On December 5, a man was caught with an illegally hunted wolf from the Gros Ventre range north of Jackson.
Passing hunters had seen the wolf move from an open hunting area to a closed one, then heard gunshots soon after. The group called in the tip to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department with a vehicle description. Warden Jon Stephens tracked down the offending sportsmen, whose name cannot yet be legally released by the department.
The man initially denied killing and taking the wolf, but Stephens found the animal in a tote box in his car. The hunter was cited on three counts: not tagging the animal, shooting from a public roadway, and for taking the wolf in a closed area. The fine is over a thousand dollars. His court date has yet to come.
Mark Gocke, a public information specialist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said this hunting area was closed for a reason. "There’s a mortality quota for each area in the state and that particular area on the south side of the Gros Ventre River had reached its quota of two wolves,” he said.
Gocke added wolf poaching cases are not common in Wyoming and can’t remember another in the Jackson area.
"Whenever people illegally take wildlife, you’re taking away an opportunity for a legal hunter, and so, we take those very seriously,” he said.