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Environment

Weather Contributes To Slow Start For Wolf Hunting Season

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Wolf hunting season in Wyoming started on Sept. 1, a month earlier than last year.

In Wyoming 19 wolves have been killed during the first seven weeks of this year's hunting season. It's a much smaller number than last year, when 12 were harvested in just the first few days and trophy game kills overall totaled 43.

One possible explanation could be the warm fall weather. This year's hunting season started on Sept. 1, a month earlier than last year.

Scott Becker, the northern Rocky Mountain wolf coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said it can be easier to hunt wolves in the winter.

"If you have a good snow layer, some animals are easy to see as far as the sign they leave," Becker said.

In 2015 the number of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains was around 1,700. Many of them are found in northern mountain states.

Some lone wolves have traveled south to Utah and Colorado, but Becker said they don't seem to stay.

"To this point in time, we haven't documented any reproduction or packs," he said.

Hunting season in Wyoming ends on Dec. 31.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

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