The WY Dept.
July, 1997 Edited For Content By:
WY State Predatory Animal Bd.
WY Wool Growers Assoc.
WY Stock Growers Assoc.
WY Game & Fish Dept.
WY Farm Bureau Fed.
If You Suspect A Wolf Has Killed Your
(Cattle, Sheep, Horses, Mules)
If you suspect a wolf has killed your livestock
you will need proof, so carefully preserve the
* Look for tracks or scat
(droppings) that will prove a wolf's presence.
Preserve this evidence by covering with plywood
or weighted cans.
* Cover the livestock carcass or
remains with a tarp and weight securely.
This will keep other predators from destroying
the wolf's teeth marks or disturbing any
telltale signs of hemorrhaging common in wolf
* Take photographs or video tape. High
quality photographs or video tape of any
evidence is helpful. It is a good idea to place
a common object (coin, keys, pocket knife) next
to the evidence as you photograph it to document
* Keep bystanders away from the scene.
All too often critical evidence can be
obliterated by people walking around or moving
* Call your local federal Animal Damage
Control trapper or the state office of the
USDA/APHIS/ADC at 307-261-5336. ADC is the
only authority recognized by USFWS to confirm
and control wolf depredation. If ADC and USFWS
officials are able to verify by the evidence you
preserve on the scene that a wolf has killed
your livestock, they may be able to help you get
the offending wolf moved and/or help you get
compensation for your loss.
* Videotape the official examination. For
your own peace of mind, future protection from
the law and for use as potential evidence, you
may wish to videotape the official examination
of the carcass(es).
If You See A Wolf On Your Property...
PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS
Even if the wolf is not harming livestock,
report its presence to the USFWS in Casper at
307-261-6365, Cody at 307-527-7604 or Lander at
307-332-7607 and ADC at 307-261-5336. If
livestock are killed or wounded, or if you kill
a wolf depredating on your livestock, there will
be a record that you reported a wolf on or near
Wolves in Wyoming may be harassed* by landowners
or livestock producers in a noninjurious and
opportunistic* manner (*see definitions). If you
harass a wolf you must report it to the USFWS
within 7 days. You may injure or kill a wolf on
your private land or lands leased from the state
if the wolf is in the act of killing, wounding,
or biting* your livestock (*see definitions). If
you kill or wound a wolf, it must be reported to
the USFWS within 24 hours.
Without a permit issued by the USFWS, you cannot
kill or wound wolves on federal leased land even
if they are depredating. If you experience
depredation on lands leased from the federal
government, contact ADC and the USFWS. They can
move or kill the wolf. After confirmed
depredation by wolves on federal leased lands,
the USFWS can issue a permit to a livestock
producer to kill or injure wolves found in the
act of depredating. These permits can be issued
now that there are six or more documented
breeding pairs of wolves in the experimental
population area. It is advisable that if wolf
predation has occurred on federal leased lands
that the livestock producer takes the steps
necessary to apply for a permit from the USFWS.
Should you see a wolf feeding on dead livestock,
think twice before shooting. There must be
indisputable proof that the wolf killed the
livestock. If it's proven that your livestock
died for reasons other than wolves, you may be
liable for fines and imprisonment. Be sure to
protect the evidence and call ADC and the USFWS.
Always contact the USFWS if you suspect wolf
pups are on your property to determine what
actions you may legally take.
If You Kill A Wolf...
It is not advisable to wound or kill a wolf
except for human safety. The USFWS considers a
wolf kill a criminal scene, placing you at risk
for fines up to $100,000 and imprisonment.
If you do kill a wolf, authorities will want
proof that the wolf was causing actual harm to
livestock before they will agree that you acted
within the law, so the preservation of evidence
is crucial. Do not move the wolf or the dead
and/or wounded livestock. Report wolf kills to
ADC and the USFWS within 24 hours.
* * *
Definitions (Taken from 50 Code of
Federal Regulations, Section 17.84):
Harass in a noninjurious and opportunistic
manner - According to the Endangered Species Act
Regulations, harass is defined as "intentional
or negligent act or omission which creates the
likelihood of injury to the wildlife by annoying
it to such an extent as to significantly disrupt
normal behavioral patterns which include, but
are not limited to breeding, feeding, or
sheltering" (50 CFR 17.3). Under 50 CFR, Section
17.84, landowners on their private land and
livestock producers (i.e. producers of cattle,
sheep, horses and mules) that are legally using
public land may harass any wolf in an
opportunistic (the wolf cannot be purposely
attracted, tracked, waited for, searched out and
then harassed) noninjurious (no temporary or
permanent physical damage may result) manner any
time, Provided that such harassment is
non-lethal or is not physically injurious to the
gray wolf and is reported to the Service within
WDA comment: Airborne Hunting Regulations
prevent the use of aircraft to harass gray
wolves (50 CFR, Part 19).
Killing, wounding or biting - Any livestock
producers on their private land may take
(including to kill or injure) a wolf in the act
of killing, wounding or biting livestock
(cattle, sheep, horses and mules), Provided
that such incidents are to be immediately
reported within 24 hours to the Service, and
livestock freshly (less than 24 hours) wounded
(torn flesh and bleeding) or killed by wolves
must be evident. Service or other Service
authorized agencies will confirm if livestock
were wounded or killed by wolves. The taking of
any wolf without such evidence may be referred
to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.
The material contained herein is for
informational purposes only and is subject to
change. If you have further questions concerning
the regulations governing the gray wolf in
Wyoming, please contact the United States Fish
and Wildlife Service Office in Casper, Lander or
Additional copies of this brochure may be
obtained by writing or calling the:
Wyoming Department of Agriculture
2219 Carey Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0100
Fax : 307-777-6593