Illegal Baiting Suspected in Killing of Collared Yellowstone Wolf
Gardiner-area landowner Bill Hoppe shot collared Yellowstone wolf 831F of the Canyon Pack over the weekend after losing more than a dozen sheep to wolves in late April. Yellowstone Park wolf biologist Doug Smith said the tracks at the scene indicated that park wolves were not responsible for the sheep killed. Although this killing appears legal at first sight, Hoppe was issued two shoot-on-sight permits by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) after his sheep were killed, baiting a wolf is NOT legal. After Wildlife Services investigated the scene where the sheep were killed, Hoppe told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that “he would transplant the remaining sheep and leave the carcasses on a bone pile on his property.” Wolf 831F, a wolf that I was lucky enough to behold in October while attending National Wolfwatcher Coalition’s “Project Yellowstone” Conference, is guilty only of discovering what she thought was an easy meal.
Hoppe, a cattle rancher, hunting outfitter, and an outspoken opponent of wolf restoration, has a second shoot-on-sight permit he has yet to use.
If you live in Montana or know someone who does, please consider attending Thursday’s FWP commission meeting in Helena, where the commissioners will consider the 2013 wolf hunting season. Wolves need you voice. Thank you!