Jackson Hole, WY News

Grand Teton National Park wolf

Fresh off feeding on a carcass, a gray wolf pauses while traveling across the sagebrush flats last January in Grand Teton National Park.

Investigating rangers say a Jackson Hole hunting guide lost track of where he was when he shot and killed a young female gray wolf late last year inside Grand Teton National Park.

Grand Teton officials sent out word Wednesday that Kelly resident Brian Taylor pleaded guilty to unlawful take of wildlife, was fined $5,040, lost his wolf hunting privileges for a year and earned a year of probation. Taylor’s wife, who was also present, was let off the hook.

“The individuals were just honest and forthright about it,” Chief Ranger Michael Nash said. “We didn’t detect any ill intent.”

Grand Teton officials declined to name the hunter who was prosecuted, but Taylor’s identity was provided to the Jackson Hole Daily by a federal court clerk. His court appearance was Jan. 31.

Nash said park rangers were doing a compliance check on two bison legally killed near the park boundary on Bridger-Teton National Forest land when they came across tracks and a blood trail telling of illegal activity north of Spread Creek.

The park’s eastern boundary where Taylor shot the wolf is “stair-stepped,” Nash said, but also well marked with signs, including where the two hunters treaded through the snow.

Specifically, the wolf was shot approximately 2.5 miles west of the park’s east boundary in an area where an otherwise straight-line east-to-west boundary jags to the south for approximately 1.5 miles. The wolf was shot approximately a half-mile inside the boundary.

Rangers decided that the poaching, which occurred during the federal government shutdown, was likely accidental after conferring with Taylor and his wife, Nash said. The animal was checked in with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, a requirement that helped park rangers identify Taylor.

Game and Fish spokesman Mark Gocke said the state agency had limited involvement in the park’s investigation.

“He registered the wolf with us,” Gocke said. “[Warden] Jon Stephens checked it in, and the location he gave us was right adjacent to the park.”

“That was about it,” he said. “From our standpoint, as far as we knew, it was a legal take. It was the last day of the season, and the season was open.”

A number of hunts occur right outside of Grand Teton’s boundary — elk, bison, deer and other critters can all be legally killed on forestland within yards of the demarcating line. Although Nash could not recall any other hunter boundary mixups this year, mistakes do happen.

“It’s very common for hunters, outfitters and guides to hunt along the park boundary, and those hunters and visitors are reminded that it’s their responsibility to know where they are,” he said. “Protection of park resources is super important to us, especially wildlife. It’s why we do our boundary patrols and it’s something we keep a keen eye to.”

Although the poached wolf was unmarked and lacked a tracking collar, park biologists suspect it was a member of the Lower Gros Ventre Pack based on the animal’s location. The carcass is now in the possession of Teton park.

One Jackson Hole wildlife activist was skeptical of investigating park rangers' conclusions.

“It’s hugely suspicious,” Wyoming Wildlife Advocates Managing Director Kristin Combs said. “He was born and raised here. He definitely knew where the park boundaries were.

Combs charged that the Taylors are “known wolf haters.”

“Just because he was cooperative doesn’t mean he should get a lenient sentence,” she said. “As an organization, we’re extremely disappointed in the lack of harsher sentence for someone that obviously knew better.”

Reached late Wednesday, Brian Taylor was contrite.

“The truth is, I misjudged the boundary and I made an honest mistake,” Taylor said. “I’m accountable for my actions. The park acknowledged my cooperation and handled it professionally.”

Contact Johanna Love at 732-7071, jlove@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGeditor on Twitter.

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(68) comments

Sofia Jarmillo Staff
Sofia Jaramillo

Comments have been removed. Please do not use caps lock and no personal attacks. Keep the conversation civil and proactive. - JHNG Producer

William Addeo

Before this headline closes out, I’d just like to add an observation. Animal rights advocates are total hypocrites. Judge and jury tree huggers never make mistakes. Obama never had a job but he deserved to be president? Wolves are more important than babies? Today, anger is power and the facts are meaningless if they don’t support your agenda. All of these condemning comments have no basis for what really happened. The Virginia governor is going full term yet he wants to kill babies after they are born? Total hypocrisy. If he was a republican, he would already be canned and tarred and feathered. Liberals are never sorry for their sins. They are just sorry that they got caught. Because this article was about the sacred wolf, it went viral. If it was about a new born baby, it would not get one tree hugger comment. What a sick, demented culture the democrats have evolved into. The culture of death. God save America!

Diane Henry

William, this is not a political discussion. Everyone makes mistakes. In fact, we’re all hypocrites because we used to share a cave, a fire, a meal with the wolf who helped us hunt. After we developed the gun and brought in cattle, etc we began killing our old friends. I don’t think a female wolf kills her pups.
All life is sacred and should be preserved. Babies and wolves (all wildlife) have much in common- they can’t speak for themselves.

William Addeo

Diane, Do you think babies and wildlife should be treated equally? We eat wildlife and cattle. I think we are on the same track, just different trains?

Diane Henry

William, I can punch your ticket to get on my train.

William Addeo

Diane Henry; I’m sorry I got it wrong. You are standing on the tracks and the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an oncoming train. The wolf is a smoke screen for the animals lovers who really hate peoples. Amazing how times have changed. God bless America.

Chad guenter

Mr. Addeo: this is kind of unrelated regarding the wolf issue. But you need to open your eyes regarding the Democrat vs. Republican argument you go to quite often. Republican politicians are no more protectors of life than Democrats. They speak EMPTY words to their constituents. John Roberts (W Bush's appointment) just struck again siding with 4 others to shoot down a Louisiana law on restricting abortion. Republicans are "conservative" when they need to be elected, and only then.

William Addeo

Mr. Guenter; You are correct. RINOs are the demise of the two party system. Planned parenthood gets funding no matter who is in office. It’s really the left against the right. Both wings used to be on the same bird. No longer. It’s hard to tell who is who today. It’s all about money, power and robbing the till. As far as the wolf thing goes, it’s so sad to see the warped priorities of tree huggers.

Chad guenter

Bill: regarding the wolf thing, these people hate humanity. They despise that Human Beings are the top of the food chain, they refuse to accept that humans are a part of nature. They are a suicide cult, because in their eyes the world would be better without a human presence.

Still waiting to get my first bleached wolf skull. 16 is quite an accomplishment! Congrats and thank you.

TERRENCE MILAN

Good news, Bill, they are against the death penalty. It's only the innocent they want to get.

Sofia Jarmillo Staff
Sofia Jaramillo

Comments have been removed. Please refrain from personal attacks . See our commenting policy below - JHNG Producer

Comment deleted.
Diane Henry

Of course.
The Federal judge did well. The “hunter” will always carry the moniker “poacher.”

Diane Henry

Can anyone explain why the hunters registered the wolf and gave the location of the kill "right adjacent to the park", while knowing they walked past the well marked signs designating the park boundary? Does this show intent to deceive? Not only that, the location of the wolf was "about 0.5 mile inside the boundary." It was just a coincidence the rangers were out in the area doing a compliance check on killed bison near the park boundary when they came across tracks and a blood trail about 0.5 mile inside the boundary. Surprising the woman got off with no fine and no loss of license as she was complicit.

Chad guenter

Ms. Henry, you are very correct. WHY in the world would the hunters state the location of their kill so close to the actual kill site if they thought they were breaking the law??? If they KNEW they broke the law, I'm guessing they would have said they killed it way back in the Gros Ventre/etc.
Their honesty and good intentions is what aided in the investigation.

Diane Henry

I'm sorry if I was ambiguous. The hunter/guides reported the wolf was taken in a legal area, and the rangers found the real site 1/2 mile inside the legal boundary. If it was only 50-100 yards, a mistake could be very feasible. Plus, according to the report, the rangers saw where they treaded through the snow near the marked boundary signs. So intent to deceive is on the table. Why do I care....the wildlife are at our mercy; they are all majestic; they have no voice; we are at the top of the food chain.
In the end, the hunter/guides may have ended up with a much greater fine than $5000.

William Addeo

In the very left wing liberal town of East Hampton, New York, a town police officer was caught on duty, drunk, in a police car poaching deer at midnight in a cornfield. The outpouring of compassion for the officer was amazing. "He just made a mistake." The chief of police suspended the officer with pay for two weeks because he said the officer needed some rest. In any other place, except Broward County, Florida, the officer would have been fired immediately. Double standards? Yes, there are rules for them and there are standards for Americans. Look at what's happening in Virginia. If the politicians were republicans, they would already have been hung out to dry. So, we have people accused of "Poaching" when really they just made a mistake. Poaching is the intentional stealing on land you are not allowed. The comments here are ridiculous, abusive, prejudiced and down right stupid. The sacred wolf has been killed. God save the wolves! Where oh where in this paper is the outrage over Governor Northam wanting to kill babies after they are born? Where are all of your priorities? What has happened to America? God Help Us!

elisabeth schneider

who would want to go to term with a fetus that has no brain, you, maybe ???? educate yourself ! nobody is having a late term abortion for pleasure and no doctor would kill a healthy baby.

Chad guenter

Ms. Schneider: With the tests they have now for the unborn, complications/birth defects, etc. are known FAR in advance. Killing even more human beings is the goal of these new laws being passed. They are outright evil, and getting the public accepting this kind of murder is just a bonus for the "people" behind this agenda.

elisabeth schneider

I advise you to watch the documentaires named www.earthlings.com as well as the second part named UNITY ! Animals are earthlings too, what make you think you are superior to them ?? your religion ?? Animals are not inferior to us, they are equal to us ! I remind you that biologically, we human too, are animals ! all other species must be respected, Animals have as much right to exist as you do !! Religions are truly a poison ! it is time that we respect other species, considering them inferior is pure racism ! They have their own intelligence, their own language which we are too stupid to understand ! and one thing is sure, they are superior to us, because, they do not need to destroy this beautiful planet to survive !!! so stop thinking you are so superior to other species !

Chad guenter

On your 6:32pm comment, I like many are speechless. "earthlings" WOW! [alien] Maybe your ideas are accepted on other planets but us earthlings aren't buying it.[cool]

Ken Chison

Is somebody going coo coo for Coco puffs or what? Info from France? All they know how to do is throw their hands up in the air and surrender. CNN? I don't even have to comment on that. Animals being equal or Superior to man? Don't see animals doing much spectacular besides surviving. Man is the superior species and he gets to say who stays and who goes. Haven't heard one Democrat yet say that the only time they can abort is for medical reasons

Chad guenter

Ken: A good portion of our nation is losing it's collective mind. The Ministry of Truth is spreading it's message and these people are gobbling it up. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength should be CNN's new motto.

TERRENCE MILAN

What do all the mid sentence exclamation marks mean? You should speak in the first person.

Kevin Clark

Elizabeth, Chad doesn’t seem to qualify as an “earthling” which is why your post (much appreciated) went right over his head.

Chad guenter

Mr. Clark: Do tell, what exactly disqualifies me from being an "Earthling"? Is it simply having an opposing view from your and Elizabeth's? Maybe they should build "re-education"/concentration camps/gulags for of us that differ in opinion? That is how your political ancestry rolls isn't it?

Diane Henry

I'd like to add one more thing about attitudes towards animals. From Jan. 29, Mike Kosmrl: " Bill to ban snowmobile coyote whacking is run down," "Wyoming statute allows for the killing of wolves and coyotes 'with, from, or by use of any aircraft, automotive vehicle, trailer, 35 motor-propelled wheeled vehicle or vehicle designed for travel over snow,' in areas of the state where the animals are classified as predators." A bill introduced by freshman Rep. Mike Yin (D-Jackson) would have banned the use of snowmachines to kill any wildlife. This House Bill 0288 revision was killed immediately with only 2 supporters, Yin and Gierau. Really? This is 2019 and this kind of animal abuse is permitted anywhere? This should be a bipartisan rebuke of this statute.

Diane Henry

Sorry, I misspelled "Koshmrl."

Jay Westemeier

Write your own piece about abortion rights and what's going on in Virginia in the Opinions section of this site then. You might hear from many anti-abortion advocates so you can feel better. This subject is about killing an animal on Federal land where it's not allowed. It doesn't matter if it was intentional or not, it's still considered to be poaching. If a truly ethical hunter really wanted to avoid being charged for poaching, he or she wouldn't hunt anywhere close to a known National Park border.

Diane Henry

Thank you Jay for staying on the real issues and giving me insight. It appears there’s no way to have a reasonable conversation about poaching and wildlife conservation with some of the people commenting. The subject always goes back to politics, abortion, and who hates who and what and how much. Years ago when I participated in killing deer for food, we had a name for the people who shot anything for fun or because they hated the animal. We called them “outlaws.” Seems there’s some around Jackson.

Susan Crosser

The park’s eastern boundary where Taylor shot the wolf is “stair-stepped,” Nash said, but also well marked with signs, including where the two hunters treaded through the snow.
So how did he not know he was in the park ?

rich quinlan

Lets be clear , professional outfitters , have hunted , packed , made a portion of their living off this ground for decades , have website showing all the trophy kills . This is not Billy Bob trying to put an elk in the freezer . These outfitters make their living helping people kill trophys in the forest .

Kevin Clark

Could never appreciate that individuals are permitted to make a living from natural resources. Talk about extractors!
Wonder how many trophy “hunters” will sign on with the “guide who got lost”?

Ken Chison

Susan. Every tree isn't marked with a sign. There are several places you could enter and never see it posted.

rich quinlan

I think the revised information leads one to have even less tolerance for this event. A professional hunting guide should have no excuse to not know where they were. Then they reported a legal location . This whole thing smells and why the authorities are so "understanding" seems suspect. Good ole boy justice at it again.

rich quinlan

Possible penalties of 100k and a year in jail. This couple are pro guides who have hunted this area for decades .

Ken Chison

Do you think that 100 K is even a rash statement, Rich? And a year in jail, really? There you go letting your emotions dictate over common sense. The fine was incredibly harsh to start with. Spouse abusers, drug dealers and pedophiles don't get punished that hard. Be reasonable so sane people don't have to roll their eyes when you comment.

rich quinlan

Thats the federal penalty Ken , or downward from there , soooo they received very lenient treatment .Try educating yourself !

Ken Chison

Glad you rolled back your original story news and guide. it was full of so many mistakes I couldn't stand it. You originally told us the wolves were killed in January. Making the story out to be way worse than it actually was. The trophy area closed on December 31st. That's when the unfortunate situation happened. Not in January which would have led the readers to believe that not only did he shoot it in the park, but he was also hunting in a closed area. Fact-checking is an awesome thing to do before you hastily run to print. I hated the person until I actually found out the true story. Which I found out from local people before your retraction.

J Love Staff
Johanna Love

Ken, the original article did not say the wolf was killed Jan. 1. It said "on Jan. 1, park rangers identified evidence to suggest illegal hunting activity." Once our reporter was able to get the chief ranger on the telephone, he was able to flesh out the timeline more. The information originally printed was correct. The information came from an official park release. It is common industry practice to use an official source for the initial report and follow up with more interviews. Thank you for your comments. — Editor

William Addeo

I will donate the second $100.00 All these people want blood. $5000.00 is a lot of money. How do they know the people have that kind of money? They must be rich and think it's nothing. They are perfect and don't make mistakes. If this was an Elk or a deer, the story would be different.

Jay Westemeier

Wouldn't matter if it had been a chipmunk. The perpetrators should be hung. I'll donate the first $100 to have a gallows built on town square.

Richard Jones

It was also stated in the article it happened during the gov't shutdown. Not true.

J Love Staff
Johanna Love

Richard, the government was shut down from Dec. 22, 2018, to Jan. 25, 2019. The wolf was shot during the shutdown. Nothing about this article is included for political purposes. — Editor

DON Beale

Johanna Love , So during a government shut down it's ok to go into parks and kill wolfs? NICE

Jay Westemeier

Typical Chison reading comprehension. And you actually hated the person until you found out the true story? Looks like you shot from the hip and missed twice. God help Jackson Hole and all who dare to venture among some of the unstable people that inhabit it.

Ken Chison

I will donate the first $100.00 to help with the fine if there is a Go Fund Me setup. Way too harsh a fine for a simple mistake. I do agree with the buffer zone though. 1 mile into the park would alleviate another situation like this.

Lisa Robertson

This is a tragic and unconscionable incident. This poached wolf was most likely a member of a pack which hundreds of wildlife watchers have had the pleasure to view on a daily basis in the Park for the last two summer seasons. Just one deadly bullet can splinter the pack by the loss of a single wolf....which happened after the first hunt season following the wolf delisting. We also know that hunters and trappers frequently stalk Park boundary lines, killing any desirable animal, big or small, that crosses that invisible line.
Until there is a ban on trophy hunting of wolves in this state, we want no-hunt zones along all boundaries of GTNP, reversal of the wolf hunt regulations modifications made last year to the return of the 2018 definitions which would shorten the wolf hunt season to the original dates, allow only ONE permit per hunter, and return the hunt areas to the original definition. All poachers should serve jail time, and lose their hunting privileges for a lifetime. And every hunter should be required to carry a GPS and know how to use it.

Richard Jones

So the park boundry is a "no hunting zone" and you want to have an additional "no hunting zone " around that? What will protect that zone another "no hunting zone" outside the second one? And on and on?

Comment deleted.
William Addeo

You are the judge and jury without knowing any facts? You need a checkup from the neck up. God help us from the know-it-alls.

rich quinlan

Im thinking most wilderness hunters are utilizing gps these days for emergency purposes and would use it when anywhere near park boundaries , The article does not say they self reported but they were cooperative once caught . So they were either deceptive or ignorant but cooperative once they were caught. When traversing national park ground trophy hunting pelts neither of these is an excuse. I have little sympathy here at all.

William Addeo

$5000.00 is excessive for a mistake on land boundaries. I am truly sorry that they made a boundary mistake which easily happens in the mountains. One good thing happened out of all of this, there's a dead wolf. One less predator to kill for joy and sport. Happy Trails to you!

Vicki Markus

While I do applaud the Park Rangers for finding the killers, when are the prosecutors and judges going to start throwing the book at these people? If they don't get serious about illegal killing, and don't get harsh with their punishments, then the killing will continue. Our valuable wildlife is killed and the killers get off with a slap on the wrist!

Chad guenter

Ms. Markus: Did you miss this part?
""The individuals were very cooperative during the investigation," Grand Teton National Park Chief Ranger Michael Nash said, "and we believe there was no conscious intent to hunt within the national park."""
These people were fined 5,000+ dollars, that is more than enough punishmentand maybe excessive in case where intent to break the law didn't exist.

Cathy Greek

A licensed hunter has an obligation to know and obey the rules and boundaries.

William Addeo

Cathy Greek; A licensed driver knows the rules and there should never be accidents. I bet you are just perfect, aren’t you? Happy trails.

DON Beale

yes , agree

Ken Chison

Dang Vicki. That must be a smoking trust fund you have. $5,000.00 is a pretty fair chunk of change for the average working person. We were just up in arms for govt workers, on paid furlough, due to them living paycheck to paycheck. No savings in hand, the economy would crash, Putin was taking over Yellowstone. I hope that whole grocer offers this family the same courtesy that they did the vacationing govt workers.

Jay Westemeier

Forget the $5000 fine. His rifles should have been seized and wolf hunting privileges revoked for life.

Judy Malone

If they truly did not know they were inside the park, then they now know something of what it feels like for a wolf to cross that invisible line. Of course they pay a small fine, she loses her life.

Diane Henry

Great job Park Rangers for catching these people. Federal Court: Need much higher fines for intentional AND unintentional illegal killing; hopefully it would make people much more thoughtful about their greed in taking a wolf pelt! Or were they just hungry?

Diane Henry

Innocent until proven guilty...always. These people live in WY....familiar with the Park? Perhaps. The fact that it happened during a government shutdown when it would likely be easier to get away with.....fishy! It's always easy to beg forgiveness if you are caught while something illegal. The lives of the Park wolves and all other wildlife in our National Parks are very valuable, even priceless---and they belong to all of us.

Richard Jones

It happened in December, not during the shut down. The reporter just added that as a political comment.

Ken Chison

That's 2 people now. What do you say jacksonholenewsandguide? Were you guys wrong again?

J Love Staff
Johanna Love

The wolf was shot during the shutdown, at the end of December, 2018. The blood trail was discovered Jan. 1, 2019. The government was shut down from Dec. 22, 2018, to Jan. 25, 2019. — Editor

Sofia Jarmillo Staff
Sofia Jaramillo

William Addeo,

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