WY G&F proposes increase to 58 wolves in 2018 hunt

WYOMING – Wyoming Game and Fish Department is proposing an increase to the wolf mortality limit for the grey wolf 2018 hunting season. After a successful season last year where the 44-wolf quota was met, officials at WGFD would like to see the harvest targeted at 58 now, as they say the population is thriving and exceeding all criteria established to show that the species is recovered.

“The primary change for the 2018 wolf hunting season proposal is adjustment of the wolf mortality limit, which was increased to 58,” said Ken Mills, Game and Fish’s large carnivore biologist who focuses on wolves. “We calculate mortality limits annually based on the best available population and mortality data for wolves and packs present in the Wolf Trophy Game Management Area to be sure harvest levels are appropriate and ascribe to our commitment to manage for a recovered wolf population. This proposal is the result of a data-driven approach based on measured wolf population dynamics.”

The total minimum population of wolves in Wyoming living outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Reservation at the end of 2017 was 238, with 198 in the Wolf Trophy Game Management Area. The proposed mortality limit for 2018 is expected to result in an end of year population of around 160 wolves in the trophy game area, similar to the 2017 wolf hunting season.

The draft regulation for the 2018 wolf hunting regulation is now available for public comment.

It includes the allocation of higher hunt area quotas in those areas where wolf conflicts with livestock are high or in areas where wolves are impacting big game populations.

Public meetings on these regulation changes and others will occur at the following times and locations:

  • April 30, 6pm, Sheridan, Game and Fish Office
  • May 2, 6pm, Laramie, Game and Fish Office
  • May 8, 6pm, Cody, Park County Library
  • May 9, 6pm, Casper, Game and Fish Office
  • May 10, 6pm, Dubois, Headwaters Arts & Conference Center
  • May 16, 6pm, Pinedale, Game and Fish Office
  • May 17, 6pm, Jackson, Teton County Library Auditorium
  • May 22, 6pm, Evanston, BEAR Center Pavilion
  • May 23, 6pm, Kemmerer, South Lincoln Events Center
  • May 24, 6pm, Green River, Game and Fish Office

Written comments will be accepted through 5pm June 4 at public meetings, by mailing: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Regulations, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY  82604 or online at http://wgfd.wyo.gov. Copies of the proposed regulations are available on the Game and Fish website and at the address above.

Written comments will be presented to the Game and Fish Commission prior to the public hearing at its July 10-11 meeting in Laramie at the Game and Fish Office.

3 thoughts on “WY G&F proposes increase to 58 wolves in 2018 hunt

  1. Why raise the quota and amount of hunting tags to two per hunter if depredations are down? Because they can. And they have said that they want to hold the number to 100, regardless of whether it is genetically healthy for the population or not. We’ll see. They are careful with their wording – no more use of the word ‘vermin’ or keeping the number at 100.

    Speaking of the shoot on sight policy, this is from the previous article:

    “Mills said 32 wolves were also killed outside the trophy game area in what’s known as the predatory area where a license is not required to hunt and the animals can be killed year-round. But he said few wolves venture out of the national parks because of the human presence when they cross the border.

    “Even while wolves were listed under the Endangered Species List and had those protections, packs rarely persisted, let alone successfully reproduced and raised offspring so, very rarely if you look back through the record is there a breeding pair in the predatory animal area.””

    If this is so, then why the need for a year-round, shoot on sight for any reason policy? I’m a little dizzy from the circular logic.

    What about baiting them out of the Parks? Will they be increasing the quota at the Gallatin area in the North park?

    I hope that at the public meetings, there will be somebody who will question some of these discrepancies.

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