Wyoming game officials investigating illegal wolf kills near Grand Teton

Wyoming game officials are investigating the illegal killing of two wolves in December near Grand Teton National Park. (NPS photo - click to enlarge)

Wyoming game officials are investigating the illegal killing of two wolves in December near Grand Teton National Park. (NPS photo - click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials are seeking information about the illegal killing of two gray wolves in the Gros Ventre area near Jackson, Wyo., east of Grand Teton National Park.

Two wolves shot in separate incidents in December were both poached—killed in a way that doesn’t comply with the state’s wildlife and hunting laws—officials said in a statement released Tuesday.

North Jackson game warden Bill Long said a wolf was found shot dead in the Gros Ventre area in early December. A second wolf, which had also been shot, was found on Dec. 21, several miles from the first wolf carcass.

“These illegal killings of wolves are plain and simple poaching, with total disregard for the state’s efforts to properly and adequately manage wolf populations in order to maintain recovery goals,” Long said.

“Actions like these are a result of individuals that consider themselves above laws and regulations. Such self-centered actions hurt all of us in the long run,” he said.

Wyoming assumed management of gray wolves when they were removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species on Sept. 30, 2012.

Wyoming’s first gray wolf hunting season took place from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2012. Wolf hunts in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho attracted attention and some criticism as several collared wolves that spend time in Yellowstone National Park were legally shot as part of the season.

Wyoming Game and Fish biologists maintain that no single pack was affected disproportionately by the hunt. State game officials said Tuesday that the formulas used to establish wolf hunting quotas and seasons take into account multiple sources of mortality, including the potential of some illegal take.

“We want the public to know that we investigate and prosecute wolf poaching incidents with the same tenacity and focus that we pursue wildlife crimes against other game species,” said chief game Warden Brian Nesvik.

“The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is committed to maintaining a recovered population of wolves in northwest Wyoming,” Nesvik said. “In addition to our law enforcement efforts, we have mounted an intensive monitoring program to help us learn more about Wyoming’s wolves, their numbers, their movements and interactions, and their effects on other wildlife.”

Game and Fish officials ask anyone with information about this incident to call Wyoming’s Stop Poaching hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP or to call game warden Bill Long at 307-733-2321. Reports can also be filed anonymously online at wgfd.wyo.gov.

18 thoughts on “Wyoming game officials investigating illegal wolf kills near Grand Teton

  1. This is happening because the government has left it to states to make hunting these beautiful animals legal. They should have never been taken off of the Endangered List at all. The so called special interest groups are winning the war on wolves. Just so they can graze their herds on public land. I hate what is happening and would give my last breath to be with the wolves. They love their pack mates and have more humility and humanity than we do!

    • I’d hate for it to be your last breath, Donna, but you should come stay with us some time: Howlers Inn B&B in Bozeman, MT. I get to spend every day with these wonderful creatures.

      • I would love to come there to hear and see the wolves, as I used to do in minn. and sawtooth Ida, but as many thousand more, I will hold fast to boycotting all the states killing wolves. I promise to come there, for a month or so just as soon as the killing stops. I’m heading for Oregon this summer.

  2. What a bunch of BS…”the state’s efforts to properly and adequately manage wolf populations in order to maintain recovery goals”…really? How does declaring open season on any species qualify as “management”? This is species specific genocide, in the name of politics (hunting), power (nra) and greed (ranchers)!

  3. I agree with “Chris” above. Howlers Inn B&B will definately give you an insite into the life of a wolf up close and personal.

  4. I just don’t believe chief game Warden Brian Nesvik. He knows it is highly unlikely he will find poachers and he doesn’t have the man power to persue said investigating. Certain states serve the needs and complaints of ranchers/farmers and don’t really care about wolves and regard them as vermin. Wyoming should be forced to relook their program since Mr. Nesvik doesn’t even seem to know how many wolves are in his state; since that is his statement, how could they conclude that a wolf hunt was even warranted under their state laws when he doesn’t know what numbers they have? This hunt is just disgusting and will keep me from visiting Wyoming.

  5. I’ve learned far too much about how brutal the state of Wyoming is to wildlife. They can kill any wolf , of any age , any way they please in most of the state. This is legal , so it must be the majorities values . I ‘m another that is boycotting everything and anything Wyoming.

      • “managed” to a wolf-hater of wyoming, montana, idaho means targeting the wolves with radio collars. I am a hunter, but consider myself ethical – unlike predator haters that cannot stand competition.

        • Well said Colorado Dave! I applaud you’re ethical treatment and respect for our wildlife. Thank you for speaking out

  6. In the Bigger Picture, what we have here is similar to the Hindu parable of Blind Men and the Elephant. Each percieves a portion of the beast but has no idea what its real form and nature are. So it goes with the Wyoming Wolf paradox… most individuals “see” or feel their portion of the Grey Wolf, but are for whatever reason oblivious to the rest ; the matrix that is The Wolf In Wyoming. The rancher sees only a vicious nondiscriminating livestock predator. The sport hunter sees another hunter that gets to take some of ” his” game every day of the year and he only gets to hunt for two weeks in the autumn. The big game outfitter sees a financial competitor ( one among many , including other outfitters). The politician sees a flashpoint issue and a vote getter ( or vote taker ). The Wyoming Game and Fish sees an animal they must ” manage” but cannot pay even a fraction of its own way with hunting license tags, and thus makes their budget deficit even more negative. The environmentalist sees an imperfect public policy system that manifests as a rally point and lawsuit magnet. The agency bureaucrat sees paperwork, with teeth and hair. The tourist sees a fantastic wild creature in the National Zoo, but rarely sees the same animal in the open range outside that zoo. The overworked underpaid news reporter on deadline doesn’t have the time to become a well versed authority on the intricacies of wildlife and science reportage, so they print whatever flares up that day , quite often out of context or without continuity, more often than not a rewrite of a skewed special interest PR release without additional attribution or counterbalance. The Public sees a magnificent creature worth protecting whose overall value goes beyond a dollar quotient. That same public also sees a nuisance animal best treated like skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and other predators best mananged as vermin for shoot-on-sight. The same Public sees a moving target for those days when you just have to go out and kill something and/or make a statement, or take a life( regrettably so , these people do exist). The same Public also does not see any part of any of the above because they are in denial…about a lot of things,actually.

    The Ecologist, on the other hand, sees ALL the above and a whole lot more, with both eyes open and much tactile sensation , and says to himself” In a world where the Grey Wolf howls freely in the Wyoming moonlight and elk are yet abundant , there is some hope remaining for the human race…”

  7. Funny reading all the emotional intoxicated urbanites whining and crying about wolves. Too bad you people have the mental awareness of 6 year old. Wolves do magic in the spring called Mating. Ask your Mommy to explain then puppies are borned. Magic happen same number of wolves this coming fall. Too bad you luantic cry baby don’t care about children half as much as you do for a worthless wild Feral mutt that needs controlling. Just like the Feral dogs in your city.