BONDURANT – Wolves recently killed two head of cattle – a pregnant cow and a yearling calf – near Bondurant in separate incidents.
The cow was killed on March 5 and found in a private pasture with other cows almost ready to calve. The yearling was killed on March 29 after a large group of heifers and steers was moved to a ranch pasture that had just been occupied by calving cows.
The livestock owners involved in this year’s kills asked to not be identified.
Last year, Hoback Basin was also the setting for the first confirmed wolf kills of livestock. One yearling heifer calf was taken on April 22 and a second newborn calf on April 29.
A Bondurant livestock owner, asking that his name not be used, had independently confirmed the kill of the yearling heifer on ranch property. The same person had reported the second kill apparently by the same black wolf, which was seen both times. The owner said he saw the wolf dragging the tiny calf away from the rest of the herd; it dropped the carcass and ran off, he said.early that day in a different location but
At that time, Wyoming’s wolves were just delisted from the Endangered Species Act on April 15, 2017, putting those in the trophy-game management area under the purview of Wyoming Game and Fish.
Last year in Sublette County, 13 cattle were confirmed as wolf kills in the trophy-game and seasonal trophy game area. One calf and 13 sheep were confirmed as wolf kills in the county’s predator zone.
Monday, Wyoming Game and Fish large carnivore biologist Zach Turnbull confirmed the two recent livestock kills by wolves as the first for 2018 in the Pinedale Region and the state’s trophy-game area, the first of 2018. He declined to provide any more details about the incidents, locations or what pack or packs might have been involved, citing state law.
Game and Fish does not manage the state’s predatory animal population outside the trophy-game area. State laws allow ranchers to be compensated for livestock kills that are confirmed by Game and Fish to be caused by wolves and grizzlies. Game and Fish compensates livestock owners for these confirmed kills.
Game and Fish’s Wyoming annual wolf report might be released this week with updated population numbers and other details gathered through to the end of 2017.