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Famous Yellowstone Wolf Legally Harvested by Hunter

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December 11, 2012

Famous Yellowstone Wolf Legally Harvested by Hunter

By Chad Love

The "most famous wolf in the world" has been shot (legally) by a hunter...

From this story on abcnews.com
The killing of the "most famous wolf in the world" at Yellowstone National Park is coinciding with wildlife officials discussing potential new restrictions for hunting near the park. A collared female alpha wolf known as 832F to researchers and '06 -- for the year she was born -- to fans, was legally killed Thursday in Wyoming outside the park's protected area. She was part of the renowned Lamar Canyon pack. "She was without a doubt the most famous wolf in the world, hands down," Kim Bean, vice president of Wolves of the Rockies, told ABCNews.com. "I watched her since her birth, basically. She was an amazing wolf to watch. She was definitely the most researched in the park. ... She's gone."

Wolf 832F was renowned for her size and hunting prowess, and apparently was a favorite of park visitors. However, some see the shooting as proof that wolf management through regulated hunting is working.

"Public hunting is by no means a threat to wolves," Mike Jimenez, the wolf management and science coordinator for the US. Fish and Wildlife Service told ABCNews.com. "It's not a threat to the population or to successful recovery, but that doesn't by any means diminish the passion and feelings people have about individual wolves."

Nevertheless, Montana has shut down its wolf hunt in some areas north of Yellowstone in response to the shooting of collared wolves. The incident brings up an interesting question for hunters: even though it was perfectly legal to do so, do you think shooting wolves that are obviously radio-collared, while perfectly legal, might be a bad idea that doesn't do our image any favors, or do you think that a legal wolf is a legal wolf and that it shouldn't matter? 

Comments (17)

Top Rated
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from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Fair game...it has to be. If not, then the anti's would start putting collars on all wildlife they came in contact with. Is it intellegent to do so???...no...but remember the fruitcakes we're dealing with here.

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from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

The intellient to do so comment was referring to putting collars on all wildlife.....

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from ejunk wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

definitely fair game but if I ever find myself in that situation, I would pass just because science is awesome.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

People killing wolves has been going on since time immemorial. It's part of the natural scheme of things. Collared wolves die all the time. They are not intended to last forever. A wolf can get gored by a buffalo, get its face kicked in by a moose, or ... get shot by a hunter. Life is about death, even though some of these touchy feely types want the scheme of things to be something different than reality. It was the most famous and watched wolf in the world? Huh? I'm sure a large glossy print of a collared wolf would be one of my most treasured possessions! Pfffft.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dbenear1985 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

A wolf is a Wolf. The scientists that were studying this wolf can collar another wolf. It was legally harvested, enough said.

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from SD Bob wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

How is getting shot not part of the study? We now know what kinds of dangers a wolf might find if it wanders into new territories.

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from Outsider wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

As long as it is legal, i am very happy about it, we brought the wolves back from exterpation, the tree huggers can watch them as they smoke dope and dance in circles, and we hunters can shoot them to control the numbers...Its a win for everyone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mop4pom wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I guess ignorance really is bliss... Yes this wolf was known throughout the world, and yes it was important. It was the alpha female to one of the first packs to one of the fist packs to be reintroduced to yellow stone. I have done tons of research on this topic for research papers and personal interest, and as an avid hunter I agree that an animal in open hunting land is "fair game," but at some point there has to be a little personal discretion. There will always be more non-hunters than hunters. We cannot change that; however, what we can do is put forth a little effort to change their minds about hunting so that they do not become anti-hunting. If you are hunting and visibly a collared animal, just let it pass. You will get another chance at an animal. If we make enemies of the masses we will lose a way of life that is near and dear to all of us.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

how the hell was this hunter supposed to know this wolf was so famous. we have quite a few collared wolves in wisconsin and i have no idea if they are famous or not.

hippies don't think so but the fact of the matter is it a tough and often cruel world out there in the wild. everything dies, you can't stop it

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Several years back I got the drop on a moose I had been tracking for the better part of a day. I knew I was getting close and that it was going to bed and feed not far ahead so I tread carefully. Sure enough, I stepped around a good-sized spruce and there she was, a nice cow with ... a tag hanging from her ear. She didn't know I was there and continued to feed not more than fifteen feet away from me. I could almost read the blue numbers on the tag she was so close (I remember noticing her eyelashes!). That night I called the MNR and left a message. A few days later a biologist called to say there had been no tagging for many years and nothing that looked like what I described. About a week later someone from the Minnesota department called and I described the tag. She said she was sure it was one tagged down there several years ago. "Too bad you didn't shoot it so we could get that info." But of course I didn't have a cow tag.

I suspect the battery ran out on that wolf's collar a long time ago. Once caught, a wolf is NEVER trapped again so no chance to recharge it. They have to be shot if they get in trouble after being initially relocated. Nothing else can be done. Too damned smart! So really, just having a collar on was probably no good reason to spare her. Besides, look at the photo - there's at least one more collared wolf in her pack. Losing her is not going to affect the biologists' ability to track the pack.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

By the way, hats off to the hunter for doing the right thing and turning the collar in. With all this fuss I expect that won't happen again! Those lobo-huggers really shot themselves in the foot on this one!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

dbenear1985 - Catching a critter requires a significant investment of time, resources, and man power. Let me break it down...a GPS collar is about $4,000. The traps are cheap, but you need to pay someone to set the traps and check them regularly. After the animal is captured and collared, you need to pay someone to monitor the collared animal and process the data. When all is said and done, each animal has $8,000-10,000+ worth of resources tied up in it. That's an expensive pull of the trigger by the successful hunter.

To all - Working in research, collared animals serve the hunting community a higher value if they are left alive. We learn feeding patterns, travel corridors, basic home range sizes, disperal patterns, bedding areas, den sights, non-human caused mortality, identify kill sites, etc...though it is not illegal, collared animals should get a free pass because the value of the information we collect from such animals is priceless.

Let me just give you an idea of what researchers are starting to do with GPS collars. A fellow grad student at UGA is currently collaring female coyotes and using clusters of GPS points to help him find den sites. Once the den sites are found, he's setting up cameras on the den sites to see how many fawns and other food items the parents are bringing back to their pups. The purpose of this is to see just what kind of impact coyotes are having on the deer herd. The same can be done with wolves or any other critter that is known to den with their young. Obviously if the animal is killed by a hunter, not only is the effort to capture the animal completely wasted, but we, as hunters, miss out on a fantastic learning opportunity. Just sayin'.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

That said, I have no objections to wolf hunting and I'm glad to hear some hunters were successful in their wolf hunting efforts this year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Here are a couple of articles that show the value of collar data to hunters.

www.qdma.com/articles/deer-hunting-in-june
www.qdma.com/galleries/rut-related-buck-movements

Cool stuff, huh?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Bioguy: No comment on the fact that the collar was put on six years ago, has undoubtedly stopped sending data, and almost no possibility of catching that wolf again to get the collar charged again.

I think just as much if not more is learned about collared game that successfully avoids hunters than collared game that is avoided when hunting. You're suggesting that hunters do the "unnatural" thing and avoid shooting a collared animal when the opportunity presents itself. Almost all studies of movement and mortality need to factor in an HONEST assessment of the probability of animals being harvested. You're suggesting that hunters skew the data and purposely avoid harvesting the animals being surveyed. I don't agree. And, quite frankly, I'd be surprised if any competent survey coordinator would take such a stance.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Knife Freak wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I would shoot it there is nothing wrong with it.
Merry CHRISTmas, Happy Hunting and God Bless
Knife Freak

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

OHH - I know of plenty of "competent survey coordinators" (AKA biologist) that do take the stance of recommending that collared animals get a free pass (including myself). Depending on the specific questions we are trying to answer, usually we prefer collared animals to die of natural causes so we can determine non-human causes of death.

If we want to know survival rates of hunted animals, that question is much better answered using reward tags. This is where we put discrete ear tags or bands on animals so that hunters will not hesitate about pulling the trigger, and then report the data to us to receive a reward. In most cases, the hunter doesn't even know they have killed a marked animal until they walk up on it. We often provide other information on the animal as well, such as where the animal was captured.

You may not agree with our logic, but we are often working with small sample sizes to begin with. Reducing that sample size by killing study animals doesn't bode well for attaining useful results. So YES, sometimes we do want to skew the data to get at questions we cannot get at when study animals are killed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

People killing wolves has been going on since time immemorial. It's part of the natural scheme of things. Collared wolves die all the time. They are not intended to last forever. A wolf can get gored by a buffalo, get its face kicked in by a moose, or ... get shot by a hunter. Life is about death, even though some of these touchy feely types want the scheme of things to be something different than reality. It was the most famous and watched wolf in the world? Huh? I'm sure a large glossy print of a collared wolf would be one of my most treasured possessions! Pfffft.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

dbenear1985 - Catching a critter requires a significant investment of time, resources, and man power. Let me break it down...a GPS collar is about $4,000. The traps are cheap, but you need to pay someone to set the traps and check them regularly. After the animal is captured and collared, you need to pay someone to monitor the collared animal and process the data. When all is said and done, each animal has $8,000-10,000+ worth of resources tied up in it. That's an expensive pull of the trigger by the successful hunter.

To all - Working in research, collared animals serve the hunting community a higher value if they are left alive. We learn feeding patterns, travel corridors, basic home range sizes, disperal patterns, bedding areas, den sights, non-human caused mortality, identify kill sites, etc...though it is not illegal, collared animals should get a free pass because the value of the information we collect from such animals is priceless.

Let me just give you an idea of what researchers are starting to do with GPS collars. A fellow grad student at UGA is currently collaring female coyotes and using clusters of GPS points to help him find den sites. Once the den sites are found, he's setting up cameras on the den sites to see how many fawns and other food items the parents are bringing back to their pups. The purpose of this is to see just what kind of impact coyotes are having on the deer herd. The same can be done with wolves or any other critter that is known to den with their young. Obviously if the animal is killed by a hunter, not only is the effort to capture the animal completely wasted, but we, as hunters, miss out on a fantastic learning opportunity. Just sayin'.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

OHH - I know of plenty of "competent survey coordinators" (AKA biologist) that do take the stance of recommending that collared animals get a free pass (including myself). Depending on the specific questions we are trying to answer, usually we prefer collared animals to die of natural causes so we can determine non-human causes of death.

If we want to know survival rates of hunted animals, that question is much better answered using reward tags. This is where we put discrete ear tags or bands on animals so that hunters will not hesitate about pulling the trigger, and then report the data to us to receive a reward. In most cases, the hunter doesn't even know they have killed a marked animal until they walk up on it. We often provide other information on the animal as well, such as where the animal was captured.

You may not agree with our logic, but we are often working with small sample sizes to begin with. Reducing that sample size by killing study animals doesn't bode well for attaining useful results. So YES, sometimes we do want to skew the data to get at questions we cannot get at when study animals are killed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Fair game...it has to be. If not, then the anti's would start putting collars on all wildlife they came in contact with. Is it intellegent to do so???...no...but remember the fruitcakes we're dealing with here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

The intellient to do so comment was referring to putting collars on all wildlife.....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

definitely fair game but if I ever find myself in that situation, I would pass just because science is awesome.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dbenear1985 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

A wolf is a Wolf. The scientists that were studying this wolf can collar another wolf. It was legally harvested, enough said.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

How is getting shot not part of the study? We now know what kinds of dangers a wolf might find if it wanders into new territories.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Outsider wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

As long as it is legal, i am very happy about it, we brought the wolves back from exterpation, the tree huggers can watch them as they smoke dope and dance in circles, and we hunters can shoot them to control the numbers...Its a win for everyone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mop4pom wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I guess ignorance really is bliss... Yes this wolf was known throughout the world, and yes it was important. It was the alpha female to one of the first packs to one of the fist packs to be reintroduced to yellow stone. I have done tons of research on this topic for research papers and personal interest, and as an avid hunter I agree that an animal in open hunting land is "fair game," but at some point there has to be a little personal discretion. There will always be more non-hunters than hunters. We cannot change that; however, what we can do is put forth a little effort to change their minds about hunting so that they do not become anti-hunting. If you are hunting and visibly a collared animal, just let it pass. You will get another chance at an animal. If we make enemies of the masses we will lose a way of life that is near and dear to all of us.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

how the hell was this hunter supposed to know this wolf was so famous. we have quite a few collared wolves in wisconsin and i have no idea if they are famous or not.

hippies don't think so but the fact of the matter is it a tough and often cruel world out there in the wild. everything dies, you can't stop it

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Several years back I got the drop on a moose I had been tracking for the better part of a day. I knew I was getting close and that it was going to bed and feed not far ahead so I tread carefully. Sure enough, I stepped around a good-sized spruce and there she was, a nice cow with ... a tag hanging from her ear. She didn't know I was there and continued to feed not more than fifteen feet away from me. I could almost read the blue numbers on the tag she was so close (I remember noticing her eyelashes!). That night I called the MNR and left a message. A few days later a biologist called to say there had been no tagging for many years and nothing that looked like what I described. About a week later someone from the Minnesota department called and I described the tag. She said she was sure it was one tagged down there several years ago. "Too bad you didn't shoot it so we could get that info." But of course I didn't have a cow tag.

I suspect the battery ran out on that wolf's collar a long time ago. Once caught, a wolf is NEVER trapped again so no chance to recharge it. They have to be shot if they get in trouble after being initially relocated. Nothing else can be done. Too damned smart! So really, just having a collar on was probably no good reason to spare her. Besides, look at the photo - there's at least one more collared wolf in her pack. Losing her is not going to affect the biologists' ability to track the pack.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

By the way, hats off to the hunter for doing the right thing and turning the collar in. With all this fuss I expect that won't happen again! Those lobo-huggers really shot themselves in the foot on this one!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

That said, I have no objections to wolf hunting and I'm glad to hear some hunters were successful in their wolf hunting efforts this year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Here are a couple of articles that show the value of collar data to hunters.

www.qdma.com/articles/deer-hunting-in-june
www.qdma.com/galleries/rut-related-buck-movements

Cool stuff, huh?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Bioguy: No comment on the fact that the collar was put on six years ago, has undoubtedly stopped sending data, and almost no possibility of catching that wolf again to get the collar charged again.

I think just as much if not more is learned about collared game that successfully avoids hunters than collared game that is avoided when hunting. You're suggesting that hunters do the "unnatural" thing and avoid shooting a collared animal when the opportunity presents itself. Almost all studies of movement and mortality need to factor in an HONEST assessment of the probability of animals being harvested. You're suggesting that hunters skew the data and purposely avoid harvesting the animals being surveyed. I don't agree. And, quite frankly, I'd be surprised if any competent survey coordinator would take such a stance.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Knife Freak wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I would shoot it there is nothing wrong with it.
Merry CHRISTmas, Happy Hunting and God Bless
Knife Freak

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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