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May 09, 2013 8:43 am

Wyoming Game and Fish wolf hunting proposal out

Written by Gib Mathers

A gray wolf is pictured in Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park on Sunday morning. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will meet May 23 in Cody to discuss proposed 2013 wolf hunting regulations. A gray wolf is pictured in Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park on Sunday morning. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will meet May 23 in Cody to discuss proposed 2013 wolf hunting regulations. Tribune photo by Kevin Kinzley

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will host public meetings this month to discuss proposed changes to wolf management and the 2013 wolf hunting season.

In Cody, the meeting takes place at 7 p.m. May 23 at the Holiday Inn.

As proposed, this year’s wolf quota in Wyoming’s trophy areas would be 26 rather than the 52 wolves it was last year.

Because the department reached its reduced population goal in 2012, population reductions efforts will be more conservative this year, said the Game and Fish.

In each of the 12 trophy game areas, including the seasonal trophy game zone, quota numbers are more or less half of what they were last year.

Forty-one wolves were killed in the trophy areas, and 25 wolves were harvested in the predator zone last last year.

“We expect to have another successful hunting season,” said Mark Bruscino, Game and Fish statewide supervisor of the large carnivore management section.

Once again, wolves can be hunted in the trophy game zones from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. The exception is area 12, the seasonal trophy game area south of Jackson, running Oct. 15 to Dec. 31. Wolves will be classified there as trophy game from Oct. 15 to the end of February of the next year. From March 1 to Oct. 14, wolves will be labeled predators in area 12.

As with black bears and mountain lions, it is the hunter’s responsibility to verify a hunt area’s quota has not been reached before hunting that area.

It is not illegal to take wolves with radio collars; some wolves with collars were shot last year. All the hunters who harvested collared wolves last year said they could not see those collars from a distance, Bruscino said.

If a hunter takes a wolf with a radio collar, in the predator or trophy zone, he or she is asked to return the collar to the Game and Fish Department.

For the last 50 years, department employees have been collaring wildlife, and they expect animals with collars to be killed by hunters, Bruscino said.

No trapping is allowed in the trophy zone.

“We’re not even considering trapping at this time,” Bruscino said.

The 2012 Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Distinct Population contained more than 1,674 wolves, with 321 packs containing 103 breeding pairs, according to information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is managing only about 10 percent of the northern Rocky Mountain population, Bruscino said.

Copies of the proposed wolf hunting regulation can be found at the department’s website at wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/HUNTING-1000179.aspx. The department must receive written comments on the proposed changes by 5 p.m. on June 12. The Game and Fish Commission hearing to take action on the regulations will be July 9-10 in Saratoga.

2 comments

  • Comment Link May 19, 2013 9:19 am posted by DONNA EHLERT

    sirs: it is good that u have lowered the amount of wolves being murdered to such a small(loosly used)number but it is still too high and ur seasons r way to long do u not realize that wolves r a necessary part of mother earth's eco-system, and that they have not gotten back to a substancially good number yet!! please stop hunting and murdering them they have families just as we do and they do not kill us and they take less livestock than the weather and sickness does they r not killers, you and the rest of the haters r! please stop they do not deserve to be slaughtered in any manner what so ever!!!! these majestic creatures r not trophys to be displayed they r wild animals to b left alone to live in peace as they leave us alone!

  • Comment Link May 19, 2013 2:26 pm posted by L. Wolfenmine

    Here we go with these Trophy Killing Parties again. The year hasn't passed and you're still trying to bring the wolf population to the brinks of extinction. Because of you we will have to visit wolves in the zoo or in sanctuaries in the near future. It is imperative that you realize that killing them is an enormous mistake which pretty much looks like spite work in it's realest form. Realize that these animals manage the ecosystem and because we as humans do not live in the wilderness we are not in touch with "real" wildlife management. Yes we can only study them and try figuring out their life events but we are not them. We are humans. These creatures are not overpopulating any region. They should be left in the lands where they originated from before people arrived. These hunts are legalized killings of wildlife. They aren't and will never be a Trophy anything. You let others shed the blood of innocents and that is the bottom line.

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