More Yellowstone wolves killed this season than any since the species was reintroduced in 1995

By Kyle Dunphey   Jan 9, 2022, 4:00pm EST

Hunters killed more Yellowstone wolves that left the park’s borders in recent months than any season since the animal was reintroduced to the region in 1995.

Twenty gray wolves were shot and killed after wandering from Yellowstone National Park — 15 were killed in Montana, and five killed in Idaho and Wyoming, according to data provided to the Associated Press from the Nationa... The most recent death was reported on New Year’s Day along the park’s northern Montana border.

That leaves an estimated 94 wolves still in Yellowstone, according to park officials, who told the AP the recent string of deaths is “a significant setback for the species’ long-term viability and for wolf research.”


The Phantom Lake Pack, which once boasted 13 healthy pups, was essentially eliminated after almost all of its members were killed in October and November, according to the AP.

Montana’s hunting and wolf-trapping season is just ramping up, and park officials told the AP that more wolves are expected to die after wandering from Yellowstone.

According to the AP, in December Yellowstone Park Superintendent Cam Sholly urged Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte to shut down the wolf hunting season, concerned about the “extraordinary number of Yellowstone wolves already killed.”

“Once a wolf exits the park and enters lands in the State of Montana it may be harvested pursuant to regulations established by the (state wildlife) Commission under Montana law,” Gianforte responded, according to the AP.

Gianforte, an avid hunter, received a warning from a Montana game warden in 2020 after he trapped and shot a wolf without taking the trapper education course mandated by the state. The wolf was killed roughly 10 miles from the Yellowstone border and had a radio collar.

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