Hunters will be allowed to kill more wolves in Wyoming this fall. The state game and fish commission voted to increase Wyoming’s wolf hunt by 14 animals up to 58 total this year. That’s after determining that there are more wolves in the state than previously thought.
The wolf hunt is intended to eventually bring Wyoming’s wolf population down to around 160, it’s currently estimated there are 350. The state has a protected area where wolves can be hunted as trophies. Outside that, wolves can be shot on site. Johnathan Proctor of Defenders of Wildlife told the commission that wolves are important to the ecosystem.
“Wolves play an important role in maintaining the natural balance of Wyoming and they’re an important part of Wyoming’s natural heritage. And so to continue to reduce the wolf population down to the bare minimum is not conservative management. That’s not how we treat other wildlife in Wyoming.”
Proctor said hunting is popular because wolves are viewed as a threat to wildlife. He added that the state should look at conflict resolution measures instead.
“Identify non-lethal solutions to prevent livestock losses to wolves and predators in the first place and that’s just a win-win for everyone.”
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has also decided to move the start of the wolf hunting season to September 1 in some places. And now hunters will also be allowed to kill up to two wolves.