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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One Of Yellowstone’s Most Popular Wolves Shot By Hunters

One of the most famous wolves in Yellowstone National Park was shot and killed by hunters over the weekend. The wolf was known by her research number, 832F. She was also called ’06 Female — 2006 was the year she was born.

This wolf was the alpha female of a pack in Yellowstone’s northeastern Lamar Valley, and one of the wolves in the area collared with a $4,000 GPS tracker so researchers could study her movements. One of the most popular wolves in one of the most popular packs in the park, wolf watchers called her a “rock star” for her strength, hunting skill, and devotion to her pups.

Grey wolves were removed from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service’s endangered species list in most Rocky Mountain states in 2011, they came off the list in Wyoming in October. That means it’s up to the states, not the federal government, to decide how to mange their wolf populations.

The death of ’06 Female is being mourned by wolf watchers all over the world and has put new focus on how states manage their wolf populations. So far this season, at least 87 wolves were shot in Montana, 120 were shot or trapped in Idaho and 58 were shot in Wyoming.

This was the first year that Wyoming allowed hunting of wolves in areas adjacent to Yellowstone. According to the New York Times, on Monday Montana’s Fish and Wildlife commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of halting wolf hunting and trapping in areas adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, citing the high percentage of collared wolves that were killed in near park hunting in Wyoming.


  • Dan Stahler, Wildlife Biologist for the National Park Service’s Yellowstone Wolf Project

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.a.girard Mark A Girard

    Truly sickening.

  • Chris12942000

    shame on us and shame on your guest for calling it a “harvest” when it is a kill and calling hunting those still endangered animals a successful “way to control population”.  Ranchers are bullies and will always be, we are a specie that cannot cohabited with others.

    • Janiceskis

      You obviously don’t live around here (Montana).  Please walk a mile in our shoes before you claim to know that of which you speak.

      • Pointpanic

        If ranching means killing wolves then ranching should be illegal

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1150600232 Julianne Yellowstone Baker

          Without ranchers we’d have no open space. Open space of ranchers creates wildlife corridors. Would you prefer to see a bunch of subdivisions? Ranchers produce food for the nation as well. I am pro-wolf, but I felt the record needs to be set straight. Saying what Pointpanic wrote above just polarizes us all more and that gets us nowhere. Saying ranching should be illegal is hurtful, harmful to wolves.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-Ash/708593570 Karen Ash

        You are more than likely ranching for a few bucks a head on federal property, property owned by all of us here in the USA. I no longer eat beef due to your ranching practices. My husband does not either. I tell everyone aout beef from out west, killing wolves, coyotes, bison, eagles, hawks, prarie dogs, etc, soyour cattle can have my land. Federal tax dollars paying sor poisoning and trapping and now slaughtering wolves.

        I do to need to walk in your shoes, i need to make you shoeless, my land too you know. Millions and millions of cattle, millions and millions of acres of land and the few wolves lose out. On,y because you have Salazar, foolish Obama.

        • Janice Tate

          I am not a rancher.  And it is not a slaughter.  Get your numbers straight. Last year hunters took 140 wolves.  Over 200 pups reached maturity last year so the population actually increased despite what you call a slaughter.  You are way to emotional.  Nature is not emotional.  If you want to get emotional you should watch a pack of wolves isolate and kill a newborn elk calf.

          • NormMackey

            Gee, sorry, some people aren’t going to get emotional over a predator hunting prey that is naturally designed to compensate for predation, if not to rely on being preyed upon. Should we?  Cause the prey is cute?  Should we ban not only veal but also robustly fed baby beef?

            Nature isn’t emotional, but people are emotional.  For example, they value and treasure things. In this case an individual animal’s particularly inspiring attributes.  So for them it isn’t the rodents that the cast of Meerkat Manor eat that people identify with, but the social animals.  Sport hunters chose of their own free will to play the part of the cobras that bite the current favorite star in the face; the cobras are following all the rules and regulations, but it doesn’t make them popular with people who value the animal destroyed, for whatever reason.

          • Janice Tate

            What you are missing in your argument here is that the hunters value the wolves too.  They value the entire ecosystem working properly and it isn’t because they want to kill it.  It’s because they appreciate it and value it as a whole.  The wolves are valuable as a part of it.  But when they begin to dominate it to the point that the rest of it is damaged, something must be done.  I think the biggest point of misunderstanding is the scale of the situation.  We are talking about almost 2000 wolves in an area that recently had none.  (Now I grant you that the reason it had none was because man had hunted the wolf to extinction).  But it is not surprising that the wolves would succeed in such a situation.  And they have succeeded to the point that they don’t need help anymore.   They have succeeded to the point that they are tipping the balance in the opposite direction.  The other parts of the ecosystem need to be defended too, not just for their own sakes but for the sake of the wolf too.  The wolf can’t continue to prosper without the elk.  Numbers and distribution of animals should be the criterion on which decisions are made and those decisions must be made by people who are actually here, seeing the situation as a whole, not making comments based on a news item from an announcer in Boston.

            Read all of my comments on this newsstory if you want my complete opinion.  The situation is not dire or bad.  With hunting added to the complete management plan the ecosystem will be able to work properly again – with wolves and elk and all the other animals as parts of it.

          • Volantorman

             The “hunt” you advocate for has no credibility when animals with tethered telemetry collars are killed. You can’t establish a management plan without research to back it up. Killing a monitored animal is completely stupid and irresponsible. The research time and funding is wasted because the monitoring has not been seen to it’s natural end.

          • Janice Tate

            You make it sound as if you think the wolf was tied down by a tether unable to escape.  Keep in mind these wolves were roaming freely outside of the park boundaries.  They leave the park because there is not enough food or space for them inside.  They are spreading out because there are more animals than the environment inside the Park can sustain.

          • Kashkale

            Janiceskis – I try to understand all sides of the argument, but it is clear that wolves used to roam in much wider territory and in much greater numbers – what we call a successful recovery is only a fraction of what it should be. Moreover, trapping is unjustifyable no matter what management issues are involved, and then kiling indiscriminately, a female in her prime is plain ignorant and irresponsible. Too many ranchers ignore strategies to diminish wolf harrassment and resort to the adrenaline rush of killing. Management may be necessary, but surely we can do better.

          • Hopkido

            False last statement! And obviously you have never wandered outside of your neighborhood!

          • NormMackey

            You don’t seem to understand what “apex predator” means. You
            have it backwards. An apex predator normally does not have a predator
            controlling it, so it must control its own population and growth. That’s
            Ecology 101. The way wolves do that is growing a large pack under protection and
            increasing the number of non breeding animals, and using that size to
            protect a large territory and exclude other wolves. Sport hunting makes
            this impossible.

            A sport hunt merely breaks up packs – as the Lamar canyon pack has
            dispersed. You kill two wolves in a sizable pack, and you provide empty
            places for pairs of wolves to form a new pack.

            Doubles the reproduction rate in the same area, now shared by two packs, capiche?

          • NormMackey

            The worst problem I have with it is that a large amount of killing wolves is basically running wolves’ own potent population controls on their own numbers, as an apex predator, backwards.  Instead of wolf packs growing, limiting breeding to a litter divided by the number of adults and letting them defend a corresponding larger area against other wolves, wolf packs are all reduced proportionally to their size, and they can no longer defend as large a territory.  Enough repeated “harvests” and you may have many breeding single pairs.

            I believe there is a strong possibility that wolf prey animals are adapted to normal predation in spring, but I am very leery of the idea that they can withstand game agencies driving the number of wolf pups artificially to several times the natural number.

            Very hungry wolves, in profusion.

            I don’t think it is good for the wolves, prey, or the ecosystem not to carefully remove small whole wolf packs and cram a little more  of the wolves’ natural birth control down their throats instead of random sport hunting.

            Is that wrong or disagreeable? As many wolves would be removed, just much more usefully.  On second thought I take that back. In following years it would be unnecessary to remove many wolves that never existed.  The terrible tragedy of much less wolf sex for the wildlife pornog… I mean photographers to capture, of a wolf having to be one of ten family members raising a litter instead of five, and frankly, the large packs having to be a little more prosperous than they would be.

          • Badillman

            the ranchers and farmers are the problem..using the land that belongs to all of us—for pennies….they destroy the wildlife for their own profit…

          • Tom

            The situation is out of control. Predator policy in the west is medieval, and pushed by special interests like ranching and trophy hunting. There is no good reason for a hunting season on wolves but to satisfy people who want to kill them. Wolves account for the lowest losses of all predators, to livestock, they also account for the least number of attacks on humans in north american – 2 in 100 years, they are social and sentient beings that are fearful of humans. Your states treat these animals shamefully. Its time for federal protection, you don’t manage them responsibly, fairly or in a biologically defensible way. 

          • Hopkido

            Ah finally intelligent comments on this post! well written, well said! I commend you!

          • Badillman

            the wolves do not have guns….do they..or idiot..crazy red neck killers…that kill for fun

          • idahogirl

             It is the wolves that kill for fun.  Pack mentality.  We had 3 deer killed in one night by wolves.  They just ripped out the throats of the deer.  Didn’t eat a thing.  You need to spend some time in the areas that you condemn.

          • Hopkido

            Get your numbers straight? 1200 wolves killed already this year!
            Of course they will surround and kill – they must eat. Meat is part is what is necessary for their digestive system! The bottom line is coyotes far exceed wolves and create more havoc. You need to do more homework! Without the wolf we mess with our ecological system. When we were down to 50 wolves in the USA, look at what happened ecologically to our country. I’m out of here 

        • Badillman

          we all need to speak up—the ranchers have had too long on our land at NO price—we should ALL unite

        • Reality22

          Man I feel sorry for your husband living with such a miserable person that trys to glorify such a miserable animal….. some of the post on here are just sad and hurt the wolf more than the hunters themselves.  

        • James2

          People like you really scare me.Hope I never have the displeasure to meet you.I’m probably allright though because your to ignorant to converse with true wyoming residents.

          • Hopkido

            Well talk about ignorance. . . .recheck your spelling on the word to and by the way the word “your” should be spelled you’re. Go back to school!

      • Badillman

        do you know who the killer is?…..we want to hunt him

      • Hopkido

        I know what it is like (Montana) and it is called murder!

  • Lolita

    The recent story on the harvest of 832F was drastically short-sided. It is true that ranchers are largely proponents of wolf delisting so they can protect their cattle and sheep, but there are also proponents from many other groups. It may seem counter-intuitive, but many wildlife groups are also proponents of hunting seasons on wolves. Why? As wolves are an important predator in the ecosystem, they have decimated moose and elk populations in the area. Groups that value ALL wildlife push for balance in predator/prey populations. Wolf groups have lost sight of the other species that are impacted by wolves.

    • Molly mcmahon

      Humans do not have to hunt  prey animals. They should be left for the wolves !

    • Chris12942000

      ignorance thinking that nature needs man’s intervention for sustainability…lame lame reasoning!

      • Janice Tate

        It is too late in the game to think that man should not intervene.  The wolf population has exploded by feeding on a population of elk that was unaccustomed to being hunted by them and was completely victimized by a predator beyond their ken.  Wolves have depleted the elk population to the point that they will begin to prey outside the boundaries of the park and that will lead to conflict with human.  There needs to be an ecological balance and hunting is just one small part of the plan.

        • Pointpanic

          oh com eon that’s mere propoaganda to rationalize human hunting. Hiostorically, it’s humans who pushed the wolf to the brink of extinction. And it may happen again now that the wolves have been unwisely delisted. To me, humans are a blight on the planet

        • Carolyn

          If the elk population is being depleted so badly, why is the area around Jackson Wyoming compaining about having to many elk.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1150600232 Julianne Yellowstone Baker

          No, not ‘victimized by a predator beyond their ken’. Maybe the very first elk–they had not seen a wolf, but after that, very soon, they figured it out. The area of which you speak (The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem) has a full complement of major predators, including humans. Wolves alone have not reduced elk numbers. The late winter hunt in Gardiner which targeted pregnant females took a while to take effect, but it was very effective, plus grizzly and black bears which take more elk calves than wolves, plus mountain lions, coyotes as well as wolves. Wolves certainly have affected the elk population, but don’t lay the lesser numbers of elk due to only wolves. Also, the number of elk now is probably a more realistic number than the thousands before. And, I’d ask why do we want 20,000 elk back on the land? Just for the ease of the hunt? Wolves have contributed to a more balanced predator/prey ratio, as well as having contributed to other positive effects on the ecosystem. I’ve not seen any research about elk cows routinely aborting calves because the herds are so harassed by wolves. I’d be interested to read any research on that.  
          Elk are more watchful with wolves on the scene, they move on the landscape more, not staying in one huge herd in one place. Their behavior is probably more natural to what it was before we humans took out most of the predators back in the late 1800-early 1900′s. Elk co-evolved with wolves. Wolf predation have helped make elk the strong, beautiful animals that they are today. Wolves, unlike humans, target the weaker of the species–old elk, young and stupid elk, injured/ill elk. The strong survive and go on to reproduce, strengthening the genetic pool. 

        • Tom

          stop stating that the wolf population has exploded, you sound like you believe your own bs

    • Pointpanic

      UNtrue. According to Farley Mowat in his book”Never Cry Wolf”, the wolves keep the moose and elk populations strong becuase they can only take the old and the sick animals.Many of the ungulates in Alsaka have been hunted almost to depletion by aerial hunters.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-Ash/708593570 Karen Ash

      Hahahaha what hype are you spewing? Elk populations are up, humans feed them at least in Jackson Hole I saw them doing it. Hunting permits are high for elk. What is your defintion of a wildlife group? Elk Hunters Anonymous! Tell me what group is in favor of wolf hunting that is not affliated with elk, gun rights, bighorn sheep, etc.

      • NormMackey

        People spread hay widely for elk there, to make up for grazing domesticated livestock does in what would otherwise just be winter lower elevation elk range, so there will be adequate food.  The elk have been coming down for that for a long time. It’s not exactly bad for the wolves in the area that these elk migrate up away from people again in the summer, I think, so the Jackson Hole feeding is a bad argument.

    • Janice Tate

      Lolita, you speak truth.  I have been getting a lot of grief for my comments here, but I support reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone.  The problem is that they were so successful that they have overrun the habitat.  Hunting is just a part of an overall wildlife management program that has been quite successful in the State of Montana for many years.  Fish, Wildlife, and Parks does a wonderful job of keeping our ecosystem healthy and self-sustaining.  Wolves are just one part of the whole picture and it all has to be cared for.

  • FormerHunter

    The high kill ratio of transmitter-collared to uncollared wolves begs an investigation into whether SOME hunters are using telemetry receivers (or even hand held scanners) to “hunt” wolves.

    • Volantorman

      The killing of ANY animal wearing telemetry should not occur. Doing so renders the research as unfinished business. Heavily weighted penalties for killing research subjects need to be established and enforced. Where’s the common sense in all this?

  • afellowbiologist

    It’s a hard spot for a biologist to be in. I’m sure they are devastated with losing an animal they got to know and study so well. On the other hand, they have to be impartial or else they lose the support from the surrounding state agencies.

    • Chris12942000

      he sure did not sound devastated, makes you wonder which lobbyst he answers to!

    • Janice Tate

      They have to be impartial because they are scientists.  That’s what a biologist is.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Perhaps the ranchers should look into Livestock Guardian Dogs instead of killing the predators.

    • Chris12942000

      and get out of their victim’s stance?   I think not!

  • The Watcher

    I agree with every comment so far.

    I personally am sick and tired of these groups always finding a reason they need to kill something.  You ranchers should be required to fence in, get dogs, alarms, whatever it takes.  That’s your responsibility. Leave the wild animals be. 

     One of the reasons for the decline of our country is  because of people like you and the government of Wyoming. Try and be civilized and think of an intelligent way to handle the situation.  Take some lessons from the other bordering states.

    To the wolf and other animal killers try & be civilized and do the intelligent thing.

    The Watcher

  • Gardiner resident

    The wolves around the boundary of Yellowstone Park are not the wolves that are killing livestock.  Rather, they bring in quite a bit of money to the area from tourists coming to see them.  They should be thought of as a renewable resource because over 3 million visitors come to Yellowstone per year, and many of these people are coming for the wildlife.  It is a waste to kill these wolves because they are a valuable economic resource to the area for tourism.

    • Janice Tate

      Elk also bring tourists and the wolves are depleting the elk herds.  The wolves are still in Yellowstone.  Killing a few isn’t even going to come close to stopping the tourists.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-Ash/708593570 Karen Ash

        Hahahah, overgrazing, drought, hunting, mankind encroaching on territory, hard winters……you believe the hype. Tell me, are you starving? Are you in desperate need of eating elk? Of eating at all? If you raise cattle on my federal land for mere dollars are you being compensated for any cattle killed by a wolf? Yes. Wolves eat, you eat. Leave them alone.

        • Janice Tate

          I will tell you again.  I am not a rancher.  You need to calm down and come here for a visit.  We are not the enemy here in the west.  We just live here and we know what is going on.  Also, everything you derided as hype is actually the truth.  According the the wolf restoration website the major cause of death for wolves last year was not hunting, but starvation due to a decline in elk numbers.  

          • Maryanne

             We spend about six weeks a year in Yellowstone, & the hatred for these animals, & the evil projected on them by some of the locals is common, vile, & ignorant. It is also directed toward those of us who come to enjoy the wildlife, including wolves. Those kind of people do enjoy killing animals, & bragging about doing it. Helping the environment has nothing to do with their reasons for killing these animals.
            One of the reasons for the reintroduction was a balanced ecosystem. Elk numbers were so high, the park was so over grazed to the detriment of other park flora & fauna.  The elk were the ones starving to death by the thousands during the harsh winters following a drought year in the 90′s. Wildlife services were killing elk because there were too many. And of course those above mentioned hunters loved the extra seasons to try & control the elk numbers. Yes, the elk population has decreased, that was one of the goals. Aspens, & song bird populations are also much healthier, & the beaver are back.
            We always see lots of elk during our visits. Fewer during the summer because they go higher up. The balance is back. The wolves control their own numbers naturally, to their prey base. And the park population is now only around 80, with the recent killings. The entire state of Wyoming’s population was approximately 322 before the killing started, & Montana’s was approximately 550. For the entire state, not just the Yellowstone ecosystem. These states are not even close to having enough wolves to be destroying the balance of the ecosystem. The opposite is what has occurred. Nature can do a pretty good job when not interfered with. Of course it is & has been interfered with for a long time with all the non native bovine & domesticated sheep taking over our public lands & being subsidized with our tax dollars. I would much ratherhave my tax dollars going to the preservation of wildlife & natural ecosystems.

      • Carolyn

        There have already been 12 Yellowstone wolves killed in the past couple of months. When tourist make a trip to Yellowstone just to see the wolves and they don’t see any because of the numbers being down, the tourist will not come back. Our family was making a trip to see 06 and her pack next week, but because of some gun happy jerk, our plans have changed. Wyoming will not be getting our money this year!!!!!

        • Janice Tate

          You still have the chance to witness over 1000 wolves in the Yellowstone ecosystem.  Did you really think the Lamar pack was the only pack in Yellowstone?  According to the Wolf Restoration website there are over 1700 wolves now in the states of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.  The major cause of death for wolves last year was starvation because of decline in elk numbers.  So, shall we let them starve?  Come to Yellowstone.  You will see wolves, and grizzlies, and bison.  You may see elk, but I can’t guarantee that.  They are very scarce.  PS – I live here, 18 miles from the Northwest boundary.  I know what I’m talking about.

          • Dianeinplymouth

            Janice,Come on. I was in Yellowstone this year. I am not arguing elk numbers are down but you can’t guarantee a toutist will see an elk. Really? My family stopped commenting on elk sightings as they were so very numerous. I am sure you are correct and their numbers are down but to make them out to be rare is ludicrous.

          • Janice Tate

            Well, I guide trips into Yellowstone.  I have been living and working in this area for 30 years.  I have had trips in the past few years where we saw only 10 cow elk.  Or maybe a lone bull.  When I first moved here I remember seeing 1000′s of animals in the Lamar Valley.  It was like the Serengeti in Africa, there was so much wildlife.  The main point is not that elk numbers are down, but that wolf numbers are up.  Reintroduction has worked!  They are back and they are here to stay.  It’s ok too.  They are part of the ecosystem.  But they can’t be allowed to devastate the ecosystem they need to survive.  You will learn if you read all of the comments, that the most common cause of death last year for wolves in the Yellowstone ecosystem was starvation – because of the decline in elk numbers.  And I maintain my comment that I can’t guarantee a tourist will see an elk.  

          • Chrys

            While elk numbers may have reduced in the years since wolf reintroduction, you need to lay off the hyperbole.  My family and I spent ten days in Yellowstone last summer, and we did not see one wolf.  Lots of bison, elk, antelope, and bears, but not one wolf, so stop with the gross exaggeration that a person can’t take a trip through Yellowstone without tripping over a wolf. 
            And can you provide links for the statistics that you repeatedly cite?  One where you claim that more wolves die of starvation due to lower elk numbers, and the one where you state there are over 1000 wolves in the Yellowstone Ecosystem?  (Considering that in the Yellowstone Wolf Project Annual Report for 2010, it states there were an apporximate number of 97 wolves in the park proper.  97.  A far cry from the 1000 you’re touting. . . . .)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1150600232 Julianne Yellowstone Baker

            Most common cause of wolf death inside Yellowstone NP was other wolves. Outside of YNP was humans.

          • bradbergstrom

            Make a note not to hire you as a guide! I’ve never failed to see mutliple elk on any and every one of the many days I’ve been in YNP going back to 1967. You’d have trouble finding animals at the zoo! You’re off by an order of magnitude on the actual, current wolf population of YNP (83), and you are just woefully ignorant about the science of ecosystems. A native apex predator does not devastate ecosystems but in fact restores and stabilizes them. Wolves are territorial and self-regulating, which means they do not overkill their prey and they do not need to be harvested. The vast majority of the West is so overgrazed that we hardly know what its natural state looks like, and we are finally just beginning to see the return of that natural stable state in YNP.

            Here, do some reading and learn:



          • Carolyn

            I live inWest Yellowstone. I also know the facts on the wolves and the buffalo. When the buffalo leave the park they are shot or chased back into the park because the ranchers just don’t want them in the state of Montana. The cattle industry rules the state. For them the only good  wolf  or buffalo is a dead one. I’ve seen lots of elk in Yellowstone and driving thru the south end of the park its loaded with elk and deer.

          • salient1

            There are only about 88 wolves in Yellowstone.  I have no idea where you get this 1000 wolves number from but it’s wildly off from reality.  You can easily spend a month going through Yellowstone and not even catch a distant view of a wolf the entire time.  They avoid people and they are quite rare in the park.

      • Tom

        There are hundreds of thousands of elk in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. There are less then a thousand wolves. You have plenty of elk

      • Hopkido

        What do you want the wolves to eat? Maybe you cook for them?
        Here are some number to digest regarding who is really killing elk!
        ElkManagementUnitElk PopulationHunter NumbersElk HarvestSuccessRate**CurrentEstimateObjectiveGravelly91008000-850013199209215.8%Fleecer20631500-1800282638413.6%Madison7900N/A *564999217.6%Pioneer35652700-32006604123918.8%Tobacco Root1300900-1000247833613.6%Tendoy28691800-2300352184123.9%Elkhorn20721900-2100379464917.1%Granite Butte22781800-2200431864514.9%Bridger37942300-2600413289021.5%Emigrant60005000-60003803121640%Gallatin44923600-3800562787115.5%Highland13711500-1700362046512.8%Deer Lodge19691900-2000428464515.1%

      • Hopkido

        Sorry tried to post this earlier. Go here to see elk killing by Hunters!

  • MontanaFace

    I am not sure that I believe that wolves are resilient to the loss of an elder.  In many species of animal it has been found that when youth lose the guidance of elder animals, they begin acting more juvenile; angry and unpredictable.  Elephants have really suffered in this way….even human populations in places like Afghanistan and Haiti suffer from a population of mostly youth!  I was sad to hear about 06 female.  I understand ranchers and the painstaking work they do though, surely we can figure something out that works for wolves and ranchers alike.  I know people are more creative than this.

  • FlowerPower

    How sad, not just for 832F, but for her pups heading into winter without this strong provider. What will the hunter do with her carcass? Stuff it and put it in the corner of his living room? Senseless. There should be at minimum a 100 mile radius around the park.

  • FormerHunter

    Concerns may be expressed by calling  (307) 777-4600

    Wyoming Game & Fish Department Headquarters5400 Bishop Blvd. Cheyenne, WY 82006ph: (307) 777-4600

  • Janice Tate

    You did a good job of offering a balanced report of the situation.  But care must be taken to avoid anthropomorphizing the wolves.  They aren’t “rockstars”.  They are wild animals and they are overrunning their designated areas.  I live 18 miles from the Northwest border of YNP and I have seen the elk population drop from a healthy level to a severely depleted level in the short period of time since the wolves were reintroduced.  The wolves not only eat the elk, they also eat the elk calves, and they harass the herds to the point that the elk cows who manage to get pregnant usually abort their calves before they are even born.  The cow to calf ratio is at the lowest it has ever been for these reasons.  It only follows that once the wolves have depleted their food source inside the park, they begin to range outside of it which can only lead to conflict with humans.  Please realize also that it is not easy to hunt wolves.  I think I read that the hunter who shot the wolf that you featured in your article hunted for 41 days before he was successful.  Hunting is just one approach to a management plan that needs to be applied to this wonderful animal before they destroy the ecosystem that they were supposed to bring back into natural balance.  

    • The Watcher

      No one likes to see a baby or for that matter any animal being brought down, but that’s nature, nature is tough and this has been going on for thousands of years.   I think the main problem is the encroachment of people into their territory whether as a resident or tourist.

      Maybe homes, ranches, farms, etc. should not be able to build or expand within a certain distance from the park. 

      Basically, I would just like everything to work out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-Ash/708593570 Karen Ash

      How about the harassment of the bison by you folks there in Mt? Harassing them so they abort, so they die, so the calves die, so that you can have cattle? Wolves do not destroy an ecosystem they live in, how stupid of a remark.

      • Janice Tate

        Karen, you are living in a dream world.  You sound like someone who has learned everything they know from tv.  You might benefit from a little trip out here to see how things really are.  You have drawn some very clear straight lines around a very wavy unclear subject.  There is not one answer, and a lot of finger-pointing and name calling isn’t going to open dialogue with anyone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-Ash/708593570 Karen Ash

      Wow, nothing better to do for 41 days other than to shoot a wolf? You guys need a life…..and shooting an animal with a high-powered rifle is not hunting, it is slaughter

    • Chrys

      “… they harass the herds to the point that the elk cows who manage to get pregnant usually abort their calves before they are even born.”


    • Tom

      You are a good liar thats for sure

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UEG7OEBVVO2BU4NDGA3F4C4NOE B

      The “Rockstars” harass the herds?  How?  By calling them names?  Now I’ve heard it all!  Sweet Angel 06…run free

  • Karen Lavallee

    this is very depressing,  but thank you Robin for covering the tragedy.  Although I don’t know what it is like to live in Wyoming with wild wolves, I can not imagine killing one unless it was absolutely neccessary.   Not for culling or tropheys.  Maybe some good will come out of the publicity of the story – doubtful.  Someone went through alot of trouble to remove them from the  ESA lsiting, and its going to take something extrodinary to stop it.  kfl

  • John Griswold

    I’m constantly amazed at how polarizing an article like this can be. Is nobody capable of stepping back from the “wolves are bad”/”oh, the poor wolf” dichotomy? How many of the “Oh, the poor wolf” viewpoint would have the same opinion if seen from the perspective of an elk calf or a lamb being taken down by the wolf?

    I’m not in favor of arbitrary killing of wildlife, but since man has been “managing” the environment in these wilderness areas, population imbalances have occurred. Years of no wolves produced a bounty of elk and other critters. Reintroduction of the wolf in the presence of such a bounty caused rapid wolf population expansion, which in turn caused a great decline in elk population, and the wolves need other food sources, so they turn to sheep and cattle, I suppose, which in turn “forces” man to reduce the wolf population.

    I guess my point is that there is no correct answer. We can either abandon the wilderness to its own means of population balancing, or we can (and must?) eliminate some of the wolf threat in order to interact with the wilderness.

    • Pointpanic

      JOhn , I can understand your desire for “moderation” but history shows that humans are the ones who have pushed many species including wolves to the brink of extinction. Why should wolves bear the brunt of our hubris and greed?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-Ash/708593570 Karen Ash

      Excuse me? A wolf killing a lamb, a calf, an anything does it to live? Do you kill a cow to live? Do you kill a lamb to eat! Yes and yes. You though do not personally kill anything to eat,it is sanitized for you. A cow or lamb or chicken or pig is herded to slaughter, beheaded, electrocuted, throat slit, gutted, bled out by unseen people and your food is vacuum packed for you. Driving them to slaughter, slaughtering them shooting them up with antibiotics and growth hormones, how do you compare that with a wolf taking its prey cleanly and because it is starving and has pups to feed. Your cattle and sheep are on my property.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-Ash/708593570 Karen Ash

      We have to eliminate the wolf in order to interact with the wilderness? Huh? What rubbish, what nonsense, what stupidity. Interacting with the wilderness must mean to you smelling the daisies and laying in the sun, wolves are the wilderness. Sheesh.

    • Janice Tate

      John, I agree with your moderate viewpoint.  The interesting thing about the comments here is that most of the people who seem to be against wolf hunting are using emotion and anger to fuel their points.  The people who see hunting as part of a management system have numbers and facts and on-the-ground local experience to back up their points.

      • Tom

        Most of the people posting here in favor of hunting wolves use lies, misinformation and pandering to make their argument that wolves need to be hunted. We have heard your BS for too long 

  • Lottie

    I wonder about the number of collared wolves who have been shot. Are people using guidance to find them when they could not find a wolf otherwise. If so, that is not a hunt, but a slaughter. The wolves in the Park play an important role in the ecosystem and their numbers are in flux every year due to non-human factors. Killing the Park wolves like this is wrong. There must be a space outside the Park for these animals.

  • Volantorman

    Any animal with a collar is hands off. PERIOD! Research is funded by a diversity of agencies including government. Seeing the data collected to it’s natural end of the animal’s life is the ultimate achievement/goal. I don’t know what’s more obscene, the death of 832F or the value of the loss of the future data. Natural resources enforcement policy needs to be seriously reviewed.

  • C172guy

    Since this wolf was used to seeing people it did not know how dangerous people can be.  Sounds about as sporting as shooting your neighbor’s dog.

  • Pointpanic

    The wolves should not have been delisted. I hope the Hee haws who shot her end up in jail cells. UNless of course they want to turn those rifles on themselves.

  • Mannal12

    I live in Alabama and happened on this discussion while search grey wolves. My son is autistic and loves grey wolves. If you know anything about autism, then you know when a person with autism loves something it would be considered an obsession by most. I do not agree with the killing of wolves, but I can not speak of something I know nothing about. I would like to know if anyone can tell me about an organization called Defenders of Wildlife. I am considering a donation to them to help save the grey wolves.

    • Carolyn

      Defenders Of Wildlife is an organization that refunded money (price of  a animal lost) to the ranchers or farmers that lost livestock to preditors. The are a good cause.

      • Mannal12

        Thank you for your reply.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UEG7OEBVVO2BU4NDGA3F4C4NOE B

      Yes!  My daughter is in the autistic spectrum; Aspergers Syndrome.  She loves wolves!

  • Rock

    no excuses for senseless killing. I see it here in our area of the appalachians. Unfortunantly, alot of stupid people have enough influence and money to impose their moronic ideololgy and  the rest of us must  witness and suffer . Maybe some day that beautiful land will return to it’s rightful owners

  • Carolyn

    I’m glad to see this wolf issue finally getting some attention. The media will not cover it. If everyone on this site would just tell some one or post it on facebook. Let others know.  This has been going on too long. E-mail the governors of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and tell them how you feel.

  • Kathleen

    Honestly, I am all for the hunt if it means food on the table.  I am all for the kill if it means another life over mine.  I am not for senseless killing in any way, shape or form.

  • LaC

    Who is the bastard who thought murdering this wonderful girl was a good idea…?

  • TAC

    Does anyone this monster’s name?

  • Janice Tate

    The argument goes on and on.  Hunters and Ranchers are bad – Wolves are good.  No.  That is not the point.  The point is this – the fact that wolves have been delisted is good.  It means that the wolf reintroduction program worked!  The species exists again in the wild!  But the wolves do not exist for the entertainment of tourists and the point of reintroduction was NOT to bring money to this area.   The point of reintroduction was to bring balance back to an ecosystem that was lacking this predator.  Ok, so now it has happened.  Can we just let the wolves continue to reproduce until they span the continent again?  At what point should they be controlled and managed again?  Well, the Fish, Wildlife, and Park organizations that function in the states where the animals exist think the time is now!  These organizations do a wonderful job of managing their ecosystems and the rest of the country should let them to their jobs.  There are a lot of different people living here with different ideas.  But I am one Montanan who has seen the whole thing through from start to finish, and there is room here for everyone – Ranchers, hunters, and wolves, if science and statistics and common sense can be allowed to function freely.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1150600232 Julianne Yellowstone Baker

      And. elk do not exist for the entertainment of tourists, either. Wasn’t that one of your earlier points? That you saw less elk with tourists? I guide in Yellowstone, and the number one animal visitors want to see is the wolf …. or the grizzly bear. 
      Tourists also have the opportunity to see thousands of elk in the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 
      You are right about the point of reintroduction being to bring balance back to an ecosystem that was lacking this predator. One of the by products has been financial. The reason for that argument is to counter point the outfitting financial concerns. Don’t negate the wildlife watchers financial contributions unless you are also going to ignore outfitters financial concerns.
      I notices you said there was room for everyone–ranchers, hunters and wolves…. are you including wolf watchers also? Hope so. I do hope that you are right when you say there is room for everyone. It takes tolerance and I’ve not seen a lot of tolerance from either side. Everyone has a lot to lose in this. There needs to be a buffer zone around the park.  If you live here, you know these are not the wolves that kill livestock. These are just easy targets. If it was fair chase, hunters would have to really know something about their prey and work accordingly. If wolf hunts are necessary for predator control, then target the areas where wolves are a problem.  
      I am not sure that I agree that wolves need to be controlled by hunting–in Yellowstone we’ve seen that they control their own numbers due to lower birth rates/survival rates and interpact warfare. I think that we would not be able to be patient and trusting enough as a species to allow that to happen on the larger landscape of the GYE. So, hunting it is and I support that. Just not targeting the Yellowstone wolves. Where is the fair chase? It’s unethical hunting. 

  • SIR

    “Never, ever assume that it is necessary to
    cull or reduce a wildlife population simply because a group of people or a
    government agency tells you so. Wildlife managed itself for literally billions
    of years before there were state and federal government agencies. Wildlife is
    managed now not for it’s benefit, but for the benefit of the human beings who
    use and exploit them (namely ranchers, hunters and trappers)”. — with Yeni Duran.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1150600232 Julianne Yellowstone Baker

    There needs to be a buffer zone around Yellowstone. All 3 states need to create and maintain the buffer zone. Yellowstone wolves, because they live and do business with 3 million visitors per year, must get used to people watching from a distance. That makes them naive about humans and danger from hunters. That fact makes the killing of collared Yellowstone wolves wrong according to hunting ethics which require FAIR CHASE. These killings were not fair chase. Two of the collared wolves that were killed in the hunt had spent 99% of their time in Yellowstone. One had ventured out twice in its entire life. The second time it got killed. Killing collared wolves does take away the research information. Not only is this important information, losing collared wolves due to hunting is a waste of money–some of it our money. Also, hunters targeting the large alphas affect the structure of the pack. Wolves live in packs and have roles within the pack structure. Taking out a major hunter affects the pack negatively. Wolves must be managed by hunting because there are too many of us. We have taken over their territory, In the past, wolves moved into areas without humans–wilderness and could survive. Now, however, we must learn to live with wildlife. I live in Montana, right about ground zero. I am fine with wolves in the area. I am willing to adapt to life with wildlife. 
    In years past, ranchers and outfitters had the loudest voices because they were just about the only voices. Now, there are other voices that need to be heard as well. Just as we need to learn to co-exist with wildlife, we need to learn how to coexist with and value each other. The question becomes one of trust and tolerance. Trust for each other to do the right things, and tolerance for different viewpoints. 

  • Badillman

    who is this idiot that was so gun happy that he killed this wolf—maybe we should HUNT
    him..that might be the best way—does anyone have his name and address

  • Stephanie Leibman

    “…to decide how to mange their wolf populations.” I believe the word is spelt MANAGE -__-

  • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.varley.7 Nathan Varley


  • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.varley.7 Nathan Varley

    Yellowstone needs a buffer to protect its unique wolf population that are worldwide attractions for millions of visitors each year.  The wolves shot were stars of the show!  An area encompassing 20 or so miles from the boundary of the park would suffice and does not significantly hamper wolf hunters in these HUGE states from their opportunity to hunt wild wolves.  This situation, as is, unnecessarily pits industries against one another (tourism/preservation vs. hunting/ranching), causing much incivility.  My friend’s picture shows 832, 754, and 755, the leaders of the Lamar Pack last spring.  Only 755 survived the hunting season.

  • WYResident

    I just read over all the “hype” about this wolf being shot. No real facts have been posted here. Let me educate many of you since you don’t live here with these born killers whic have been dumped on us to deal with. The wolves here now are “occidentalis: a large wolf from western Canada, also called the Mackenzie Valley
    wolf”. They were trapped and transported from Canada. The wolves we had here prior to the introduction was the “irremotus: a medium-size, light-colored wolf from the northern Rocky
    Mountains”. There is a big difference in hunting and size of packs besides size difference. The elk numbers are down all over the states here and because they feed the elk in Jackson, doesn’t mean the herds are doing well. The outer periphery of the park use to be general hunting for elk and now, there is a limited quota here in WY. Calf ratios in the areas around the park are about 10 to 100 survival rate. I have seen the detremental changes in Idaho and Wyoming because of this particular breed of wolf and now we are taking the responsibility to fix what Environmental Extremists playing God have done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rivertonlander.wy Riverton-lander Wy

    Ranchers are bullies?  We have our pets and livestock killed by wolves and we can do nothing about it.  How would you like your pet dog or cat killed by wolves.  We here in Wyoming live with this every day.  The pathetic numbers the pro wolf groups put out about wolf kills on livestock is pure BS.  Most kills can’t be confirmed because the carcass is missing.  It is estimated by honest biologists that wolves kill nearly 10 times what is reported, because the carcass can’t be found.  What about all the animals that are injured by wolves.  They not only kill livestock but injure it where it eventually dies.  What about other animals and wildlife.  We watch as our wildlife population (dear, elk, moose, etc) is decimated because environmental organizations whip up support for wolves only to make more money for themselves.  Why do we sacrifice our wildlife to help wolves.  Our ancestors eliminated wolves because they even kill children.  And yes, there is documented evidence even in recent times of wolves killing children.  Our ancestors knew the real dangers of wolves.  The real bullies are the environmentalists who line their pockets from know nothing individuals and their donations, and who don’t have to live with the destruction that wolves cause.  I lost 2 of my dogs to wolves?  Dozens of my livestock have been killed.  How much have you lost?  How much does it cost you to protect your home, children, pets and livestock from wolves.  Until you live here and go through the anguish of losing your favorite dog or a horse, don’t call me a bully.  Bullies are those who take my livelihood and pets and then claim that wolves are misunderstood.   Wolves reached their population goals in half the time projected.  They are now at 400% of what was projected.  I guess they underestimated the wolves.  Our ancestors didn’t.  Wolves are killing machines and unless controlled will decimate not only wildlife but honest people who make their living raising cattle and sheep.  Would you give up one of your children for a wolf.  I won’t.  Wolves are a scourge that our ancestors wisely eliminated.  Us ranchers pay the cost of wolf recovery and get no benefit and we also have no voice in the matter.

  • Dave Palmaro

    please quite crying about the wolf, they are the larger wolf, From Canada, some one pulled a good one on You, Grandfather trap and skinned thousands over his 60 years of trapping, he stated that he would never run out of wolves to trap, they just keep coming and coming.

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