Wyoming hunters were successful tracking down and killing smart, stealthy wolves as the season began Sunday.

A dozen wolves were legally harvested in the first 40 hours of the three-month season. It’s a number that amounts to over a quarter of the total wolves that can be killed in the state’s managed hunt area. Wyoming Game and Fish Department carnivore manager Ken Mills attributed the considerable success to the opener falling on a weekend, winter weather pushing lots of sportsmen into the field, and also a species that may temporarily have lost its fear of mankind.

“Three years have gone by since the last hunting season,” Mills said. “In wolf generation time, it’s getting close to an entire generation of wolves. So there’s almost a whole new generation of wolves out there and they’re naive to human hunters.”

“I think they’ll learn over time,” he said. “I would expect them to adapt relatively quickly.”

Wolf hunters found swift success in Upper Green River country, where they exceeded a three-animal quota by one and triggered the closure of the zone Sunday.

Wolves were also killed Sunday and Monday around Jackson Hole. Game and Fish harvest reports showed one wolf killed in area 8, which encompasses the Leidy Highlands and has a quota of seven animals. A hunter also was successful in area 10 southeast of town, which runs from Cache Creek to past Bondurant.

In its “trophy game management area,” Game and Fish is permitting a total of 44 wolves to be killed in a season that ends Dec. 31.

Technically, there is no statewide limit on the number of wolves that can be hunted in Wyoming. That’s because of an expansive area outside the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem where wolves are managed as a predator that can be killed by any means throughout the year. Some 17 wolves, as of Monday afternoon, had been reported killed in that zone since Wyoming gained jurisdiction over its wolf population this spring.

Wolf hunting opened with a relative bang, judging by the pace of harvest in years past.

The state’s first modern-day wolf hunt dates to 2012, a year hunters managed to kill four animals in the first 40 hours of the season, according to the Jackson Hole News&Guide archives. The next year, 2013, hunters shot three on the opener.

There’s been a wolf hunting hiatus in the Equality State ever since, owing to a 2014 court decision that fell a week before the wolf hunting season would have started. Two and a half years later, a U.S. Court of Appeals’ opinion overturned the ruling.

Game and Fish’s intent for the wolf hunt is to slightly reduce the population, last estimated at 380 statewide. A little over half those animals are believed to reside in the trophy game area that just opened to hunting. Another approximately 50 animals were thought to live in the predator zone. The balance of Wyoming’s wolves — an estimated 117 animals — live in Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation, where hunting is not allowed.

It is wolf hunters’ responsibility, Mills said, to check to make sure the hunt area they set out for is still open. Game and Fish has 12 wolf hunting units, and each closes individually as its quotas are met. Harvest reports are updated “constantly,” he said, and posted online at WGFD.wyo.gov.

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.

(61) comments

Doralie Shepherd

It is a sad night in the wolves. A Massacre of 12 wolves have taken place, many are now in mourning and more will be soon be killed. I am truly disgusted and horrified of these killings and I am angry to read that some see this as a success. Wolves are constantly being killed, either by poachers, ranchers, fish & game, wildfires and now trophy thrill seeking monsters. How horrible. No matter how you try to excuse this massacre, it is a senseless abomination of nature. All of you partaking in this should be ashamed. Countless people across America are against what you call a sport. We call this, a bloody massacre.

dave johnson

I can sit on both sides of the fence for this one ........... Doing research, I found that more animals, bears, elk, bison, moose are killed annually by "Road Kill " than the wolf hunters. I obtained this info from the national park service website. Before anyone crucifies me, research this as it presents many aspects, pro and con since the movement to reintroduce the wolf population.

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Jay Westemeier

It's just another example of the detrimental products of the internet Mr. Guenter. You've been involved in these predator forum discussions enough to know how emotional they can get. Unfortunately, this is how our society interacts these days. Emotions boil and the rhetoric becomes more heated the longer everyone basically keeps repeating the same things over and over.

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Alexis Foxx

There might ultimately be more challenge in that. Oh wait, hunters don't like challenges. That's why there are things like tree stands and heated blinds, baits, and scents.

Alexis Foxx

I will definitely not be visiting or spending any $$$ in Wyoming, a state that panders to blood-thirsty native wildlife hunters and ranchers. That kind of brutal slaughter is unconscionable. Wolves are needed for a balanced ecosystem (and by the way, cattle are the antithesis of that), and killing them for sport not only doesn't do any good to cut down on calf depredation and the like, it does much harm and can actually exacerbate the problem. Shame on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for not only allowing but encouraging such irresponsible and wanton destruction and killing of wildlife.

William Huard

Wolves are complex social animals.
Killing wolves for sport where hatred masquerades as wildlife management shows our lack of values.
It is amazing to me how and why we would let the very bottom of the barrel in the hunting community to persecute these wolves.
Just amazing

David Smith

Hear, hear! Unfortunately, we have trigger happy cowards here who won't hesitate to go out and blast an innocent creature to death. Wolves and bears just want to be left alone, in THEIR own environment, without having to worry about some blood thirsty fool coming along and murdering them. These cowards that participate in this barbaric ritual would never engage in said conversation with someone like me on the streets, guaranteed....

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Jay Westemeier

Try not to feed the fire Mr. Gunter.

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Alexis Foxx

Not any sicker than your own.

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David Smith

You must be one of the bloodthirsty, tripper happy fools whom go out and needlessly kill wildlife. Must make folks such as yourself feel like real men.

steve campagnaro

Whoever said wolves don't mate for life is just plain wrong. I witnessed the Canyon Pack in Yellowstone with the same white Alpha female and Black Alpha Male for many years always together, sometimes side by side. A sight to behold.

steve campagnaro

There is no excuse or motive good enough for someone who slaughters 59 innocent people, no excuse or motive other than too much testosterone and an unbalanced psyche that would lead one to go out and kill wolves or bears, other than self defense. We live in a sick society. There is medical help available for people who just want to kill for the purpose of killing. Get help.

Chad guenter

Bears and wolves need to have their numbers controlled for the benefit of all. It isn't about killing, it is about managing a population of predators.

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Alexis Foxx

Bingo! Humans are the most destructive species on the planet and our numbers are growing exponentially. Not too many people want to address that, now do they? And that will eventually be our own undoing...

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Chad guenter

60 million human lives extinguished since 1973. Is that a "good start" for population control Mr. Schreiner?
The eco-lefty self loathing of all that is Human is on full display in the comments for this article. Why is it that Eco-Leftists hate human beings so much???

Alexis Foxx

They don't want help, unfortunately. They will use any justification they can, usually tired and irrational arguments they mindlessly repeat over and over. It's sickening.

Chad guenter

Great news! Congrats to those who filled their tag!

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Jay Westemeier

Good analogy Mr. Amerine. My guess is that B. Lemming is part of a group of misguided individuals who, for whatever reasons, have allowed their social and personal inadequacies to drive them to the internet and social media to spew divisive drivel. It's all this kind of people have left in their lives. For all of the useful benefits the internet and social media have, there are far more reasons that these tools have become so detrimental to our society. They and 24 hour news are the biggest reasons our country has become so divided. And nothing is being done to reign them in.

Connie Burris

Wyoming I understand why many are Boycotting your State I am letting you know I will Not be spending any more money in your State of HORRIBLE DEATH!!! You can be sure I will let the people I know how you treat your wildlife! Your State was Beautiful until you look at the sickening Bloodthirsty killers that torture and kill wildlife in inhumane ways because they love and enjoy killing for fun!!! Most have the mentality to eradicate wolves, wolves and other wildlife make your State and the business in your State money from the tourists who come to The Parks to see them specifically, people are tired of seeing the abuse of wildlife in your State!!!!
Wolves are needed in the echosystem to help keep biodiversity, the forest, the animals, the plants healthy, trophies do nothing! Wyoming stop allowing the abuse and torture of wolves and other wildlife, and we are watching this wolf hunt that is now taking place Wake up Wyoming and treat your wildlife with the respect they deserve!!!!!

Connie Burris

Wyoming I have been to your State to see the wolves and other wildlife many times I will no longer be spending any money in your State of DEATH! I am letting everyone I know also what is going on in your state with the wildlife, you used to have A beautiful state but it has become A state of BLOODTHIRSTY KILLING people that kill and torture wildlife for their own sick pleasures and you allow it!
Wildlife deserves better wolves deserve better why is there no buffer zone for Yellowstones Wolves, why No Respect for the wildlife that makes your state beautiful & money, because without it you have nothing people will want to see!!!!

Brice Hemming

Good you idiots tried that nonsense in Montana one year. You know what happen from your super tiny lunatic fringe not showing up? Tourism rate skyrocketed up 15%. You will not be missed one less worthless hippie in the state will make the state smell better.

Kylie Hull

I'm sorry, but that 15% you ignorantly speak of is not that of tourism- that is all hunters and poachers traveling to hunt and cruelly murder innocent defenseless 'fish in a barrel'. That is not 15% worth of people coming to travel and experience the beauty of nature and all its organisms.

Roger Larson

my parents first took me up to Jackson Hole in the mid 80's for the summer and it was amazing.. the trees, the wildlife, and the Tetons... all safe and protected... More recently, I took my then girlfriend now my wife up their to share the experience with her, staying in nearby Teton Village... now... it doesn't look like we'll be returning to Jackson Hole until the Wyoming gets their sanity back... My wife and I are both wolf lovers... not to mention... wolves are an important part of the natural balance of the ecosystem... a bunch of bloodthirsty thugs with high-powered rifles, however are not part of the natural balance... they are the problem in nature... wake up Wyoming!

Brice Hemming

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Wolves balance nothing they destroy the ecosystem but you gullible city twits want so bad to believe in this childish fairy tale that wolves are magical. It comical how absurd you people are.

Kylie Hull

HAHAHA Back at yourself for being so ignorant. Don't you remember the history of wolves? They were exterminated in the 1950's due to common belief that they were vermin- the same ignorant veiws you share- but little did they know, wolves balance out the population of elk, deer, moose, and bison- they kill the young, old, sick, and injured herbivores for food, they rarely ever hunt full-grown healthy herbavores.
But when wolves were exterminated, all other species suffered including our own. Elk populations became so vast that they were imposing on our own territory such as the large citys some live in and the rural and suburban areas that others live in such as myself. Same goes for all the other herbavores, they all got to cocky for their own good and began harming and killing our own peoples.
Then more carnivores came into play due to the fact that their prey was further into our territory's, thus meaning more people were put in danger from them.
However when wolves were reintroduced to the U.S, this problem stopped- elk populations went down to a more reasonable size, same as every other species. Our kind as well as every other kind of animal have to coexist or else things will be out of balance- allow nature to deal with things, but having humans reek havok amoung all animals will only bring the barren wasteland you speak so highly of.

Jennifer Hane

"Harvested" is a disgusting euphemism that indicates a pro-hunting bias, and a reporter with any decency should be ashamed of using it. Wolves are irreplaceable individuals, just like the dogs we share our homes with -- not stalks of wheat. Say "killed," because that's the truth.

Brice Hemming

Killed, shot dead too bad poison was legal for these worthless nonessential vermin pest. Nothing but big stinking rats. Newsflash wolves slaughter dogs for fun. Kill or shot dead everyone of these good for nothing vermin pest in the head.

Kylie Hull

First of all, please work on your vocabulary as well as your puncuations, these ignorant sentences make no sense-

Second of all, I think your referring to Coyotes, as they are vermins and they are the ones whom actively seek out small dogs and young children to consume. Wolves actually stay where they belong-in the forest- but when one mossies' along into the places we live, they immediately are either captured or shot in the head, even if they've done nothing wrong. That happens because if the fairy tales your kind reads and beilives, do you think the big bad wolf is going to blow down all of our house's with a huff' and a puff' and turn our world to a barren wasteland?

Pat Sides

WHERE do Coyotes "seek out small dogs and young children to consume"????DUH!

Becky Roach

It has been proven time and again that wolves keep our ecosystem running smoothly. If you obviously are not hunting for meat, don't kill the animal. And if you are a trophy hunter with lots of cash to spend, why don't you give money to worthy charities out there, instead of killing a beautiful animal that belongs there in the wild. It sickens my soul that these hunters think this is a cool pasttime...it doesn't make you a cool guy; it makes you a despicable human being. Wyoming will not ever get a penny of my money, as long as they keep killing wolves.

Brice Hemming

LMAO it's has not been proven. Science shows the wolves destroy the ecosystem. Perhaps you might want to read a book once in your life or a science report. Wolves cause catastrophic collapse of the ecosystem. Study after study shows POS vermin wolves kill more moose than car accidents, hunting, mt lions, bears, and poachers all combined. Yes if you hate wildlife and love barren wasteland POS wolves are awesome.

Pat Sides

"barren wasteland" is a result of cows NOT wildlife

Kevin Clark

"Technically, there is no statewide limit on the number of wolves that can be hunted in Wyoming. That’s because of an expansive area outside the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem where wolves are managed as a predator that can be killed by any means throughout the year. "

Yeah, a real UNsportsman-like activity. Can't eat the meat (PLEASE don't argue with that because most predators are NOT eaten). The only major tivation for killing wolves are trophy and an irrational hatred of predator species. Put up that buffer zone and you engage in FAIR chase: no doubt you'll go home without your "trophy". Pathetic.

Marion Dickinson

Don't blame the folks who hate losing pets and livestock to the wolves, blame the folks who planted them for us to feed instead of where you live and appreciate them.

Melony Dickey

It is really hard to comprehend any state that believes in the hunting of wolves for trophy. Wolves have a way of balancing themselves in nature.

Brice Hemming

Wolves never balance themselves. Oh you mean the POS vermin wolves destroy the ecosystem and than starve to death. Is that what you call balance. You must hate wolves and love to see them suffer for months on end slowly starving to death..

Carol Butler

YES WYOMING the world & this nation are watching you..the BOYCOTT of tourism has bee in effect for a while now..I would like to know how the small businesses are going to feel because of your TROPHY HUNTING is killing off the very creatures that come from far & wild to see these animals..are gone because of your barbaric lust to kill wolves..so when your economy takes a huge hit..because your state is being boycotted by TOURIST that spend alot of money in your state..you the TROPHY hunters can answer to them why!! And a buffer zone needs to be put around both parks!! To protect the predators that cross between these parks!! No HUNTING zone !! Have fun standing on that WELFARE line..if you aren't already on the dole..because of all the money you cost that state..with your blood thirst!!!

Marion Dickinson

Interestingly enough, the park is booked full, more folks than I have ever seen before this late, since most campgrounds are closed or full, all of those folks are paying close to $200/night for a room, and a lot much, much higher with bumper to bumper traffic. I have been going to Yellowstone now for over 75 years and every year come away in tears because there is less and less wildlife left. Eventually even the wolves and bears will have to leave to get food.
Those on the Madison hoping to see the 8-10 cows and 3 calves surviving out of the once stable 700-900 head of adults. They do not migrate, so unless more are planted to feed the wolves, that herd will be extinct.

Brice Hemming

Thank you Marion for telling the truth about the massive destruction wolves have cause. Yellowstone was the crown jewel of all our National Park teeming with wildlife was s sight to behold. Now it barren wasteland with little to no wildlife left.

Kylie Hull

Its only a barren wasteland because humans were allowed there with their ego's and narcissistic thoughts.

Jay Westemeier

Then, I suggest you move out of your barren wasteland B. Lemming.

richard amerine

Hey Wyoming, you do know the whole world and this country is watching this hunt closely don't you---a tourism boycott was started last June by yours truly after I got back from your beautiful state . We went to Yellowstone and spent some of our money in Silver Gate ---it sickened me to travel such a beautiful state that is so full of ignorant bloodthirsty people . Not realizing that if this boycott really takes hold your # 2 economy driver to your state ---tourism ---will be cut in half by just the first year---Trump is helping our boycott out without even realizing it, already compared to this time last year International Tourism to this country is down by over 50% . So , this information about how many wolves your state is eradicating will only help with the killing of your state's economy---is that what you want, because it is coming---by mid summer of next year your state officials will be scrambling along with local officials just how to fix the tourism problem you will be having. And if you start hunting Grizzlies , bending to the will of the hunting industry and ranchers nothing , and I mean nothing will fix your tourism problem that I know you will suffer until a buffer zone of NO HUNTING predators surround both of your beautiful parks. You better think hard about this because it is going to happen ---tourism will be a distant memory to your state. This is not a threat by any means --just stating a fact.

Kevin Clark

Why would they want to provide a buffer zone when they can shoot "fish in a barrel"?
Trophy killing is an egocentric past time.

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Kylie Hull

Say that to the 3 famous Yellowstone wooves that were illegally shot dead in Yellowstone national park, one of which was pregnant and had a family to raise and protect.

Yellowstone is not a buffer zone, it is only a means of a label so that people feel like they are protecting something that they are incapable of protecting. Yellowstone is just a place where animals are contained and illegally murdered for money and sport.

Brice Hemming

Yes we saw your little lunatic fringe boycott in Montana when they first open wolf hunting. That is when we learn your super tiny maybe a couple hundred people had no effect on Montana In fact their tourism rate skyrocket up 15% that year. So boycott all you want no one will miss the smelly hippies not coming to Wyoming either.

steve campagnaro

Don't forget in addition to all the animals killed by hunters, your USDA Wildlife Services kills approx. 7957 coyotes, 84 wolves, 2 mountain lions, and 354 Red Foxes every year or at least in 2016. That doesn't count all the ones killed by natural causes like the around 60 Grizzlies killed. Yeah we need more hunting of wolves and other creatures. NO wonder wildlife observers rarely see any of these.

Brice Hemming

hahahaha but did you cry? Too dad they didn't kill 840 worthless vermin wolves. That would have been great news. No hunting in Park so stop whining and go find the wildlife. Here's a hint you have to get off the pavement to see wildlife.

Jay Westemeier

I'll bet that anyone who spends as much time on a computer spewing insults like B. Lemming, has rarely been off the pavement to view any wildlife.

Deidre Adams

Thank you, Anne Vallery - that's one of my many questions as to WHY we humans as a species, feel we have the right to just hunt and kill another species based on their population......there's much talk about the wolves living on Yellowstone ground or the reservation - - tell me, how would the wolves know where their boundaries lie?? I guess you can tell I'm not a hunting advocate. Hunting, trapping - feeding, clothing your family, if that's your only resource. Not just to kill another species that's beautiful, intelligent, has one mate and raises their young together.......

Brice Hemming

The BS they mate for life has been debunk for years the POS Druid pack proved that was fairy tale for immature city people to believe in you know a fairy tale, a lie, a hoax, propaganda for gullible suckers. Wolves are worthless vermin pest just big rats.

Kylie Hull

Actually it was never said they have mates for life, it was said they have one mate until the other partner dies- then they find a different mate- or they die of depression like the Druid Pack's former alpha male did when his mate died.

Jay Westemeier

B. Lemming, the resident wolf expert claims that wolves kill for fun which classifies them as worthless vermin pests. Hmmm, that sounds a lot like the so-called trophy hunters.

Anne Vallery

I'm curious about what they do with a wolf once they've killed it - do they eat the meat? Use the fur for a coat? What is the point of killing one?

Jody Garland

Of course they don't eat it. Those who do it are using the act of killing to compensate for deficiencies in their character or other inadequacies.

Roger Larson

pretty much... adolescent boys with BB guns shooting squirrels are now adolescent boys with high-powered sniper rifles shooting at better warriors than themselves!

Brice Hemming

Jody you're compensate for deficiencies in their character or other inadequacies but joining the wolf worshipping lunatics. Read my reply above yours. That is why you kill POS vermin wolves.

Brice Hemming

You sell the fur or get it made into a rug. toss the rest out to feed the vultures. They need to eat too. You hunt wolves for several reasons. Protects dogs, protect livestock, protect wildlife, and of course human safety. You might want to read about retired Grandmother in Greece that was just slaughtered by a pack of bloodthirsty killer wolves.

Kylie Hull

Wonderful vindictiveness you spread, so we should encourage filthy disease-ridden birds to eat more and gain population, but we should murder species that don't do anything like that?

William Huard

Brice-
Your word salad post makes no sense.
The report from Greece shows that feral dogs killed this woman not wolves.
Nice try.
How's psychotherapy going?

Johanna Love Staff
Johanna Love

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