Wyoming wildlife officials investigating wolf poaching east of Yellowstone

Officials are investigating a case of wolf poaching in the Shoshone National Forest east of Yellowstone National Park. (NPS file photo - click to enlarge)

Officials are investigating a case of wolf poaching in the Shoshone National Forest east of Yellowstone National Park. (NPS file photo – click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

CODY, WYO. — Officials with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are seeking information about the illegal killing of a wolf along the North Fork of the Shoshone River east of the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park.

The wolf was found earlier this month in the Sweetwater Creek drainage in the Shoshone National Forest, according to a statement released by the department. Investigators believe the wolf was shot between Feb. 15-19, and are seeking tips from the public.

Wyoming assumed management of gray wolves within the state’s boundaries in October when they were removed from the federal list of endangered species.

Wyoming’s first wolf hunt ran Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. Some wolves that live primarily inside Yellowstone Park were shot legally by hunters after wandering outside of park boundaries. Among the wolves killed in the hunt were some fitted with tracking collars for research purposes.

State game officials have said that wolf hunting quotas and seasons take into account all sources of mortality, including potential poaching.

Wolves are treated as predators across most of Wyoming, and may be shot without a license. In their core recovery area close to Yellowstone, they are protected for most of the year, but hunted under tight regulations in the fall.

Wyoming’s Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik said he is “happy” with the state’s first wolf hunt.

“The overwhelming majority of wolf hunters were compliant with new wolf hunting laws,” he said, adding that the department is “committed to maintaining a recovered population of wolves in northwest Wyoming.”

Nesvik said the state has “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.”

He said wildlife officials will investigate and prosecute wolf poaching cases with the same focus as crimes involving other species.

Anyone with information about illegally killed wolves should call Wyoming’s Stop Poaching hotline at 877-WGFD-TIP, report online at wgfd.wyo.gov, or call Wildlife Investigator Irah Leonetti at 307-527-7125. Those with information can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]

5 thoughts on “Wyoming wildlife officials investigating wolf poaching east of Yellowstone

  1. I am disheartened when reading anything posted about killing wolves. Humans who shoot or trap animals are cowards in my mind. We encroach on the animals’ territories and push them farther and farther away from where they call home. Animals don’t know what a border is, so how are they expected to stay in the territory we have assigned them?

  2. Gone are the days when hunting was necessary to provide meals for the family. To pursue and kill wild animals is barbaric! I certainly hope Wildlife Officials come to their senses and remove Wolf hunting laws from the books.

  3. It is amazing to me that 47 percent of readers who took the poll on this page voted that Wildlife Watching is their main interest in coming to national parks areas. One day tourists are going to stop coming because the wolves, bison, grizzlies and mountain lions will be gone. Then the ranchers can graze their cattle on all 280 something million square miles of public lands instead of just the 160 million acres their animals graze on already. Shameful.

  4. Stop eating cattle and put the ranchers totally out of business. If you want to eat meat, try sticking to lower life forms: fish and poultry. Just keep thinking to yourself about how detrimental to your health beef is: clogged arteries. What is a cow’s revenge? – Colon cancer

  5. Poaching is wrong and those that do it give sportsmen a bad image.But to suggest that hunters are cowards or barbaric is just down right ignorant. I also do not believe that hunters and trappers are going to eliminate all the game from the region. Holy cow, no pun intended, it is hard to fathom the views of the ultra left.