Hoback wolf

A young male wolf lays sedated in the Hoback Canyon in February as part of Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s annual census of the population. Based on the monitoring’s results, the state is planning to target a record high 58 animals during the 2018 hunt.

Wyoming’s 2018 wolf hunt will target more animals than in any other modern season to date, and will boost the number of wolves that hunters can kill from one to two.

A Wyoming Game and Fish Department proposal released Friday increases the limit in the state’s managed hunt area to 58 animals, a 32 percent increase over last year’s quota of 44. Although the quota is the highest yet, the overall goal of the hunt remains unchanged: cutting wolf numbers to 160 in areas where Wyoming imposes limits on hunting.

“Nothing has really changed, it’s just that over time the number of wolves has changed,” Game and Fish wolf biologist Ken Mills said. “There’s more wolves out there and they’re demonstrating themselves to be more resilient to human-caused mortality.”

Farther from Jackson Hole and the Yellowstone region in the “predator zone,” wolves can be killed without limit.

The wolf population in both places where Wyoming allows hunting fell from 285 to 238 over the last year. The statewide number, including Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation, declined from 377 to 347.

Game and Fish would have authorized a more aggressive hunt in 2017, except that some packs were missed during an annual census and they weren’t factored into limits.

A number of hunt area boundaries are being changed for the coming season, including near Dubois and along the Cody front. Two Gros Ventre River areas that were once separate are being combined, and Game and Fish is also tacking on a portion of a hunt area that was previously in the Upper Green River. The overall limit in the newly created zone is 15 wolves.

Mills said the plan to let hunters kill two wolves instead of one will allow more “flexibility.”

“In Montana and Idaho, where you can have up to five tags for hunting and five tags for trapping, very few people kill more than one wolf a year,” Mills said. “It’s a slight liberalization, but it’s not going to threaten the population because we limit mortality through numerical limits in each area.”

Game and Fish is allowing the public to comment on its wolf hunting plans through June 4. Mills is also presenting the plans at public meetings around the state, including at a 6 p.m. May 17 meeting in Jackson.

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 since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

(35) comments

Lanny Lammers

OK, please let me restate my comment politically correct.

M Jay Sorensen

This banter can continue till the devil's area freezes over because I'm going to engage in doing my part in stopping Wyoming's slaughter of Wolves by NOT letting a single penny or anything above that, go to anything or any anybody in your barbaric state! [angry]

Lia Frisell

Guess I won't be visiting Jackson or any place in Wyoming anymore. Will miss the skiing and gallery shopping. Don't want to spend my money in a state that makes such despicable decisions.

Pat Sides

What is the matter w/ Wyoming? WHY do they want to kill everything - trophy hunting the most vile disgusting cowardly stupid act there is - doesn't anyone want to keep wildlife ALIVE in that gorgeous state - what a pity that violence and cruelty is the acceptable "sport".

rich quinlan

According to Wyoming reports there were 250 some odd kills attributed to wolves in 2016 among cattle and sheep. You could probably monetize this issue at around 250k . Sheep were 1/3 of the kills. Costs of range riders or protection of stock adds on to this. Now ... how much do the game managers make , how big an industry are the outfitters , the motels , the bars , restaurants that serve the hunters. Local gun stores . Measure the trophy hunting industry spending versus the actual problem. Im guessing the difference would be ridiculous. Folks arent hunting wolves to eat them so its simply a trophy kill. Now I'm not naive enough to say if a wolve is on your property you dont have the right to kill a threat but this trophy hunting is just crapola. Pay the ranchers fair compensation for their losses.

Jay Westemeier

I could propose a broad remedy to the predator-prey livestock situation here by simply changing one single word. Wyoming and every other Western state need to alter their policies and statutes regarding both wildlife and domestic livestock by becoming " Fence In" states instead of the current " Fence Out" regiment. In other words, make the owners of cattle, sheep, goats, horses and all other domestic animal RESPONSIBLE 24/7 for them. Do not foist that responsibility on the rest of us by arrogantly insisting it is my responsibility to keep YOUR wandering cow off my property. If your cows are so valuable to you , then take better care and vigilance of them 24/7. In Wyoming, a state that refuses to admit the limited viability of its open public range livestock policies in today's industry, you'd think they would understand what the words "cowboying" and "sheephearding" mean. It is well past time that non-Ag people and the taxpayer quit subsidizing the public lands rancher. We can start by raising the federal grazing fee to a level where it meets its own costs and to cover depredation compensation. It is presently $ 1.35 per cow-calf per month ...the exact same rate as it was in 1934 , NOT adjusted for inflation. Ranchers can put a cow-calf out on the public's grass for 4 months and pay only $ 5.40 for the graze, but add $ 800 in carcass weight on the hoof from that grass. Who else gets such a sweet private deal from a public resource? These ranchers constantly whine that they are "losing" money to wolves, grizzly bears and coyotes. Actually, they haven't really lost anything. They never had that money . They never even had a promissory note for it. They take a risk putting their valuable cattle out on open land every single day. From the gross count of 1.4 million cattle statewide, around 50,000 of Wyoming's cattle will die every year from all causes...lightning, disease, traffic, birthing. Large predators like griz and wolves kill about a hundred altogether.

Michael Grasseschi

Jay...thank you thank you thank you, once again... for bringing an almost always overlooked point to the forefront: that not only were the wolves here first (which you are not saying, but you get my point) but that also so many of these ranchers somehow think they have a God given right to not loose critters every year to wolves (which, btw !!: have been proven to be the cause of a mere 0.5% of all livestock loss, with disease, weather, accidents, birth complications, etc, being the other 99.05 % of all livestock loss)...so yes, Mr and Mrs Longtime public land allotment ranchers ( I understand that ranching is a very tough, volatile business, believe me thats not what I am trying to argue about here)..spend a little more money, or time, or both- on keeping them cows in, not keeping the wolves (etc) out.

Kevin Clark


"The people you least want looking after wildlife now have a near monopoly on it."
-Matthew Scully, Dominion

Linda Thielepape

Man needs to leave Mother Nature Alone. Butt Out!

Chad guenter

Ms. Theilepape, whether you like it or not "man" is a part of nature. Always has been, always will be. You're correct solution is for man to go back to their origins and drop ALL technology.

Michael Grasseschi

Sometimes Chad.... I actually agree with you. its rare-lol-but your point is well taken

Lisa Robertson

Wyoming Killing Games: The Apocalypse
in the most dangerous state in the nation for wildlife, the 48th worst for anti-cruelty laws and one of the worst for trapping regulations. It's literally a state of "gut piles".

More wolves scheduled for slaughter in the Gros Ventre? Just because we can? And two wolves can be killed instead of one so that a husband and wife team can take them out together, offering more killing "flexibility". We want more elk standing near the feedgrounds to be more easily shot and hunted? Let's take out more wolves so we don't need to walk too far from the road to harvest an elk.

It seems like an apocalypse of some sort. Yes, let's kill our grizzlies. And while we are doing that, let's kill additional wolves. Trap and hunt all of our furbearers without quotas. Let's shoot, trap, run over with snowmobiles (yote whackin') our predatory status animals every single day of the year. Place traps on our trails which kill our pets and wildlife and non-target wildlife without any accountability. Add coyote and predator killing contests (CKC's) which award prizes for killing the mangiest mutt or biggest yote with betting under the radar, and which are on the increase while using semi-automatic weapons and assault weapons with silencers. Let's don't forget all the migratory birds that are caught as non-targets in traps and are killed and illegally used as bait to kill even more target and non-target animals, possibly 10's of thousands annually.

Add the slaughter by the USDA (Wildlife Services) in 2017 with snares, M-44 cyanide capsules, traps, and firearms from aircraft playing target practice.
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_dam…/…/PDR-G_Report.php…

Then add human-caused mortalities, and the results of climate change.

Welcome to Wyoming, the most dangerous state in the nation for any living animal. The animals will agree.

Ken Chison

Well Lisa, that was a pretty long rant. Over dramatic all the way thru and last but not least, climate change. Which, used to be global warming until scientists proved we were actually cooling now. Wyoming is not out of control like you would want outsiders to believe. Our game and fish has spent countless hours and money to manage the wolves. The numbers are way higher than the feds ever set.. I'm sure that you were probably one of the many that endorsed their science and their numbers. Now we are way over objective. You mentioned grizzlies, also, which I need to comment. Game and Fish numbers suggest that there are upwards of 1200 grizzlies in the state. If those numbers are found to be true, will you be ok with killing them down to the 700 number that you were told there are now? You need to leave your emotions out of the equation. Hunting is beneficial and needed to sustain a healthy ecosystem.

Glenn Graham

Please show us where WG&F say the numbers are 1200. Cant? don't make it up then. And anyhow, those that arent killers or ranchers dont think the number should be 700. Certainly not killed when the number is more than 600. Its a made up number with no reasoning behind it. There are 20,000 square miles in Yellowstone. Its where they live. Why dont you come and join us in the 21st century instead of the 19th? Take shots with a camera instead of your lead bullets.

Ken Chison

http://powelltribune.com/news/item/17042-griz-hunt-regulations-set

Ken Chison

Glenn. Read the article in it's entirety. The bear population is thriving throughout the GYE. An apology will be accepted after you read the article. See, we sportsman do not let emotions dictate what we write in these comment sections. Just the facts. If 700 is the magic number that the anti hunting world wants, then I believe we have a long ways to go. I do know , though, that I will help to obtain that number if fortunate enough to draw a tag.

Jay Westemeier

Your claim that you don't let emotions dictate what you write in this comment section is bogus Mr. Chison. Your emotions are tickled by your chance to draw a grizzly tag and you know it. Otherwise you wouldn't even comment on what is definitely an emotion driven subject.

Jay Westemeier

I think it's you who needs to read the entire Powell Tribune article carefully Mr. Chison. Quoting directly from that article "Some estimates by those outside the committee and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department put the population of grizzlies closer to 1,200". The 1200 number did NOT come from the Wyoming Game & Fish department. It came from hunting outfitters and ranchers present at the meeting. Montana announced it will not hold a hunt in 2018. In a news release, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks director Martha Williams said the decision is meant to reinforce the state’s commitment to the species’ long-term survival. “Holding off on hunting for now, I believe, will help demonstrate our commitment to long-term recovery and at the same time allow us the science-based management flexibility we need,” Williams said. It's funny how neighboring mountain states have such differing views on the subject. I applaud Montana's position since it reveals a much more "common sense" approach to a delicate subject. Wyoming is coming across as a revenue desperate and common sense starved state catering to a very small and selfish voter base.

Michael Grasseschi

Its not 1200 grizzlies in the state...or even 700... Its actually a pretty well established scientific guesstimate that there is about 700 in the entire 22 million acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which includes Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho (at the very least). Thats not a lot of bears for 22 million acres, and some scientists even have argues successfully that the GYE is really more like 35 million acres extending all the way down to Colorado and up to Canada... So if you see how few bears are really in the system... and you look at the 55 or so that die every year from human caused activities (accidents, etc)... does this change how you see things, Ken (etc)?

Ken Chison

Well Michael, I believe that yourself and Jay need to go back and read the article I posted from the Powell Tribune. The game and Fish numbers are low by a long shot due to the way they count the Bears. The 720 number is only in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. All the areas outside that contain Bears also, and, are not counted. The Bears are in no way going to be hunted to Extinction. There are plenty of Grizzlies available forthis quota. And, now, in response to Mr. Westemeir. Facts are not emotions. I read several of your posts where, as you believe in your mind, that your thoughts are the only correct ones. This sir, is an emotion driven rant from yourself. I would be very privileged to have the opportunity to pursue one of these trophies in the same country that Teddy Roosevelt once hunted. That is a fact. Just like the previous posts that I have done in the past, I leave emotions out of the picture. I do know, for a fact, that the areas I have hunted for the past 25 years, now have an abundance of grizzlies and wolves. Keep in mind, though, that the original article was about wolves, not grizzlies. That is where the emotions set in on people and they started commenting on the bears. I commented on the bears so that people could have honest info and not just hear say. No emotions. Although, I was more than beside myself when I harvested a beautiful Wyoming wolf this past season. That, sir, is an emotion.

Jay Westemeier

Mr. Chison, I 've never claimed that my opinions are the end all on a subject that will always be debated. My emotions are driven by the overwhelming science available that is being overlooked by Wyoming G&F, you and your like thinking so-called sportsman. I'm NOT anti-hunting. You obviously believe only what you want to and ignore the fact that a biologically diverse population of predators in the mountain west is essential to the long term health of all wildlife in that area and your prized hobby. The only way a biologically diverse population of wolves and grizzly bears is possible is to allow them to spread to other known grizzly and wolf populated areas. Wyoming continues to view the northwest corner of the state as a wildlife preserve that should be isolated from the rest of the state and country.

Ken Chison

Jay. There are no other Yellowstone grizzly bear populations out there except for the GYE. There are no other Canadian wolf populations out there except for in Canada. The wolves have free reign to go wherever they want now anyhow. They have been hit by cars as far south as Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Human population has always dictated the number of animals, be it game or predator. Bears had lost 95 percent of their range by 1920. In short, there is no place for them to go. For a Yellowstone grizzly to make it to the San Juans of Colorado would almost be impossible. With BC banning hunting now, the possibility of Canadian browns making it our way is way more likely. One more comment you made was about Montana's decision to not hunt them. The 3 state committee had a plan in place for a hunt after delisting. Montana's director retired around the time of delisting, and, a new director was appointed. To say the least, she is not very hunter friendly or savvy. She honestly believes that Montana could and should be turned into a game preserve. Sheer emotions again. Not sound science.

Jay Westemeier

Mr. Chison, You keep claiming that your views are based on pure science, yet you don't seem to understand that there are actually six grizzly bear recovery zones in the lower 48 states. The six zones are the Greater Yellowstone, Northern Continental Divide in Montana, Salmon Selway Bitterroot in Idaho, North Cascades in Washington, Cabinet Yaak in Idaho/Montana, and Selkirk in Idaho/Washington. All of these recovery zones have established grizzly bear populations. The vast majority of leading wildlife biologists believe that allowing bears to migrate and intermingle between recovery zones is a crucial component in the specie's long term survival. If you believe that there are major human population centers between these six zones that would cause conflict, I'd like you to point them out. I can provide links to a map of the recovery zones if you are unable to find them. The position wildlife advocates and biologists have is that any hunts within and/or outside these recovery zones will have adverse affects on this potential migration and intermingling. Until grizzly expansion between these recovery zones is proven, hunts should be prohibited. And THAT is based on pure science.....not emotion.

Chad guenter

Mr. Westemeier: Do minor/medium human population centers not count? Hundreds of thousands of acres of Private property with livestock between these recovery zones you hope will interconnect.
How about this, relocate "problem bears" to other recovery zones to get the desired intermingling/DNA diversity. Grizzlies crossing hundreds of miles of even sparsely populated areas can and will run into conflict.

Jay Westemeier

Mr. Guenter, I'm sure that your suggestion has been proposed but again, money ends up being an overriding issue. Small to medium human population centers are not a major concern because grizzlies historically avoid population centers and these smaller centers are not hard for them to move through or around without conflict. The biggest perceived conflicts are with livestock owners. A known grizzly within close proximity to livestock unfortunately results in instant panic. Another unfounded reaction.

Chad guenter

If your livelihood were threatened Mr. Westemeier, I don't think your anger or outrage would be an "unfounded outrage". As I said the areas between recovery zones area hundreds of thousands of acres of PRIVATE property. Those landowners have the right to protect their investments.

Jay Westemeier

The country's taxpayers also have the right to protect their investments Chad. That was my point about money. We've been around and around about this issue and you've always failed to provide solid data that validates your assertion that private individual livelihoods are threatened by predators in today's modern world. Even with millions spent on depredation compensation and conclusive data provided on total livestock losses by private individuals, you still contend that predators are putting some of these individuals out of business. Instead of spewing the same old catastrophic hysteria, please provide the proof. Also, your contention that hunting outfitter's are being put out of business because of predators has no conclusive data to back it up. Wouldn't a viable and biologically diverse grizzly population help the big game outfitters long term when more grizzly hunts can truly be justifiable? You and your minions are avoiding the big long term picture while only looking out for today.

Michelle MacKenzie

Expect Wyoming to do the same thing with grizzly bears unless stopped. They have demonstrated that they will - opening up with an aggressive trophy hunting season of Yellowstone's bears just 8 months after delisting. Wyoming Game and Fish is out of control. Wild dogs have killed more livestock than wolves in the state and tourists come to see wolves - baited outside of the parks (with no buffer zone) but let the killing continue. Wyoming Game and Fish think this is 1820.

William Huard

What is it with these know nothing wildlife experts who have nothing but contempt for wild nature?
There is NO state that deserves wildlife management authority less than Wyoming

Glenn Graham

If it moves, kill it. Little men with little brains. Do what the ranchers tell you to do.

rich quinlan

How do ya hunt them ? pure luck or bait , dogs ?

Chad guenter

Good news, but still not enough. The population is over 3 times the agreed to 100 wolves when the invasive sub-species was set loose on Yellowstone and the GYE.

William Huard

How’s CWD working out in Wyoming.
When you farm elk like cows bad stuff happens. CWD in all 23 counties soon. The solution- kill more wolves!

Ken Chison

William. You are definitely not in touch with our state or policies. No game farming allowed in our great state. CWD is infecting our deer populations, unfortunately. Elk herds have overall been resilient except for a herd near Laramie peak. Totally irelevant to upping the quota on wolves.

Lanny Lammers

WOW a bunch of elite globalist pos liberals argueing against facts & science! The WOLVES will kill ALL the ELK, DEER, BUFFALO, MOOSE, SHEEP, CATTLE & EACH OTHER if YOU Liberals Igorance Prevails! Please stay in your state & don't come here! Go back to your high tax s#!tholes before you ruin Wyoming's Treasures with your unfounded opinions & YOUR FEELINGS.

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