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January 03, 2014 8:31 am

Wolf hunt ends with 24 taken

Written by Gib Mathers

State had allocated 26 could be harvested in designated areas

The quota of wolves that could be killed in Wyoming’s wolf trophy areas was almost reached in 2013.

As of Dec. 31, 24 wolves were harvested. The state had allocated 26 in the wolf trophy area. The season ended at the conclusion of the year.

In 2012, the quota was 52, with 43 taken in the trophy area.

The quota was reduced by 50 percent in 2013 for a simple reason, according to Alan Dubberley, Wyoming Game & Fish Department spokesman in Cheyenne.

“We weren’t looking to reduce the population like last year,” Dubberley said on Dec. 19.

The quota will change from year to year, he said.

According to an arrangement reached with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service when Wyoming took over wolf management in 2012, the state must manage for 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation. Game & Fish is managing for more wolves than required by the federal government.

“The population is doing very well,” Dubberley said.

“I would definitely say the population is healthy in the trophy game management area,” said Dan Thompson in a Dec. 31 email. “We saw increased pup production in some areas and will know better what kind of recruitment we had overall with our end-of-the-year monitoring.”

Thompson is the Game & Fish statewide supervisor of the large carnivore management section in Lander.

The department will decide what the 2014 quota is this spring. “We don’t know right now,” Dubberley said.

“We will not have an idea of what our quotas will be for 2014 until we have our end-of-the-year estimates for total wolves and total number of breeding pairs,” Thompson said. “I won’t speculate on that number until we have the data in hand. Once our annual report is done, we will go through the standard season-setting process and quota development throughout the trophy game management area as we have in the past two years.

“I would add that hunters and people living and recreating in areas that wolves inhabit have been very cooperative and supportive of wolf management,” he said. “Obviously views differ greatly on wolves, but one thing is sure: Everyone has an opinion on the matter. This is an ever-evolving process of management and the definition of the adaptive management process.”

Thompson said Game & Fish wants to include all voices in the decision-making process.

“We will use all the information we have available to develop our harvest quotas for next year, taking into account the multiple factors associated with all forms of wildlife management, very well aware of the microscopic view many stakeholders have on wolves in Wyoming,” he said.

In the predator zone, comprising at least 80 percent of the state, 37 wolves had been killed in 2013 as of Dec. 31. Wolves can be shot on sight in the predator zone.

6 comments

  • Comment Link January 03, 2014 4:53 pm posted by reality22

    Wyoming has it right when it comes to wolves. The Federal Government has no constitutional right to tell states what to do when it comes to wildlife.

  • Comment Link January 04, 2014 8:24 am posted by Lisa Robertson

    With 37 wolves in addition to over 22 wolves "controlled" in the state by Wildlife Services in 2013 plus more that we don't know about, the trophy hunt was not necessary. Wolves will continue to be killed in our state every single day of the year! The trophy hunt quota was purely for sport "fun" hunting. If wildlife management is serious about listening to all voices, including those who want to enjoy wolves alive, then major changes will need to be made to show a serious conversation. I, personally, have made several reasonable non-consumptive requests over the last two years, but have seen zero progress. Actions speak louder than words! And this is more true than ever before. Wildlife is for all of us to enjoy, and to share equally.

  • Comment Link January 04, 2014 9:03 am posted by Julia Kirby

    There are a half million humans in Wyoming and what's the count of native wildlife is allowed to live? Millions of tourists come visit and stay in Wyoming & those visitors come to see our wildlife. See our wildlife alive. There's something very wrong emotionally and in people's hearts who find enjoyment in trophy hunting, not hunting for food. I understand Game & Fish killing or moving specific predators that are killing livestock, but not killing innocent creatures. We humans try to not send the wrong predator murderer human to death in their home. Until humans and wildlife and all living things can be treated and respected equally this senseless wolf hunt will not cease.
    Solution for funds gained by tags? Why not fine wrongful hunters more or have ranchers pay Game & Fish to have them "control" "harvest" kill the specific predator..

  • Comment Link January 04, 2014 12:05 pm posted by Laura

    With designated trophy and predator control zones fulfilling WY residents' and tourists' desire to kill wolves, I urge greater consideration for a buffer zone to protect those wolves residing in YNP. These wolves, many of whom never leave Park boundaries unless lured or called in hunting activity, contribute to our understanding of wolf ecology and bring money to local economies. On the rare occasion a park wolf is proven to be involved in depredation activity, landowner permits allow these isolated incidents to be dealt with immediately. Please do not encourage the preception of YNP, especially collared, wolves to be regarded as "trophies" for hunters.

  • Comment Link January 04, 2014 12:33 pm posted by Judy Jarrett

    My " microscopic view" is based on reading Gordon Haber's book, books and articles by the researchers at the Yellowstone Wolf project. Aldo Leopold and the Dutchers' "Living with Wolves", by Bob Ripple at the University of Oregon. Haber studied wolves 42 years and the YWP has researched them from the 1995 reintroduction. I resent being labeled just because my view may be different from some in Wyoming! I don't reside there but some of my Federal Tax dollars go to support the welfare ranchers of Wyoming.

  • Comment Link January 04, 2014 3:22 pm posted by Dewey

    (quote) "This is an ever-evolving process of [wolf ] management and the definition of the adaptive management process.”

    Thompson said Game & Fish wants to include all voices in the decision-making process. " (endquote )

    Yeah , right... if you say so... except it's not true at all.

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