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.