From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 6, Number 20 - August 10, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Wolves kill cattle

by Cat Urbigkit

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that Yellowstone wolf No. 253, the wolf that originated in Yellowstone National Park but migrated to Utah a few years ago, only to be crated up and shipped back to Yellowstone, may be inhabiting the Daniel area. Federal officials searched for the wolf’s radio-frequency in that area, but failed to detect the animal.

Last Thursday, Aug. 3, USDA Wildlife Services confirmed a second beef calf was killed by wolves west of Daniel in the Merna area. FWS said it will conduct an overflight to determine if any radio-collared wolves are in the immediate area. If there are no collared wolves, Wildlife Services will attempt to trap and collar the first wolf captured. FWS authorized Wildlife Services to lethally remove two wolves from the immediate area. Mike Jimenez said there appears to be three or four wolves involved.

Last Tuesday’s killing of an adult un-collared female wolf in the Upper Green was soon followed by the killing of a young-of-the-year, bringing the total removal of wolves in Sublette County to a grand total of 14 so far this year in response to livestock depredations. FWS reported that the adult female wolf was seen from an airplane as she was traveling amongst cattle and in the same area where previous depredations have occurred and lethal control was already authorized. After she was shot and killed, federal officials found the carcass of a fresh beef kill. The younger wolf was later caught in the open and killed by animal control specialists.

Control is still ongoing to remove additional depredating wolves from the drainage. Jimenez said Wildlife Service has been given the authority to remove the remaining wolves in the area, including at least two adults and several more young of the year, which weigh about 50 pounds at this time of year. Jimenez said that after the female was killed, three more calf carcasses were found, bringing the total number of confirmed beef cattle killed by wolves in the Upper Green to 12 so far this year. These last kills are what prompted FWS to authorize Wildlife Services “to take any and all wolves out of there,” Jimenez said.

On July 31, Wildlife Services confirmed that two calves had been killed by wolves in the Bighorn Mountains east of Ten Sleep. Lethal control is ongoing, FWS reported.

In contrast to the confirmed wolf kills, the last confirmed kill that could be attributed to a grizzly bear was on July 27, according to Wyoming Game and Fish Department bear management officer Zach Turnbull. That kill was in a new area, in the Fisherman Creek allotment north of Hoback Ranches. Most of the confirmed bear kills were older when discovered, so no control has been initiated, or in the case where a trap was attempted, the bear did not return to the carcass, Turnbull said.

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