Yesterday we set up camp in an area right on the border of Yellowstone National Park, where we had been told that two wolves had just been killed. We were hoping to find evidence of the wolves killed. Wolves are also known to travel to areas where they know missing members of their pack have traveled, in an attempt to find them. We were concerned for the well being of these wolves as the hunting zone 313 had still not officially closed at this point, even though the wolf kill quota had already been filled. Considering the speed at which wolves have been killed in this area recently, the delay in closure of this zone 313 to hunting provided ample opportunity for the quota to be exceeded.
We found a kill site, with blood soaked earth and drag marks, in the area where wolves had been killed. There were no gut piles left over, so it is hard to say what exactly this kill site was from. We also encountered a bison hide and bones, possibly dumped as bait for predators.
On the same day, we started experiencing literally hundreds of hostile text messages, which were reported on in a Bozeman Daily Chronicle article. While there are obviously some hunters in the area who find our presence challenging, we have been receiving plenty of positive community support since we arrived in the Gardiner area.
We also received a voicemail message from a hunter telling us he had killed three wolves. We reported this to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) who said they would look into the matter.
If what the hunter said is true, then this would have far exceeded the established quota allowed. We also expressed concern over the 313 hunting zone not been closed yet, despite the quota having been filled. Shortly after this phone call the zone was officially closed to hunting.