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The War on the American Wolf in Yellowstone, Wyoming and Washington

You may not know this, but I don’t find much wrong with hunting. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for the majority of my life and have numerous friends and family that are avid hunters. I believe in the 2nd Amendment, and thoroughly enjoy the taste of wild game. I believe the animal shot should still be respected, and every attempt should be made to consume the animal. I also believe that animals that are predators should only be hunter if they are proven to be a legitimate threat.


All that being aside, I am against the hunting of Wolves. Living near Wolf Haven, and having friends who are biologists has given me the chance to become educated on the reintroduction of wolves. Reintroducing wolves has been filled with controversy, but returning a near extinct animal to its natural habitat is the very least we can do. Wolves are great hunters and help control populations of other animals, making elk, deer and bison that much healthier in the long run.


Sure, a wolf may occasionally kill a calf or a cow, maybe even a goat or sheep. I get that. I also understand that ranchers and farmers aren’t making a lot of money and losing livestock makes life harder for them. This killing of livestock has put the US Fish and Game against the wolves and on the side of ranchers. While understandable, the actions of both the ranchers and the US Fish and Game are horrid, ugly and inexcusable.


A wolf, now dead, crossing a stream In Yellowstone National Park

A wolf, now being hunted for just being a wolf, crossing a stream In Yellowstone National Park


In September of 2012, one man in Eastern Washington complained of a few calves being killed by wolves. He threaten to kill the wolves unless the Government did something about it. (Ironically, this man also believes in small government)  He gathered his rancher friends from around the state to get in touch with their congress people and demand action. Because of this one man, an entire wolf pack was murdered, killed from a helicopter by so called sharp shooters. The Wedge Pack near Spokane was easily found, thanks to a GPS collar on the Alpha male and shot from the air for killing a few cows.


(A few Cattle for a pack of Wolves? Sounds Fair…. Long live the Wedge Pack http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/28/14139127-wolf-pack-that-killed-cattle-taken-out-by-sharpshooters?lite)


You may think this is well deserved. You may agree with the hunting and killing of all wolves, but I personally do not agree with this. I do not say that wolves should not be hunted and controlled in numbers. Obviously, if there are too many wolves and they grow away from their food source, they will start killing livestock. I strongly believe in game management. However, I do not believe that wild animals are ever going to be able to live next to humans without a few instances of death to live stock. I have heard of Bull Elk killing dogs, bears entering chicken coops and even raccoons chasing and attacking runners in parks (http://www.king5.com/news/local/Seattle-woman-spends-four-days-in-hospital-after-raccoon-attack-69574342.html). Wild animals are wild, but typically stick to themselves.


Killer Raccoons

Killer Raccoons


However, some people have taken this a step further. They believe wolves should be killed so humans can be safe.  Movies have been mad about this, stories have been written and fear has been spread. Wolves have been targeted as evil for thousands of years as a threat to our safety. Not just animal safety, but our own. In the entire history of settlement of North America there have been 68 documented cases of wolf attacks on people. 68 total real cases and that is according to Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_humans)  This is laughable for one reason alone. Just search Google for “Elk attacks on Humans”  and tell me what you find. Elk attack more people per year than wolves have in the last 300 years in America. Why are we not killing all elk and writing stories about their devious deeds?


Don't Tempt the Elk, they are the true killers

Don’t Tempt the Elk, they are the true killers


I guess I have reached the point of snapping as of late because of the news from outside of Yellowstone National Park. Hunting wolves has been made legal, and while I have stated I agree with hunting, I disagree with the hunters in this instance. Instead of taking any wolf, they are passing up shots of wolves whose pelts could net them almost $2000 and aiming for the ones who have GPS radio trackers on them. These collars actually destroy the pelt; making is useless for selling or stuffing the wolf. This isn’t a hunt. This is a war on wolves from uneducated rednecks who don’t understand nature. My friends who hunt disagree with this, as I hope you do as well. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/science/earth/famous-wolf-is-killed-outside-yellowstone.html)


Because of the most recent hunt in Washington and Wyoming, wolves that have become world famous have now been brutally shot by fear mongers hillbillies. I know my words are rough, but having seen these beautiful creatures just one month before their death, I feel connected to them, as I feel connected to nature everywhere.


A Wolf Eating and Elk in Yellowstone National Park

A Wolf Eating an Elk in Yellowstone National Park


Please comment and tell me why you agree with me or hate me. Also, no matter what you believe, contact your Congressman, both federally and locally. DO IT! (http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml)


Douglas Scott

Exotic Hikes


18 Responses so far.

  1. Ceemarie says:

    Well written blog. I support your thoughts and hope that one day people realize that you can managment wildlife, only mother nature has that ability. Let the natural flow of nature take its course, these hunts only serve to provide yet another unbalance to reintroducing animals that were once extinct. The farmers need to realize that losing some of the stock is part of business and the government dose not owe them for this.

  2. Rich Berger says:

    I agree with you 100%. What is killed should have to be eaten,and they would not be hunting Wolves I have talked to men out west every year that hate the idea that Wolves were { shoved down their throats in 1995} and they pratice the 3 [s] Shoot, shovel and shut up about it. I have not read lately but was not Defender’s of Wildlife paying for the animals if it was proven a wolf killed it. Back in the late 90’s talked to a rancher and she said her and her husband lost more Calves to Coyotes than Wolves,even signed the petition to keep the Wolves in Yellowstone. I say if they are going to have a hunting season on Wolves ,it should be only for uncollared Wolve’s period.

  3. Eva says:

    While I agree with over 90% of your comments I strongly disagree with the name calling. You appear very well educated yet when you resort to name calling it lowers your standing.

    It may still be socially acceptable to refer to folks as “rednecks” and “hillbillies” but it will alienate people from your cause. Most folks would refer to me as being both a redneck and a hillbilly, mainly due to the region of the country from which I hail. Yet I strongly back your cause and advocate for all wildlife but most especially the bear and the wolf.

    Please take that into consideration in the future. We don’t need to push people from our cause, we need to encourage all to take up the banner.

    • ExoticHikes says:

      I purposely use the terms for inflammatory processes. I am aware they are divisive, but the large majority of people who support this kind of hunting are never going to cave in. No matter what manners are used, words are omitted, the people who are targeting the collared wolves no longer garner respect, in my opinion, for their actions. I only use that term for the ones who are maliciously hunting the animals, not for ranchers in general. Ranchers are, and always will be respected in my eyes and I would never insult the good, hardworking people who respect all lands and wildlife. I only insult the ones who are guilty of fear mongering and brutal killing.

      Thank you for your concern and I truly appreciate your comments. You are right in the needing of everyone to come together. Hopefully this issue can be resolved in the near future and I can then apologize for my heated comments.

      • william huard says:

        I can tell you a few things. A few of us have emails from the outfitters that are targeting these Yellowstone Wolves…..They are your garden variety predator haters who feel that only hunters are entitled to eat elk and other wild game. These hunters are illiterate- one of them referred to the wolf that he killed as the “alfa” wolf……..The hysteria over wolves in the NRM is something like I have never seen before……The misinformation is shocking about predators. I can tell you that these hunters are indeed targeting these collared wolves from Yellowstone. The famous wolf 06 from the Lamar Canyon Pack was lured out of Yellowstone with electronic pup in distress call signals. Collar signals reveal that the Lamar Canyon pack rarely leaves the confines of Yellowstone Park. The Alpha wolf would have been the wolf to investigate these distress signals….
        I’ve spent time in the wild studying wolves on several occasions, once with my best friend who studied the Alexander Archipelago Timber Wolf in tongass national Forest for over a year……Wolves eventually reach their biological carrying capacity which is determined by pack density, prey availability, and available habitat. Wolves have co existed with other animals for hundreds of years- the notion that they somehow decimate their prey base in pure nonsense.
        These SLOB hunters have crossed the line- and it is not right for hunters to kill wolves to get back at people that try to protect them- which is exactly what is happening here. What a tragedy.

      • william huard says:

        We also know that these extreme outfitters feel that wolves should not eat “their” elk. studies in yellowstone and the bitterroot over the last decade show clearly that wolves take far less elk than grizzlies, black bears and mountain lions….where’s the hysteria over that? This is wolf bashing plain and simple- an attack on “biodoversity itself”
        Where are the real sportsmen on this issue?????
        Do hunters really think this will help to garner support for the future of hunting? These wolve are being killed for an 18.00 hunting tag……

  4. Paula DeMerchant says:

    Thank you for writing this. I live in New Brunswick, Canada where wolves have not been seen seen since the late 19th century. And with sadness, the first wolf to be found was shot by a hunter this past spring. He shot at what he thought was a coyote but after subsequent DNA testing turned out to be a wolf. For folks reading this post, coyotes found in the Maritimes are can be much larger in size than their close relatives that I saw in Yellowstone this past September so I could see this hunter making a mistake. Coyotes are the species being targetted in this area and the media hype is their worst enemy. Two years ago a woman was attacked and killed by coyotes in a National Park in Nova Scotia so now anytime a coyote is spotted in a rural area the call to arms is raised.

    This is very sad…more and more we are encroaching on their habitat…whether it is coyote, fox, raccoon, bear, wolves, deer, elk…even squirrels. Ŧhe more land we clear to make way for the conveniences in our lives the more we come into conflict in their world.

    The other part of this, as stated in the article above, the wolves help to maintain a healthy population among the other species. Remove one piece of the equation and problems could occur for the other species in the food chain…this can then carry over to domestic animals. The wolves are important to maintaining this balance.


  5. Charles Milliman says:

    I agree with you.
    They are such a mysterious animal and so beautiful.
    keep up the good work. Let them have their life again.

  6. Samantha Hicks says:

    I concur 100% with your arguments. My take on it is that man won’t be happy until they destroy everything in their path. If parks are meant to “preserve” wildlife than why are hunters allowed to hunt wolves in them? Wisconsin approved the hunting of wolves this last year and there was quite an uproar. Sadly, the hunters won. They also wanted to hunt and kill mourning doves – that’s about as retarded as it sounds. Obviously not for food. Sounds more like target practice to me. They also wanted to hunt sand cranes but felt too many people didn’t know the difference between the sand or whooping cranes, which are a protected species. So when do we draw the line with the wolves? I say leave them alone and let wolves do what they do. If it becomes a problem with the killing of farm animals, possibly the rancher could be reimbursed by the government on proof of loss. There must be a happy medium to this. I also believe in just leaving Mother Nature to hell alone – I think humans are creating the problem, not the wolves. As mentioned previously, we keep encroaching on every species. Look at the ever-increasing danger to our oceans. It just never stops.

  7. Ann says:

    So well written. Americans like these people are an embarrassment.

    I do believe DOW reimburses ranchers for livestock loss from wolves.

    I am mourning for 06, 754, and the other dead wolves. Why aren’t the politicians from WY and MT listening to us???

  8. Leslie Wolff says:

    Heartbreaking. Today, when I read about 832 F being killed after she left YStone it literally made me feel sick. It makes me wonder if there are people waiting just outside the park for a chance to off these “famous” park wolves.
    Nice blog. Thanks especially for highlighting the dangers of Elk and other non-predators.

  9. WolfKitann says:

    I agree with your wrote article.. By the way I don’t hate you because you are against wolf hunting. Appreciates for honestly.

  10. Jana Wiley says:

    These are very sad times. There is a huge chasm between the angry ranchers and wolf hunters, and those who support wildlife diversity. On other comment pages I have gleaned that ranchers are upset at the USFW for not getting reimbursed after loss of their cattle. I do not know if this is correct, but would love to see clarification on this by USFW. If it is true, then perhaps this is part of the problem. I believe that one writer is correct in saying that trying to understand both sides of this issue is the best way to create the peace that will allow wolves to coexist.

  11. Common Sense says:

    Where to begin on this childish article is hard to say. Having just read the actual scientist testimony during the Wyoming delisting process I have to wonder if the person writing this article has bothered to read one science report on wolves any time in her life.

    Let’s stick with the facts shall we. When it comes to Wolves emotional outburst seemed to cloud over actual science and facts.

    Dr. L David Mech had this to say about the delisting. He is considered one of the top Wolf biologist in America.
    In any case, the number of wolves projected to be killed under state management should not jeopardize the viability of the NRM wolf population. Every year, most wolf populations almost double in the spring through the birth of pups (average = 6/litter [Mech 1970]; most packs produce a single litter, but several YNP packs produce 2 or 3 litters per pack).
    Wolf population estimates are usually made in winter when the population is at the annual nadir. This approach serves to provide conservative estimates and further ensure that management remains conservative. As indicated above, 28-50% of a wolf population must be killed by humans per year.

    Why would the top wolf expert in America use the words MUST BE KILLED BY HUMANS PER YEAR?
    I think it’s high time we allow the experts scientist to allow proper Wolf management. We’ve been hearing from the crybaby paranoid tinfoil hat wearing lunatics long enough. It’s time to put the emotional outburst aside and deal with reality. This lady has no rational science reality or facts. Just a high strung woman crying about wolves.

    If the lead biologist for wolves in the United States says we can take out 50% of a given population each and every single year it’s high time we listen to the experts. Time to stop allowing emotional intoxicated urbanites to set wildlife policy.

    • ExoticHikes says:

      First of all, I am a man. Not all people who care about animals have ovaries, contrary to your “childish” action of calling me “her”

      Secondly, I believe, had you actually bothered to read my entire article, that I support hunting based on facts and population control. In fact, healthy populations of all species should be regulated, to make sure we have a balance of nature. However, what I am against is the targeting radio collared wolves to prove a point. I am also against, as I stated in the article you failed to comprehend because you had an emotional reaction to, the elimination of an entire pack, as what happened in my State of Washington.

      There is a huge difference between hunting for population control and hunting for the purpose of wiping out an entire animal. Yes, wolf numbers need to be controlled, however, these hunting laws are largely based on a few ranchers becoming upset over the loss of livestock. If wolves became a true problem, by significantly reducing prey numbers or by posing as a serious threat to ranchers, then hunting should be welcome.

      We obviously have a much different view of nature. I am pleased you do research, but picking and choosing how to interpret that research is a dangerous game. While you, from what I can interpret, are against a larger area of land being wolf friendly, I am for wolves returning into the overall ecosystem and not in a few locations near protected lands.

      Thank you for bringing some facts to my, and my readers attention.

    • TKA says:

      Your quote is taken completely out of context, was not made any time in the years when we have more data on wolf behavior, your so called facts are outrageously wrong. The wolves on Yellowstone have been declining in numbers for several years. I have read the government reports that have actual data in them and have seen nothing about packs having more than one litter any time in the recent past. If you knew anything about wolf behavior , you would know it is not usual for there to be more than one set of pups. There is no need to control wolves unless there is a real livestock management problem (which there is not – peer-reviewed studies show disease and weather cause more deaths than wolves). Wolves regulate their numbers naturally, as witnessed by actual data in Yellowstone. When people pay attention to real facts, with recent data, the truth is very clear. Stop the fear mongering and quote manipulation and let’s focus on what is really going on – our wildlife protection system has been hijacked by people who push an agenda based on hate and misinformation, and their own financial considerations, and it is time to take back the process.

    • william huard says:

      Common Sense-

      Science? You mean the “science” that the USFWS used when they made the deal with Rancher Governor matt mead in Wyoming to take the hold off Dan Ashe’s appointment as Deputy dir of the USWS in exchange for appproval of the disastrous Wyoming Wolf management plan which alllows a state to treat wolves like vermin in over 80 of the state and whose plan bottlenecks wolves to one small corner of the State. Science? Give me a break…..Was that Science when the scientific panel that suggested 3 separate and distinct populations of wolves into Utah and Colorado (col has the largest free roaming pop of elk in the world) and whose data was squashed when the recommendations were leaked by a “sportsmen (all laugh here) for “some” fish and wildlife(mule deer and elk)? Science? You don’t kno what you are talking about……
      As far as Mech goes- he is a trapper who traps hundreds of mink on his trapline very year…….He has no credibility- he is a money grubber…..
      There is nothing rational or scientific about wolf management….

  12. Terra says:

    Thank you for your excellent article on the war on wolves. I am dismayed by the fact that to date over 630 wolves have been killed so far this season. I suggest you send this article to our Senators Murray and Cantwell, Phil Anderson at WDFW,Ken Salazar and President Obama. These politicians need to hear from intelligent and informed persons such as you. By the way, did you know that our state spent $76,000 to kill the Wedge Pack? What a waste of taxpayers’ money!

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