FWS confirms wolves near Glenrock
Glenrock – A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) official on Feb. 19 confirmed what has to date been local reports of wolves between Douglas and Casper in central Wyoming
Wolf Recovery Coordinator Mike Jimenez says Wildlife Services visited the area following reports from a local rancher. FWS doesn’t proactively take control actions, but Jimenez said the agency would work to collar the wolves if reports continue in a centralized area or livestock depredation is reported.
Jimenez was quoted in another publication late January stating that the agency did believe there were wolves in the area, but hadn’t yet confirmed them. Earlier this week he told the Roundup that reports had tapered off prior to the recent confirmation.
According to Tony Lehner, a Converse County Commissioner who has a ranch along the Deer Creek drainage, most of the reports have come from that area. He hasn’t, however, seen the wolves on his place, but says the reports have come from farther up the drainage. Wendy Lankister, who along with her husband Keith leases the state’s Duncan Ranch, says the reports she’s heard have also been from the Deer Creek Drainage to the west of them.
Deer Creek, which runs through Glenrock, begins in the mountains south of there and flows into the North Platte River near town.
Casper attorney Craig Shanor, according to Lehner, was elk hunting in the area with Dusty Johnson in January when the duo spotted the wolves in an area known as Duck Creek Flats. A photo they took at the time has been widely distributed via e-mail. Shanor couldn’t be reached for comment prior to Roundup press time. The duo’s photo shows two black wolves. Jimenez says the reports he’s received have also been of two black wolves.
Jimemez says control actions will be taken if the wolves become a “chronic problem” killing livestock. In this particular area he says it would only take a couple of livestock losses before control actions are implemented.
Lehner says that many ranchers along Deer Creek are nearing calving season. Elk, present in the area earlier, he says have largely moved out for the winter. Mule deer, he says, have moved down toward lower reaches.
“Our first action will be to collar and release them,” says Jimenez. If the killing continued he says, “In that area, we’d take the animal out.”
Jimemez says that wolves begin looking for a place to den late March and den in April. At that time the area they cover is reduced.
Jimenez reminds ranchers that wolves are a protected species. A rancher’s ability to protect his or her livestock is limited to circumstances in which a wolf is caught in the act of biting or killing one of the rancher’s animals.
Wolf reports can be called into Mike Jimenez at 307-330-5631 or to Wildlife Services. Jennifer Womack is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.