Supposedly protected Yellowstone Park wolves were slaughtered in Montana and Wyoming state wolf hunts.

We predicted would happen. The Wildlife News, along with hundreds of other people, predicted that the Montana and Wyoming wolf hunts would end up killing many wolves that live inside Yellowstone Park (which is supposed to be a no hunting area) unless the states put a modest “no huning” buffer zone around America’s most famous national park.

Now the prediction has come true. The story of Yellowstone wolves being killed was broken by the group Wolves of the Rockies on Facebook.

Last summer the states in question were loudly told of this threat, so while their intent is hard to prove, one thing stands out regarding possible intent. Lacking any other obvious explanation, despoiling Yellowstone Park might have been the state wildlife agencies plan from the very start.

This information below is from Wolves of the Rockies on Facebook. Thanks to them for getting this information out to the public.

From Wolves of the Rockies:Breaking News . . .  7 Yellowstone National Park wolves have been shot and killed. One, a wolf from the newly formed Junction Butte Pack, was killed today, and 2 collared wolves were killed in the past 48 hours. According to George Pauley, Wildlife Management Section Chief at HQ in Helena, MT would only give me the information on the Junction Butte wolf that was killed today, and stated that they would have a summary written up by the December 3 commissioners meeting. We at Wolves of the Rockies will NOT wait until then to get this information to you. We will give you more as it comes in. Kim Bean and Kristi Lloyd

Later Wolves of the Rockies wrote: “I have just received more information concerning the Yellowstone wolves killed. In late October wolf #824M a male Mollie wolf was killed, In early November #829F a Blacktail Plateau female wolf was killed Sunday November 10, #754M the Betamale of the Lamar Canyon pack was killed in WY Tuesday November 13, #823F the only collared wolf in the newly formed Junction Butte pack was killed in MT At an unknown time the Alpha Pair # 762 and 763 of the Madison Pack that have been in and out of YNP recently were killed — it is unknown what has happened to the rest of the pack.” “793 of the Snake River pack just south of YNP was killed in WY. These are all collared and studied wolves — these studies have helped us understand the effects wolves have on our ecosystems and how they work with one another… When these collared wolves are killed, it hampers the Wolf Project’s research [the research of the Yellowstone Park Wolf Project], resources and hard work. Please, don’t let these wolves die in vain. We need your help to stop this. Kim”

– – – – – –

Later Update. Kristi Lloyd wrote the following on “Wolves of the Rockies” “EVERY wildlife agency—MFWP, WGF, USFWS, had to know this could happen, they denied requests for a buffer zone around the park. I think each agency should be getting a lot of emails and phone calls soon!! Thanks, Ralph Maughan! I am sure the park’s biologists are just heartsick over this. Their life’s work…totally undone. An alpha pair from the Madison pack and other alphas killed…big trouble for the remaining pack members. Also, these collared wolves were DEFINITELY targeted…the anti’s call to kill them and throw the collars into the nearest body of water, even though they are supposed to be turned in to the state’s wildlife agency.”

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.

203 Responses to Seven Yellowstone Park wolves killed in state wolf hunts! (updated)

  1. Connie says:

    Some of us have been discussing this incident in the “interesting wildlife news” section. Thank you for making this a stand-alone topic. What a senseless loss. 754M of the Lamar Canyon Pack was followed by many. His pack has not been sighted in over a week. I fear for the rest.

  2. Alyssa says:

    This is heartbreaking news to hear. Don’t give up though, if we do then everyone loses.

  3. Kristi says:

    Just think of all the time, energy and money spent on researching the wolves of Yellowstone, undone by the agencies that should have been working to keep them thriving and viable. But money talks, doesn’t it? The hunters pay for licenses, tags, etc. so they feel entitled that they should get what they want. They yell and scream and stomp their feet until they get what they want…and wildlife agencies give into them. Not because of the foot-stomping, etc. but because governors and other politicians are backed by hunting and ranching organizations that want wolves dead. Please, tell me what the science is behind WY’s wolf hunt? That there are just over 300 wolves in WY and we want only the bare minimum, so how do we kill 200 wolves? Anyway you want! There, that is the science. Greater Yellowstone Coalition asked for a buffer zone around Yellowstone at one of MFWP commission’s meetings. You can’t tell me that people like Bob Ream, Dan Vermillion, Dan Ashe, Ken Salazar, Matt Mead, Brian Schweitzer and many others, wouldn’t know that Yellowstone wolves would be killed in these wolf “hunts”. I am sure they are fully aware of how much time and work and money has gone into the Yellowstone Wolf Project, some have probably worked with some of the biologists in the park, but did that matter? No! By God wolves MUST be managed! Thanks for undoing what the DOI and USFWS USED to work FOR! These two agencies screwed everyone who researches and studies and observes wolves in the park. Shame on them! I know that wildlife commissioners are stuck between politicians and the hunters, anglers, etc. They are practically forced into making decisions that they might not make if there were no “outside forces” such as the NRA,various Cattleman’s Associations, RMEF, etc. involved. But they all (scientifically) know better yet they cave to those who think MT’s wolves were reintroduced, that Canadian wolves are bigger, more aggressive than their once-beloved timberwolf; that think wolves will stalk/kill kids at bus stops (which started circulating before the reintroduction but is still alive and well and still circulating today!); that wolves kill for fun, amongst many other untrue claims about wolves. They reinforce this mentality by giving these kinds of hunters/trappers what they want…to kill wolves by bow/arrow, snaring, trapping, poisoning. It would be nice and refreshing if ANY wildlife agency commissioner that deals with wolves would stand up and say, You know what? I can’t take this BS any more, it goes against my intellect, my education, my conscience and I’m not going to compromise myself any more by NOT doing the right thing! The right thing would have been to have a buffer around Yellowstone and very low quotas around that buffer zone and make those seasons much shorter if there has to be hunting that close to Yellowstone. Killing these “research wolves” and ruining people’s life’s work is beyond disgusting. I hope all who were involved in making MT’s and WY’s wolf “hunting” seasons are happy and proud of yourselves. Well done, gentlemen, well done. Mission accomplished.

    • Kim Bean says:

      APPLAUSE! Well said Kristi. It’s not just about the love of wolves that makes this especially disturbing but the absolute disregard for science. All these entities in power had been given the understanding of what would happen, they were asked to have a GOOD buffer zone around the park and completely ignored it — once again “in the name of science” was disregarded! WE will not stop, WE will not shut up and WE will not give in to special interest!!

      • A Western Moderate says:

        ++WE will not shut up and WE will not give in to special interest++

        Wolf advocacy is just as much a “special interest” as hunting is.

    • Joanne Favazza says:

      Great comment, Kristi. You speak the truth. These state wildlife managers are gutless, and the Dept. of the Interior and US Fish and Wildife should be ashamed of themselves. Ken Salazar and Dan Ashe nee need to go–now!

    • Dan says:

      The travesty of poor planning and senseless lawsuits….Had wolves been introduced to YNP and not throughout the entirety of ID, WY and MT we would not be at this point.(I realized they were not “placed” in this entirety but they were allowed to expand throughout) It does suck that wolves important to research are dying by man’s hand but it equally sucks that the St. Joe, CDA and Clearwater elk herds where and are being devastated by wolves.

      • Kristi says:

        Dan, Montana had wolves before the reintroduction, they were coming in from Canada. There are other causes for the elk decline…many of them human-caused.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        I don’ think this true. As Kristi writes, “Montana had wolves before the reintroduction, they were coming in from Canada.”

        There was already a substantial population of wolves in NW Montana in 1995. These wolves would have moved into the areas you specify in your comments. In fact many of them were the wolves that moved into northern Idaho though there was plenty of reproductive mixing along the way.

        Because the wolf population would have grown much more slowly with just one reintroduction site, it is like that no state other than Wyoming would have have enough wolves now to support delisting.

        Wolves were introduced into central Idaho because they wanted to speed up the restoration of wolves and central Idaho proved to be better wolf habitat than anywhere else, judging from Idaho’s much more rapid wolf population growth.

        • Savebears says:

          I can confirm, there were no wolves reintroduced in NW Montana, we had migrations from Canada and have had wolves present since before the reintroductions in Idaho and Yellowstone, I have a pack that comes and goes not to far from the house that has been coming and going for well over 20 years now.

          I live about 17 miles from the Canadian border.

      • Louise Kane says:

        go back into your hole Dan, so many of us are frustrated, sickened and disgusted by the slaughter of wolves (and other predators) and sick of being nice. I wrote before as soon as the Yellowstone wolves were being killed there would be an uproar. I hope its loud enough to be heard and acted upon. And don’t forget the slaughter is going on everywhere. Its time to insist on restoring federal protections! to get angry and stay that way until something changes.

        • Louise Kane says:

          I am sorry I wrote that. I’ve been so disgusted by late after speaking in depth to a woman whose ambassador coyote was tortured and killed by a neighbor, the endless and escalating killing of wolves as well as reports about wolves being tortured and abused. I don’t appreciate personal attacks and I am sorry I did so to you. I really am.

    • Tom Grett says:

      Well said Kristi. There is no SPORT in killing these wolves that really are so ultimately powerless against you. Must make you feel like a brave powerful man to kill these collared wolves.
      Keep it going hunters, you are really exposing hunting for what it really is for the whole country to see.

  4. Am beyond sad at the behavior of of mankind towards it fellow species. When we have finally assaulted and insulted Mother Nature beyond Her tolerance WE TOO will face extinction. Don’t think that the rest of the animal kingdom will be handing out tea, sympathy and concern for our continued existence.

    • RobertR says:

      I can see a buffer zone around YNP, but the buffer zone wont be large enough.
      The fact is that the wolves do not know boundaries and you cannot keep them in the YNP Federal Zoo.

      • Nancy says:

        Well, its gonna be damn interesting when the next battle against wildlife starts Robert R, just to satisfy a few. Cus ya know,

        “The fact is that the elk do not know boundaries”

        I can almost see it now, wealthy ranchers and landowners with their tested, bruellosis free elk herds, opening their gates on a fall morning to the crowds of hunters, who can afford to pay the price of a game farm hunt.

      • Tala Tazanna says:

        I agree with you to an extent. Although, if the buffer zone is not large enough, then we must make it larger to expand more territory. No, we cannot keep them inside the YNP Federal Zoo but we can allow the wolves more territory to roam. At best have the buffer zone monitored more closely to distract hunters from planting their traps! One other option is to find a way that collard wolves cannot be tracked by hunting devices that can be purchased by hunters or at any given hunting supply store. We collar the wolves for purpose of learning and it has been turned into a source for hunting. Unbelievable!

      • jon says:

        Then it should be made large enough.

      • Kim Bean says:

        Robert R — none of these animals “know boundaries”, they are wild and they roam. What we are asking for is a buffer for the YNP wolves that wonder in and out of the park to have a little breathing room.

        • Robert R says:

          Kim asking for buffer zone is fine but it will never be big enough and pro wolf people will try to keep increasing the zone.

          Nancy I do have a problem with elk and brucellosis. Wildlife agencies are bowing down from the stock growers and they are making excuses again.
          A lot of the diseases have been around for decades but never studied, so now it’s panic time for stock growers.

  5. MJ says:

    I’ve posted a similar summary on Oakmoss Education’s blog site and it contains some links to action on several related issues including the Sportsmen Heritage Act and the removal of Ken Salazar at DOI.

  6. Richie G. says:

    I thought this would happen,without a buffer zone the target is the wolf,wait and see if a person gets killed by mistake,this could happen too. But this is very sad news to hear,what’s next?

  7. Richie G. says:

    I am sorry for all you guys out west who love to see wolves in the wild,and special thanks to Ralph for bringing this to everybodies attention, he is a great and intelligent person to have on our side. Thanks again Ralph!

  8. Mike says:


    Hunters continue to do massive damage to our wildlife.

    • Mark L says:

      True, but politicians are really enablers in the larger picture. No one seems to hold them to the same standard.

      • ramses09 says:

        Mark you said it all – you are so right.
        Obama signed the budget bill, & almost all but 4 Democratic Senators voted to take the wolf off of the ESL. But, but Sen. Tester from MT. & Rep. Simpson from ID. are really to blame.
        Here is a great article on it.

        • The Democratic Senators had no choice but to sign this must-pass appropriations bill. I remind you that the removal of the wolves from the Endangered Species list was a rider placed on the bill without a vote or even a discussion. I believe that it would have been soundly defeated had it been a stand-alone bill.

          • timz says:

            I disagree. Had the Democrats and Obama had the guts to say, “we’re not passing this unless that is removed” as you said the must-pass bill would have easily passed without it. Congress hasn’t the guts to hold the nation hostage over that single issue, unrelated to the budget.

            • Rita K. Sharpe says:

              Timz,I would agree that the rider should have been taken off.The bottom line is the political positioning and at that time and during the actual electon,the concern was,getting or keeping control of the Senate.The House was taken over by the Repulicans and they were hoping to get control of the Senate.The Democrats,including Obama,must have had worries about keeping the Senate the next go round. There was a big push in my State,weeks before the electon by the Repulicans,to elect the the tea pary favorite.Big name Repulicans,such as Sen.McCain,came into my State,to gather the troops but that did’nt happen.We elected a Democrat.I would love to fire everyone in all three branches and but up a “Help Wanted” sign.

            • elk275 says:

              Rita K

              Who would do the hiring? You.

            • Immer Treue says:

              Line item veto?

            • Louise Kane says:

              indeed a number of other objectionable measures were removed, just not the wolf rider. a shameful political maneuver

  9. jon says:

    A buffer zone around YNP needs to happen. Now all of those wolf watchers will never get to see these 7 wolves again simply because hunters wanted a rug or to get a wolf stuffed. Sickening.

  10. TC says:

    Actually I don’t see this as the worst outcome. If collared wolves are killed valuable data are generated about causes of mortality (including human-caused mortality like hunting, now a reality on this landscape). Collared wolves at least will be tracked and deaths can be assigned to a definitive cause (here, hunting) – uncollared wolves killed by humans (or really, that die by any means) more than occasionally slip through the cracks I’d guess. Any study on GYA wolves from this point forward will have to include hunting (and trapping?) as causes of mortality and for the good of all (including wolf advocates) the data may as well be robust and useful for survival analysis and population modeling efforts. Wolf professionals need these data as much as they need data on resource selection and habitat use, migration and dispersal, and other parameters.

    I’d like to think hunters were not using collars (and receivers) to target specific wolves or wolf packs – if that information can be confirmed it ought to lead to a ban on such activities and some policing and enforcement. Hunt by fair chase and hard work or don’t hunt at all.

    • Kristi says:

      That is IF they get the collars back, which has not yet happened.

    • Sandra says:

      I actually agree with you to a point. Now that they have been killed while collared, they can track and prove what is going on, the ones with no collars cant be tracked. As you said though, these tracking devices might just be how the wolves are being found by the sub humans. MAYBE this will open their eyes, cant lie about these murders!

  11. Leslie says:

    I posted this on the “interesting wildlife news” too. Here is the language, to clarify for everyone, of WY’s wolf hunt. Inside YNP does NOT count towards numbers, but inside GTNP DOES count. Numbers as of Dec. 31 of that year.

    “Breeding pairs and
    wolves with territories predominantly inside YNP and the WRR will not count toward
    Wyoming’s wolf population objective of at least 10 breeding pairs and at least 100 wolves but
    will be counted towards the GYA population. Wolves within GTNP and the NER will count
    towards Wyoming’s objective of at least 10 breeding pairs and at least 100 wolves outside YNP
    and the WRR because wolf packs that inhabit these jurisdictions are transboundary packs that
    spend some of the year outside these jurisdictions in the WTGMA and are not counted toward
    other population objectives”

    I again ask if anyone can figure out how they think the numbers are going smoothly and conservatively so far:

    As of today: 34 in trophy zone, 4 by WG&F in trophy zone; and 16 in predator zone. With a starting number of around 232, they might be up to close to 75 or more killed by Dec. 31. Much of the hunt zone are buffer zone areas.

  12. Ida Lupine says:

    Can’t hunters have the personal honor to leave collared wolves alone? Can’t the collars be seen when hunting? What is wrong with these people? This is not fair at all to the spirit of what the states have claimed is an honest attempt at management. Of course we all knew it was a lie to wipe them all out. Shame on our administration for handing them this ‘opportunity’ on a silver platter. 🙁

    • jon says:

      I don’t believe so. To a lot of hunters, the only good wolf is a dead one. There needs to be a big buffer around ynp.

    • Mark L says:

      Hmm….wonder if red wolf advocates in North Carolina are asking the same question. (Didn’t see info if they were collared.) Hey wait…wasn’t at least 1 of the Mexican grays collared also? Is this a trend?

      • Connie says:

        Some believe that collars have been used to track and hunt the Mexican gray wolves.

        • josh says:

          You would have to have the frequency of the collar to be able to track the wolves. So unless the Fish and Game will give out the frequency to hunters, which I highly doubt, then its useless. Also as wolves get hunted on a consistent basis they will become extremely difficult to find and kill.

          • Ralph Maughan says:


            You can find the frequencies of the collars given the right equipment and taking some time and patience in area where the collared animals live.

            I have done it myself.

            • CodyCoyote says:

              Hunting any specie by tracking it using radio collars is not considered ” fair chase” in the Wyoming hunting statutes , among many other stipulated circumstances that are also illegal, such as spotting legal Bighorn rams from an airplane and radioing that information to hunters on the ground. Also, the very definition of the act of hunting is very broad , and quite often used to convict violators.

              Having said that , it’s only illegal if you get caught doing it.

              I have no doubts that wolves and griz and maybe even cougars are ‘pinged’ by the unscrupulous.

            • Salle says:

              So have I. Ralph and I, and numerous others know that all you need is a receiver with a scan mode. Collared wolves more often than not become dead by hands of man wolves with few exceptions – that being until this past several weeks, wolves inside YNP.

            • Craig says:

              “Telemetry: It is unlawful to take wolves with the aid of radiotelemetry” FISH AND GAME WEBSITE.

              Do any of you read the regs? You make assumptions that are false and it’s ignorant on your part! It really makes your rants useless! Know the laws before you run your mouth!

            • rork says:

              Craig: I don’t think anyone thinks it’s legal. Also, nobody (except perhaps you) think that it is impossible because it’s illegal.
              Maybe I don’t get what you are saying.

        • topher says:

          “some believe”? There are those that mantain. As ancient alien theorists believe.Yadi yadi yadi.
          There will always be some that believe just about any theory put forth that supports their personal beliefs. Whether or not there is any evidence is of no concern to these people. We should all be cautious about endorsing these conspiracy theorists lest we become the fools they are.

      • Kristi says:

        The red wolf advocates were asking that coyotes not be hunted at night because even during the day many people cannot distinguish between a coyote and a red wolf. Also, all a hunter has to say is, Oops! I thought it was a coyote.

        • Immer Treue says:

          Looking at night pictures from game cameras here in MN, if one has a few seconds to look at a still, it’s pretty easy to distinguish between a wolf and a coyote. It would not be quite so easy distinguishing between a red wolf and a coyote… Got that brief moment for a shot. OOPS!

    • Mike says:

      ++Can’t hunters have the personal honor to leave collared wolves alone? ++

      Hunters and integrity are like China and democracy.

      • topher says:

        “Hunters and integrity are like China and democracy.”
        Hunter is such a broad term. For the purpose of vilifying them it would be nice to use more specific terms to identify them. There are different motives and techniques used by different hunters. To imply that integrity does not exist in the hunting community only serves to widen the gap between Mike and the segment of hunters that may agree with him on some points. To simply say “If your not with me your against me.” is foolish and shows no intent of compromise.

      • elk275 says:

        I talked with a person who shot an uncollared wolf last year. The shot was 508 yards, at that distance it would be very difficult to determine if a wolf had a collar on. Most wolves are being shot either very close in the timber running or 400 to 600 yards, either way it would be difficult to determine if the wolf was wearing a collar.

        The Montana hunting regulations state that shooting collared animals is not against the law.

        I have never heard of hunters using tracking devices to find collared wolves or any animal. I doubt that more than one or two people are using tracking devices.

        • Salle says:

          I doubt that more than one or two people are using tracking devices.

          I think you’d be surprised about that.

          And I have to wonder at the circumstances under which a shot is taken given the specs you related above. Is it that taking a shot at 508 yards = 1524ft. (that’s a pretty long shot, that’s between a quarter and a third of a mile for heaven’s sake) is the best they can do as far as getting close enough to actually see what they’re shooting at? And if they are running through the woods is it a matter of: quick, pull the trigger or it might get away and you’ll have to keep tracking it the primary mindset? Hunting should not involve a guarantee of success nor should it be allowed by all means. One of the reasons I dispute the concept of alleged “fair chase” is due to the fact that the animal is going to be killed if you happen to see it because you have high powered guns and all the animal can do is run and/or hide. Like that has any element of “humane” included, as if that term has any relevance anymore.

          Sorry, I am pretty pissed off. None of the excuses for killing wolves is acceptable at any point in my mind and I don’t have anything nice to say about anyone who advocates it, and what I think is far less socially acceptable at this point.

      • Craig says:

        Or like Mike and Hypocrisy go hand in hand!

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      To everyone,

      I think that blaming hunters may not be the effective or the correct response.

      I think the problem is that the states did not provide for a park buffer zone. They plainly knew what they were doing and the likely result of it.

      The fact that hunters hunted the Park boundary should not be surprising or single them out for special blame when they did not create the legal situation.

      Furthermore, complaining about hunters is so diffuse. Complaining about bad state management and/or the specific managing agency, allows people to focus any effort they want to make to remedy the situation.

      • Mike says:

        ++The fact that hunters hunted the Park boundary should not be surprising or single them out for special blame when they did not create the legal situation.++

        They pulled the trigger, though. Ultimately, they decided that collared wolves would be killed.

        How can you defend a hunter who shoots collared wolf?

        Come on man, stop apologizing for their behavior.

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          You don’t miss any opportunity to blame hunters, but as for me, I’d rather get something accomplished. Generalized dislike is not the way to do it.

          • IDhiker says:

            Ralph, I’ll agree with you here. None of the hunters I actually met and talked to in Idaho last season had wolf tags. None either had any animosity towards wolves. Several outfitters, though, had nothing but bad to say about wolves and readily expressed it.

            I have always felt the number of hunters that really despise wolves and want to eliminate most of them are a small percentage. At Montana FWP meetings I have testified at, it was always the same few that spoke out against wolves.

            There were not, however, any “moderate” voices at these meetings either from the hunting community. Perhaps the, “silent majority?”

            • Ralph Maughan says:


              I do think it is likely that outfitters are a major part of the backbone of the anti-wolf skeleton. There are a lot of distinctions in the matter, and just hate the generalized anti-hunter and its opposite that dominates these discussions.

              I am thinking we might make progress if some who comment are culled out. I sure hope some folks take my comment here to heart.

            • Mike says:

              ++I have always felt the number of hunters that really despise wolves and want to eliminate most of them are a small percentage. At Montana FWP meetings I have testified at, it was always the same few that spoke out against wolves.++

              Actually, if you look a the data, it’s a huge percentage.

              Anti-wolf behavior comes from two places:

              1. hunters
              2. ranchers

              That’s it.

            • Louise Kane says:

              ID Hiker,
              part of the tragedy of these hunts is that a great many hunters do not want wolves killed or trapped. I’m basing my opinion on reading most of the initial comments that were submitted to Idaho and then to Montana as well as more recent comments submitted to states like MN and elsewhere. a wide range of people object to the wolf hunts… still having said that trophy hunters are a sub group of hunters that do seem to continually push for wolf hunts.

          • Mike says:

            ++You don’t miss any opportunity to blame hunters ++

            So you don’t think it’s warranted in this situation? Hunters camped out near Yellowstone and killed collared wolves. Yeah, it’s their fault.

            Anything less is not reality.

            ++but as for me, I’d rather get something accomplished. Generalized dislike is not the way to do it.++

            There’s nothing generalized here. Hunters camped near Yellowstone and decided to pull the trigger on collared wolves. They had a choice. They could either not kill a Yellowstone wolf or go ahead and kill one. They chose to kill them.

            To act as if the decision was taken out of their hands…as if these are children unable to decide for themselves is a bottom of the barrel argument.

            • jon says:

              I blame the fish and wildlife agencies and the hunters. The fish and wildlife agencies allowed these hunters to kill these wolves and the hunters are the ones that pulled the trigger and ended these wolves lives. All for a rug or trophy. These wolves that were killed were viewed by many thousands of people and many people have enjoyed seeing them and now they won’t see them anymore all because of a hunter who wanted a wolf for a rug or trophy. What the hell is wrong with this world? I have no doubt that these hunters who killed these 7 wolves are on facebook bragging about their kills.

            • rork says:

              Nothing generalized about “Hunters and integrity are like China and democracy”?

              You say hunters, but it wasn’t everyone. And yes, if it is legal, a few people will do it – that’s a fact. We gotta change the policy. We aren’t going to change the minds of every last hunter.

            • Mike says:


              You make a good point.

              It wasn’t all hunters. But until hunters condemn this behavior, they will all be lumped together.

              It’s like Republican senators making dumb rape comments. Others in the party need to repudiate that behavior or yes, it will cause you to lose national elections.

          • WM says:


            ++I am thinking we might make progress if some who comment are culled out. I sure hope some folks take my comment here to heart.++

            If I read Ralph’s comment above correctly, you have been given a couple of pretty blunt warnings (and not the first in recent weeks from my recollection) about moving forward on a topic. You have threatened to leave before voluntarily, but not followed through.

            Make an intelligent non-repetitive (bordering on manic, and certainly annoying), contribution to the conversation, or shut the hell up.

            • Mike says:

              WM –

              I’m sorry to see such a vicious personal attack from you. Hopefully in the future you can try to keep personal attacks out of your posts.

              “shut the hell up” is pretty darn aggressive. Sorry to see that kind of wording on what is supposed to be a friendly blog.

            • WM says:

              As usual, Mike, you miss the material and substantly relevant part of the comment, which frames the part you find aggressive and offensive. Stay on point and the last part becomes unnecessary.

            • Mike says:

              WM –

              There’s no call for that kind of mean-spirited, emotional response to another poster here. I’m not sure why you became so angry, but hopefully it’s something you can control in the future.

              I also the hope the mods won’t let that kind of personal attack stand. Accusing someone of being mentally ill, then telling them to “shut the hell up” is just way over the top.

              I would suggest using better judgement next time.


            • WM says:

              ++I’m not sure why you became so angry, ++

              Not angry, Mike, just being matter of fact about your very persistent, but often poorly thought out rants. Do you really think you are making a contribution to the dialog and increasing knowledge or exchange of ideas with some of the crap you post?

          • A Western Moderate says:

            ++as for me, I’d rather get something accomplished. Generalized dislike is not the way to do it.++

            Thanks for posting this, Ralph. I agree. As IDhiker also posted, I think there is a lot more common ground that could be built upon if the extremists on both sides could leave aside their hate.

        • Craig says:

          It’s the law and they did what was LEGAL! Get over it! Why don’t you get so pissed off when an Elk is shot?

        • Craig says:

          A legal hunt, by your left wing Govt! what else do you want! Obamba and his boys could have stopped it, but they didn’t! STFU!

    • Salle says:

      Most of those who hunt wolves do so based on hatred. The hunters I know who want to hunt wolves are avid haters of wolves.

      Hatred is a powerful force and requires a lack of knowledge and an absence of the capacity for understanding. There are only two remedies for this malady of humankind; either a combination of knowledge, understanding and acceptance or death of the hater. You can either choose to be a non-hater or take that hate with you to the grave. Too many choose the latter.

      • IDhiker says:

        Salle, well said!

      • MontanaNative says:

        I know quite a few hunters who are actually anti-hunters because of the attitude you are talking about. They hate these “hunters” and are afraid to speak out because of their retaliatory behavior.

    • ma'iingan says:

      “Can’t hunters have the personal honor to leave collared wolves alone?”

      See TC’s post above – collared wolves need to be treated the same as any other wolf. If they’re not, any mortality data used for modeling could be skewed, and could lead to future overharvest.

      And just how is a hunter supposed to determine if a collar is functional? Until recently, battery life was limited to two or three years – so there are a lot more non-functional collars on the landscape than functional ones.

      Most wildlife agencies appreciate retrieving non-functional collars – we can get them refurbed and back out into the field for a modicum of cost, and for the benefit of further understanding population dynamics.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Well, with all due respect, I don’t think it is any of the hunter’s business whether the collar is functional – if he or she sees one, the animal is off limits. That’s up to the wildlife people to deal with and handle, if they are not receiving data for some reason. I do understand that a hunter might not always be able to see one, but they shouldn’t target them specifically. JMO

        • jon says:

          Biologists and wildlife departments are collaring these wolves for a reason. To get data and information on them, so why these people allow hunters to kill collared wolves makes no sense to me. I would suspect that a lot of hunters hunting wolves don’t care if they have a collar on them or not. A lot of hunters are hunting these wolves because they do infact hate them.

          • Leslie says:

            My bet is that wolves are hard to find in general, and if a hunter sees one and has a tag, he’s gonna shot it, collar or no collar.

        • ma'iingan says:

          “Well, with all due respect, I don’t think it is any of the hunter’s business whether the collar is functional – if he or she sees one, the animal is off limits.”

          So if we’re trying to model a hunted population that has radio-collared animals, but no one ever harvests one, what might that indicate – in terms of that particular population?

          I’ll answer for you – it could indicate that there are far more animals than we thought. And it could then lead to an increase in harvest quotas in subsequent seasons.

          • Mark L says:

            Actually I was leaning to a smaller population than estimated. Help me out here.

            • ma'iingan says:

              We have an estimated population of 100 wolves going into hunting season, and we know that this population contains 20 (20%)animals with working radio collars.

              Our harvest quota is 30 animsls, and since hunters are allowed to take collared wolves, 6 (20%) of the harvested animals should have radio collars.

              If only 3 of the harvested animals have radio collars, it could be an indicator that collared wolves actually make up a smaller percentage of the population – i.e. the population is considerably larger than our estimate.

            • Immer Treue says:

              a/b = c/d

        • Craig says:

          What makes me happy is knowing Hunting will continue forever, and you will be nothing but pissed off your whole life about it! It just makes me happy knowing that is the thorn in your side.

          • malencid says:

            Nothing will continue forever; man will not continue forever.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Yes, but unfortunately he will take everything else out with him. 🙁

              About collared wolves: to me, it is tantamount now to poaching, with the new state laws making it so much easier to hunt wolves and the small percentage that are collared. If it wasn’t an issue, the regs wouldn’t state that hunters are asked not to shoot a collared wolf if they can avoid it, and turn in the collar if they do. But, history as shown us that just because something is legal, it doesn’t make it moral or ethical.

              Using it as a legitmate tool to account for populations is overly optimistic and doesn’t account for deliberate removal by a hunter who doesn’t repect the program and flouts the rules.

          • Mike says:


            Everyone has their goals in life I suppose….

            Aim high, buddy.

            • timz says:

              When you look at posts from people like Craig are you really surprised hunters are killing collared Yellowstone wolves?

              • IDhiker says:


              • Mike says:

                When you look at posts from people like Craig are you really surprised hunters are killing collared Yellowstone wolves?++

                Very good point.

              • josh says:

                Timz when you look at the posts from Mike do you think any hunter would care what Mike thinks? 🙂 Mike hates all hunting, so its no shocker when he shows up calling all hunters delusional psychopathic serial killers cause one wants to shoot a wolf!

                • JB says:

                  Also a very good point. And voila! We have ideological reasoning on both sides, which for many of us is the REAL problem.

                • timz says:

                  “do you think any hunter would care what Mike thinks?”
                  Apparently they do, based on the time and effort they spend responding to his posts.

                • josh says:

                  Not me! I just respond because he is so comical! Not a lot of effort to respond to such elementary insults from Mike! My wife makes it harder on me than Mike does! 🙂

                • dave says:

                  Everybody’s talking about hunting. Hey, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Just wait ’til they start trapping. That’s the way to kill lots of wolves really fast.

                • Immer Treue says:


                • Immer Treue says:


                  In reply to Josh above. I leave it at that.

            • Craig says:

              I have and live well!

          • Ida Lupine says:

            It will be the eternal struggle then, believe me, because advocates will be nipping at the haters’ heels forever too, and we get the same sastifaction from knowing that. 😉

            The wolf haters must feel they are invincible with their allies in politics lately, because they have become very bold.

        • elk275 says:

          Ida Lupine

          Under General Information, Montana Hunting Regulations:

          Marked or Radio-Callared Animals

          It is legal to shoot big game animals that have radio collars, neck bands, ear tags and/or other markers, but markers and radio collars must be returned to FWP. Please report the killing of a marked animal to the local FWP Office.

          ++Well, with all due respect, I don’t think it is any of the hunter’s business whether the collar is functional – if he or she sees one, the animal is off limits.++

          Ida Lupine: It is not your business or any bdoy else’s whether a hunter shoots a collar animal or not, it is only the hunters business.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            That was under the old law – now that hunting and shooting on sight is back, I don’t think hunters can or should be shooting the collared wolves, nor should livestock owners be reimbursed any longer for livestock depredation. The new state hunting laws have changed everything, and the deck is stacked too much in favor of ranching and hunting interests now. We can’t have everything, and the reintroduction have nothing. It is devious and dishonest, and we can thank our environmentally clueless politicans for it, regardless of what side of the aisle.

            • elk275 says:

              Ida, that is from the 2012 Montana Hunting regulations, quoted word for word. These are the most current regulations.

        • rork says:

          We had a collared doe whitetail in our area this year, and spent a lotta time figuring out who the scientists were, and how they wanted us to act. One thing they were trying to measure was cause of mortality, and they told us to treat her like any other, neither wanting her shot or spared due to the collar, for reasons I hope are obvious. The collar happened to be 7 years old – they mentioned she might be a bit chewy. In other studies they might have wanted her spared though. We are scientists too – maybe others wouldn’t have taken as much trouble to figure it out.

      • Craig says:

        From the Idaho Fish and Game Website:

        Wolves with Radio Collars: Idaho Fish and Game uses radio
        collars to monitor wolf activity, assess population status and
        help determine future hunting opportunity. Though it is legal to
        do so, Fish and Game encourages hunters to avoid harvesting
        radio-collared wolves. Hunters and trappers are required to
        return any radio collars when they check in their wolves.

        If I was to shoot a Wolf, which I would not because I eat what I kill, I would turn the collar in. Same with an elk,Deer, ect they collar a lot of differnt game.
        I think most Hunters would do this also, just to know Wolf impacts on game numbers. But really if I saw a collared animal I wouldn’t shoot it.

  13. Jon Way says:

    What a national travesty (or tragedy should I say) that officials in those 2 states prefer to side with the minority of the population that are wolf hunters (who are a minority of hunters) rather than the citizens of the U.S. who own the wildlife. A disgrace but not surprising knowing the inner workings of state fish and game departments and their political hacks.

    • MontanaNative says:

      That is exactly right. The agencies in MT have blatantly ignored women, Native Americans and other minority groups who have tried to reach out on this topic.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Thank you Jon Way, there is not a much better way to state it, a national travesty and tragedy. To promote or allow a return to persecution of an animal that needed to be listed because of its persecution is a travesty. The wolf hunts perpetuate bad, wasteful, irresponsible cultural bias and policy that is being pushed for my minority interests over majority wishes.

  14. Salle says:

    I agree with Ralph on the need to focus on those who make the rules, not that there aren’t those who eschew the concept of rules and do what they want knowing that they probably won’t be caught. I would advise a major complaining campaign from everywhere on the planet. Loud and persistent, unceasing.

    The F$G agencies knew this would happen given that all the past wolf hunts proved that the HUs directly adjacent the park(s) were the ones where the quotas were filled first. I have lost a lot of respect for them given this demonstration of their political placation decisions to date. I don’t think they are capable of holding the administrative power to “manage” this species without subjective biases and I call for wolves to be placed back on the ESA list for protections asap with established critical habitat included. The states have no business managing a species when their intent is to eliminate major portions of the population and calling it an attempt to relieve some of the bad feelings about them. All they are doing is enabling and facilitating the blood-lust of those who hate this species, a hatred based on mythology and ignorance. I’ve had it with this BS.

    • Joanne Favazza says:

      Well said, Salle. These state wildlife agencies have proven they are incapable of science-based wolf management. I too have had it with this BS!

      • Louise Kane says:

        yes Salle
        so many are at this point. its difficult if impossible to be nice when its plain that being nice has done nothing and that wolves are being assaulted, and subjected to atrocities in addition to being “hunted” as a game species or killed as nuisances or predators. I agree, everyone needs to make a lot of noise, work together and demand that wolves be relisted with critical habitat as you suggest. Instead of having a special exemption they need special protection from long standing, ill intentioned and ignorant segments of the populace that will do anything to eradicate them.

    • WM says:

      There is evidence to the argument that state wildlife agencies in the NRM are focusing only on the basics, meeting minimum obligations under the ESA, after years of delay, caused in part by the endless string of law suits that have postponed delisting. The agency’s critics are also their respective legislatures and governors.

      It seems that in the pursuit of this simplistic goal (which meets their objective to reduce wolf populations) any sincere desire for obtaining additional data through continuing research is being compromised (sadly inside YNP as well as elsewhere). At the least a policy statement that says something to the effect that, “harvesting collared wolves is legal in the state of _____. However, hunters are discouraged from taking these animals as they contribute to our continuing knowledge and management of the species.” Good PR, with no real down side. A harvested wolf with a collared pelt might have some hair worn off, and thus it would not be as good a “trophy” either, also deserving of some sort of warning to those who would shoot them.

      And a similar statement about a near the Park buffer, could also achieve the same positive PR result.

      • Mark L says:

        A bit late now, but I agree. I’d be curious how many really want a pelt, and how many really just want pics of themselves grinnig by a dead wolf. I think the pelt is an afterthought….a bonus.

        Well, then again, considering the more efficient wolf hunting has become, it may not be long before relisting. maybe they are ‘pelters’ and not ‘posers’ after all.

      • WM says:

        I just saw Craig’s comment above, so it looks like some of this is being done, by ID at least:

        Craig says:

        November 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm

        From the Idaho Fish and Game Website:

        Wolves with Radio Collars: Idaho Fish and Game uses radio
        collars to monitor wolf activity, assess population status and
        help determine future hunting opportunity. Though it is legal to
        do so, Fish and Game encourages hunters to avoid harvesting
        radio-collared wolves. Hunters and trappers are required to
        return any radio collars when they check in their wolves.

    • Craig says:

      Maybe if you ever made a contribution to the F&G your opinion would matter

  15. CodyCoyote says:

    When Dr. DOug smith gave a talk on the Yellowstone wolf recovery program here in Cody a couple months ago, he had the obligatory PowerPoint show. One of his slides was very interesting and pertinent to this discussion. Graphically , it showed how some of the Park’s wolf packs will on occasion range very far afield outside of the Park proper.

    I recall the Yellowstone Delta pack , whose home range is shown as being the lower Thorofare River and Yellowstone River above ( south of ) the inlet to the southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake, in the Bridger -Teton Wilderness mostly.

    Some of those wolves were tracked almost to Meeteetse Wyoming, some 75 air miles and several major watersheds away from the confluence of the Thorofare and Yellowstone Rivers.

    So—how ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm ? How would we possibly enforce a Buffer Zone for wolves that spend most—but not all —of their time and life in YNP, but occasionally go walkabout ?

    Recall that female wolf 314F who was collared in the Paradise Valley near Livingston MT, and dispersed through parts of five states a distance of 1500 miles before being found poisoned in northern Colorado .

    I agree that the Wyoming and Montana wolf hunt plans and now state field management have little to no respect for wolves that leave YNP proper. HOW exactly do we have a limited quota managed ” trophy” hunt that targets only non-YNP wolves ? What mechanism exists to keep wolves in the Park at all, when they follow migratory elk those similar distances away from Yellowstone. The elk living around Meeteetse parts of the year migrate all the way back to the Thorofare or interior Yellowstone.

    It’s nothing for a wolf to travel a hundred miles if it wants to. Wolves are not beholden to Yellowstone, nor is the Park a 24/7/365 sanctuary. it’s all in motion. Borrowing from quantum physics her, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle would be applicable to modern wolf management…that you can’t know the precise location of something without altering its movement, and vice versa.

    I can’t begin to suggest a practical solution to any of this.

    I just hope the ex patriate Yellowstone wolves getting shot in Wyoming and Montana can be used for legal ammunition in the latest appeal of Wyoming’s B.S. wolf management plan ( that predator status thing) filed this week by the greens.

    Beyond that , we be groping here in both trying to describe the problem and protract solutions. A certain Hindhu parable of seven blind men doing tactile explorations of a very large odd mammal unknown to them comes to mind…..

    • Louise Kane says:

      as usual Cody excellent post, how does one predict a buffer zone with an animal like the wolf?

      I just hope the ex patriate Yellowstone wolves getting shot in Wyoming and Montana can be used for legal ammunition in the latest appeal of Wyoming’s B.S. wolf management plan ( that predator status thing) filed this week by the greens.

      So do I!

  16. Salle says:

    Game and Fish: No trouble monitoring Wyoming wolves

    Tracking wolves has been no problem because Game and Fish biologists already have extensive experience monitoring other animals including bears and mountain lions, Bruscino said.

    “We will build off of the existing body of knowledge and research on Yellowstone area wolves. But I think more of our focus will be on whether wolves are or aren’t impacting specific ungulate populations, and to what degree they may be impacting,” he said.

    The information will help Game and Fish determine hunt limits for wolves as well as for ungulates, namely moose and elk.

    “In some situations, wolves do have a measurable impact on ungulate population. And then, in some circumstances, they do not. So we want to get a better handle on what herds may be impacted and to what extent,” Bruscino said.

    Game and Fish has added radio collars to five wolves since August. Radio collars could be added to more wolves after the hunting season, with the goal of having radio collars on at least two wolves in each reproducing pack.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Thanks Salle,

      Yes, they can track them just fine . . . so well, in fact that they probably could give probabilities to which wolves would be killed a week or more before it happened.

  17. Ryan says:

    How is this different than the elk, deer, or antelope that get shot when they leave the park?

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      There are similarities, but deer are common and the Park is only seasonal habitat for them.

      MT FWP depended on the elk migration for revenue and were probably angry when the number of elk on the Northern Range went down. Regardless, elk are not rare, and were not on the endangered species list.

      The most critical fact that is different is that these animals you mention are not carnivores. The number of large carnivores is always, it has to be much fewer than their prey. Furthermore, they often have quotas on deer and elk (though it depends on the hunting unit, population trends, etc.)

      Lack of a quota on large carnivores is flat out an effort to reduce their numbers; and next to a national park “reservoir” for the animals it is a knowing effort to reduce and maybe destroy the Park population.

      I think Americans should be outraged at this kind of attack on our national park. It is unpatriotic, but with these secessionist traitors out today I am hardly surprised.

      • Salle says:

        Gives the “let them kill some wolves to vent” idea a double entendre.

        Sickening. I think it is all part of the desired by some war mentality that fuels the desensitization of the masses for the sake of promoting the idea that killing is okay if you have a purpose in mind.

    • Ryan says:


      “Lack of a quota on large carnivores is flat out an effort to reduce their numbers;”

      There is a quota on wolves and lions in MT and WY from what I have read.

      I guess I just fail to see the big deal over this.

      • Kristi says:

        There is a quota on wolves in MT, now up to 3 wolves can be trapped by one trapper. There, that’s a quota. There are two districts in MT that have a quota of two and three wolves. I guess that’s a quota…I’m sure those 2 and 3 wolves are causing massive damage to elk or cows. Well, not any more, there is still one wolf to kill in each district. There is a quota of 52 wolves in the “trophy” area of WY, which is the one thing that was changed in the WY wolf plan which was originally rejected by USFWS and put the wolves of MT, ID and WY back on the Endangered List. In the rest of the state of WY, there is NO quota, which is about 80% of the state, and they can be killed without a license, by whatever method the “hunter” decides to use, pups in dens can be killed. This is definitely an effort to reduce their numbers.

  18. I hate to say this, but the Yellowstone wolf situation may be even worse than you think. Wolves of the Rockies state that “These(7)are all collared and studied wolves.”

    NPS says that “17% of yellowstone wolves are collared.” We are therefore left with two possibilities, either of which are unpalatable. (1) There may be approximately 34 uncollared Yellowstone wolves killed(83%), but not identified as such, or (2) these collared wolves were deliberately targeted, perhaps by tuning into the the frequencies, which Ralph says is not difficult to do with the proper equipment.

    I hope that I am wrong on this assessment. If you see any fault in my logic, let me know.

    If we can get some sort of official confirmation of “Wolves of the Rockies” charges, the best things to do would be to contact Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and let them know what we think of the way they have set up the hunt, as well as contact various media and ask them to investigate this matter further.

    Krista: I do not know much about the Montana commissioners, but have had extensive contact with their Idaho counterparts. Some of them are subject to the same delusions as the hunters and others are out and out wolf haters. I do not see this situation changing until the citizens of these states change the purpose and financing of these agencies.

    • MontanaNative says:

      I would love to see our FWP bagged entirely and the money used to compensate the whinny ranchers and real conservation issues instead.

  19. Ralph Maughan says:

    Everyone. Please note that I updated the story. That these wolves were killed has been officially confirmed.

    • Mtn Mama says:

      Ralph, Do you think that the Wolf Project or National Park could get any of these carcasses back? I would like to get them out of the hands of their killers and return them to the National Park to be buried in a more honoring way.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        I could not get further information about this except (I think) there is an investigation going on.

      • elk275 says:

        Mtn Mama

        The carcasses belong to the hunter. It is up to the hunter to do what they want with the carcass.

  20. Mtn Mama says:

    I am beyond upset! I have watched 754M and the Lamar Canyon Pack many times. He was a beautiful animal, an amazing and funny wolf, Yes I am anthropomorphizing- get overit!I stood in YNP below the Lamar’s Den Site on 8/30/12, they day they lost their federal protections, with tourist from all over the world who were glassing the mountainside in attempt to catch a glimpse of any of these famous wolves. I had hoped that 06’s cunningness would keep her pack from harm, but in my heart I knew that the pack would lose some to the hunt. How shameful that a tyranny of hate is allowed to rule in a democratic society. Dont waste your time posting a negative comment in response to this. If you dont agree with this “Wolf Lover” then head on over to Walmart instead. Pick up some cheap bullets and destroy a piece of the world that you are to apathetic to understand – really its okay, the government says so.

    • Nancy says:

      THANK YOU Mtn Mama!! for making it “crystal” clear, how you( and others on this site) appreciate wildlife and the joy of just getting a glimpse into their lives, every once in awhile.

    • Joanne Favazza says:

      Great post, Mtn. Momma. I too had the privilege of watching 754 in the Lamar Valley. He was a magnificent wolf, and certainly did not deserve to die this way.

  21. Rita K. Sharpe says:

    @elk 275.No, I wouln’t do the hiring.Sorry,just venting.

  22. IDhiker says:

    Jon Way said:

    “What a national travesty (or tragedy should I say) that officials in those 2 states prefer to side with the minority of the population that are wolf hunters (who are a minority of hunters) rather than the citizens of the U.S. who own the wildlife.”

    Minority of hunters?? How true. In Montana last season, only 18% of hunters even purchased a wolf hunting tag (Montana FWP figures).

  23. From the Old Man and the Boy, by Robert C Ruark: “A sportsman, the Old Man said, is a gentleman first. But a sportsman, basically is a man who kills what he needs….or wants for a special reason, but he never kills anything just to kill it. And he tries to preserve the very same think that he kills a little bit of from time to time.The books call this conservation. It is the same reason we don’t shoot that tame covey of quail down to less’n ten birds.”

  24. Jerry Black says:

    Trapping season for wolves in Montana starts in one month……imagine the number of traps that will be set just outside the boundary….it’ll be ugly.

  25. TetonBadger says:

    I am very sad to hear of the Yellowstone wolves. Thanks for the update.

    I also would like everyone to also remember the more than 34 wolves in the Grand Teton area who have been shot, many of whom I know very well. I am simply devastated and everyday the losses grow larger. Most Grand Teton wolves spend 50% of their time in open hunt areas and so have just no protection.

    As far as I can reason out using the maps and quotas and what I know of pack boundaries:
    *we have lost a total of 9 from the Phantom Springs and Pacific Creek packs.
    *we have lost 2 from likely the Pinnacle Peak Pack,
    * We have lost a few others that were park wolves but I cannot see who because the Wyoming game and fish makes it so difficult to tell.

    Hunt maps:
    Current Death toll in Wyoming:

    These are national park and national elk refuge wolves who were a common sight, we have for years seen the Pinnacles on a daily basis in the winter and the Phantoms daily in the summer. with such losses I do not know if the packs will survive time will tell.

    I have spent much of my life dedicated to these packs, every day searching for them, and now I see them slaughtered… I think of the young pups finally coming into their own, I think of Old white shot down last winter, I think of Tipper and the others, do they live? Do they understand why I was only a jagged interruption on their consciousnesses now others now shoot them? I am at a loss, words cannot do it justice. My heart is sick.

  26. Leslie says:

    Teton, have you any idea where all these 16 wolves in the predator zone came from? I am aware many were in the Pinedale region. I would like to know more and as you say, WG&F is tight-lipped about it.

    • jon says:

      Leslie, do you have any idea how many wolves are in the “predator zone”?

    • TetonBadger says:


      Sadly I do not know, Wyoming Game and Fish is not providing any info on where those animals were killed. I do wonder, it would be helpful in understanding population movements and dynamics. I use that kind of information to understand how pack boundaries fit together and make educated guesses about movements. It can be very hard to form a clear picture on what wolves are doing down here because no one will tell anyone anything… particularly me, it is the opposite of Yellowstone. The WG&F is making any information on which wolves from which packs were killed very hard to come by, I only can make educated guesses. The Pinedale region has been a sink migratory area as I understand it. I wish I knew more. If anyone has any information that will help me with a clearer picture I would appreciate any help!

      • Kristi says:

        Under state law, WGFD is not allowed to give out that information. A Freedom of Information request would have to be given. At the time of the delisting, WY had 321 wolves. Before the “hunt” it was around 230, IF memory serves. 52 is the quota in the Parkway area, the trophy zone. In the rest of the state wolves can be killed on sight.

      • Leslie says:

        The reason why I keep thinking about this is because in May I was at an info WG&F mtg on the delisting zones and the hunt. They explicitly said that outside the trophy zone there are ‘few’ wolves as the habitat is not suitable. Meanwhile, 17 wolves have been shot there as opposed to 34 in the entire trophy zone. Exactly half as many outside the trophy as inside. Seems odd to me.

        Meanwhile, I’m in Vernal today on the way to Dinosaur and was talking with a man who has hiked more of the monument than anyone. He told me he encountered a very large track way in the outback of DNM, far from trails or roads there, that was way too big for a coyote.

  27. josh says:

    The comments are a perfect example of why wolves will always be a heated topic. People attach so much emotion to them that regardless of “Science” they would still cling to them. Perfect example is the Great lakes wolves, thousands of them! The program was a HUGE success, a HUGE success. But look at how many lawsuits to keep them listed! Even though “science” backed it up!

    I think both sides will always remain at polar opposites forever!

    • Immer Treue says:


      Yes and no. During the periods of wolf extermination, when only a small handfull of people attempted to stop the slaughter, their voice was to small and too weak.

      Whether the continued litigation is smoke and wind or not, I doubt, with the voices now loud, and perhaps the majority, wolf extermination will unlikely not occur. As far as the Great Lakes go, the rush to hunt almost seemed as an emergency, largely to appease/accommodate ranchers and farmers who lost livestock. The shit may well hit the fan in MN because it is pretty obvious, because of areas harvested so far, it’s got little to do with livestock, and a lot to do with trophy and revenue. On top of it, it still does not address the illegal take.

  28. Mark L says:

    OK, got it ma.
    I’m confusing your theoretical low with the higher (to me) number of collared wolves actually reported. Still would be curious to know if its statistically ‘safer’ to be a collared or uncollared wolf with these new numbers.

    • ma'iingan says:

      “Still would be curious to know if its statistically ‘safer’ to be a collared or uncollared wolf with these new numbers.”

      The harvest of collared wolves is only one component of population analysis, but if it’s higher or lower than expected it would certainly cause us to dig deeper.

      Is the population larger than our estimate? Are hunters selecting for non-collared wolves? Are collared wolves less vulnerable to hunting?

      In Wisconsin we’re seeing very few collared wolves harvested, so we’ll be pursuing these avenues of inquiry.

  29. MJ says:

    Ralph, thank you for removing the offensive comments. If we are asked not to speak negatively of hunters, then the same respect should be shown to those with other opinions.

    The perception that people who do not live west of the Mississippi are ignorant advocates and should have little or no say on the status of Rocky Mountain wolves is entirely misguided for the following reasons:

    1. The wolf restoration project was funded in large part by federal tax dollars, which come from across the country. So every taxpayer has a right of opinion.

    2. Living in the east does not preclude one from being knowledgeable about wolves. Many of us are either actively involved in research or are supporting such research monetarily or through advocacy. There are wolves in the east, specifically Red Wolves in North Carolina. And many of us in the North Country are familiar with and have encountered the Eastern Wolves of Ontario, where a large, protected population can be found only a 4.5 hour drive north of Buffalo, NY.

    3. Many, many advocates for wild and domestic animals are NOT supporters of PETA nor do they share that organization’s philosophies.

    • WM says:


      ++1. The wolf restoration project was funded in large part by federal tax dollars, which come from across the country. So every taxpayer has a right of opinion.++

      If I understand correctly, the initial funding for the NRM wolf reintroduction was from Pittman Robertson exise taxes – the source tax on firearms and ammunition at manufacturing source. The funds are distributed to states based on the number of licenses sold, with an adminstrative hold back by the feds (which in this instance was redirected to the wolf reintroduction program). So, to that extent your assertion is incorrect, because the funds DID NOT come from general federal tax obligations of all citizens, for the most part.

      As for the continuing funding to the states up until delisting, I believe that was also P-R origin (some/most/maybe all in some years). AFTER delisting, the funds now come mostly from the states, and that has been a big issue for them – taking on a funding obligation for what several states (the three core NRM states, anyway) say they really didn’t want in the first place.

      • Immer Treue says:


        I’m sure you will correct me if I’m wrong, but was the reintroduction funding there, but held up due to legislative processes? It was sh?t or get off the pot time, so P-R funds were used. Nothing that hasn’t been done before with general funds. Think Social Security. This is not a crow and Chardonnay statement, just a question.

        • WM says:


          There have been allegations of abuse of discretion in the use of P-R funds when Congress would not appropriate them for wolf reintroduction in 1995 (?). So P-R funds and conservation group funding paid for some/most of the NRM reintroduction costs, so I understand.

          P-R funds (from those purchasers of firearms/ammo and other equipment) has continued to be major source throughout the reintroduction program for NRM wolves for 15-20 years, and repopulation for WGL wolves. It is also my understanding P-R money is used in the wolf programs of WA and OR. There are also ESA funds used in those programs, as well, which are from general fund sources. With delisting the federal pot, whatever the source, appears to be drying up with states making up the difference. That has to grate on them some. Perhaps Ma’ can tell us what is going on in WI.

          • ma'iingan says:

            “Perhaps Ma’ can tell us what is going on in WI.”

            Wolves are now being managed as furbearers so funding for depredation compensation and research will come from license sales. These funds will probably be consumed by depredation payments – it’s unlikely that there will be any license money left for research.

            It’s possible that there will be some P-R funds for research, and some of the tribes contribute money for research as well, paying for radio collars and flight time. As far as I know they they plan to continue to contribute, even though they oppose the wolf harvest.

      • MJ says:

        The project was and is still conducted on public lands and is headed by employees of the National Park Service. All taxpayers have an investment in both.

        “the federal government provides funding for the basic monitoring of wolves in Yellowstone…” – current policy per the Yellowstone Park Foundation.

        • WM says:


          I think you will find, as you dig deeper, the sources of funding for the research and who pays for the time of various individuals involved in these monitoring and research studies is quite a mix. Smith and Dan Stahler, are NPS employees, but from where does all their funding come for monitoring activities? While some is federal, I think some is from private sources through the Yellowstone Park Foundation. McNulty is a USU professor; vonHoldt and Wayne are from U of CA, Mech and until his retirement Bangs was FWS, and there are alot of other folks doing various kinds of work with a variety of funding sources, none of which are general appropriation tax dollars. This report from the YNP Foundation says 60% of the YNP Wolf Project support (presumably including some of the monitoring costs) comes from private sources, and has over the 15 year life of the foundation.

 See p. 18.

          • Thanks for the info MJ. Just a small correction, Mech at the time of his retirement, was employed by the US Geological Survey, not USFW.I do not know if he was ever affiliated with Fish & Wildlife.

            • WM says:

              Ken Fischman,

              Thanks for catching that. Dr. Mech, I believe is not retired, and has been with the Biological Resources Division of USGS since 1970, and before that time the Biological Resources Division when it was within USFWS. And, of course, he has been an adjunct professor at U of MN. Ed Bangs, of course, retired about a year ago.

    • Mike says:

      ++Ralph, thank you for removing the offensive comments. If we are asked not to speak negatively of hunters, then the same respect should be shown to those with other opinions.++

      MJ –

      Good comments. It’s been tilted towards all pro-hunting here for quite some time. We need to respect both sides.

      The problem with that, of course, is that only one side is killing wolves, and this is a wildlife blog, after all.

      ++The perception that people who do not live west of the Mississippi are ignorant advocates and should have little or no say on the status of Rocky Mountain wolves is entirely misguided for the following reasons++

      More good points. And Midwesterners have been living with more wolves, for much longer (and wolves that weren’t reintroduced, by the way).

      That said, where you live has little bearing with your knowledge of an ecosystem. I’ve met people in Bozeman who don’t even know the difference between a bighorn ram and a mountain goat. I’ve met people in the concrete jungle of Chicago who could tell me the scientific names for both.

      3. Many, many advocates for wild and domestic animals are NOT supporters of PETA nor do they share that organization’s philosophies.++

      Good points as well.

      Nice to see a moderate viewpoint pop up.

  30. Ida Lupine says:

    I have said over and over that I do not condemn hunters or hunting, my Dad was a hunter. What saddens me is unnecessary cruelty in the guise of hunting, and political agendas passed off as needed policies.

  31. Mike says:

    Clearly, the problem is two fold.

    We have state agencies ignoring science, and hunters with poor ethics.

    This is why Yellowstone wolves were killed.

    How can we get game agencies to recognize science? How can we improve hunter ethics?

    The wolves ended up on The List because local management proved incompetent in maintaining viable populations. Pressure from local industry and the shoot and shovel crowd also caused their demise.

    The wolves will be listed again if adjustments are not made. It’s just a matter of time.

    • WM says:


      ++The wolves ended up on The List because local management proved incompetent in maintaining viable populations. Pressure from local industry and the shoot and shovel crowd also caused their demise.++

      Let’s be historically accurate here. A large element of the early wolf eradication program was under the authority of the US Government beginning in 1914 (and some before), when federal hunters and poison was used to knock back the wolf population wherever they were, along with state bounty programs. US Government hunters killed the wolves of Yellowstone National Park at that time, getting most by the early 1920’s, and reportedly the last one in 1944.

      So, it wasn’t just the states, Mike, that were responsible for eradication. It took an Act of Congress, just as it took an Act of Congress to create the Endangered Species Act and the foundation for recovery of wolves and other at risk species today.

  32. National Park Service Biologist (Doug Smith) treats Yellowstone Wolves like his private livestock by chasing them with helicopters and installing intrusive radio collars on them for his “wonderful” studies. (If Doug would leave them alone, maybe they wouldn’t leave the park and get killed.)

    Wyoming, Montana and Idaho Fish and Game departments “manage” wolves as targets for mental misfits, disguised as hunters, to shoot for fun. Trappers “legally” torture them.

    Wildlife Services rushes to and fro, killing as many wolves as they can for the livestock industry.

    The wolf reintroduction is starting to look like a complete disaster for the wolves.

    • Mike says:

      ++Wyoming, Montana and Idaho Fish and Game departments “manage” wolves as targets for mental misfits, disguised as hunters, to shoot for fun. Trappers “legally” torture them.++

      And we get to the heart of the matter. These wolves are responsible for all the bad decisions these people made in their lives, and now it’s time for payback.

      The wolf reintroduction is starting to look like a complete disaster for the wolves.++

      Or a sick game of mammal-bowling…

      Set them pins up, knock ’em down.

    • Jon Way says:

      The only way a potential buffer will ever be created would be due to knowing where COLLARED animals travel, including outside the park. So before you throw Doug Smith off a cliff, those very collars could be the key to protecting wolves long-term – esp. around Yellowstone. My advice would be to focus on the ppl really against wolves and not park service biologists which are ultimately responsible for helping to allow wolves to spread throughout the region. To be honest, in my monitoring of the blog over the past 10 years, your comments about park service ppl are probably the most bizarre and disingenuous comments that I have read here. To think that the wolves left the park b.c they have collars is just plain stupid.

    • SAP says:

      Larry, did Doug pass you over for his kickball team in the 4th grade? You’ve got quite the grudge against him. Anything happens with Yellowstone wolves, here comes ol’ Larry to someone put some of the blame on Doug Smith.

      Knock it off.

      • SAP says:

        [mistyped — ‘someone’ shouldn’t be in that sentence]

        • Salle says:

          Agreed, SAP.

          I think Larry’s got problem with someone else being able to take better pictures of wolves because they work with them and that’s an advantage that he can’t abide. And he doesn’t like the research methodologies because it affords that advantage that he can’t have. Maybe Larry did something stupid in the park, got called out for it and can’t handle his lack of exceptionalism. Ya gotta wonder. Get over it, Larry.

  33. IDhiker says:

    Often on this blog, I hear people going on and on about what is “legal.” Many things are legal that perhaps shouldn’t be. I could cite numerous atrocities throughout history, many concerning people, that were totally “legal” and endorsed by the governments of the time. What is legal reflects only the current majority sentiment and a group of selected people to determine. It does not mean it is right, so to speak, and often history refutes both these sentiments and people. Some know the difference between “legal” and right, and do not use “legal” to excuse unethical things.

  34. Mike says:

    I think, of utmost importance, is to figure out why a person would do this. What makes a person pull the trigger on a collared Yellowstone wolf?

    Unraveling this psychological puzzle will solve the “wolf problem.”

    The state agency failing to create a buffer around Yellowstone National Park is simply a continuation of the mindset of the guy pulling a trigger on a Yellowstone wolf.

    There is something “off” in both behaviors that needs to be opened up and examined in the light of day. Is it fear? Insecurity?

    We know there’s political pressure from the ranching community and various hunting groups. But when it comes down to it, policies and vitriol and misinformation aside, what causes one to pull the trigger? What causes one to pose in front of a bleeding wolf for a photo?

    It is this behavior, this mindset that must be solved for canis lupus to move forward in a modern society.

  35. CodyCoyote says:

    Yes, the Wyoming Game and Fish and to a lesser extent USFWS and our dear friends at Wildlife(Dis)Services are not being the least bit forthcoming about where wolves are being managed, controled , eradicated or successfully hunted ( as trophy or predator).

    I’m of the opinion that the Public ( especially us here at Wildlife News) cannot make informed opinion or help steer policy without sufficient data. We know enough to get into trouble with what’s happening ( or not) out in the field, but do not know enough to work the issue or get back out of the swamp of disinformation .

    Shooting a collared wolf is to me unethical in all circumstances called ” hunting”. Not illegal, but certainly unethical . I guess the shooter aiming at an obviously collared animal doesn’t stop to think he’s killing a pretty sizeable investment of tax dollars in research etc when he pulls that trigger.

    Given that collared wolves are usually the alphas or senior animals in a pack , don’t even get me going on the social disruption caused to a pack when its alphas are eradicated. It fractures the pack and disrupts the heirarchy , leaving younger inexperienced wolves to manage on their own , which can lead to problems and conflicts down the trail. By taking a collared wolf, the sportsmen may in fact be creating wolf problems, not solving them removing an undesireable animal in the name of ” conservation” ( his perception , not mine).

    The Bottom Line is the Wyo G&F needs to be transparent about the dynamics and box score and geospatials of this year’s seminal wolf hunt. We the Public need to know, but so far we do not.

    It will take a bulletproof FOIA to get that info. So be it.

    • Well said Cody: The destruction of the social cohesion in wolf packs by wolf hunters & Wildlife Services is a worrisome & not well-studied phenomenon. Does anyone know of any scientific studies on this?

      • Louise Kane says:

        The Living with Wolves Foundation is doing some work on this. They have a new publication being released sometime in the early new year that relates to the impacts of hunting on social cohesion of the packs and the lack of an emphasis in researching or using this data in management. I don’t think its a peer reviewed study, but I may be wrong. You could contact Garrick Dutcher. I spoke with him about the issue, as it relates to advocacy goals.

    • Leslie says:

      “I guess the shooter aiming at an obviously collared animal doesn’t stop to think he’s killing a pretty sizeable investment of tax dollars in research etc when he pulls that trigger”

      Wyoming is about to do their own collaring now that USF&W is out of the picture. But even when USF&W were doing collaring, it seems to me that this was no exactly research outside the Park, but a way of keeping track of population, cattle depredations, and finding packs in order to reduce them after they killed cattle or sheep. Yes, there was some research going on too, like the one in Sunlight that Abby and Arthur were doing. But even those wolves were targeted with their collars and killed for cattle depredations.

  36. Salle says:

    Here’s the big news of the day and this thread, found way over in Laramie…

    Collared wolves from Yellowstone killed

    “There has been no indication any of the wolves were taken illegally, said state officials and Dave Hallac, chief of Yellowstone’s Center for Resources.

    Hallac said the number of park wolves killed so far does not threaten Yellowstone’s population of 85-100 wolves.”

    Somehow I get the feeling he’s not talking to Dr. Smith about that, or that someone doesn’t want what Dr. Smith has to say getting out to the media.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      CodyCoyote and I have a dialogue somewhere else in these comments about this “riveting” AP article Matthew Brown wrote about the matter.

  37. Richie G says:

    When I was a young boy,their was a program called the “modern farmer”,first program on a Saturday morning.They often used the word harvest, in reguards to corn crops,wheat crops,etc.On this site and I think it is a regular term,harvest is used in killing of wolves.Are wolves considered, like a crop of wheat or corn. From this aspect I think wolves are considered by many,just like crops,which can’t be true? . I hope I made a point to consider,in the context of plants and animals?

    • Using the term “Harvest” for killing an animal is an all too common euphemism. I imagine that psychologically conflicted & perhaps guilt ridden hunters & wildlife people use it to make themselves feel better about what they are doing.

      Earth-based peoples have legends & myths to help them overcome the dilemma of having to kill animals that they regard as older brothers. I emphasize that they had to kill these animals in order to survive themselves. Hunters & wildlife professionals do not need to kill animals in order to live.

      On the lighter side, you might enjoy reading Joseph Campbell’s delightful rendition of the Blackfoot Indian legend, “The Buffalo’s Wife,” which demonstrates how one tribe solved this dilemma.

  38. Richie G. says:

    Is harvest the correct term to be used in response to hunting of wolves to lower their number.Harvest is used in terms of cutting crops of wheat or corn, is corn or wheat the same as a wolf? Just a question.

    • Kristi says:

      “Harvest” just sounds nicer and more scientific when dealing with dead or shot or killed or poisoned or trapped or snared wolves or other wildlife. Interesting point you have though about looking at them as plants or crops and not living, breathing creatures.

      • Mike says:

        Harvest is typically associated with crops.

        Of course, anyone who’s ever shot and killed an animal with a bullet knows it’s far different than shucking corn, which is why colloquial usage should and will change.

        • Kristi says:

          I do hope the usage changes. Almost all wildlife management agencies use the term “harvest” or “harvest rates” when talking about dead wildlife.

      • WM says:


        Do you also object to the use of the term “harvest” when referring to medical/scientific procedures, often associated with organs taken from either living or dead animals or humans? The term has wide application.

        Harvest is a term that has been used in the natural resources field including wildlife management for decades, for over 3/4 of a century or more. It, of course, has been used in agriculture and forestry for even longer. It is a staple term of sustainable use management where a certain portion of a crop of whatever is removed, pursuant to some prescriptive management plan. The term is frequently used in scientific journal articles on wildlife management (as well as previously mentioned medical application). We have had discussions on this forum about the use of the term for several years.

        And as much as Mike wants you sell you on believing it, “harvest” is not a colloquial term. My prediction: It won’t change just because you want it to.

        • JB says:

          I agree that there is a sanitizing effect to labeling killing “harvest”. However, modern wildlife management grew out of forest management, so it isn’t surprising that much of the same terminology was adopted. Leopold (1933) who is widely considered both the father of wildlife management and ecology called game management “…the art of making land produce sustained annual crops of wild game for recreational use”.

          Modern usage of the term “harvest” is also useful for separating different causes of mortality. For instance, an agency may separate harvest of deer from control actions, deer-vehicle collisions and natural predation (all of which are forms of “killing”). So lets not be too critical of agencies.

          • JB says:

            And to be fair, harvesting many (though not all) crops also kills the plants. Should we change the term “harvest” to “kill” for these species as well?

          • JB says:

            A final thought: I have never heard a hunter say “I harvested a deer” (though I have seen this terminology used in written accounts of hunting). Every hunter I know talks about “killing a deer”. Likewise, the agency people I talk with seem to use the word “kill” when talking about the success (or lack thereof) of individual hunts; usually the term “harvest” is reserved for discussion of the toll of the hunt in aggregate (as in, 10,000 deer were harvested this season). Again, the term harvest is useful for separating hunter-caused mortality from other forms of mortality.

            • elk275 says:

              How about I shot a deer. I shot an elk. I shot a moose. I shot wolf. This is what I hear, not I harvest an elk, I hear I killed an elk. Or,maybe the three of us went hunting and we got 2 cows and a small bull. Harvest is something the fish and game say.

        • Kristi says:

          Wasn’t necessarily objecting, just explaining. “Take” is another term used. You will almost never see “dead” or “killed” used by a wildlife mgt. agency, but the meaning is definitely obvious. Sounds more PC or scientific, too, which is what wildlife agencies are all about. (cough, cough). I don’t really disagree with you, WM.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I realize that it a technical word, but it does seem to have a desensitizing or objectifying and “de-living thing-izing” effect which would, I think, be a more euphemistic term for what really happens – killing.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I should also say that I associate the word harvest with crops cut down that will come back again the following year. Animals I don’t think are ever the same after a hunting season.

          • JB says:


            Many crops that are planted would not come back next year if it weren’t for new plantings (i.e., the individual organism is killed when harvested), though others (like the raspberries I “harvested” as a child) do grow back from the same organism each year.

  39. Mark L says:

    I’ve heard ‘culling’ also. Harvest would imply taking at some peak of ripeness, I guess. Politically this WOULD be true…. In a related observation, I’d argue against trapping/shooting late in the season as this would interrupt breeding (just not sporting) if one really wants to call this a sport…
    or even call it hunting.

    • WM says:

      Mark L.,

      “Culling” typically refers to sorting or removal of individuals (animals/plants/fruits/vegetables) with certain characteristics or elements from a population of the same thing (or species). It is mostly different from the term harvest. But, for example, if an elk hunting season is for spike bulls or cows only, that could be a harvest prescription (or culling, though the term is not generally used that way to my knowledge). On the other hand, when apples are sorted to remove the bad or flawed ones, the term of art those removed are called culls, and the process is called culling.

  40. dave says:

    Everybody’s talking about hunting. Hey, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Just wait ’til they start trapping. That’s the way to kill lots of wolves really fast.

  41. Richie G says:

    O.K. so Harvest is just another term used to kill any kind of animal. But Harvest is used instead of killing when it comes to a large number of the same kind of thing.So killing a group of something is o.k. ,just like Harvest is o.k., in essence it is killing many wolves,not just a few. To me that is the problem,or I will say that is a crime.

    • Savebears says:


      The accusation of “Crime” implies a law was violated and the violator is subject to the penalties of the Judicial system. There has been no violation of law in this situation.

  42. Richie G says:

    To sb; So I took it out of context,shoot me; To me and many others,do see it as a crime,just like their are things done to humans which should be a crime. Example ,going into an unjust war,so soildiers can get killed or wounded painfully which in itself is a crime.


November 2012


‎"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