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.
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.