The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information about an illegal wolf kill in northwest Wyoming.
On April 21, Game and Fish personnel responded to a call about a wolf carcass found near Highway 26/287 in the Buffalo Valley, east of Moran Junction and west of Togwotee Pass. They found the female wolf carcass about 25 feet from the main highway, where it had apparently slid down an embankment. The cause of death was not apparent, so the carcass was sent to the Game and Fish Laboratory in Laramie for further analysis. A necropsy found small traces of a bullet in the carcass and wounds suggesting the animal had been shot at least once.
A person convicted in this case could face a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to a year in jail.
“Compliance with state laws related to wolves is an important component of successful wolf management in Wyoming,” said Wyoming Chief Game Warden Jay Lawson. “The public can help us achieve that compliance by reporting violations in a timely manner. I want to make it clear that our game wardens and investigators are taking their new responsibilities related to wolf management very seriously. We will thoroughly investigate all reported violations to determine if prosecution is appropriate.”
Wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains were officially removed from the federal Endangered Species List on March 28, 2008, and are currently under management authority of the states. This incident is the first evidence of any illegal killing of wolves in Wyoming since delisting. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that before delisting, 10 percent of annual wolf mortality in the northern Rocky Mountains was attributable to illegal take.
Anyone with information—even second-hand information—may be eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to a conviction. Callers to Wyoming’s Stop Poaching Hotline can remain anonymous, and any reward money can be collected anonymously. Report information to the Stop Poaching Hotline at (877) WGFD-TIP (877-943-3847).