Federal agents hunt for wolves from 5 Montana packs

Up to 22 wolves could be killed in Montana

“Carolyn Sime with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks says it is unusual to have so many livestock attacks this late in the year.”

This couldn’t be what happens when you disrupt pack structure with a hunt could it? These questions need to be asked of wolf managers.

See: Wolf hunt information and effects that need to be collected

Federal agents hunt for wolves from 5 packs. Associated Press – Idaho Statesman

So far this year 91 Montana wolves were killed by livestock owners directly or Wildlife Services (mostly WS). 112 were killed in the hunt, natural causes, etc. This is a total of 203 dead wolves. If this action is carried out the dead wolf total for the year could reach 225, or 45% of the state’s wolf population. The rule of thumb, meaning it isn’t a hard and fast percentage, is that somewhat over 30% of the wolves in a state can die during a year with no decline in the wolf population.


  1. Salle Avatar

    Indeed, the first question should be: Are these wolves, being sought for killing now, remnants of packs that lost members during the hunt?

    I would speculate that they probably are. This falls right into my comments to MTFW&P during their meetings on the wolf hunt two years, and longer, ago. Guess those comments fell on deaf ears. I said that nobody knows how the hunt will affect pack dynamics and many, including former USFWS agents, claimed that removal of alphas (in particular) could easily result in greater predations by younger members of the pack(s).

    I think that MTFW&P have a lot of questions to answer concerning this series of events and I, personally, would like to know how they plan to do that ~ outside of killing more wolves. I don’t anticipate that IDF&G even give a shit other than it gives them yet another excuse to kill more wolves.

    Mr. Gamblin talks about hunters and whether they engage in “thrill killing” of wolves. I believe that it is also the IDF&G/WS crowd that is most interested in the “thrill kill” aspect of all of this. And they hide behind the alleged “science” that they also claim ~ out of the other side of their mouths ~ doesn’t exist.

    The wolf eradication machine is buzzing away at an accelerated pace… at taxpayer and ecosystem expense.

  2. mikarooni Avatar

    The issue of whether the “removal of alphas… could… result in greater predations by younger members of the pack(s)” should not be underestimated. Wolves have a very long maturation period during which older members of the packs teach them what and how to hunt. If the older members are teaching them to hunt livestock, then action must be taken; however, if the older members of a properly functioning pack, a pack that is hunting wild game and not livestock, are removed, then the younger wolves will gravitate toward easier prey. This is the problem with open hunting or with an FWP that suffers from too much political influence. In either case, the “thrill” of the hunt or, in the case of the FWP bureaucrats, the knee-jerk urge to be seen as “doing something” takes precedence over cautious science and older wolves are harvested indiscriminately, often causing problems rather than solving them.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    This is a critical question because many said it was possible that a wolf hunt would increase livestock problems as packs that had been split up set loose young wolves that had not been fully taught that their prey was deer and elk, not livestock.

    Montana FWP needs to let us know if these are disrupted packs, the age of any wolves that are controlled, and if the wolves are new to the immediate area.

  4. jerryB Avatar

    Once again……..ask Sime and associates these questions. I just sent a request for info, proposed studies, data on hunt etc.
    “casime@mt.gov” Caroline Sime(wolf manager)
    “jmaurier@mt.gov Joe Maurier (director of MFWP)
    “kmcdonald@mt.gov” Ken McDonald (wildlife mgmt director)

  5. steve c Avatar
    steve c

    I hope we get a wolf ruling soon.

  6. timz Avatar

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong but a ruling to relist wolves as endangered won’t stop this type of killing unless the put the whammy on the 10j rule.

  7. Salle Avatar

    I agree that this sort of this will not stop unless the 10j is rescinded. Unless that happens, this sort of death march will probably accelerate with impunity. Unless, of course the states actually go broke, then maybe, they will stop paying the extorted fees WS receives in payment for their “work”… or is that play (for some of them, I’m guessing that’s how they see it)?

  8. timz Avatar

    In Idaho they would likely find the money to keep up the killing, probably take it from something of less importance, like the schools.

  9. Salle Avatar

    I’m sure they’ve been doing that all along anyway, now they’re talking about closing state parks as well.

  10. nabeki Avatar

    I’m beyond grief.

  11. gline Avatar

    I agree Nabeki.

  12. Cindy Avatar

    I just received a copy of Gary Ferguson’s book for Christmas, the Yellowstone Wolves, the first year. I’ve read so many newer books I look forward to getting lost in this one for a few nights. I will recall the first hard year and what went into getting our beloved Wolves back where they belong, in the wild west. I will renew my dedication to fight for their right to live amongst us. I will pray they receive many miracles for Christmas. I will write emails, I will make telephone calls and I will shed more tears. And when I am done doing all that–I’ll start over and do it again and again and again. These will are going to make it damn it..and I promise with all my heart to do my part to see they get the chance.

  13. Cindy Avatar

    sorry! These Wolves are going to make it damn it.

  14. gline Avatar

    Butch Otter and Brian Schweitzer could use copies of that book – should be required reading for those in public office.

  15. Marc Cooke Avatar
    Marc Cooke

    My grief and heartache are turning to anger. This has me concerned ! I have to stay foucused or I am no better then Fish and Game & WS.

  16. jerryB Avatar

    Gline….I’d say that “Defenders of Wildlife” and the “Western Wolf Coalition” need a copy of that book also.
    Once again, where the hell are they? Oh ya, forget, they’re “consensus building” to build “tolerance” amongst the ranchers for wolves.
    What a couple of lame ass organizations!

  17. Marc Cooke Avatar
    Marc Cooke

    DOW is all about $$$$$

  18. Marc Cooke Avatar
    Marc Cooke

    Jerry B
    I am getting off the topic but would like to pass this on. Its not meant to bash anyone… The facts speak for themself.
    I have been at every Molloy court hearing concerning wolfs. S.Stone and DOW was at the last hearing. After the hearing we talked abit. As soon as they understood I was not a member of DOW they blew me off. It did not matter that I spend hundreds of hours, send hundreds of letters and emails and spend what money I can afford on behalf of wolfs. I was not a member of DOW.

  19. Cindy Avatar

    “Tonight I lie in my bed and think of them. Mostly the seventeen wolves just released, wondering what might be going through their hands as they make their way out to the wild, ragged edges of this new world. It’s hard for me not to marvel now at lives so devoted to group, bonded in ways that seem both familiar and unfathomable-linked by fantastical threads that pull them through the ebb and flow of the hunt, nudge them into playfulness, lend them the urge to all stop on some windswept ridge and unleash round after round of howling. And yet even with that they maintain a striking individuality; confident or cowering; playful or serious; some that will live all their days retiring and shy, others that will die full of fire. And all of them, it seems, destined to leave human theories about who they are and what they will do riddled with exceptions.”
    ——from The Yellowstone Wolves, the first year – Gary Ferguson.

  20. nabeki Avatar

    I am worried and concerned that the big wolf orgs are not front and center on this. We need big media and soon. The only thing that will stop this slaugher is push back from Americans that don’t have any idea what is happening here on the ground. Defenders has an ad in NY going and that’s great but but we need them to speak up here in Montana and Idaho for wolves that are being gunned down by WS!!!

  21. Cindy Avatar

    darn me- the powerful statement should read “wondering what might be going through their heads”, not hands.
    and I read and read twice!

  22. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    In Idaho they would likely find the money to keep up the killing, probably take it from something of less importance, like the schools.

    Don’t kid yourself timz, that’s Montana also. Both states have very underfunded schools.

  23. gline Avatar

    Cindy, the power of that paragraph out does the small grammatical error. no biggie.

    I must have this book. I have thought of the different wolf personalities before… ie when the aerial gunned, the amount of fear in the shy, reclusive wolf. You can see the shyness in some wolf eyes. Aerial gunning disgusts me.

  24. gline Avatar

    Marc Cooke don’t really see you going the way of WS or F&G… somehow… !

    Yea Jerry I agree on your statement re: Defenders not doing their job! On my hike with my dogs tonight I was thinking about how counterproductive it is to have a huge ad in Times Square. NY is so removed from us. There might be more people, so more donation $, but the root problem still exists- the culture of hate for wolves. The big ad nurtures the hate! The hate of wildness in the west needs to be healed. and I say healed, not killed.

  25. izabelam Avatar

    I dont’ know what’s going on with media and big wildlife supporters. I think this all related to our economy, lack of jobs, issues with health bill…Tiger Woods…hehhehehe..it is like people care about all the things (including who sleeps with who) but less and less care about wildlife..and then we wake up too late so we can reintroduce them again and congratulate ourslefves for a great success of re-introducion of wolevs…sorry for the sarcasm but this is exactly where we are heading now…

  26. izabelam Avatar

    you are so right..people hate wolves. it goes back to Little Red Riding Hood which has been read to little girls and boys at bedtime….
    and Americans in Alabama and Virginia don’t realy care.
    Some of my frineds dont’ care. I am trying to convince them that if you take a picture of it…protect it…darn it..I am getting mad…

  27. Layton Avatar


    ” On my hike with my dogs tonight I was thinking about how counterproductive it is to have a huge ad in Times Square. NY is so removed from us”

    Oh, you were able to take a hike with your dogs — cool!! You must live where there are no wolves — right??

  28. gline Avatar

    Am I really supposed to reply to that?

  29. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    Gline those outside of the areas that are effected by wolves are those that support it the most. You should know that by now. Thats why they have ads in NY, greenecks live there. Thats their target audience, not people that live in the Rockies etc.

  30. gline Avatar

    for christ sake give me a break josh – talk to the hand.

  31. Rich Hurry Avatar
    Rich Hurry


    In spite of what state officials assume, there are a lot of people who believe that this country belongs to ALL the people. Woody Guthrie had it right in 1940, when he wrote “This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land.”

    Thus, residents of New York City; Key West, Florida; Topeka, Kansas; Hell, Michigan; and, everywhere else in our 50 states have a right to act on what goes on with wolves as someone who is fortunate enough to have a pack nearby. This is not just a local or regional issue.

  32. Cris Waller Avatar

    Here’s an article that puts the death toll across the three states at 500 wolves-


  33. Percy Avatar

    It seems wrong to me to reintroduce a species and then, before the population has a chance of stabilizing, before any long-term studies can evaluate their effects on ecosystems and ungulate populations, the government slaughters them and the hunters get the green light to do so too.

    I really did not anticipate the scale of killing and invasive management that is happening. When I consider the suffering of these intelligent, social animals, it makes me wonder if we should have reintroduced them at all. Every time I read these articles, I see a writhing, crying wolf shot dead from a helicopter after being chased down, its pack mates forced to flee. I wish humans could exercise a little give and take with predator species. At the first sign of an animal inconveniencing a human in any way, the animal is destroyed.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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