Wolves

A young male wolf that’s a member of the Horse Creek Pack lay sedated in March during a Wyoming Game and Fish Department GPS-collaring operation. Four wolf puppies, potentially from the Horse Creek Pack, were found dead south of Jackson on Thursday.

Authorities are releasing few details about four wolf pups discovered dead late last week on public land south of Jackson.

A Wyoming law prohibits wildlife managers from identifying anyone who legally kills a wolf — or releasing information that could lead to such an ID.

“At this point we can’t confirm, one way or another, whether they were legally taken or how they died,” Wyoming Game and Fish Department spokesman Mark Gocke said. “The state statute says that if they’re legally taken, we have to release information in aggregate.”

The four wolf pups were born this year, so they would have been about 4 or 5 months old. They were taken to the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory in Laramie for necropsies.

Gocke could get no more specific than saying that they were reported dead on public land south of Jackson on Thursday within Game and Fish’s “trophy game” wolf hunting area, where there are defined seasons and rules about killing wolves.

That means the canines were found east of Highway 89, and north of Highway 191 and the Hoback River corridor. The opposite sides of both highways this time of year fall within Wyoming’s “predator zone,” where wolves can be killed without limit and by any means.

The Jackson Hole News&Guide received a tip that the dead wolf pups were found near the Mill Iron Ranch, which is at the end of Horse Creek Road, and that they possibly died of parvovirus, a contagious disease found in dogs.

Gocke could not confirm the veracity of this information because of the state-ordered gag order. More information may become available, he said, after the lab results come in.

A Mill Iron Ranch employee reached over the phone Sunday declined the Jackson Hole Daily’s request for an interview.

“We don’t want to comment,” she said.

The law on the books prohibits the release of “any information” about the “number or nature” of wolves legally killed, unless in aggregate form or with permission from the person who is involved.

“Information identifying any person legally taking a wolf within this state,” the statute reads, “is solely for the use of the department or appropriate law enforcement offices and is not a public record.”

The nearest wolf pack south of the town of Jackson is the Horse Creek Pack, which roams the southern fringes of the Gros Ventre Range between Granite and Cache creeks. The pack, according to a Game and Fish report, numbered an estimated six animals as of last winter, though that estimate was made prior to any litters of pups being born.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067, env@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGenviro.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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(52) comments

Engage Staff
Audience Engagement

A comment has been removed. No personal attacks on others. Keep the conversation proactive - JHNG Producer

Gregory Taylor

THIS IS NOT spam jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/opinions/opinion

Jeff Larson

I wish it had been 8.

William Huard

Of course you wish it was 8.
Just another “sportsman” (chuckle)

Gregory Taylor

Very true that we sportsmen and women will get a HUGE black-eye if this passes! This brings back the "Old West" attitudes and that "the only good predators are dead ones"!!! Sportsmen and women need to be mad about this policy change and be furious just as non- hunting and animal rights people will be!!!

Gregory Taylor

This is not SPAM I am including the link to you article. .jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/opinions/opinion_no_mug/article_ Read this and as sportsmen and with animal rights people we should be furious!!

Gregory Taylor

Very true that we sportsmen and women will get a HUGE black-eye if this passes! This brings back the "Old West" attitudes and that "the only good predators are dead ones"!!! Sportsmen and women need to be mad about this policy change and be furious just as non- hunting and animal rights people will be!!!

Ken Chison

Thank you to the buckrail for your unbiased reporting. No mention at all of human involvement like some media outlets and uninformed bloggers post. Apologies from all the accusers will be accepted by we awesome, conservation oriented sportsman on this webpage.

William Huard

OMG.
I thought I had heard everything!

Gregory Taylor

I agree you put it very well !!!

sean henry

https://buckrail.com/wolf-pups-found-dead-in-horse-creek-drainage/

end of story back to your corners.

Engage Staff
Audience Engagement

Here is our follow up article with more details:

https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/article_a1617d13-7166-55f4-916b-faa65e1fd280.html

Engage Staff
Audience Engagement

Comments have been removed from this post because they violated our commenting policy below. Please refrain from personal attacks and curse words. - JHNG Audience Engagement Producer

Bob Brister

Wolf hunts bring disrepute to Wyoming and all states that allow it.

Gregory Taylor

No they do not ! The wolf introduction has been very flawed starting right out the gate !! The promoters of this"INTRODUCTION" lied when the plans were signed off about the numbers of packs and wolves to remove them from threatened status to be managed by the state of Wyoming. The numbers of wolves went up far beyond the agreed on objective before the court battles were settled and wasted dollars better spent in actual science backed management of Wyoming's wildlife!!

Jay Westemeier

I guess it really bites if you believe the "exact science" employed by the 8,000 or so cattle & sheep ranchers in Wyoming. It still amazes me that such a small percentage of the state's population is still calling the shots when it comes to wildlife management. And guess who's about to become Wyoming's next governor? Yep, another cattle rancher.

Chad guenter

If these wolves didn't die of Parvo/distemper/etc. they appear to have been LEGALLY killed if no poaching charges come forward from G&F.

End of Story.

William Huard

Why does Wyoming allow the legal killing of 5 month old pups?

Chad guenter

To control the population of wolves, Mr. Huard. Adult or pup is not really a concern in the Predator zone. In the trophy zone, you probably wont find many hunters with a tag shooting anything other than a full grown wolf for it's pelt.

Craig Rowe

Why do they need to be controlled, I often wonder. Wolves and elk got along together for centuries before we showed up to mess it all up. And it seems innately absent-minded for people to establish ranching businesses in the heart of predator country. I've always found it odd that we've stuck to these antiquated, rather baseless arguments for predator control. Don't we all move to mountain places to be closer to such wildlife? Four-month old pups, eh? Well, if it turns out to be legal, then so be it. But it's probably safe to say it wasn't, given that a person simply left them there to rot, but actually, as a trophy for others to see. Not unlike a serial killer.

Ken Chison

Craig. To me it is innately absent-minded for all these billionaires to swallow up all these great masses of land around Jackson Hole building there not so energy efficient homes for themselves. This is all called progress. Now maybe if these people would give back their lands and let the elk and the Buffalo return to where they should be you would not need to control the wolves. But as it is now the elk are landlocked as to where they can go between winter and summer. See, ultimately, the people that cry the loudest to protect the wolves are the ones that are creating the real trouble. As for these wolves if they were shot in a trophy zone that does not open up until September 1st. So it would be wrong. it could have been some crazed photographer that couldn't get the right picture or get them to stand still long enough and he may have gotten mad and killed them Now, if they were found in a predator Zone all wolves are fair game as they should be.

Jay Westemeier

Don't blame the current billionaires for landlocking the elk herds Mr. Chison. History shows that the elk herds were landlocked by ranchers who started fencing to keep the elk off their grazing land. This happened long before any of the current generation of wealth arrived in Jackson Hole. This also led to the formation of the National Elk Refuge. Just another debacle created by the cattle ranchers of that era.

Gregory Taylor

Wyoming regulations are clear and passed the hurdles required by the USFWS and the courts and also public review periods for comment! The killing of pups is under these regulations (LAWS) an neither condoned or protected by these regulationsIn the trophy areas harvested numbers is controlled tightly by Law and in the areas where the wolf is classified as Predatory animals they are protected less tightly but still the harvesting is closely monitored and as very few packs and breeding pairs in numbers as it falls outside the recovery area.For those wanting to have better and Informed opinions "get educated" for your opinions first

Joan Timchak

This is very sad, I think G&F should reduce the number of tags for the area. The public needs to know immediately if poisons were used. Last year near Dubois pet dogs and wildlife including golden eagles were killed by poison. The public never knows the outcome of these cases leading to distrust of G&F. SAD

Ken Chison

Seems to me that they should totally eradicate the wolves in that area. If they have parvo it could be detrimental to any sheep dogs or ranchers dogs that are out there. The wolf's will definitely pass it on to domesticated dogs and this could be bad news. So the number of wolves killed in that area will hopefully go up considerably. Very doubtful that it was poison used to kill them. These wolves were sick and they were abandoned by the parents for that reason. Otherwise the parents would have been found dead also. This is all part of that population control that is stressed to people. The animals need to be kept in checks and balance to sustain a healthy population

William Huard

You kill animals for profit.
What do you know about wolves?
Nothing

Ken Chison

William. I do know how to kill them. And I will say one thing. There's no way you could kill four wolves in one place at the same time. The best we've ever done is a double and it was by sheer luck. If somebody did kill all four of them at once, pup or adult, it would be truly extraordinary

Gregory Taylor

Mr. Huard you take the chance to stand on your soap box and spout your anti-hunting rhetoric and bias at Hunter based on the false information and the strong language towards basically everyone in the State of Wyoming that use any natural resource that is utilized by humans. The facts are not known yet in the loss of these young of the year wolves. Natural causes are suspected and the Agencies investigating their demise and takes time to process the tests but you are eager to start spewing your venom at any and all other classes of persons that "might be involved. I am a hunter and find your methods not only offensive and misinformed of what you find so distasteful. Wyoming Game and Fish Department regulations are clear and perhaps you may benefit from reading the laws as to the seasons and methods regarding the take of any wolf. Fact #1 is these wolf pups were located within the trophy area which is closed till September 1,2016 or October 15,2018 depending on the actual management unit the incident was located.This means a hunter killing them would be illegal. Fact # 2 The legal method of Take as the laws state are clear that poisoning these wolves would be illegal.

Gregory Taylor

Oh and I forgot the legal bag limit within the wolf management is one wolf per license issued and until the mortality limit is met for each wolf management unit

Jay Westemeier

Domesticated dogs could just have likely passed parvo on to the wolves Ken. Just like all of the other possible causes of death, parvo is just one and is the responsibility of dog owners to keep their animals vaccinated.

Michael Grasseschi

Ken: Please show us the science behind "Wolves will definitely pass on parvo to domesticated dogs", as you claim. I can think of only one way, and that is them breeding with each other, which pretty much NEVER happens. And whenever wolves and dogs come close to each other in reality, domestic dogs dont usually stick around, or there is a short lived battle of some sort. So how does parvo 'definitely' get transmitted then? (seems like just yet another wolf hater trying to come up with ONE MORE TIRED /clearly biased reason to "Kill them all", no matter what. And Ken. let me ask you: what did wolves ever do to you?

rich quinlan

Well the absence of fact by Wyoming wildlife leads to a lot of speculation . While I personally disagree that a hunter should be shielded from disclosure it seems silly for wildlife to not disclose the cause or suspected cause and play all these information games. Its probably more likely a poisioning than parvo and the odds that they would all be found together I highly doubt. So what was it ? They are using a law that shields shooters to withhold info so were they all shot. They are not doing themselves any PR favors by being secretive. Plain and simple this BS for all involved.Mama always said tell the truth !

Chad guenter

This isn't journalism. It is an irrational, irresponsible attempt to whip up hysteria and emotions when NO FACTS are known.

If it is concluded these wolves died of parvo or some other natural cause will the author pen a lengthy apology?


Sick of the Bigotry towards hunters.

Jay Westemeier

You got the wolf delisting and hunt that you wanted and are now paranoid of any impending backlash. I thought you didn't care what anyone else thought about Wyoming and its hunters.

Chad guenter

Mr. Westemeier: No cause of death has been mentioned by G&F, yet this article immediately starts implicating hunters when disease could be just as likely.

Do you personally have more info on cause of death?

Jay Westemeier

Chad, the article started with the fact that actual cause of death has not been determined yet. It also mentioned the possibility of disease. Until a true cause of death is determined, there's no reason for anyone to comment one way or the other. As I've said before, the state of Wyoming and hunters better be prepared for major backlash due to its wildlife policies and lack of transparency in enforcing those policies.

Mike Koshmrl Staff
Mike Koshmrl

Happy to talk with you about the story, Chad. I don't exactly agree with you characterizing this as "not journalism." If you're so inclined, 732-7067.

jeff muratore

This is journalism alright Mike, but poor journalism at best. The inclusion of this statement "A Wyoming law prohibits wildlife managers from identifying anyone who legally kills a wolf — or releasing information that could lead to such an ID." as the second sentence of the story proves it. If the wolfs were shot in the trophy area, then they are not legally taken and it doesn't pertain to this story. Read the regulations. Besides that, you mention a possibility, by an unnamed source they were actually not shot with another cause of death.

Mike Koshmrl Staff
Mike Koshmrl

Jeff, the reason the statute appears high up in the story is that the statute is the very reason why no information was being released. You're correct, because this was in the trophy game area it was very unlikely that the deaths, if they were human-caused, were legal. Nevertheless, the Game and Fish person I interviewed invoked the statute when I asked for information — thus its placement up high. Happy to talk, if you want to: 732-7067.

William Huard

You are sick of the bigotry towards “hunters”
The state of Wyoming is governed by big agriculture, oil and gas, and outfitters.
Wyoming blocks public disclosure for a simple reason.
Their anti wildlife policies like allowing “hunters” to kill 5 month old pups legally shows their culture of hatred toward species that they feel are less deserving.
The term predator status is a rancher coined term that the state uses to dictate wildlife policy

Chad guenter

Mr. Huard: You, just as with the author of this article have no idea what the cause of death is. But that lack of knowledge doesn't stop you from immediately going into anti-hunting diatribes.

William Huard

I don’t consider killing 5 month old wolf pups legally or illegally as “hunting.”
It is many things but hunting is not one of them.
Face itChad- Wyoming is a predator hating state

Christina Clancy

They died apparently of parvo... why do you hate people who hunt so much? Why do you hate the elk, deer and cattle so much?

William Huard

Predator hunters are the lowest of the low in the hunting community.
Wyoming’s rancher coined “predator status” designation shows just how backward the states wildlife policies are.
There are “locals” on this post defending killing 5 month old wolf pups.
This is not management it is hate.
You should redirect your own question toward these unethical hunters who masquerade as “sportsman.”

Kevin Clark

I can understand why they won’t release names of wolf hunters; Half the country would be in an angry uproar.

Ken Chison

Kevin. You now have my name. Add it to your naughty list if you like.

Gregory Taylor

The reason for not announcing who are successful wolf hunters is the Animal Rights and PETA crowds that enjoy the "Monkey Wrench Gang" mentality think nothing about the law abiding hunts are as one person here already called them serial killers forgetting that the wolf introductions were funded by us "Serial Killers" with funds that we pay in Taxes placed on our purchases of hunting related equipment (Pittman/Robertson Act) and through buying hunting licenses and tags required by law to engage in hunting any regulated legal hunters going into the fields. The Facebook types that threaten hunters online harassing and posting death threats on their families!!
I would like to congratulate Mr.Mangelsen on his draw ranking in the fist ten on the Grizzly hunt this year to save a Grizzly Bear!!! His being a Non-Resident of Wyoming will cost $6000.00 dollars for the Tag to go unused will probably be his first funds he ever put into the proper management of wildlife that he makes his living photographing wildlife!

Jay Westemeier

I guess you "serial killers" aren't very smart then, helping to fund something that goes way against your ideals. And since when is Thomas Mangelsen not a Wyoming resident?

Gregory Taylor

Jay I believe I read in an Article read on here that it was stated Mr. Mangleson was from Nebraska and was referencing that. If I am incorrect apologies to him. As to your assertion that hunting goes against my ideals you have no idea of my ideals as I graduated from college with a degree in wildlife biology and management and worked in that field for 20 years! I worked with endangered species and huntable species alike and put my money where my mouth is and supported agencies responsible for the conservation and management of wildlife my entire life. I doubt many of you can come up with much more than bird feeders can come up with any direct way of aiding wildlife .

Gregory Taylor

People are so quick on the draw to point fingers of blame at others. The dastardly ranchers are easy pickens but deserve a great deal of thanks as so much land was set aside to produce cattle that wildlife uses also! The west has a great deal of water where none would be due to waterholes and catchments put out for the cattle! Thank you RANCHERS for that! Hmmm the fenced off the lands with fences to control cattle movement but an elk will jump over with relative ease and use it as a scratching post until it lays flat to the ground (and yes I have seen them do it !!). Deer are able to go over easily too. When the fences are made using woven wire or too close to the ground they do prevent pronghorn migrations and since learning that problem fences get pulled or fixed of that problem! Most of the wrong fence type I have seen along highways and the ranchers may have not the makers of the fences. I point my fingers at the true culprit that has been so damaging to the wildile in present day! HUMAN expansion and encroachment in the open spaces building in vital wildlife habitat, winter ranges and breeding/calving grounds !!!

Jay Westemeier

I've never proclaimed myself as an expert in wildlife management Mr. Chison. Or should we call you Captain Fantastic? Nor have I ever disparaged hunting. Although I haven't hunted anything for the past25 years, some of my very best friends are still avid hunters. One of the most pathetic things I see is your hobby's affect on your ability to tolerate the views and opinions from the other side on these issues. Do you associate with anyone who doesn't hunt or isn't a rancher? I have my doubts since you always seem to move toward a gang mentality. I've met scores of Wyoming residents who don't hunt, are not anti-predator, and who would like more transparency from their state government on all issues. Your hobby is just a speck on the radar of the majority of Wyoming. Thank God for that.

Ken Chison

We'll put Greg. You are by far way more knowledgeable than the JHNG wanna be expert they have from somewhere in the Midwest. I think he probably read a few Western novels and pronounces himself as the know all on the esa and predators in general. Almost comical his lack of knowledge on subjects being commented.

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