Posted: May 14, 2013 10:11 AM
Updated: May 14, 2013 10:24 AM
GARDINER - A Gardiner rancher who shot and killed a wolf after he lost 13 sheep to wolves last month is forfeiting his permit to shoot a second wolf.
Bill Hoppe's shoot-on-site permit was originally set to expire June 8, but instead will expire on May 18. The change comes in support of a good-faith gesture, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced in a press release Tuesday.
According to the release, Hoppe said he will be shipping his cow/calf pairs that were grazing in the area of the depredation to summer pasture in another location at the end of the week. His remaining live sheep were moved immediately following the depredation event. Therefore, he no longer needs the permit.
Hoppe legally shot and killed a female collared wolf on May 6. FWP believes the wolf was likely one of two wolves responsible for killing Hoppe's sheep.
FWP also said it investigated claims that Hoppe baited the wolves and determined them to be unfounded. Further, despite some false reports, the carcasses of the dead sheep were all moved off-site to avoid conflict, except for one that was mostly consumed by a bear a few days after the depredation.