A 2-year-old female gray wolf that had strayed from Yellowstone National Park months ago was shot by a Jardine-area resident on Saturday after it killed a chicken, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
This wasn’t the first incident involving the collared wolf in the community, where it had also killed other chickens and a cat.
“It had shown up at a number of properties since April,” said Andrea Jones, FWP information officer.
There will be no charges filed against the shooter, Jones said, since the wolf was becoming increasingly more bold.
While roaming near the mountain community northeast of Gardiner and just north of the park border, the wolf displayed unusual behavior, Jones said. Attempts were made by FWP and residents to haze the animal, yet it wasn’t frightened.
“It has not shown normal wolf behavior when confronted,” Jones said.
Until this spring, wolf 820F lived primarily in the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park as a member of the Lamar Canyon pack. Young wolves often disperse to start their own packs.
Two other members of the Lamar Pack were shot last fall during Wyoming’s hunting season, one of which was the pack’s alpha female and 820F’s mother.
All together, hunters in surrounding states shot 12 wolves last year that spent part of their time inside Yellowstone’s boundaries.
Six of the 12 were collared wolves that park staff use to study wolf movements and interactions. Another four that were shot spent part of their time in Yellowstone or along its borders.
FWP investigated the wolf shooting in consultation with USDA-Wildlife Services. An FWP veterinarian will examine the wolf’s general condition but a necropsy is not planned, Jones said.
Wolf shootings to protect livestock as well as wolf hunting are divisive issues that have prompted death threats in the past to those involved. Consequently, FWP was not releasing the name of the individual who shot the wolf.
Under Montana law, wolves can be shot without a license and out of season to protect life or property, Jones said.
FWP recently approved an expanded hunting and trapping season that will run from Sept. 15 to March 15, with hunters allowed up to five licenses to remove more wolves from the state out of concern that the animals are depressing elk populations in the West.