waller Avatar
    Cris Waller


    Does that mean that the dead wolf was the one described here- ? If so, quite a genetic loss, as this was an animal that travelled quite a way when he dispersed.

  12. Ken Cole Avatar

    I’m not sure but it sounds like it very well could be.

  13. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Craig and Ralph, I meant to say that they don’t plan to open everything up like Idaho has. I did know that not everywhere was open in Idaho yet.

    Ken, why are they collaring wolves in the Frank Church?

  14. JimT Avatar

    Ken, contact D.Honald of EarthJustice in the Wyoming office…give him any reliable information you have about this…

  15. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    In looking at the map, the only areas that will not be open are National Park lands and Native American reservations, the land that the state has control of or works in conjunction with other agencies will be open, so essentially, the whole state of Montana will be open, just as Idaho will be eventually.

  16. gline Avatar

    D Honnold is in the Bozeman office.

  17. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Yes a lot of the area isn’t open to hunting yet, although in Idaho the4 zones now open have quite a few wolves.

    I think more wolves will be killed in the hunt when there is snow on the ground and especially when the deer and elk are compressed into their winter range.

  18. Amy Avatar

    I hear Colorado is in need of wolves….why don’t we send a bunch down there? Rocky Mountain National Park could use them big time from what my park ranger friends tell me.

    As opposed to not delisting and hunting wolves what do y’all suggest for a better method of management?

    And just leaving them to their own devices really isn’t an answer, so aside from that…what would you do?

    Either way, I’m glad I don’t have to sit in that hot seat.

    I love the wolves, I want them around and they are hear to stay….

    I’m also a 4th generation rancher and I love ranching, rural life, my public lands and all that ranching offers, despite the backbreaking work.

    The wolves on my family ranch leave our animals alone so far…and hopefully that will continue. However, I will deal with any wolves I find in the ACT of attacking livestock.

    Some of us are in the middle…what would you have us do?

  19. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    This is an interesting comment, but I am confused about your statement “The wolves on my family ranch leave our animals alone so far…and hopefully that will continue”

    There are no wolves in Colorado yet, except a couple lone ones that have showed up.


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