A couple weeks ago we reported of landowner Bill Hoppe losing 13 sheep to wolves near Yellowstone. The livestock loss did not go unnoticed. Hoppe told a local newspaper that he would transplant the remaining sheep and leave the carcasses on a bone pile on his property. He then took advantage of his rare shoot-on-sight permit issued by Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks last weekend, and shot a wolf wearing a VHF radio collar that identified it as “831F,” a member of the park’s Canyon Pack.
Shoot-on-sight permits are issued to property owners in the case of livestock loss. His use of the permit has raised controversy and leaders of Wolves of the Rockies are saying that he lured the wolves. Hoppe says he bought the sheep as a project for his grandkids.
Both the Missoulian and the Bozeman Daily Chronical reported more on the incident:
FWP issues shoot-on-sight permits in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, said FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim. The permits are good for 45 days and do not allow ranchers to shoot wolves outside of the property where a livestock loss happened.
In mid-April, Hoppe, a cattle rancher and hunting outfitter, bought about 30 sheep and started raising them on his property.
On April 24, he awoke to find that two wolves had killed five ewes and eight lambs along the river. After Wildlife Services investigated the scene, Hoppe told the Chronicle that he would transplant the remaining sheep and leave the carcasses on a bone pile on his property.
Carnivores, including wolves and grizzly bears, can smell carcasses a mile away, sometimes farther if conditions are right, Smith said. Wolf 813F may have smelled the decaying meat.
Hoppe has one permit left, and the carcasses remain. For the full story click here.