Closure around Yellowstone, no more wolves will be hunted, none will be trapped-

In the much anticipated Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission meeting today, the Commission voted 4-1 to close a buffer around the Montana part of Yellowstone National Park to hunting and the upcoming wolf trapping season.

Commission Chair Bob Ream said the closures are only for this year — they were making the closure because of the “particular and unique situation” of collared wolves being shot. The closure will not affect the goals of the Commission for the overall Montana wolf hunt and trapping season in any significant way because this is such a small area, and one with almost no winter livestock, but it could have a big effect conserving Yellowstone’s small and shrinking wolf population, now down to only about 80 wolves.

Three or 4 years ago the Park had over 170 wolves, probably well above the natural level of a sustainable population. Then it began to drop with interpack rivalry and low surviving pup numbers.  This winter, however, this natural process was drastically interfered with when over 10% of the population was shot in the transient travels the wolves make outside the Park which has no boundaries that wildlife can see or world recognize.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

99 Responses to Montana puts closure around Yellowstone Park for the rest of the year’s wolf hunt-trapping season

  1. CodyCoyote says:

    … and who of the five was the holdout Commissioner ?

  2. Salle says:

    So we go through this crap all over again next year? Is there a map showing the alleged buffer zone that is in Montana only?

    • Kristi Lloyd says:

      Salle, I worked on that proposal and the map, along with 4 other advocates in our group. We didn’t call it a buffer zone, we termed it as a quota zone. We are realistic and know wolves will be killed, hunting is not going away. The Commission actually expanded the area we had proposed and said they would close it to hunting and trapping through the end of the current season which ends Feb. 29, 2013. It might be revisited, depends on how much pressure the Commission receives from outside forces. Big Game Forever is NOT happy about the Commission’s decision. MFWP will probably have the updated closure zone map on its website in the very near future, if it isn’t already. This proposal and mapping the “alleged buffer zone” took a lot of time and energy over the course of a month. We are not paid, we volunteered that time and energy with dedication, enthusiasm and great care. We were walking a slippery slope and had to be very mindful of that. We had a goal and we achieved it. Success in the wolf wars does not come very easily.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Thank you again Kristi,
        as a note Big Game Forever will not be happy until all wolves are hunted, trapped, and eliminated. They have been particularly successful and pushy about delisting and aggressive hunting.

      • Salle says:


        First, I thank you and laud you and your colleagues for all you efforts. I fully understand the process that is required of wolf advocates that seems to be bypassed for those who advocate for killing them.

        I am not very comfortable with the commission and their unwillingness to acknowledge the reasoning for a buffer zone in the first place, thus my comment. I have offered statements on hunting rules in the past and was soundly ignored and scoffed at. I guess one’s citizenship is conditional with regard to the willingness to kill wildlife as far as the “managers” are concerned.

  3. Robert R says:

    While there at it maybe they could just make Yellowstone into a federal (ZOO)and put a high fence around the park boundary.
    In the end the pro wolf people will get what they want but theses wolves don’t know there is a buffer zone and will be shot and trapped any way and killed for getting into livestock.

    • Mtn Mamma says:

      Robert R,
      Darn tootin! Them there illegal Kanadian terrorist oughta be walled off with all the pot-smokin bunny huggers so they cant go a killin 400 sheep a night. Unlocked and loaded! Yee ha. I hear ya man.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Robert R exactly why hunting wolves and other predators as its done now is indefensible. Its managing single species with bogus population goals that don’t reflect healthy ecosystems just healthy preferred species/ungulates populations, for hunting. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy to see anything right now including buffers but the whole concept of management is outdated and irresponsible

  4. Kirk Robinson says:

    Is any one aware of solid peer reviewed articles presenting evidence from professional studies by wildlife biologists that a general wolf hunt benefits any species of livestock? I’m not.

    • Jon Way says:

      Not at all and considering Ralph’s accurate comments “The closure will not affect the goals of the Commission for the overall Montana wolf hunt and trapping season in any significant way because this is such a small area, and one with almost no winter livestock, but it could have a big effect conserving Yellowstone’s small and shrinking wolf population, now down to only about 80 wolves.”

      There should be no reason why creating a permanent area in low elevation areas that wolves leave as protected from hunting (outside of Yellowstone), especially on our federal lands. I have heard that commissioner Ream (seemingly the most progressive of the bunch) said repeatedly that “It was mentioned by Chairman Bob Ream that none of the 34 million taken in by wolf tourism goes to MFWP.” Yeah, we all know that but doesn’t he realize that wildlife watchers are completely ignored by the modern source of funding. Why should wildlife watchers buy a hunting license with the current archaic system of funding game agencies. What about the tax dollars that all Americans spend on federal lands, much of what is surrounding Yellowstone.

  5. BV says:

    pardon My ignorance, but why is it legal to hunt/kill a collared wolf ? -having them in the field is obviously beneficial, -bar none.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      I think you will find a huge difference of opinion on this forum whether wolf radio collars are beneficial, and if so, where, and for what purpose?

      • BV says:

        aren’t radio collars a primary method for documenting locations, behaviors, and numbers of Wolves? -And likely a major contributor to the information/process used to determine allowing hunts in the first place? It seems that without the benefit of data collared Wolves help provide, informed and effective management is lessened for all purposes, hunting and non-hunting.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      Yes. The collar makes no difference though they would like the collar itself returned.

  6. Salle says:

    Interesting that it’s in a Billings release that can be found in the Bozeman paper but nothing on the FW$P website… anywhere.

    Montana shuts down wolf harvest near Yellowstone

    “The closures prohibit hunting and trapping for the predators and include areas north of the park around the town of Gardiner.”

    And just where do the boundaries lie? The article mentions something about area near Gardiner but that's it. So I'd like to know where the designated no hunt area(s) is/are and how far out this would go from the actual park boundary. And soon.
    There's a lot more boundary along the western edge of the park where there are also wolves who are in and out of the park that are near and dear to many locals and tourists, what about those? Irreparable damage has already been done to the Madison pack so…? And there is at least one pack that frequents areas where skiing is prevalent right along the park boundary as well so…?

    This whole situation seems pretty flimsy on the part of FW$P and I'm thinking they only decided to do this because it made international news and they didn't know what else to do since the whole planet is watching them at the moment. I'm far from being impressed by this action.

    • Kristi Lloyd says:

      Why not appreciate the fact that there is now protection around Yellowstone where as of two days ago there were none? If you are on Facebook go to Wolves of the Rockies page, click on Notes and you can see the entire proposal and map which has the original area before MFWP expanded on what we asked for. Unfortunately wolves were killed before the MFWP meeting yesterday, this was not an overnight project. Public pressure did play a role, Bob Ream admitted that, but what else has been done to protect wolves that has been successful? What have you done and been successful in protecting wolves? Have the thousands of emails and phone calls alone done anything? The thing to do now is to turn attention to WY. There was a lot more to this than just those few lines in the BDC. In the wolf wars you learn to appreciate the victories because they are few and far between and always be ready to get more kicks in the gut along the way. Those kicks are the norm. One big problem I have seen in wolf advocacy is sniping and fighting between groups, between advocates. If all that nonsense would stop and focus was put on the wolves instead of opinions and egos then maybe there would be more successes.

      • Mtn Mamma says:

        Krisit, Very well said! I also see the phenomena of bickering between pro-wolfers and groups as a hinderance to more success. I am pleased and impressed that your organization achieved this victory and wonder why bigger pro wolf NGOs with all of their attorneys werent at the table backing the proposal. If a smaller group such as Wolves in the Rockies is able to accomplish this, imagine what could be done as if all groups worked together cohesively. SOLID WORK!

      • Louise Kane says:

        yes Kristi thanks very much to you and the Cookes! I think that Salle has a valid point about including the additional areas in the buffer zone. Perhaps additional areas can be negotiated as the negative publicity keeps coming in. It is time to keep up the pressure, stay focused and organized and work together. If you have been getting an ear, please bring up the concern that many have about trapping wolves. Montana never had a plan to trap wolves, until the livestock industry, trappers and hunters pushed hard for it. Its extremely cruel for this particular species, as you know. And remember please its not just the Yellowstone wolves that need help and protection.

        • DLB says:

          Are you on the ground negotiating for those additional protections? Is Salle?

          • Salle says:

            Used to be. I don’t travel anymore and Helena is a long drive for me. I still make phone calls and perform other actions as well as attempt to educate my neighbors and friends about their misconceptions regarding wolves and the issues surrounding them. That’s a hard task in itself. I have, in the past been to numerous meetings, hearings and made speeches and presentations and participated in the discussions involving the “design” of the MT hunts prior to the delisting the first time around.

            I still track the local wolves and report to those in authority whom I trust about my findings.

            Why? How much am I supposed to give after all these years with no resources? And what have you personally done “on the ground”?

        • Kristi says:

          The closure zone will protect any wolves that migrate in/out of the park, not just the “Yellowstone” wolves. I think the $50,000 donation from the Rocky Mt. Elk Foundation had something to do with trapping. MFWP kept referring to Idaho’s success (cough cough) through trapping. I think many of us here knows what a shining example Idaho is for wolf management.

      • Salle says:


        With all due respect, some of us have given all we had to give and are now suffering from so many kicks in the gut and have been sidelined so many times that there is little energy left to fight with. I think you underestimate the efforts of those you might no longer see at the hearings and meetings and all the public gatherings. The older you get the less willing you might be willing to go out and take action only to find death threats in your face or lurking in the shadows. Some of us get worn down after years of it and with no financial means to continue, some of us just can’t keep going in the fashion you might desire.

        So to your question on why not be happy with the crumbs of sort of success that has been granted by fiat of the fear of bad press for the agency? It only covers a very small portion of the perimeter of the northern boundary of the park… and for all that boundary in Gallatin county? Nothing? Sorry. I am glad that there was even the slightest consideration but it surely wasn’t all that much when you look at the larger picture.

        I don’t do FB or any of that so I wonder just how far any of that info will get without posting it on the actual official web site and places not on FB.

        And there are some of us who also don’t bicker with the larger NGOs whether we agree with their efforts or not. If/when they snub you, what have you got then? A much smaller voice to express your points with, that’s what.

        I am glad that there is fresh blood out there to carry on with the battle, I wish you great success… carry on, hope you don’t bleed to death and can actually get something worthwhile accomplished.

        Don’t get me wrong here, I am thankful for your efforts but I don’t think the commission is really acting in that much good faith here.

      • Mareli says:

        Thank you, Kristi. I’m sure you are doing your damnedest to prevent the wolf-haters from killing more. It must be hard to even talk to those people.

  7. Robert Bunch says:

    “This whole situation seems pretty flimsy on the part of FW$P and I’m thinking they only decided to do this because it made international news and they didn’t know what else to do since the whole planet is watching them at the moment. I’m far from being impressed by this action.”

    They may have done it reluctantly but it just goes to show what some serious pressure and publicity can do.

    I say keep the pressure constant and raise your voices with letters, emails, contact your congress persons etc. Thats what the anti-wolf crowd does.

    • Mark L says:

      The more eyes the better. Sunshine (as in sunshine laws) is what’s going to keep wolves around…wolverine and griz too. Stuff done by people in ‘the fog’ and in the dark (smoke filled rooms?) are by nature going to bring predators down….just our nature.

    • Kristi Lloyd says:

      Especially now and yes hammer away now that MFWP opened the door. Focus on WY, they have a serious public image problem right now…the wolf hunt, the loss of 06, three lawsuits. Tell the outfitters who rely on summer visitors for rafting, etc. that you will not be giving your money to them or any other business that is related to killing wolves. The door has been opened, go through it.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I also think that things have gotten far out of hand now and this action could be to send a message to the extreme wolf haters, not hunters. If they continue to act irresponsibly and to dishonor the agreement made, they could lose. I’m very happy to hear about this new arrangement to protect the parks on Montana’s part, well done.

  8. Leslie says:

    thanks Kristi for you and your organization’s work on this. I am curious what, besides getting rid of ‘predator’ status, you would propose for the next WY trophy hunt? The NGO’s suing are concentrating on the predator status only, but this hunt brings up new issues in the trophy zone as well.

  9. Richie G. says:

    Thanks Kristi; And to all you wolf lovers,these wolf haters follow in the same tracks as most republicans,they go too far,then say what happened ?

  10. PNW says:

    Thanks Kristi and Wildlife news for your tireless work and for helping us stay informed. Shooting Yellowstone wolves just outside park boundaries is clearly wrong when it is obvious that these wolves have a pack to return to inside the park. Allowing hunting and trapping so close to Yellowstone NP boundaries is divisive and counterproductive. I think the fact that Montana has created a boundary is an important step in the right direction and should be recognized as such. I’ve composed a letter expressing concern on this particular issue as it relates to Wyoming, and am wondering if you have suggestions as to whom I should send letters to in order to have the most impact.

  11. CodyCoyote says:

    Don’t expect Wyoming to follow suit in any way shape or form —as in letting wolves use the wilderness areas east and south of YNP more liberally, as a defacto hunting buffer by prohibiting the shooting of any collared wolves during these alleged ” trophy hunts “.

    That would be too easy and too sensible. Doesn’t pass the Cowboy Inquisition dogma test.

    • Leslie says:

      Cody, what they could do is reduce the numbers and shorten the seasons in certain designated hunt areas. Area 2, my area, was just ridiculous with 8 wolves, the highest quota of any hunt zone, and we now know at least 2 were YNP wolves.

      • Salle says:

        But you have to realize that the legislature is all about ridding the state of all wolves, even though they give lip service to keeping the barest of minimums on hand to allegedly ward off relisting and those had better stay in the park. It will require a major shift in the thinking of the society to change what is happening on the ground at present.

  12. Richie G. says:

    nice Ralph for all you do,sorry I left you out,didn’t mean too,you are a forthright person,you speak what you believe,just so happens I agree with 99 % of what you say ,oh and 3/4 %.Now to my point if the hunters had real ethics,wouldn’t you think they would guess they would know that the wolf has a family in the park? Truth is the ones who did this just do not give a blank.So for all the ethical hunters,which I don’t believe that is the majority,but just my opinion,their are the ones that makes this so evil,going back to Americas early history. Did anyony buy the Walt Disney tape right at the begining of the introduction?It showed when wolves were poisoned and beieng carried on sleighs,with their heads dangling,not a pretty site. I never watch that tape.

    • Savebears says:


      All wildlife has families, come on, they have to come from somewhere, I have had several generations of deer families born right in my front yard.

  13. Anthony Criscola says:

    Should we send thankyou letters to MFWPC for banning wolf hunting on the northern boundary of YNP.

  14. Mtn Mamma says:

    Salle, I Am depressed enough about all the blood loss but your comments sound like we should give up all hope and drink some Jim Jones Juice.

    • Salle says:

      Not at all, but Kristi sounds as though nobody else has been doing anything to try and convince the agencies to recognize what we have been trying to accomplish. I was simply expressing my dismay at the series of events and the teeny-tiny bit the FW$P has given on this issue… only after much damage has been done.

      I’m not satisfied with this miniscule decision and that is what I have been saying. I was defending myself against a reprimand that I felt unwarranted. I am disgusted, I hope that there are others out there who have the energy to continue the fight… when you are earning a wage to go through all this it’s quite different than when you are doing it on your spare time and living on bare minimums and being chastised at your piddly assed job for having the temerity to have an opinion and work to resolve such issues.

      I don’t regret getting involved but I am also limited in what I can contribute to the efforts anymore.

      I am at least as depressed as you might be, perhaps more so as I invested everything into the fight and pretty much lost everything by doing so. And from where I am, it doesn’t look like much ground has been gained in the long run, in fact it’s been looking like backsliding the past few years. I have aright to be upset about it and so there it is, take it as you will.

      • Savebears says:


        Again you and I agree, I think far to much is being put into the small(Very small) token movement by the FWP commision, I was afraid of this happening, I have worked with these people, they have made a move to gain publicity, in reality, it will change nothing.

        • Salle says:

          That would be my sentiment exactly. They really don’t want to hear what folks like Kristi had to say but due to bad press, they gave an eighth of an inch.

          And I agree with you about the hoopla they are now receiving for doing essentially nothing, especially since the majority of the damage has already been done.

        • IDhiker says:

          And I agree with both of you (Salle & SB). I haven’t worked with the commissioners, but I’ve testified at several of their meetings. It always seemed their minds were made up beforehand, and that public comment was just a formality and a nuisance.

          They have chosen a course and they won’t deviate much. This is just a little “blip” on their radar.

        • Jerry Black says:

          There was excellent testimony from Bear Creek Council, Wolves of the Rockies, Sierra Club, Footloose Montana and NRDC.
          Thanks to the groups that advocated for this “buffer” even though, once again, wildlife gets the “crumbs”.
          If you listened to this hearing it was very clear that it’s only temporary as per Bob Ream’s reply to Keith Kabusta who represents SFW.
          I also thought the comments made by Ream and Moody about YNP and the fact that they share responsibility for this situation was appropriate. Both agreed that the habituation to humans in the Park, and the lack of fear caused by this, is tragic. Moody even called for a “change of Park management”.

          • Mike says:

            To blame Yellowstone is far-fetched. They are not the ones pulling the trigger.

            Sooner or later hunting of wolves will be banned. That’s the solution we will all face.

            • Savebears says:

              Christ Mike, you are so far out there that for the most part, nobody is listening to you any longer, talk about a ————–

              • Mike says:

                It’s dishonest to blame Yellowstone. They didn’t choose to pull the trigger.

                Hunters did.

                But I’m not surprised to see you veer off track so badly. Your like an 85 year old behind a Cadillac after downing a bottle of Nyquil.

              • Savebears says:

                Yes Mike,

                They pulled the trigger on a lawful game animal, during a lawful hunting season. That is the fact of the matter, you are an anti hunter and no matter the circumstances, you are going to spew your anti hunter rhetoric.

              • skyrim says:

                Savebears (aka DP)
                Don’t you dare speak for me.

              • Mike says:

                ++They pulled the trigger on a lawful game animal, during a lawful hunting season. That is the fact of the matter, you are an anti hunter and no matter the circumstances, you are going to spew your anti hunter rhetoric.++

                Here you are again, apologizing for their extreme behavior. What did it get them, SB?

                A ban on hunting wolves on the Yellowstone border.

                Keep pushing….

                But hey, you get to defend all things hunting again. Does it make you feel like a man? Grrrr… me walk in boots, me raise rifle, me shoot chained wolf to metal post. Grrrrr…. me tough man, real rugged outdoor-type. Grrr….maybe penis aint so large, maybe shooting things make it go big….

              • Harley says:


                I thought you didn’t believe in baiting bears… seems to me like there is a lot of baiting going on here.

              • Savebears says:

                Mike it was a closure, not a ban, and can be lifted at anytime by the commission.

              • Elk275 says:


                The MtFW&P’s closed wolf hunting in two areas North of Yellowstone Park, those two areas are all so known as Beattie Gulch and Decker Flats; wolf hunting has not been banned. The MtFWP’s closes both those areas every once in a while during elk season either to protect the elk or because of grizzlies. Nothing new.

  15. Louise Kane says:

    Big Game Forever’s response to its constituents to the closed buffer….

    Nothing is too low for them.

    It appears that something fishy may be happening in Montana. Many of you are aware that radical activists are trying to close wolf hunting in areas outside of Yellowstone National Park. Not only would this set a terrible and risky precedent, but this would effectively prevent recovery of the hard hit elk and moose populations in the area.

    Here is where it gets worse.

    It looks like attempts are being made to circumvent the law to make this decision TODAY. The problem is that the item is not on the official Montana FWP Commission Meeting Agenda.

    According to press reports some commissioners suggest that restricting wolf harvest will be on today’s agenda, “Montana wildlife commissioner Shane Colton said closing some areas to trapping or setting strict quotas will be on the table during a Monday commission meeting.” In the same article another commissioner indicates he may support the action, “State wildlife commissioner Ron Moody said he would support closing areas to harvest or reducing wolf quotas if that’s supported by the evidence.” You can read the quotes in the Billings Gazette article at:

    Montana law is very clear. No decisions can be made, unless advanced public notice is given that the issue will be considered in the meeting. How can concerned sportsmen and ranchers know to attend the meeting if proper notice is not given? A quick review of Section 2-3-103 of Montana Statute indicates, “…the agency may not take action on any matter discussed unless specific notice of that matter is included on an agenda and public comment has been allowed on that matter…”

    Of the four issues on the agenda for today’s Montana FWP commission meeting. None of them relate to restrictions on wolf harvest around Yellowstone National Park. The only agenda item related to wolves is listed as “Information only.” In fact this item is all about how Montana can harvest more wolves and decrease overall wolf numbers. Here it says about this item:

    “The 2012 season framework includes a number of changes from 2011, largely intended to increase wolf harvest and decrease wolf abundance in Montana…The review will include data on harvest numbers, geographic distribution of harvest, consideration of depredation removals and overall wolf mortality relative to wolf population model projections. Much of the data will be presented to compare harvests during the 2011 and 2012 hunting seasons.” Emphasis added.

    Here is a link to the full agenda:

    So is the item on today’s agenda or not? I don’t think anyone knows but the Commissioners in Montana. Knowing that questionable actions have been taken before, Big Game Forever issued an action alert in Montana asking Montana sportsmen and livestock producers to send messages to the commission. Over 650 messages have been sent from Montana. On Friday we sent another request to our national list. This generated over 2,000 additional messages. So thanks to each of you who sent one of the 2,600 messages to Montana FWP commission for being ahead of the curve on this issue.

    The meeting is happening now. It is becoming more clear why Montana hunters are so frustrated. Underhanded tactics seem to have become the norm when it comes to the lack of adequate wolf management in the state of Montana. If restricting wolf harvest is considered by Montana FWP Commission in today’s meeting, it will be a clear violation of the spirit if not the letter of Montana law meant to protect its citizens from this very kind of action.

    Stay tuned,

    Ryan Benson

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I’m remaining hopeful. I never even expected them to do this much, quite frankly. I don’t think they’d go back on their word now.

    • Salle says:

      Quick, somebody call the Whaaaaambulance. These guys might hurt themselves with all that victimhood. Interesting how they don’t complain about all those hearings held at odd hours in distant locations, little notice to the general public and intimidating participants regarding the times that the “kill the wolves” crowd were being handed all they demanded.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Big Game Forever has a primary goal/mission, a single minded pursuit to inflame anti wolf rhetoric, kill, maim, harass, and eradicate wolves. It is pathological.

  16. Ida Lupine says:

    I think what this gentleman is trying to do is to bring up a technicality that doesn’t apply here. Perhaps this is an emergency intervention. If these people want to eliminate wolves entirely from the area, at least have the cojones to say so instead of lie. I think we can see now the rank stupidity of rushing through a delisting like this. Yes, the law is very clear – if the wolves go below a certain number, they will be relisted.

    • Elk275 says:

      I think that all hunting seasons can be shut down with a 48 hour notice or the commission can extend the season, too.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Underhanded tactics seem to have become the norm when it comes to the lack of adequate wolf management in the state of Montana.

      Does he mean the delisting rider with no judicial review? Those radical activists? The guy out in Washington State who ordered that the Wedge Pack be aerially gunned down? That radical agenda?

  17. DESERT DWELLER says:

    Thank you to all the folks who gave their time and energy to get this temporary ban put in place! As a member of defenders of wildlife and nrdc, I have had my hope restored that the humans who love and respect all wildlife can change idiotic, non-sensical laws. I also know many responsible and ethical hunters and none of them would e-v-e-r kill a wolf

    • Mike says:

      ++I also know many responsible and ethical hunters and none of them would e-v-e-r kill a wolf

      Time for these mythical hunters to speak up and separate themselves from their extreme peers.

  18. Rancher Bob says:

    Montana Fish and Game now has the closed areas posted and maps available online.

  19. Salle says:

    Wow, that might almost possibly make a difference if it weren’t for the fact that the damage in that area has already been done as well as in Wyoming and Gallatin county. I almost couldn’t be less impressed.

    Thanks for all the focus on your damned PR while doing nothing but giving some sloppy lip service to a serious issue, MTFW$P. Hoop de effing doo.

  20. fred carrer says:

    I always went to Yellowstone for more then two weeks to see the wolves, Now with all the hunting of them I will no longer visit the place. It was the only reason for my trip and if go and see someone try to kill a wolf I’ll be pissed off enough to stop them big time…

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      I’ve quit going too and I have been going for many reasons since I was 3 years old. Now over 60 years later, I feel that it is defiled.

      • Savebears says:

        It has been a while since I have been to the park as well, but I know for a fact, I would not witness anyone trying to kill a wolf, a deer, a elk, a bison, etc.

        These hunts are not happening in the park, in fact with the 06 kill, the likely hood of anyone other than the hunters witnessing it was virtually nill.

        Fred you sound like you think hunting is going on in the park?

        • Elk275 says:

          I have not been to Yellowstone in 6 years. My favorite place to fish was the Lamar River. The last time I went to go fishing there were hundreds of people trying to spot wolves. I loved to fish the Lamar Valley before the wolves but today it has be defiled with wolf watchers. The Lamar Valley is my favorite place in the park with wolves came people; people had never heard of the Lamar Valley and would never have gone there there were not wolves. There are different ways of looking things. Fishing is not a spectators sport.

          • Savebears says:


            As you, I specifically stay out of the Lamar because of the zoo/circus like atmosphere in the Lamar now a days.

          • JB says:

            Okay, you guys are a riot. I’ve been to the Lamar at least a dozen times and the wolf watchers are usually congregated in the same 3-4 places, less than 100 feet from the road. You’re always preaching about how much better things are in the backcountry; well, there’s a lot more to the Lamar than what exists without 100 feet of the highway. Why not take your own advice and go for a walk down the trail?!

            • JB says:

              Follow up: My wife went backpacking in the valley in ’98. Saw plenty of people (including the wolf-watcher crowd) near the road, but after a half mile hike we were alone. We encountered 1 other group of backpackers in 2 days.

              • Savebears says:


                You really seem to have a problem that others have not had the same experience that you have had in the Lamar. I have read the same stuff on many different websites over the years.

                I have witnessed when working on bison studies in the park. I am glad you have had great experiences in the Lamar, but not everyone has.

              • Jon Way says:

                I agree, an easy 3 mile hike (6 mile loop) to Cache Creek is a great way to see the Lamar in a different light. Not many ppl seen beyond 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the road…

              • JB says:


                It doesn’t bother me in the least. I’m just saying that it ain’t hard to get away from the wolf-watchers, just get out of the truck and go for a short walk.

            • Elk275 says:

              We are a riot. The Lamar River is along the road and that is where I like to fish. I have been up to Cache Creek but my favorite fishing is at the junction of Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River or at the end of the Vally where the house size rock is across the river. {BTW the back of that rock is similar to the bottom of an outhouse.)

    • Mike says:

      Fred –

      I was there this year, throughout late September and October. Very unsettling.

  21. Richie G says:

    I mean the family in the park sb; they have certain members who hunt,maybe the one killed is the hunter,do I have to explain everything sb.

    • Savebears says:


      I have no idea what your talking about, of course being clear when you first post a message would go a long ways to clearing up the confusion that often accompanies your posts.

      Really as far as I am concerned Richie, you don’t even have to address my comments, but you seem to continue to pick mine comments out to hammer on.

      • Mike says:

        SB, I don’t think you really care about anything other than yourself. It’s a common trait.

        “What about my elk?”

        “What about my deer?”

        “What about my wolf?”

        “What about my hunting and trapping rights?”

        “I, I, I, me, me,me,”

        By nature you and your peers are takers. You are the highest consumptive users of public land. And it is no surprise that you have this mentality.

        • Savebears says:

          Mike, oh Mike,

          The elk and deer I take are for my consumption, I don’t buy commercial meat, and all the associated problems with it. I don’t trap and I don’t hunt wolves.

          I would have to say the highest consumptive users of public lands are the extraction industry, they are taking the very products the land resides on.

          Mike, I really don’t know how you are going to survive in a state of hunters.

          • Mike says:

            ++Mike, oh Mike,

            The elk and deer I take are for my consumption, I don’t buy commercial meat, and all the associated problems with it. I don’t trap and I don’t hunt wolves.

            I would have to say the highest consumptive users of public lands are the extraction industry, they are taking the very products the land resides on.

            Mike, I really don’t know how you are going to survive in a state of hunters.++

            Right, SB. It’s all about what you get. It’s not what you can do for the ecosystem, or how you can help out other critters besides you and yours.

            This is why, not matter their faults, conservationists are held in higher regard around the world. It’s because of their extroverted outlook, rather than introverted. We don’t ask what the ecosystem can do for us, what the animals can do for us. We simply say “How can we make things better for you?“.

            But hey, fight for your hunting rights and yourdeer.

            • Savebears says:

              Thanks for the blessing Mike, I will fight for my right to eat meat that is not tainted by the commercialization we see now.

        • WM says:

          You will no doubt be disappointed by this view, but the reasons we have government, and the laws they make, is to sort out this business of rights belonging to citizens collectively and individually, including consumptive use rights or licenses to engage in certain activities.

          The collective will of the people seems to be that SB can have “my elk,deer…{whatever}” and consumptively use it as a resident of the state of MT. You will have that right to, when you move there, should you choose to exercise it (I won’t take odds on how long you stay). Here is why:

          OUR federal wolves (while ESA protected) are now a state resource (becoming THEIR wolves if you will) to manage in conjunction with other state resources, including elk, deer, etc., which can be converted to “MY elk” pursuant to regulations granting rights to individuals pursuant to a license (and tag) for a particular activity. In addition, the state(s) have determined wolf distribution and numbers of THEIR wolves will be controlled for the purpose of conserving OUR elk, deer,….. It is also no surprise THEIR wolves can be converted to MY wolf, also by license/tag, and management quotas.

          You just don’t like that. Your beef is with the state on how it chooses to allocate renewable resources, not SB or any other consumptive resource user.

  22. Ida Lupine says:

    Yes, the wolf is now a legal game animal in a legal hunting season. But the difference is these hunters, if you can call them that, seem to be concentrating on the park wolves, in what can only be interpreted as a concerted effort to get rid of them, not coincidence. I’m sure there are quieter areas to hike in YP from from the madding crowds – the the point is how easy to access a park wolf if one were inclined to, you know, to get rid of them.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      oops “far from the madding crowd”. that should be. And why is that these hunting/gun clubs like Destroyers of Wildlife are so spitting mad about a teeny weeny little buffer zone? I don’t see individual hunters putting up much of a stink.

      • Savebears says:


        The hunters on this blog have condemned illegal acts by criminals claiming to be hunters.

        Your tactic is a classic as is Mikes, it is known as a divide and conquer move, you and Mike are trying to cause a split within the hunting community.


December 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

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