Yellowstone National Park wolf biologists report that the park lost three of its 27 wolves in the Junction Butte Pack to Montana hunters during the first week of Montana’s wolf hunting season.
The pack transcends Yellowstone’s northern range and is the most viewed wolf pack in the world. In 2021, the pack had eight pups.
Multiple recent overflights conducted by the park confirmed the pack size has now been reduced from 27 to 24 animals, losing two female pups and one female yearling.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks confirms three wolves were killed outside of Yellowstone in mid-September. Yellowstone wolves in the northern range spend an estimated 5% of the time outside the park, usually in late fall.
For over a decade, the state of Montana limited the number of wolves taken from Montana wolf management the Gardiner and the Cooke City units, which are immediately adjacent to the park’s northern boundary.
However, recent state changes to hunting and trapping have lifted restrictions within these units making Yellowstone’s wolf population in there extremely vulnerable.
Montana has also authorized baiting on private property. Over 33% of the boundary Yellowstone shares with Montana is within one mile of private property.