Wolves are at the “top of their game” for only about a quarter of their life-

Wolves Lose Their Predatory Edge In Mid-life, Study Shows. Trent Consultants News. ASMSU Exponent.

Cougar are much better evolved for predation than wolves.

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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.

6 Responses to Wolves Lose Their Predatory Edge In Mid-life, Study Shows

  1. Alan Gregory says:

    From Colorado; wolf-pack report raises doubts, fears

  2. I read this report and wasted my time. It doesn’t take rocket science to know that all mammals, including man, start to go physically downhill at midlife. These endless studies of wolves to gather useless information need to be stopped.

    • Robert Hoskins says:


      I must disagree. I think this is good research and good useful information. In particular, it’s evidence that wolves are in fact self-regulating and don’t need to be “controlled” by humans.


    • JB says:

      I’m with Robert on this one. In fact, you might just as easily hypothesize that wolves would become better hunters in midlife, as they learn the best tactics for taking down prey. With this study we can discount the later hypothesis.

      It also has interesting management implications, especially if wolf hunts lead to a disproportionate loss of older or younger wolves.

  3. Red says:

    Something about this study doesn’t make sense. The same author found that as Yellowstone wolves get larger their hunting success increases. Perhaps, some very old/unhealthy wolves are skewing the data. Yellowstone wolves, like most populations, reach maximum body size around 5 years. In Scandinavia, where packs are mostly pairs and young pups, maximum hunting success is reached at 4.5-5.5 + years:


    Interestingly, MacNulty referenced this study and cited 4 years as the result – which is understating the age of maximum hunting success a bit.


March 2010


‎"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

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