Park rangers at Grand Teton National Park recently conducted an investigation into an illegal take of a gray wolf within the park boundary that resulted in a conviction. Two individuals from Wyoming, a male 56 years of age and a female 55 years of age, were charged with illegal take of wildlife within the park. Both recently appeared in Federal court. The male plead guilty and received a $5,040 financial penalty, one year of unsupervised probation and one year loss of wolf hunting privileges. The female individual’s charge was dismissed as part of the resolution of the case.
Grand Teton National Park Chief Ranger Michael Nash said, “The individuals were very cooperative during the investigation, and we believe there was no conscious intent to hunt within the national park.” Nash commented that Grand Teton National Park employees take the responsibility to protect park resources, including wildlife, seriously.
On January 1, park rangers identified evidence to suggest illegal hunting activity within the park near Spread Creek and the eastern boundary of the park. Park rangers identified a blood trail and followed it to a location that was later determined to be the site of an illegal wolf kill within the park. Rangers followed up with a thorough investigation and determined that the individuals from Wyoming were involved.
Nash said, “I commend our park rangers on their professional and timely investigation. Their work to protect park resources, even during the shutdown, was outstanding as limited park rangers were available to respond to emergencies, protect property and provide basic visitor services during this time.”
The wolf killed was an uncollared young female.
All park visitors and hunters on adjacent lands outside the park are reminded that it is their responsibility to have a clear understanding of land ownership and respective rules and regulations.
Anyone with information about suspicious activity or wildlife takings within the park are encouraged to contact Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307-739-3301, or call or text the National Park Service Investigative Services Tip Line at 888-653-0009. Everyone is encouraged to protect national parks. Callers can remain anonymous.