Activist Teams Enter Yellowstone Backcountry to Document and Protest Extralegal Wolf Hunt

Activist Teams Enter Yellowstone Backcountry to Document and Protest Extralegal Wolf Hunt

BILLINGS, MT —  Americans outraged with the killing of wolves from Yellowstone National Park (YNP) have organized the Yellowstone Wolf Patrol, whose members have entered the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness to monitor and document Montana’s wolf hunt, which began on September 15th.

Nine members of the Wolf Patrol are currently trailing hunters, who in the last two years, have killed wolves belonging to packs originating from YNP where hunting is prohibited. Wolf Patrol members are opposed to the sport hunting of wolves in Wolf Management Units (WMU) 313 & 316, and are asking Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) to immediately stop the hunt before more wolves are killed.

Yellowstone wolves cross over from the park into WMU 313/316 where since 2012, twelve have been killed by hunters. At least three of the wolves shot in the 2012/2013 season were of high social rank (alpha female or beta male), thus negatively affecting reproduction, hunting behavior, and territorial defense of these unique packs. 7 of 10 (70%) packs living primarily in YNP had at least one wolf killed by hunters.

Wolf hunting in WMU’s 313 & 316, negatively impacts the local economy, including wildlife guide companies, hotels, restaurants, park tourism, and other wildlife-observation-based industries. Yellowstone National Park is one of the few places left in the world where wolves can not only be studied, but also provide tourists from all over the world an opportunity to see a wild wolf.

The recreational killing of apex predators is negatively impacting important predator research while also robbing wildlife watchers of a once in a lifetime opportunity. Yellowstone Wolf Patrol supports the growing economy in wolf tourism, and believes that MFWP is catering to a few special sport hunting interests, all at the expense of one of our nation’s most pristine ecosystems.

“In allowing the killing of Yellowstone wolves, MFWP is not just shooting wolves, but also itself in the foot, because this hunt is giving the entire tourism industry a black eye.” says Patrol member, Julie Henry, “We are not opposed to Montana residents filling their freezers with elk, but the wolves were here first, and deserve protection from recreational killing.”

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  1. Do the right thing. “In allowing the killing of Yellowstone wolves, MFWP is not just shooting wolves, but also itself in the foot, because this hunt is giving the entire tourism industry a black eye.” says Patrol member, Julie Henry, “We are not opposed to Montana residents filling their freezers with elk, but the wolves were here first, and deserve protection from recreational killing.”

    • Recreational killing, really? You obviously have mixed a few half truths into your understanding of the issue. Are you from the area? Have you been in the backcountry? I work with many of the professionals in this area as well as spending my entire life in these parts studying these animals. Activists like Julie Henry and Rob Coronado should readdress their information and understanding of the situation. Their ideals get in the way of real solutions.

  2. First of all these “Yellowstone” wolves are not the indigenous wolves. The wolves that were previously indigenous to Yellowstone were much smaller, likewise, they did not reproduce as fast or kill as much as those there today. I can agree that the effects within the Yellowstone ecosystem have been beneficial to the park as there is no hunting of other wild game (elk,deer etc). Outside of the park it’s a different story. A pack of wolves will kill upwards of 600 elk per pack, per season. I’ve lived in this area my entire life and we have seen the effects via massive reduction in elk populations as well as cattle and other byproducts of this particular breed. If there were no hunting of big game (elk) I wouldn’t have a problem, but when the human element exists in this regard there should and must be regulation to control population. If you like the wolves so much we will transplant some to Central Park.

  3. The really strikes a cord with me! Leave the wolves alone!

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