The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved a 2018 wolf hunting season today, allowing hunting of up to 58 wolves in the trophy game area with no protected buffer areas adjacent to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s (WGFD) stated goal with this proposal is to continue to push the population towards 160 wolves - the bare minimum permitted to keep the species off the endangered species list. This hunt is in addition to 84 percent of the state defined as a predator zone, meaning wolves can be killed all year with no tags or permits required.
Defenders of Wildlife submitted comments condemning the proposal for this hunting season on June 1, 2018.
Jonathan Proctor, director of the Rockies and Plains Program at Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement:
“The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Commission continue to focus on reducing the wolf population toward the bare minimum. Wolves are an important component of Wyoming’s natural heritage, and should be managed toward achieving healthy and abundant populations across large landscapes so that they may perform their important natural role.
“Rather than increase the number of wolves to be killed, Wyoming should improve outreach on the important role of wolves in the state and further promote the use of coexistence techniques that prevent conflicts. Defenders of Wildlife will continue to work with all willing partners to broaden the awareness and use of effective nonlethal methods that minimize conflicts between wolves, livestock and people and prevent unnecessary wolf mortality.”