Wolf Hunt in the Rockies Can Continue, Judge Rules

By Eliza Strickland | September 10, 2009 5:42 pm

wolf 3At the beginning of September in Idaho the first federally sanctioned wolf hunt in 36 years got underway, and since then hunters have reported killing four wolves. Conservationists had been holding out hope that a judge would issue an injunction to halt the hunt on the grounds that the Rocky Mountain wolf population hasn’t recovered enough to survive the hunts, but the judge has now ruled that the Idaho hunt can continue. A second wolf season will open in Montana in just a few days.

However, Judge Donald Molloy also wrote that the Fish and Wildlife Service, in continuing to list Wyoming wolves under the Endangered Species Act while delisting them in the two neighboring states, “has distinguished a natural population of wolves based on a political line, not the best available science.” That finding suggested that a coalition of conservation groups would have a good chance of prevailing when its argument for restoring the wolves’ endangered status gets a full hearing [Los Angeles Times].

Related Content:
80beats: For the First Time in 36 Years, Rocky Mountain Wolves Are in the Crosshairs Again
80beats: Are Wolves Interbreeding Themselves to Extinction?

Image: flickr / Fremlin

  • bigjohn756

    Are wolves good to eat?

    Or, maybe, it makes weak men feel strong to shoot a wolf from a distance with a high powered rifle.

    Or, maybe, 1,700 is just too damn many wolves for this world.

  • vanderleun

    For that part of the range pretty clearly.

  • Christina Viering

    I heard they taste like chicken.

  • Lupo

    I live just outside of Chicago, Wolves have been spotted along the Desplaines river(across from Ohare airport!) Mule Deer have somehow managed to find their way down from northern states and Wolves came along following the same wooded strips that hedge rivers here.

    Wolves were to be reintroduced to a federal park being built at a superfund cleanup site in the Joliet area along I55. There’s talk of Buffalo, Antelope, and other native plant and animal species being part of the biggest wild life initiative in our state since Lincoln. Squeamish locals are trying to block the Wolves from coming, but hopefully the wild ones can find their own way. Maybe it’s Karma if the Wolves pick off a couple of the losers Dogs on their way.

  • Tom

    This is disgusting. They gave out 10,000 licenses to hunt the grey wolf in Montana and Idaho. There are barely 2000 wolves in those two states combined. What is wrong with those numbers?

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/ Eliza Strickland

    @ Tom – I know the numbers seem off, but both states do have strict regulations regarding the wolf hunts. The Idaho Fish & Game dept, for example, mandates that hunters must report killing a wolf within 24 hours. When the limit has been met, the hunting season will be over.

  • Randi Burton

    Why don’t people realize that we are killing our own planet by killing different species of life. We are also teaching our children that it is ok to kill for recreation. Protect the wolves legislators, they are beautiful intelligent creatures that deserve to be alive. They are not hurting us; maybe they are a nuisance to some farmers. They deserve to be protected and not hunted.

  • Lupo

    We have already screwed up the natural balance in our wild spaces. if we don’t maintain some species numbers, while encouraging others, certain animals will overpopulate.

    Coyotes in Illinois have wiped out Wild Turkeys in some places because there is nothing to stop them. Unless you can train them as seeing eye coyotes, you have to kill some.

  • Heath

    Where can I get a license to snipe…err, “hunt” people hiding in deer stands and helicopters with their rifles and scopes and hundreds of dollars worth of equipment?

  • bongwater

    Heath, sounds like enlistment could be for you. I never understood the term “friendly fire”. It seems the least friendly thing a person can do.

  • johnb

    The wolves never should have been reintroduced to the lower 48 states, their was no need and they are causing rural ranchers huge losses in livestock. It is not jus the cattle they kuill it is the meat they run off the herd doing so. These predators are not needed to help the ecosystem, nor do they contribute to the health and diversity of the canadian -alaska wolf genome from whence they came. They just help greenie primitivist with their wet dreams of society reverting to the Hunter gatherer stage, which they view as the state of nirvana where they want to live. Time to stop smoking the rope children and grow the F*&* up!!

  • Vic

    10,000 Permits means nothing.. You are required to report a successful hunt. When the number of successful hunts meet the goal.. The hunt ends..

    Same for deer, elk and all the rest of the Game Species.. Game and Fish know how many people are successful vs how many permits they issue from previous years data..

    If we had adults in charge we would continue to eliminating as many Predators as we could to increase the numbers of wild edible game and use the nearly free natural resource to help feed the poor as well as improve the diet and reduce costs for everyone. (Game meat is quite lean and healthy). Things those evil hunters have known about and been doing all along..


  • Ria

    We have over 4000 gray wolves in areas of the western Great Lakes in Michigan. Livestock losses to wolves are rare, less than 1 percent are caused by wolves. So who’s lying? The wolves are being slaughtered as a result of the a huge hunting lobby in the U.S. that goes hand in hand with the NRA. It’s political. When wolves threaten deer and elk populations then the wolf population will ultimately decline also. 4,000 wolves and we’re loaded with deer here. Michigan also has the longest ongoing predator/prey study relative to the gray wolf–51 years. The travesty of these hunts will show up later. Disjointed wolf packs don’t survive well and it promotes interbreeding, and malformations. No one is talking about disease either like the 27% of wolf pups that succumbed to parvo a few years back. Wolf hunts shouldn’t be happening.

  • al.

    The whole thing is utterly stupid. The one thing that bothers me most is when they condone the killing of these animals due to loss of farm stock. When you push a wolfs territory futher and futher back so you can farm there or what have you, they still need to eat. You can’t look them in the eye and say “no, bad wolf you cannot eat that cattle beast” since when did they understand the difference?
    In another light other than keeping numbers down (which are already dangerously low) theres no point to wolf hunting, we dont eat them, you don’t often see people waltzing around in a wolf fur getup and they seldom attack or kill humans. Hunt them so certain men can feel macho, well guess what lads? you’re not.


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