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Wyoming Hunter Fined after Chasing Wolf on Snowmobile, Taking to Local Bar, and Shooting the Wolf 

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$250 fine reflects anti-wolf sentiment in state wildlife policies and highlights need for reform 

A Wyoming hunter was cited after chasing down a wolf on his snowmobile, injuring the wolf, taping the wolf’s mouth shut, bringing the wolf to his private residence and then a local bar, before shooting the wolf. Under Wyoming wildlife regulations, only one phrase of that sentence is illegal – possessing a live wolf. The man was reportedly fined $250 for violating Chapter 10 of the state’s wildlife regulations. 

Unethical Killing Policies Breed Anti-Wolf Sentiment and Actions 

Wyoming’s wolf population has been managed under state control since 2017 and the state is divided into two zones: a trophy hunting zone and a predator zone. The trophy hunting zones, which surround Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, allow for wolf hunting and trapping from September – December, with one section extending through March. Wolves in the remaining 85% of the state (the predator zone) can be killed any day of the year without a license. 

Map of Wyoming’s 2023 wolf hunting zones. Credit: Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Wolves in the predator zone can legally be killed by some of the most brutal methods imaginable, including being run over with snowmobiles. This unethical practice is common in Wyoming, with some hunters even uploading videos to YouTube featuring them repeatedly running over wolves and coyotes until they died. Numerous bills have been introduced in the Wyoming legislature over the years in attempts to halt the practice of “wolf/coyote whacking” but they never gained broad support from representatives.  

Urgent Reform Needed to Safeguard Wolves and Other Native Predators

Wildlife policies that legalize and liberalize the cruel killing of native predators only breed further vitriol and hatred towards these animals; they don’t accomplish any management goals. This tragic and heartbreaking killing, one that is very common in Western states but rarely discussed, should encourage legislators and wildlife advocates to band together and ban the use of snowmobiles and vehicles to kill wolves in Wyoming and other states.  

Wolf killing in Wyoming isn’t ethical hunting or necessary “wildlife management” – it’s animal cruelty and should be punished as such.