Yellowstone Park: Montana Hunters Killed 3 Wolves During State’s Hunting Season

Nature

Wolf biologists at Yellowstone National Park report that the park’s Junction Butte Pack of 27 wolves lost three wolves during week one of Montana’s wolf hunting season and Montana hunters were responsible for their death, as per a news release from the park.

Wolf

(Photo : Steve)

Yellowstone Wolf

Yellowstone said the Junction Butte Pack is the world’s most viewed wolf pack and it exceeds the northern range of Yellowstone.

Numerous recent overflights which the park conducted confirmed the size of the pack has declined from 27 to 24 animals. The pack has lost two female pups and one female yearling, as per a news release from Yellowstone National Park.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks verified three wolves lost their lives outside of Yellowstone in the surrounding area of where the Pack was traveling in the middle of September, the news release said.

Northern range Yellowstone wolves spend approximately 5% of the time somewhere else but the park, especially in late fall. For more than a decade, the Montana state controlled the number of wolves collected from Montana wolf management units 316 (Cooke City) and 313 (Gardiner).

Both are immediately next to the northern boundary of the park. About 98% of Montana wolves are somewhere else but units 313 and 316. 

Also Read: Despite Pressure, Wisconsin Allows Hunters to Kill Up to 300 Wolves During the Fall Hunt

Animal Baiting

Recent state alterations to hunting and trapping have stopped limitations within these units and this has made the population of Yellowstone wolf in the northern range highly susceptible, Yellowstone said.

The state has also approved baiting from personal property. More than 33% of the border Yellowstone shares with the state is within a mile of personal property where baiting can be presently permitted.

In a statement, Cam Sholly, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent said: “Yellowstone plays a vital role in Montana’s wildlife conservation efforts and its economy. These wolves are part of our balanced ecosystem here and represent one of the special parts of the park that draw visitors from around the globe.”

Wolves

(Photo : Getty Images)

Junction Butte Pack  

Cam Sholly also said they will keep working with Montana state to make the case for restoring quotas that would help in the protection of the core wolf population in Yellowstone and also the direct economic interests of Montana obtained from the hundreds of millions which park visitors spend yearly.

Visitors that spend within communities that are about 50 miles from Yellowstone are more than $500 million in a year, tens of millions of which is spent by tourists coming to see wolves and helping Montana businesses in gateway communities, the park said.

In 2012, the Junction Butte Pack was formed in the northern part of the park. The park said the reason why they are Yellowstone’s most viewed pack is because they can be found within view of the Northeast Entrance Road and the passageway to Slough Creek Campground and they provide thousands of visitor’s everyday views. In 2021, the pack had about eight pups.

Related Article: A Third of Wisconsin’s Wild Wolves Killed in 60 Hours After Being Removed From Endangered List

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