Collared Gray Wolf Killed Near Lovell
Written by Mac Watson on February 17, 2023
The first wolf killed by Wildlife Services in 20 years because of predation happened in Big Horn County so say federal officials. The gray wolf was collared and reported killed near Horseshoe Bend north of Lovell by a “government trapper” who works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, according to the Powell Tribune.
Their have been reports of wolves being in the Big Horn Basin, specifically in the Big Horn Range, for years, but the last wolf that was exterminated by Wildlife Services was in August 2003, according to Mike Burrell, acting state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services.
Wildlife Services is an agency that is legally allowed to kill wolves that are found to be depredating or killing livestock in their habitat, but it is also legal for landowners as well as hunters to shoot wolves as long as the person is in the “predator zone” in the State of Wyoming. According to Wyoming regulations, outside of the “trophy zone,” it is legal to kill wolves with few regulations. The “trophy zone” encompasses the area outside of Yellowstone National Park, east to Cody, south to Pinedale, and on the western boundary of the Wind River Reservation.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department rules and regulations say that those who are culling wolves in the “predator zone” are required to report their killing of a wolf to a district game warden, district wildlife biologist or department personnel within 10 days after the date the gray wolf was killed. Also, the department says it may require a DNA sample from the killed wolf for testing so Game and Fish can test to determine what offspring they may have been related to. The person is also required to give the department the wolf’s GPS collar and any other tracking devices.
As far as our neck of the woods, wolves do populate this area, generally west of Cody and Powell. “We have producers that experience conflict with issues with wolves primarily in the form of livestock depredation but we have a very active conflict management program to work with producers to resolves issues with multiple type of mitigation techniques,” according to Dan Thompson, director of the Large Carnivore Section of Wyoming Game and Fish. If someone has wolves frequent their property and have livestock, they should reach out to Game and Fish personnel for assistance. Game and Fish say they are, “always happy to answer questions that the public may have in regards to wolves and their management.”