Wyoming wolf hunt begins today

2012-10-01T07:00:00Z 2012-11-13T17:52:05Z Wyoming wolf hunt begins todayBy CHRISTINE PETERSON Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

Fritz Meyer was guiding outside of Dubois when Wyoming wolf licenses went on sale in early September. The next day, he bought one. He doesn’t plan on hunting wolves specifically, but if one comes across his path and the quota hasn’t been filled for his area, he’d shoot.

Meyer isn’t the only one.

The state’s first wolf hunting season begins today in northwest Wyoming, and as of Friday afternoon, 2,236 licenses had been sold. Wyoming residents purchased the bulk of the licenses, and Park County residents bought the largest number of any county, said Brian Nesvik, chief of the wildlife division of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Fifty-two wolves can be hunted in this year’s season, which ends Dec. 31. Wolves outside of the trophy management area can now be shot on sight.

Hunters must report a wolf kill in the trophy area within 24 hours. Once the quota is filled, the season closes.

The chances of actually shooting a wolf are akin to winning the lottery, Meyer said.

“If I get a wolf or not I don’t really care. It’s really hard to go hunt one,” he said. “Wolves are very smart and crafty, and they move a lot at night.”

Meyer spends most days in the woods as an outfitter, trapper, hunter and snowmobiler. He finds tracks and other signs, but in the past year, he’s only seen three wolves.

Once people start shooting at wolves, they will become even more elusive, he said.

Most people who bought tags are likely elk, deer or other big game hunters who want the opportunity to shoot a wolf if they see one, Nesvik said.

Elk and deer hunters shot 78 percent of the wolves killed during Montana’s 2009 wolf hunt, according to a survey by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

People also didn’t have time to plan for a Wyoming wolf hunt. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its decision to remove Wyoming wolves from the endangered species list in late August.

Some people may have bought tags simply for the novelty of buying a wolf hunting license in Wyoming, Nesvik said.

He can’t predict how many wolves will be killed this fall.

Montana set its first wolf hunt quota at 75 wolves and 72 were killed by the close of the season, according to state’s wildlife department.

At least 10 wolves were killed in less than two weeks in Wyoming’s predator management area when wolves were briefly delisted in April 2008, according to Star-Tribune archives.

Under Wyoming’s wolf management plan, the state will be divided into three sections:

The trophy game area is the northwest corner of the state outside of Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, the National Elk Refuge and the Wind River Indian Reservation.

A seasonal trophy area runs south of the regular trophy area along the western border. Wolves are a trophy animal from Oct. 15 to the end of February and a predator the rest of the year.

Wolves are predators in the rest of the state and can be shot on sight. In December, wildlife officials estimated that Wyoming had about 220 to 230 wolves. Another estimate will be made this December.

The state is required to keep a minimum of 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves outside of Yellowstone and the Wind River Reservation.

Conservation groups filed a letter with the Fish and Wildlife Service when the delisting ruling was published outlining their intent to sue, said Jenny Harbine, an attorney for Earthjustice, a non-profit law firm representing the groups.

The organizations — Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biologic Diversity and the Sierra Club — must wait until early November before going to court to challenge the ruling.

Reach Open Spaces reporter Christine Peterson at 307-746-3121 or christine.peterson@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter @PetersonOutside.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. Ben Pollard
    Report Abuse
    Ben Pollard - February 23, 2015 4:51 am
    Personally, I like this form of hunting that is being legally allowed by the government to people. This is the way animal life protectors can secure the life of animals and at the same time custom writing reviews they are allowing people to make their habit fulfill by enjoying the hunting because some people love to do these kind of things in their life.
  2. GSDLOVER
    Report Abuse
    GSDLOVER - July 07, 2013 11:43 am
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=458830620815850&set=a.121648974534018.3997.114790481886534&type=1&relevant_count=1&ref=nf
  3. ShootingTimes
    Report Abuse
    ShootingTimes - November 11, 2012 8:47 am
    annie3
    Let me get this straight.

    We should base wildlife management on a children's book.

    Since the book came out in 1993, we've been missing out on Godkin's management acumen for almost a decade.

    Realize this: elk have been killed by wolves for the thrill of killing. Elk carcasses lay in waste - with none of the meat consumed. Perhaps some "beautiful soft-edged illustrations" of the elk carcasses in next revision of the book entitled, "Wolf Island Grows Up". Could be a New York Times best seller in the children's category.
  4. annie3
    Report Abuse
    annie3 - November 05, 2012 2:12 pm
    THERE SHOULD BE NO SUCH THING AS A WOLF HUNT! Wolves complete the circle of life on land. It should be outlawed! Tranquilize them and bring them to Canada. If you kill wolves, there will be an over population of deer, rabbits, etc etc. I suggest for you to learn about the circle of life when it comes to wolves, read the children's book called 'WOLF ISLAND' which is based on fact in Ontario. Based on an actual event, this book tells what happened to an island in northern Ontario when a family of wolves left the island for the mainland. Life was easy at first and deer flourished and multiplied, eating so much food that rabbits had less to eat and the foxes, which depended on rabbits for food, had even less. When a hard winter came, the animals suffered from the food shortage. Even the deer were hungry and began to nibble at trees, which then died. As the weather grew colder, ice formed a bridge to the mainland and the wolves returned. They ate the weaker deer and brought the population back into balance and enabled other animals to survive.Rarely has the working of an ecosystem been demonstrated in such a straightforward and dramatic way. Young children will be able to understand the story, and older children will find much to think about and discuss. Celia Godkin does not waste a word and her lovely full-colour illustrations make this a memorable book, which should be in every school and public library.
  5. reality22
    Report Abuse
    reality22 - October 06, 2012 8:13 am
    Pat, you forgot to mention that maybe they will start to count the moose in the northern Yellowstone range. The stats on that maybe slipped you mind..... I'll refresh, We started with 1200 when the hit 100 two years ago Dougie in Yellowstone quit counting them because "It's not a priority". For two winters no counts on the moose in that range at least counts they want to publish. Isn't it interesting that global warming is the cause for the crash yet the ones in wolf free zones of Utah and Colorado are doing just fine? I digress...... your post was a little incomplete!
  6. carlover
    Report Abuse
    carlover - October 05, 2012 5:59 am
    better hurry and kill them boys they might try to get little red riding hood for dinner. the ranchers exagerated their loses and the state of wyoming cant seem to manage the simplest of animal management, but thats ok we can kill them off and start over i guess, there is always cloaning.. this makes me sick...
  7. Rawhide
    Report Abuse
    Rawhide - October 02, 2012 11:42 pm
    Ain't that what wolves do...kill for the thrill of killing...one might not care if they killed an elk once in a while to eat...but to kill six or eight then not even eat any of them ....NOW THAT'S SICK...
  8. nls
    Report Abuse
    nls - October 01, 2012 11:29 am
    It is so ridiculous that someone wants to shoot a wolf just because, Sick individual's who want to kill for the thrill of killing.
  9. none321
    Report Abuse
    none321 - October 01, 2012 10:24 am
    Bummer.:( What was save the wolves moiney for? Congress?
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