Montana’s wolf hunt north of Yellowstone Park is over

Quota of three wolves is filled-

Montana wolf hunters have killed the small quota of just 3 wolves immediately north of Yellowstone Park, so the wolf hunt there is now closed. It is subunit 313-316 of wolf management unit 390.

The quota next to the Park was set low because it is bad public relations when they shoot Yellowstone Park wolves when they are temporarily out of the Park. In the last Montana wolf hunt, a Park pack was destroyed.

Because of the the closeness to the Park, there is no evidence presented that these were not Park wolves.

The state of Idaho has a very large quota next to the Park (30) and their hunt runs for many months. Fortunately, wolves usually do not leave the Park to the SW as often as other Park boundaries. Idaho lies to its SW. Five wolves have been killed so far  in Idaho’s Island Park wolf hunting unit. This hunting unit also adjoins the state of Wyoming and will probably take wolves from Grand Teton National Park.



  1. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I find it courious that two of the three zones in ID that have no kills are the infamous Lolo and Selway zones. I thought there was a wolf behind every bush.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Jeff E.

      Yes. I have been waiting a while longer before asking Mark Gamblin about this improbable situation. I suppose it will be, “wait until serious rifle hunting.”

      1. wolf moderate Avatar
        wolf moderate

        Take a look at the elk hunting tags still available for the Lolo and Selway. No one is hunting there. Most people IMO, aren’t going to go all the way to the Lolo/Selway to only hunt wolves. It will be incidentally while elk hunting. From the below data it seems that nobody wants any part of those zones for elk-therefore wolves are saved.

        1. JEFF E Avatar
          JEFF E

          Don’t tell anyone but there has been an Elk and either sex deer rifle season in the Selway science the 15th of September.

          1. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            Psst. Page 32 (Bulls only).

            Psst: There was supposed to be a quota for that Selway “B” tag of 1067 but there is actually a quota of 480. Shhh. We don’t want the wolf lovers to know how bad it is…There is no prey base left :)Wolves are going to starve lol.

          2. JEFF E Avatar
            JEFF E

            I said either sex deer season.
            Obviously there are deer coming out the yinyang.

            Don’t tell anyone, but the elk HABITAT SUCKS

          3. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            Psst. Who cares about deer. They aren’t endangered like elk.

            It’s amazing that it went from 1067 Selway “B” tags to 480 and they still didn’t sell out. Are the wolves going to be OK? I guess they have the deer because there is still an either sex for the deer. That is great 🙂

            Psst: Why are we whispering? We are typing not talking. I’m so confused. Why did the Selway Elk Quota get halfed and they still didn’t sell out? So strange. I mean, like, dude, where are all the orange clad hunters running around? Is it the economy? The weather? The wolves? The habitat? What is it!

            Please enlighten me. Hunting season doesn’t open again until Monday and there is nothing to do!

          4. JEFF E Avatar
            JEFF E

            if you would have bought a tag in the Selway zone you could have been hunting elk and either sex deer from the 15th of September.
            Not to spell it out but don’t you find it the least bit curious that there is a deer population Robust enough to have an either sex hunt two months long in the same place that supposedly wolves are wiping out every thing that moves.
            Not to beat a dead horse but it has been pointed out that the elk population was crashing in those two zones long before wolves came back.
            Not saying that wolves don’t have an effect but the simple fact is the elk habitat sucks in those two zones and is the dominate reason for the declining elk populations.
            As far as the deer do you think that these monster canadian wolves that kill anything in sight have a allergy to eating deer or is the whole wolf is the author of all things negative in these zones simply a sheep story in wolves clothing.

          5. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            Not sure-if I (a wolf) were hunting game and I saw a lone deer vs a herd of elk I would go for the elk. Why? Because with the greater numbers comes greater opportunity.

            What is the chance that the one (or a couple) deer is/are sick, old, or young? Now if there is a large herd of elk, what are the chances of one being sick, old, or young? Numbers=opportunity. IMO.

            PS: I could care less if wolves eat elk as long as they are managed. Hunters=money for the state. Money for the state=More social and wildlife funds-something we all want.

          6. JEFF E Avatar
            JEFF E

            I don’t have problems with managing wolves based on sound wildlife science and ecology.

            That is not the case in Idaho and Wyoming however. It is politics and hyperbolye,plain and simple.

            But one other question. The Elk and deer rifle season has been going for beter than three weeks now in the Selway zone, the wolf season two weeks longer than that, but not one wolf killed, YET there are so many wolves there according to the state, we have to have a 10 month long season with absolutly no age or sex restrictions so that this (mythical) over population of wolves can be reduced.

            2+2 is not adding up to 4 here

          7. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            Selway Zone – B Tag



            190 elk hunters in selway unit. Success rate for 2009 Wolf harvest was <1%. So, if we use the 2009 average wolf harvest there should be less than 1.9 wolves harvested (by the end of the season). Now, the season just started 2 weeks ago, so who knows. +/- 2 wolves is nothing. Could be weather, lack of hunter "enthusiasm", economy, or who knows? Maybe the "A" Selway tag hasn't kicked in yet?

            Take into account that wolves could have learned a bit from the 2009 hunt and all of the sudden the lack of hunter wolf harvest makes sense.

            PS: Search my, Save Bears, WM Etc… posts. It has been repeated several times that as the seasons progress the success rates will drop further…Is that even possible lol. It's already less than 1%!

        2. JEFF E Avatar
          JEFF E

          you want to focus on the elk hunters while ignoring the fact that the deer season has also been in full swing for more than three weeks and there are way more people that hunt deer than elk.

          That means a whole bunch of people in those zones hunting whitetail,muleys and elk for three solid weeks but not one wolf killed. As far as learned behavior, apparrently all the other zones wolves must be special ed wolves as there has been relitivly steady kills made every where but the Selway, Lolo, and Southeren Idaho zones.
          Any way you want to slice it it does not add up.

          1. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            I addressed the deer numbers. Mark Gamblin will be here tomorrow or Monday to throw down some Chinese voodoo math on this thread and it will blow your mind.

            We have come to the end of the road and we will have to agree to disagree as my favorite animal rights advocate Paul says. Mark lay the smackkkk down!!! He be talkin smack on da looooooolooooo zone yooooo.

            That ain’t right.

          2. JEFF E Avatar
            JEFF E

            I dont think I am disagreeing with you per sa. I am hawever saying that with about everything else the state says about wolf management in Idaho it can be distilled down to one component: horseshit.
            Anyway thanks for the conversation.
            Getting to be as rare as a Lolo zone wolf around here.


      2. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
        Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

        Ralph and Jeff E –
        As of 2010 (the most recent annual wolf management report) there were 7 documented wolf packs, 1 documented resident border pack, 1 suspected resident pack,and 1 other documented group of wolves in the Lolo Zone. Five border wolf packs were documented in Montana, adjacent to the Lolo Zone (; pp 26-31)
        Wolf Moderate makes important points below – hunting in the Lolo Zone is difficult due to very remote and rugged terrain. Elk hunting participation/effort is currently very low. The Lolo Zone has never attracted high deer hunting participation. The very difficult hunting conditions and low elk and deer hunting effort explain the lack of wolf harvest/kill/take in the Lolo Zone – not an absence of wolves.

        1. JEFF E Avatar
          JEFF E

          yadda, yadda, yadda

          1. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
            Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

            Jeff E –
            Should that be taken as disagreement with the documentation of wolf numbers in this management zone?

  2. Mtn Mama Avatar
    Mtn Mama

    “Because of the the closeness to the Park, there is no evidence presented that these were not Park wolves.”

    I saw this story earlier this week and wondered if anyone had info about the 3 wolves killed. I am thinking that Rick McIntyre would know if any of these were park wolves, ecspecially from packs on that northern range.

  3. Jeff Avatar

    I want to give credit to MT Wildlife and Parks for adapting their plan after the evidence from the first hunt suggested too many wolves near the park and not enough harvested in the “problem areas”. Looking at all the zones and their quotas they actually seem pretty reasonable and rational, a curious postion for most government agencies.

    1. Mike Avatar

      I agree, Jeff. While I dislike all predator hunting, this seemed a reasonable reaction to an obvious problem. I know a bunch of people that work for MFWP and they are mostly good folks. They also have an outstanding website that goes deep into the flora and fauna of the state.

      That said, they aren’t all up to snuff. The fact you can still trap wolverines in Montana is unnacceptable.

  4. Anthony Criscola Avatar
    Anthony Criscola

    I call for an “Occupy Wolf Country” protest. Maybe that will get us some media attention.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      Anthony Criscola,

      What amounts to that is planned for Oct. 14 in Helena.
      – – – – – –


      Time is quickly running out for the wolves in spite of legal
      negotiating. Taking the battle beyond courtrooms, beyond the
      Endangered Species Act, beyond political chambers, beyond the circle
      of wildlife activist and into the homes of the American public is now
      necessary. Coming together in a large gathering and drawing media
      attention will begin that process. It’s not too late.

      Adults, juveniles and pups are not only being killed, but also
      tortured as they lay dying – and it will get worse in the months to
      come if the hunts are not stopped! The time has come for ALL of us to
      form a united front just as the people protesting Wall Street. Our
      outrage at the injustice of what is being done to wolves is no less
      than that of these other movements and perhaps even more so because it
      truly is a matter of life and death. The American public is unaware
      of the slaughter that is taking place across the Northern Rockies.
      It’s up to us to galvanize awareness and demand an end to the wolf
      slaughter. This is a time for a new beginning, a clean slate, we
      should stand together and say we don’t want wolves hunted for sport!
      The presence of dozens of organizations and hundreds of people at the
      Helena Rally will make an impact. Please make the Rally the start of
      the American Wolf Spring—a new beginning, a new paradigm. Fly, drive,
      take a bus, bike, hitch hike or walk there. We need you – the wolves
      need you. It is up to each of us to make this effort and put all
      differences aside for the wolves. Time is running out. Please be
      there for the wolves.

      Rally/Howl-In and News Conference

      Brooks Fahy
      Executive Director

      PO Box 5446
      Eugene, OR 97405
      541-937-4261 Office
      541-520-6003 Cell

      Facebook: Predator Defense

  5. Cindy Avatar

    Ralph, someone else mentioned/asked this above over the weekend, but will there be any way to know more details about these 3 wolf kills?

    1. Savebears Avatar


      Why, they were legally killed during a legal hunt, just as many thousands of game animals are killed each and every year, there should be no reason that anyone requires more information, they set the quota low in that area and it has been met. No more wolves will be legally killed in that hunting zone this year.

      1. william huard Avatar
        william huard

        We all know these wolves were killed in a legal hunt. I think people want to know what wolves from what packs were “harvested” or “taken legally”. I call it “executed” We all know hunters hate it when wolves are given names or numbers, it kinda takes away from the arbitrary killing of these animals

        1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
          Ralph Maughan

          william huard,

          I would not call it “executed.” To call it an execution is your effort to try to elevate something you don’t like to something worse by use of language alone. An execution is done in response to some offense (among humans it is usually murder).

          Now, the Wildlife Services killing of wolves who have, or who might have killed some livestock, that is more like an execution because the wolves are at least alleged to have done something bad.

          Because Wildlife Services doesn’t seem to care if they have right wolf or even ones from the right pack, oftentimes, I do think it is like the classic “southern lynching” where a White woman gets raped so they go get a Black man (any Black man of plausible age being OK) and string him up.

          1. william huard Avatar
            william huard

            You’re right Ralph. Sometimes I have trouble hiding my contempt

          2. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            I can only speak for myself, but naming “wild” animals takes the “wild” out of them. Afterall, if you are able to view wild animals enough to know them by name it tends to devalue the animal. How can they be wild and viewed so much that they have names? Seems more like a zoo animal than a wild species.

            Just my opinion, but I think it makes sense.

          3. SEAK Mossback Avatar
            SEAK Mossback

            I don’t know, we usually tend to find ourselves naming bears that we routinely recognize, even if it’s something like “White Ears”. They’re still plenty wild — I wouldn’t walk up and try to pet or hug one. There are about 4 miles of river where I’ll be heading next week for 10 days (for my 30th consecutive annual fall trip)where over the years we have named virtually every pool and braid, mostly based on a distinctive feature or some event or memory (sampled a load of fish long after dark – lantern pool; place where spruce bleeding pitch made the difference in starting a fire — pitch pool, etc.). It doesn’t make the place or animal any less wild or natural. Its the way oral and written history develops.

          4. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            It’s a bit different. How do people consistently view wolves if they are wild? If they were truly wild, you would see them once, possibly twice and consider yourself lucky.

            You are in an area with 1 brown bear/square mile so it’s a bit different.

            How many times have you seen the same wolf more than a few times?

          5. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            Also, these wolves are being viewed (often times) via the Yellowstone road system. It’s a bit different when you are on an isolated island or in the wilds of Alaska.

            Naming Park animals=propoganda. So, little Jimmie sees “Nooki” in Yellowstone and the next year he doesn’t . Park officials tell little bit bigger Jimmie that some evil hunter killed it. Big jimmie remembers this and is a lifelong hater of all things hunter.

          6. william huard Avatar
            william huard

            Wolf Moderate-

            So people that don’t kill animals for enjoyment shouldn’t name animals? Because it’s propaganda?
            When the hunter/poacher/criminal/ Park Myers killed Romeo for his pelt so he could buy a few cases of beer and cigarettes you are saying Myers would have looked less like a scumbag if it had been an unnamed wolf that he took without a license or wolf tag?

          7. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            Geez William, Atta boy/girl. Continue on. With every post your side loses credibility.

            I couldn’t believe when WI started to buckle. They used to be one of the most liberal states in the country. People are tired of the insanity. Animals will die, if we are to live. Plain and simple. I googled how many wild animals the city of San Francisco kills annually, but could not find a number. Please track down that number and I’m sure you will be shocked.

            PS: I have no idea what your post is about.

          8. william huard Avatar
            william huard

            You have no idea what my post is about? That’s OK. Let’s break out the crayons and magic markers. OK kids- this is a local wolf named Romeo. Romeo was part of the community and was loved by the local people there. This is a local transient named Myers. He doesn’t have much respect for anything……He was low on beer money. SO…..

          9. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            I do not believe that wild animals have names, so do not know “Romeo”. It’s nice that so many people were able to view this “wild” animal. I think it’s great.

            In full disclosure, while serving in the US Coast Guard I began my disdain for National Parks. I went to Yosemite a few times and it disgusted me. Hunting should be allowed in NP’s. Until hunting is allowed, there will be no new parks. Guaranteed.

            $25 to enter into publicly owned land? I couldn’t believe it! I just rode in on my mountain bike because I refused to pay for something that I’ve already paid for IMO. Crater Lake NP is a close second though. If people want to see “wild” lands, go to true wild lands. Not some Zoo.

            Sorry, I just find NP’s disgusting.

          10. Mike Avatar

            Wolf moderate –

            Kids are turning from hunting. They know better. I applaud the huge drop in hunter numbers every year.

          11. JB Avatar

            “It’s a bit different. How do people consistently view wolves if they are wild? If they were truly wild, you would see them once, possibly twice and consider yourself lucky.”

            Wolf Moderate: I suppose it all depends upon your definition of “wild”? When I lived in Minneapolis albino fox squirrels were quite common. I used to refer to the one in our neighborhood as “Whitey” (yes, it lacks originality). Anyway, lots of people recognized Whitey because he was different, and, like other urban wildlife, he was habituated to people (NOT food-conditioned). So was he “wild”? According to the DNR this animal meets the definition of “wildlife” (if someone were to shoot him out of season they would be fined).

            I think “wild” is best defined not as the absence of human influences (an almost impossible standard to meet), but rather, in terms of an animal’s autonomy from people (i.e., does it make its own decisions). Thus, the racoons our neighbors raised growing up were not wild, because they were caged and dependent upon the people they lived with; but nobody is feeding the elk or wolves in Yellowstone, they don’t live in cages, and if they get sick there will be no vet to take care of them. That makes them “wild” in my book.

          12. JB Avatar

            “Kids are turning from hunting. They know better.”

            I have an alternative hypothesis: Kids aren’t hunting because they have 1000 channels of television, high-speed internet, an X-Box and a schedule to rival their parents.

          13. Harley Avatar


            I work in a high school and I can attest to the lack of anything outdoor related, not just hunting. Too many video games, too many TV shows. It’s an easy out for some parents. Plop the kid down in front of the electric nanny and that is the start of a lifelong habit. My son was heading down that path until he joined the military.

          14. Harley Avatar

            disclaimer, it’s not always a parent’s fault that a child develops this habit either. I admit though, I am partly responsible for how my son could have turned out. He can take the credit for how he is shaping his life now though! 😉

          15. Immer Treue Avatar
            Immer Treue

            Video games provide immediate gratification, the things that hunting and fishing don’t provide. I believe this is also one of the larger hurdles for education. Electronic gadgets of the future will perhaps be the only means of holding a students interest.

          16. Harley Avatar

            I remember attending an educational conference a few years back where they were trying to tell us that teaching reading the way it’s always traditionally been taught just isn’t working in this culture of instant messaging, texting and computers. It was fascinating really.

          17. Alan Avatar

            I have a friend who has a cabin up in Alaska. Every summer when they go up there they are visited by this very recognizable bear that they call “Bright Eyes”. Just because they have given this bear a name does not mean the bear is less wild (they do not feed it, and it is in no way a problem or habituated bear), it simply means that their cabin happens to be in the middle of “Bright Eyes’ territory. The same thing is true with animals seen from the road. Just because a road passes through their territory does not make them less wild. Roads criss cross this country from shore to shore; it is pretty difficult for wildlife to avoid them. Since wild animals are creatures of habit, and many species establish territories of anything from a few acres to several miles or more in size, it is not difficult for the careful and patient observer to view the same animal over and over; whether in the wilds of Alaska, Africa, South America, Antarctica or Yellowstone. Most successful wildlife photographers, as well as most successful hunters understand and use these facts to their advantage.
            It would be next to impossible to do any kind of extensive study of animals in the wild without having some way to identify individuals. Researchers in Yellowstone (and elsewhere) give animals (wolves for instance) numbers to identify them. Sometimes volunteers (wolfers) who assist the researchers, or others, add a name. Rather than “devaluing” the animal, I would argue that the opposite is true, naming an animal adds value; which is exactly what some do not like about the practice. It’s no longer, “A black wolf got killed in the hunt”; it becomes, “Old ‘Big Dog’ patriarch of the ‘Whatshamacallit Pack’, sire of more than two dozen offspring, was shot today. He was seven years old.
            Regarding National Parks being “zoolike”, I would suggest asking the two gentlemen (or their families) who were killed by grizzlies this year in Yellowstone whether or not they consider animals in the park somehow less wild, or whether they consider Yellowstone to be a zoo.
            Finally, anyone who does not understand the value of National Parks has never sat in a car with an eight year old watching black bear cubs romp with their mom off the side of the road; never stood with that same child watching a bison cow lick the afterbirth off a newly born calf; never watched fox pups run and jump and chase their tails, or any of hundreds of other wonders that that child would be very unlikely to see if hunting were allowed in the park. That child, pulled away from his video games for a day or a week, may very well be a future conservationist, hiker, camper, photographer, biologist; yes, even hunter, who has learned the value of preserving wild things and wild places both in and outside of the parks. If no one cares going into the future, we may as well just start putting up the condos and McMansions, because there won’t be any wild places, inside parks or not. No place to camp, no place to hunt, no place to fish, no place to hike. Parks make kids care. They sure as hell made me.

          18. Paul Avatar

            Alan, excellent post. I could not agree more. The experiences that I have had in several national parks helped me enhance my appreciation and love for wildlife as well. Thank you for putting that into words.

          19. Jay Avatar

            Mike–just curious, do you eat meat?

          20. Mike Avatar

            JB – Kids are smarter than you give them credit for. They know of hunting. They see those white guys in camo huffing around on the tv channels. They just choose not to participate because they know it’s bullshit. Today’s kids don’t think it’s cool to go out and blow something away when you can let it live and then go about your own business. George Wuerthner had a nice article about this recently.

          21. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            Mike I’m happy that you are happy…

            It’s sad that you can’t see past your hate of hunters. I guess you are too small minded to understand that as interest in the wilderness/national forests land decreases, the less likely it is that politicians will keep there paws off public lands.

            The more people that get involved in nature the better. Unfortunately, people take there annual trips to National Parks and that’s it. Other than that the kids are playing World of Warcraft, Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto, etc…Usually violent games that kids play. Strange right? They aren’t playing spot the endangered species, they are playing blast the endangered species away if anything.

            Really, you have no clue of cause and effect do you? You want $10 gas? Fine, THINK about what people would demand if they were paying that much. Would they demand from there politicians to pass legislation to open up more public lands for natural resource extraction? hmmm

            You want hunting to go away? Cool. There goes the environment and public lands as we know it. Who else is going to pay for all the programs and studies if hunter revenue disappears? Wildlife “watchers”?

            Must be nice to not have any idea what is really going on. Enjoy living with the bears while you still can. Remember that hunter dollars are funding the studies on the precious bears.

          22. Harley Avatar

            Of course you’re so right Mike. Kids today, not all but a good lot of them would rather sit at home on their asses all day and shoot shit on the video game because that’s Soooooo much better.

      2. ma'iingan Avatar

        “Kids are turning from hunting. They know better. I applaud the huge drop in hunter numbers every year.”

        If you could expand your vision beyond your dislike of hunting, you’d realize the drop in hunter numbers is only one element of a much bigger issue – loss of connection to the land.

        Non-consumptive wildlife activities have declined right along with hunting – activities like hiking and birdwatching have experienced double-digit declines in the last decade, and backpacking is down 25% since the late 90’s.

        And don’t bother countering with the increase in “visits” to our national parks – you can “visit” a park without ever leaving your vehicle.

        The main factor for the decline in hunting, universally named in every poll, is loss of access – which affects non-consumptive users as surely as it affects hunters.

        1. Mike Avatar

          “”If you could expand your vision beyond your dislike of hunting, you’d realize the drop in hunter numbers is only one element of a much bigger issue – loss of connection to the land. “”

          I disagree. I’ve met hunters in Montana who don’t know what a fisher is. I’ve known people in Chicago who do. It’s a myth that hunters are “connected to the land”. A connection to the land is forged by earnest research and experience in getting to know *all* the inhabitants of the landscape, not just what you can shoot. The numerous incidents of stupidity that plague the national every fall are proof that hunters usually have no clue about the landscape, nor how to behave in it.

          “”Non-consumptive wildlife activities have declined right along with hunting – activities like hiking and bird watching have experienced double-digit declines in the last decade, and backpacking is down 25% since the late 90′s.””

          According to surveys, bird and wildlife watching is the fastest growing outdoor activity in the United States.

          There’s wa s a 7.5% increase from 2001 to 2006.

          This is GREAT news. Folks are realizing they don’t need to kill stuff to enjoy the woods. Bravo!

          And here, Yellowstone hits record visitation again:

          Please don’t lump in diminishing outdoor activities such as hunting with the upswing of wildlife watching and national park visits. People love the outdoors. They are showing up in mass and watching wildlife. They are turning away from the antiquated past time of hunting.

          1. timz Avatar

            “It’s a myth that hunters are “connected to the land”
            Not really. I’ll take pictures of their campsites after the season and all can see how they “connect” to the land by leaving their garbage and trash all over the place.

          2. ma'iingan Avatar

            @Mike –

            I’m sorry, but I have to laugh when you equate watching wildlife and visiting national parks as being connected with the land. And I’ll stick by my numbers, as reported by the Outdoor Foundation – and here’s a telling trend;

            “This study continues to track an overall downward slide in outdoor recreation among 6 to 12 year olds. In fact, 62 percent of that group participated in some form of outdoor recreation in 2009 compared to 64 percent in 2008 and 78 percent in 2006.”

            You may get your wish – these kids certainly aren’t going to take up hunting. But they’re not even going outdoors – which is what you should really be concerned about.

    2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan


      I don’t know. I hope someone has been tracking it.

      1. Savebears Avatar

        Why Ralph, what does it accomplish?

        1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
          Ralph Maughan


          Yellowstone Park wolves might be reduced by a hunt even though they are not hunted in the Park by attrition around the boundaries.

          I’m not sure of this, so I’d like to know if any basically Park wolves are killed in Montana, or especially Idaho.

    3. Elk275 Avatar

      Here is the link to the 2011 Montana Regulations:

      Look on page 5 under, Procedures to Follow Upon Harvesting a Wolf

    4. Connie Avatar

      Like Cindy, I am interested in the identity of the 3 wolves killed north of the park. Seeing a wolf frequently enough to learn his personality and mannerisms, strengths and weaknesses, IMO does not devalue the animal. If anything, taking time to learn about an individual pays tribute. Dave, many lay people follow individual wolves, not just populations. For one, I hope the former Mt. Everts alpha male is not one of the 3.

      1. Savebears Avatar


        I don’t know where you got the idea that my name is Dave, you are so far from the truth, it is not even funny any longer.

        You may follow individual wolves, but in the big picture, individuals wolves don’t matter the populations base matters in the overall recovery of wolves.

        When it comes down to it, the state of Montana has no responsibility or obligation to say which wolves we killed north of the park.. The land north of the park belongs to Montana and is managed as the state of Montana.

        1. Savebears Avatar

          Again, my question is why, do you need to know the identity of the wolves killed?

          1. Mike Avatar

            I think some people who pay attention to the Yellowstone wolf packs would like to know.

            They have as much right to the wildlife as any hunter.

        2. Elk275 Avatar

          Save Bears, the land north of Yellowstone Park is National Forest land. But, wildlife is managed by the state of Montana, as it should be.

          1. Elk275 Avatar

            Hunting District 316 is north and adjacent to Yellowstone Park; it is part of the Absaroka/Beartooth Wilderness. Elk, Deer, Goat, Moose and Sheep season traditionally starts September 15 th and ends the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Within a month after the start of hunting season most hunters and hunting camps have exited the area due to heavy snowfall. Most hunting is conducted from horse back due to the logistics and distance into the hunting areas.

            If a hunter would shoot a wolf, the likely scenario would be to immediately skin the animal, preserve the sex of the animal and roll the hide up and tie it on the back of the saddle. The regulations require that Fish, Wildlife and Parks be notified within 12 hours which would entail either riding out of the area, using a satellite phone or if able getting cell reception from tower in Yellowstone National Park. The hunter then has ten days to present the hide to a designated FWP employee for inspection and tagging. Now the designated FWP employee is not going to know if that wolf has a name and they are not going to care, that wolf now is going to have a tagging number.

          2. Savebears Avatar

            Agreed Elk,

            I made my statement incorrectly, as you noted I was saying the wildlife is managed by the state and the state has no responsibility to report which wolves were killed in the state of Montana.

        3. jon Avatar

          savebears, bear attack examiner Dave Smith referred to you as Dave and that is probably why Connie thinks you’re Dave.

          1. Savebears Avatar


            He has done that before, and he is incorrect. My Initials are RJJ. I know neither Dave that has been referred to in this blog, but it is not the first time, it is just getting old.

          2. jon Avatar

            That guy Dave Smith or whatever his name is thinks you’re Dave Parker on the ys forums.

          3. Savebears Avatar


            As I have said many times, he is incorrect in his belief’s, I don’t know him and I don’t know Dave Parker, I have never talked with or associated with either of those people.

      2. TC Avatar

        I’ve never been a fan of this philosophy – naming and “knowing” individual wild animals. I agree with someone else – this focuses many people on the wrong objective; rather than concentrate on preserving habitat, ecosystems, populations and species, it provokes costly and bitter battles locally to save individual animals, often at the expense of political capital, common sense, and biological progress. Pick your battles and fight those you may win – conserving wolves and other wildlife is a worthy endeavor in the Rocky Mountain west; saving the Mt. Everts alpha male via emotional tunnel vision is not nearly as valuable to wolves or wildlife conservation efforts in the west. Wolves kill each other all the time and never shed a tear over it – it’s a biological imperative to hold or gain territory, obtain breeding rights, guard or elevate social status, hell, we don’t always know. We need wolves, but we shouldn’t pretend to know any of them or value any of them more than others. Really, they’re not your friends – they’d just as soon you left them the hell alone I would guess. Tribute? What is that to a wolf? Wolves are many things, but human they are not – they don’t need tributes (or personality traits) – they need suitable habitat, functioning ecosystems, and space and freedom to be wolves. So they can do things like kill elk, kill bison, kill coyotes, kill each other, raise pups, die of mange, die of starvation, drown, howl, dig holes, and generally have no regard for what you “name” them or how cute and cuddly and “knowable” you’d like them to be.

        1. Nancy Avatar

          TC – some humans seem to have no problem naming objects? You know like ships, boats, airplanes, cars, guns, etc. Why I’ve even run across the occasional hunter or angler that puts a name on that “big one” that continues to avoid them. And although they’d probably never admit it, I’m sure there’s a rancher or two out there that has pet names for a few of their cows.

  6. Nancy Avatar

    +Why, they were legally killed during a legal hunt, just as many thousands of game animals are killed each and every year+

    Except for the sad fact SB, there are not “many thousands of these game animals” in the entire west.

    1. Savebears Avatar

      I disagree Nancy, there are many thousands of wolves that inhabit the west, albeit, part of them are located in Canada and Alaska, but wolves are not endangered at all, you folks need to start thinking outside the box, I can within less than an hours drive be in prime wolf country in the west, I know of many wolves that live within a 5 mile radius of my house which is located about 20 miles of the Canadian Border, believe me, there are plenty of wolves roaming the wilds of the west.

      1. Savebears Avatar

        What I find sad, and it is the fault of our government as well as many activists. We use political boundaries to define if an animal is endangered, we need to look at the bigger picture and understand, wild animals don’t observe political boundaries..

        1. Savebears Avatar

          But I guess it comes down to the fact, if “they” don’t live in “our” country, they are not our wolves, hence they are endangered.

          Now myself, am perfectly content, knowing they are out there, whether they live here or there..

          1. JB Avatar

            “We use political boundaries to define if an animal is endangered, we need to look at the bigger picture and understand, wild animals don’t observe political boundaries…
            Now myself, am perfectly content, knowing they are out there, whether they live here or there…”

            SB: The problem with that logic is it would allow every political unit (in the U.S., states) to remove a species so long as they were located somewhere else. I don’t believe wolves, grizzlies and cougars can exist everywhere they used to, but they certainly can thrive in many areas where we formerly eliminated them.

          2. Alan Avatar

            “Now myself, am perfectly content, knowing they are out there, whether they live here or there..”
            An interesting point of view, and yet folks still freak out because the Northern Yellowstone elk herd is down, or that elk hunting opportunities aren’t what they feel they should be in the Lolo etc. All despite the fact that overall elk are thriving in the Northern Rockies. We’re not even talking in Canada or Alaska, we’re talking 50 or 60 miles down the road.

          3. Savebears Avatar

            Alan and JB,

            I am a blessed person, I see these animals all of the time, they are part of the landscape I live in BY choice. Everybody lives where they do BY choice, we all have an opportunity to live where we want in the US. I can honestly say, they are not endangered, not based on what I see on a daily basis. Now that said, someone who lives in Portland, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, etc. Seeing animals like this is a rare situation, you don’t see them unless you are willing to take the time, spend the money and still pray for the right place right time game. I don’t believe based on my experience that wolves are endangered.. I also don’t expect to see them where most live in the US.

            I also don’t believe that those that live in areas and cities that I mentioned should have more say over those who have made a choice to live in an area that I can watch them as I drink my coffee in the morning.

          4. JB Avatar


            I appreciate your perspective. I didn’t comment on the question of whether wolves are endangered, because I think the answer is more complex than most want to hear, and there are subjective judgements (as opposed to science) involved. It is important to understand that endangerment is not a biological condition. Looking over the long-term, all species are at some risk of extinction, whether a species’ (or distinct populations’) risk rises to the level that it gets defined as “endangered” or whether people are willing to tolerate that risk is really the question that must be answered. And the calculus is more complicated that a simple population viability analysis.

            Regardless, what I objected to in your original comment was the suggestion that (and I’m paraphrasing) “if other places have ’em, that’s good enough for me”. That approach was tried in the laws that preceded the ESA and found wanting. It would allow for mass removals of species under the justification that they exist somewhere else and so, are not truly endangered with extinction. The point of the ESA wasn’t just to protect remnant populations of species, but also to arrest wide-spread loss of species at smaller scales.

            Speaking only for myself, the “somebody else has got ’em” logic isn’t good enough.

            – – – – –
            “I also don’t believe that those that live in areas and cities that I mentioned should have more say over those who have made a choice to live in an area…”

            Well, with wolves off the ESA, people living outside of your state officially have no (zero) say in how they are managed. Personally, I am skeptical of the “locals first” or “not-in-my-backyard” approach, as in my experience, it often ends up favoring exploitation over conservation. That doesn’t mean that people in cities (or “outsiders”) should have a dominant voice, but I do think they should have some voice.

          5. Alan Avatar

            I am fortunate to live just north of Yellowstone. How often I personally see an animal has little to do with whether or not
            it is threatened or endangered. I see grizzlies all the time, yet despite claims of a thriving population that is expanding
            into the plains and increasing at 4 or 5 percent a year, I still believe them endangered because their habitat is
            endangered, because more than one primary food source (Whitebark Pine, cutthroat trout) are threatened. They
            may be in good shape now, but what about ten years from now? Twenty? As development and climate continue to take
            their toll?
            Everyone lives where they do by choice? Really? Guess someone should clue in folks living in poverty in inner cities.
            I personally know several people who hate where they live, yet for economic or other (ordered by a court of
            law not to leave the state, caring for a sick or elderly relative, etc.) reasons cannot move. The folks who own
            the property to the west of mine were planning on retiring and moving here 3 years ago, now they are selling out
            because their retirment funds took a major dump.

          6. Savebears Avatar


            In the context of this conversation, poverty and such is not applicable and you know it.

      2. Nancy Avatar

        Good morning!

        I believe a lot of us are thinking outside the box SB by no longer caving in to ranching & hunting interests only and demanding there be some sort of balance to the ecosystem as in real predators.

        1. Savebears Avatar


          I don’t cave to the hunting or the ranching industry, I am a hunter and cherish my ability to put food on the table and tell the market to go to hell, as far as the ranching community, there is very little of that where I live, NW Montana really has very little ranching.

          Now I have a question for you, did you move to the area you live to change a lifestyle? or did you move to the area you did, to have a life that is less complicated than most that contribute to this blog?

          I read your stories, understand your passion, but simply don’t understand moving to an area such as you have, then bitching about what goes on there all the time.

          Things are changing, ranchers are becoming less and less, by time things change we, that contribute to this blog will all be gone and nothing but perhaps a memory to the future generations.

          Many of us here have the same affliction that we accuse others of, I want it now and I want it right and I want it my way. It takes time for change to happen, it can’t happen overnight and many have expected the wolf reintroduction to happen overnight. We are less than 20 years in, less than a generation and it seems as if many on both sides have said doomsday is upon us.

          1. Nancy Avatar

            SB – I do enjoy a less complicated lifestyle but I don’t believe I complain anymore than the average person who lives out here and blogs on this site.

      3. Mike Avatar

        It’s interesting that the west side of Glacier never had to have a wolf reintroduction. They migrated naturally after being slaughtered by ranchers and hunters.

        But to say that there are “plenty” of wolves across the west is wrong. There are about 1500 wolves in the Northern Rockies across some 330,000 square miles. There are no wolves in California, Colorado, or Utah.

        This idea that if you can see animals from your porch, that everything is AOK everywhere else is absurd. It’s like the gold standard anti-climate change conservatives where they look out their window, see snow and snicker at scienctists.

        1. Savebears Avatar

          Stick to the Chicago politics Mike and I will stick to the Montana politics, on second thought, stick to Chicago and I will stick to Montana, then we won’t ever run the risk of meeting up…

          Also, it depends on how you define the west, if your defining it just as the US, then you are the one that is being absurd.. We are talking ecosystems, not state boundaries, remember the Y2Y initiative..if not, I will be happy to send you a book about the project.

          1. Savebears Avatar

            Awe crap, I forgot, those are “Canadian” wolves, shit, seems as both side are opposed to recognizing those animals as part of a bigger ecosystem! Hell what came over me!

          2. Savebears Avatar

            Harley, I am well aware of that, in reality I am being a smart ass.

    2. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue

      Perhaps, what we have here is the consumptive vs nonconsumptive debate in terms of use of wildlife. Each side has two heads. For those who enjoy wildlife, of all types, perhaps the “harvest” of Yellowstone wolves equates to less viewing opportunities. Were these wolves habituated in a way that they were not uncomfortable being viewed? Did that make them less wild and more likely to be killed?

      Same can be said for elk since wolf reintro. Many have said elk are now more skittish, which can be interpreted as they just don’t stand around waiting to be shot. Might be good for elk, but not good for hunters and photographers, but the elk are just that little bit more wild.

      In terms of geopolitical borders,though Canada has had campaigns directed against wolves, they did not exterminate wolves as was done south of that border. One could argue that the government corrected a wrong by returning wolves to the area, for both consumptive and nonconsumptive idealogues. Some will agree, others won’t as the debate simmers/rages.

  7. Cheryl Avatar

    Wolf 462 of the Blactail pack was among the three wolves killed to meet the quota. Too bad

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      If you don’t mind me asking….how did you find out about this wolf 462 being among the wolves killed?

      1. Connie Avatar

        Wrong number. 642F of the Blacktails was the one killed.

  8. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    It turns out that one well known Yellowstone Park wolf was killed in the Montana wolf hunt north of the Park. It was wolf 642.

    Sad News from Yellowstone. Wolf Conservation Center.

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      What a waste….and all for what again? So hunters can feel better “doin their part in nature” and so ranchers can feel a little less paranoid…..What a beautiful wolf

  9. Cindy Avatar

    Ralph do you think there are folks waiting for the those wolves to cross along the Northern border?

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      I couldn’t say because I don’t know where they were shot, but it is reasonable to assume wolves will migrate north out of the Park to take advantage of the wounded big game animals and the gut piles, so a hunter would not have to specifically wait for a wolf.

    2. Elk275 Avatar

      Cindy, if you have ever been in that country sitting and waiting for a wolf would be like finding a buttom in a hay stack. Where would one sit? Now elk are a different story when they leave the Park, most elk cross the Yellowstone at Decker Flats outside of Gardiner, Montana.

      Wolves north of Yellowstone Park are a target of opportunity for elk hunters. An elk hunter while sitting on the edge of the timber in the early morning hours or evening hours may see a wolf and have and opportunity.

  10. Cindy Avatar

    Well said. I hope it was a science driven decision to decide to “harvest” 3 wolves out of that hunt area, seems like a waste of time to me. Also, it looks as if subunit 313/316 had a quota of 3 wolves, yet 4 were harvested. I don’t care what others say I’ll still wonder if she was #4!

    1. Elk275 Avatar


      All successful wolf hunters must personally report their wolf kill within 12 hours.

      When a hunting season quota is reached in a WMU, the hunting season will close upon a 24 hour notice, but no later than December 31.

      So if the third wolf is killed at 5 P.M. the hunter has 12 hours to report the kill and then the season will close within 24 hours after the report. So a 4th wolf could have been kill the following day or the same day as the 3rd wolf. The MtFWP has this overkill figured in the quota.

  11. Cindy Avatar

    Yes ELK, spent many many days in that area looking for wolves and not always finding them:) I wasn’t thinking about the connection to the elk hunting opportunities that go on so darn close to the Park as well.


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