This winter, western Wyoming's grey wolf population has been quite active, especially now that its at the largest size it's ever been. In late March, the Rim Pack on the south side of the highway near Bondurant killed 19 elk
a feeding ground overnight. That was the largest single killing at at the
Wyoming Game & Fish's McNeel feeding grounds over the winter. In total,
that elk herd suffered 72 deaths by wolves from January through March of
this year. A 73rd elk was reportedly killed in April.
WGFD Regional Wildlife Supervisor John Lund said that the amount of elk
killed at the feedgrounds was "well above normal."
"This number is a minimum, as it only includes elk killed on or in the
immediate vicinity of the feedground," Lund added.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Coordinator
Mike Jimenez that the Rim Pack has been exceptionally active this year,
calling the amount killings at McNeel "fairly high." The Rim Pack is made
up of 7-9 wolves. In addition to the high elk hunting numbers, the pack was
also responsible for one livestock depredation. Jimenez said USFWS removed
one wolf from the pack after it took the livestock.
On the other side of the highway near Bondurant, the Dell Creek Pack has
been responsible for about 10 livestock killings this winter. Jimenez has
confirmed that the USFWS plans on eliminating the pack due to the chronic
nature of its attacks on cattle. He said that despite the availability of
elk in the area, the pack continued to target calves. The USFWS began by
taking 5 wolves from the roughly 16 member pack. However, the livestock
killings continued and more wolves were taken. There are currently 5 or 6
left, and the rest will be taken out as well, but the animals have
reportedly learned to avoid the aerial gunners.
Last year, Jimenez said the USFWS took 54 wolves from Wyoming's population,
and meanwhile the species population has continued to to grow to its highest
level since reintroduction
He says the agency does it best to hit a management balance that protects
both ranchers' property and wolves.
*photo shows the 19 elk killed in one night*
#buckrail #county10 #reboot #news