Oct 2, 2012 8:50 AM by Angela Douglas - MTN News
CHEYENNE, WY- Monday marked a historic day in Wyoming as the first-ever wolf hunting season got underway.
Two wolves were harvested on the opening day of Gray Wolf Hunting Season in the Cowboy State as of 4 p.m., according to the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.
That means 50 more wolves can be hunted between now and December 31 to reach the 52 wolf quota.
The trophy game hunting area consists of 12 hunting areas, and Monday's harvested wolves came from area two and area six.
"I would say that our first wolf hunting season in Wyoming is a very conservative season, given that we've just taken over management of wolves from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service," explained Wyoming Game & Fish Department Public Information Officer Eric Keszler. "We want to approach it carefully and learn as we go."
Keszler added that his department has been working for quite a few years to have the wolves under state management and off the endangered species list. He said Wyoming is eager to show the nation that they are capable of managing the wolves.
The current wolf population in the Wyoming Trophy Game Area is estimated at just over 200 wolves.
If the 52-wolf quota is reached, the population will be reduced to about 150 wolves.
Wolves remain protected in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the John D. Rockefeller Junior Memorial Parkway, and the National Elk Refuge on the Wind River Reservation.