BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A big game outfitter who shot and killed a collared wolf from Yellowstone National Park is intentionally luring the animals by leaving dead sheep carcasses in a pile, leaders of a wolf advocacy group said.
"Make no mistake about that, it's definitely intentional baiting," Marc Cooke, president of Wolves of the Rockies, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
William Hoppe shot and killed a 2-year old, female wolf Sunday near where 13 sheep were killed in April. He notified Fish, Wildlife and Parks warden Chris Kerin that he killed the wolf using one of his two shoot-on-sight permits the agency issued after the sheep were killed, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (http://bit.ly/17LAEJ5) reported Wednesday. The permits are valid for 45 days and only allow wolves to be shot on the property where the sheep were killed.
In mid-April, Hoppe, an outspoken opponent of wolves, bought about 30 sheep and started raising them on his property along the Yellowstone River near Gardiner.
On April 24, he awakened to find that two wolves had killed five ewes and eight lambs.
Hoppe "deliberately put the sheep on his property ... knowing that the wolves would kill them," Cooke charged.
Hoppe told the Chronicle he was going to move the rest of the sheep closer to his house and that he had disposed of the dead sheep in a bone pile in the area where they were killed.