Home / Predator / Too Late! Wolves Already In Colorado

Too Late! Wolves Already In Colorado

An interesting twist in the saga of western wolves has just taken place in Colorado. As most of you already know there has been a push to reintroduce wolves into the state for over a year and it looks as though the groups clamouring for this disaster to happen did indeed end up with enough signatures on their petition to get the issue put on the ballot for 2020. But nobody told the wolves in Wyoming they were supposed to wait. That’s right, CPW has confirmed that there is now a pack of wolves residing in northwest Colorado

The wolves were first caught on camera last fall by hunters and before they were able to take video of the animals they listened to their very distinct howls for several days. This all coming from the CPW Northwest Regional Manager

Therefore when a “thoroughly scavenged elk carcass” was found in the same general area an investigation by CPW was launched and guess what? Wolves! This is not really much of a surprise to CPW or anyone who understands wolves for that matter. The reintroduction of wolves has always been a hot topic but one of the lesser realized issues of the debate is that wolves don’t really need human help to reintroduce into an area, especially when that area is geographically connected to already thriving wolf populations. It’s simple math and biology… expand your range or starve. 

CPW says they have no intention of taking action at this time and quite honestly that they have no jurisdiction anyway as “wolves are federally endangered species and fall under the jurisdiction of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 

So the only real question remaining is how wolves moving into Colorado on their own will affect not only possible reintroduction efforts but whether or not the ballot initiative is even valid anymore?

About Todd Helms

Avatar photo

Check Also

Attacked by a Coyote

You might have a similar reaction to mine, a soft chuckle and… come-on, really, a …

Colorado: Lions Kill 15 Dogs

“[It] was like a dragon took him out of the sky and then leapt 20 …


  1. Study all the true problems ID has been having with wolves over the years which will likely be coming to CO if wolf packs are established there.

  2. Death and destruction

  3. Yes, check the game harvesting Idaho!!!

  4. You cant fix stupid and that is precisely what you have going on in Colorado.

  5. My son and I were in the Rio Grande National Forest in Southcentral Colorado last spring at a semi remote lake fishing. He and I encountered a fresh set of canine tracks. The track was bigger than a coyote and at first played it off as someone took their dog fishing. Problem was there were no other footprints. Snow was still melting so the ground was plenty soft and the tracks looked like they were only a day or two old. There’s no houses or cabins around for miles so I guess it could’ve been a stray although I highly doubt it. I didn’t actually see the animal but I definitely saw those tracks walking right along the dam with a bunch of elk tracks.

  6. Yep this state is screwed! Deer numbers have been down and now this.

  7. It figures ! The best trophy area in Colorado is first place wolves are now established. I’m not surprised as WY was not allowed to manage them at agreed levels. Within a few years all CO elk tags will be draw only just like what happened to deer tags in 2001! Not sure what positive news exists when it comes to improving wildlife management ? Putting anything on a CO ballot involving wildlife will pass just like “Cub bear initiative” in 1994 which eliminated spring bear hunting in CO. Asking the uneducated masses to vote on wolves is like asking a child quantum physics. Hunting in the USA will only be on private lands/game farms just as in Europe within this century ! Guess at least ranchers will make out well do to wolf into since it’s money hunters will put in their pockets via wildlife damage paid by Game Dept. Which is ideal to ranchers – less logistics getting stock to market in addition to what they can charge you to hunt their private lands for the wildlife you – not they fund. Great system ! Happy to point out the positive aspects.

    • If it weren’t for the ranchers I can tell you the population of elk and deer would be a hell of a lot less then it is now, as they manage them better than any government agency can. Second I’d like to know where you get your info that ranchers will benefit from wolves killing their livestock and being reimbursed with your money. We have several cattle killed every year by predators and I sure as hell haven’t seen a cent of reimbursement for the losses. If I remember correctly it was the ranchers that took the wolves off the map in the first place. So get your facts straight before you go ranting about ranchers and how they are going to benefit from wolves. I would charge you double to hunt on my land

      • You are right Rhet I have friends that ranch and they have never been compensated. More lies from wolf advocates. Bet your life that the ranchers got rid of wolves once before and will do it again.


      • As an old ranch owner I can tell you Colorado does do SOME re-reimbursement for damages done by wildlife, BUT you have to prove it. As far as the wolf situation we used to have a $50 bounty on wolves and big cats.
        NOW the big question, I want to know why the wolf lovers on the FRONT RANGE want them reintroduced into WESTERN Colorado? If they want them then they should be reintroduced into EASTERN Colorado so they can deal with them, not decide to dump them over here were we don’t want them, natural migration excepted..

    • Is it Orion? Come back out of the stars ORIN!
      The uninformed and the ignorant piss me off and right now you are at the top of my list!
      I annually feed 30 to 60 head of elk on my place in the the front range of Colorado and a good friend of mine feeds 40 to 100 per winter (severity dependent) in the Steamboat area and we are not alone!
      I’ll let you do the math. I generally feed 3 ton per day at a cost of approximately $450.
      When the elk move in I have to increase to 5 ton per day. You got it Starman $750 per day or $300 to the elk. Now lets say they are there for 60 days which equals $18000, right. Late last year I was given 48 ton to replace the lost hay, $7200. Humm…18000 minus 7200. You can tell that we are making a killing out here feeding you all! By the way the rough loss is $10800 and that is very conservative, now repeat that hundreds of times for all the additional ranchers who are feeding wildlife. Are you getting the picture?
      I’ll get off the soapbox now, only if you only promise to educate yourself.

      • Steve,
        #1- If you are in fact paying $150/ton for hay(cow or otherwise), you
        are being taken to the cleaners!

        #2-It is against the law in Colorado to feed Big Game animals…..
        If you would kindly post your physical address and phone number
        I will personally see that you are visited by a Wildlife Officer with
        his ticket book in hand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Don’t be an idiot. He’s not feeding them on purpose. He doesn’t want them there.

        • Lol farmers ranchers feed big game 24/7 it isn’t illegal

        • Small squares go for $10 a bale at the feed store southeast of Denver. That’s pushing $400 a ton for grass hay! I’d buy all the $150 hay you have if it’s brome grass. But I agree that it is illegal to feed wildlife. It doesn’t stop people from doing it though, as I have seen from a local bear who gets a daily donut ration and deer feeding out of your hand because someone else has hooked them on it. On the west slope too, people feed elk and deer. Most can’t keep the critters off their center pivots and range, but a few plant for them without harvesting. That is illegal, but still done. CPW doesn’t have the manpower to police it, they can barely keep up with the poachers.

  8. It’s to late, the California syndrome has matastisize in Colorado….very sad☹️

  9. A Good Wolf is a DEAD wolf !!!!!

  10. Colorado is being taken over. Denver and Boulder out vote the rest of the state. Really sad to see after being here for 30 years. Not sure where to move, too freaking windy in Wyoming, Idaho is being bombarded with Californians, MT is really cold….UT get ready for a bunch of Coloradoans moving in.

  11. Me and my daughter ,hunted cow elk unit 10,in the fall of 2018.After harvesting two cow elk ,we had wolves howling at us.Been around coyotes my whole life and they definitely can’t howl like a wolf does.So yes they’ve been in western Colorado for awhile now.Guess they figured it’s a nice place to live,all the trophy bull elk running around.Sad people who have been putting in for preference points for many years, must now compete with wolves.

    • I have been applying for a Moose tag for 15 years. It is now something I may never have as there will not be any left.

  12. I was about ready to buy a new hunting rifle and then I realized that hunting is a dying sport. Sad. I will not be buying the new rifle and even hunting gear.

  13. If you have video or audio of Wolves in Colorado please share that information with CPW so that it can be documented. If we can prove that there are established populations here other than just the NW part of the state, it is better reenforcement that we don’t reintroduction shoved down our throats.

  14. It is all by design. The DOW is all in for increasing the wolf population. I think the primary reason is they see the writing on the wall for the future of big game hunting. Younger generations are more anti gun and anti hunting and as the old hunters die off, it is thought the wolves will become the primary resource to control deer, elk and moose populations in the west.

    • WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by design! You state, “the DOW is all in for increasing the wolf population”. For your info. THe Colorado Wildlife Commission and the CPW staff/biologists are Opposed to the forced introduction of the gray wolf into Colorado. CPW Resolution 16-10) If you can support what you stated, lets hear it. Paul from Ft. Collins Co

      • Thanks Paul! I couldn’t agree with you more. CPW has not expressed any interest in a reintroduction effort. Wolves that make it here on thier own (and they will) will be much less destructive and better integrated than transplants! Two good points were made already: If you have evidence of wolves in CO – SEND IT TO CPW! It can only help thwart off a reintroduction. Second CO also already has an even more endangered wolf, the Mexican Grey Wolf – a good addition to the landscape – and haphazard introduction of Canadian wolves will likely run them to extinction. Most of the ‘Pro Wolf Crowd’ doesnt even know they extent of the possible damage they are proposing – its our job to let them know!

        • Greg, the reason that we do not hear the OPPOSITION from Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission/staff is that they are under a State Statute, once Ballot Initiative 107 was approved by the Sec of State, that prohibits them from stating, reporting, advertising that OPPOSITION to the public So now it is up totally to grass roots organizations like Stopthewolf (stopthewolf.org), the Colorado Protecting Wildlife group, Rock Mt Elk Foundation, etc. The Colorado Bow Hunter Assoc. donated $10,500 to the Stop the wolf.
          Thanks for your post. Paul Navarre, Colorado Larimer County Stop the Wolf coordinator.

          • Paul,
            I hope there are more like you in our corner! We have to put a stop to this insanity with intelligence, planning and above all a strong foundation of organizations banding together!
            We do not need the uninformed (Rod) and the Orion’s (See above RANCHERS) running any type of campaign against the wolf reintroduction, or it is a lost battle.
            I encourage every one to educate yourselves on this issue. Communicate with anyone you come in contact with and inform them with the facts and encourage them to do the same. Support the groups against this madness.
            We have fact base issues here in Colorado that support keeping the voting public out of fish and game management. Look at what the voting public did with the mandates to the DOW years ago with BEAR management, we are being over run with bear issues. Look at boulder county and the prairie dog issue, their open space programs are infested with these pests and they can’t control them due to the controlling population within the city confines. They don’t have to deal with them …..but they can SAVE the cute little DOGS! BS

  15. Shoot, and shovel!

    • Mark, I surely do believe in free speech and I am sure you mean what your say and you have every right to post it. Interesting, those very words were used in a pro wolf editorial in the Denver Post, trying to prove a point that the few wolves that do migrate in to Colorado will be poached by hunters,etc, adding to their agenda that wolves need to be introduced in greater numbers. There were lot of LIKES to that post. Paul

      • To combat that argument, be sure to point out the low hunter success rates against wolves. In Idaho it’s under 5%, and the wolves are running away with that contest easily. Shooting wolves doesn’t seem to work, because they’re too smart.

        • Greg, where legal, trapping and the use of snares were the most effective ways to kill wolves, as over 60% of the legal wolf kills were by those two methods. Interesting, trapping is not legal in Colorado unless for a 30 day period but with a permit on private land.

  16. This issue is not about being anti-wolf in Colorado; it is all about being against the FORCED REINTRODUCTION of large numbers of the Canadian Gray Wolf into Colorado over time. There is a huge difference between Want & Need & those who WANT to FORCE greater numbers of the gray wolf into Colorado will do anything they can to get them here in greater numbers than if they just migrate in, as they have been & are doing currently. There is already the presence of wolves in Colorado which have migrated in.

    Those (Rock Mt Wolf Project,etc) who WANT to Force the reintroduction of the Gray Wolf into Colorado found a “loop hole” in that Colorado is a ballot initiative state & that wildlife issues can be tested before the general public & many times against the recommendations of the Colorado Wildlife Commission. Those forcing the issue, have already spent nearly one million dollars to get Ballot Initiative 107 to the voting public in November of 2020. It has been reported that 99% of those monies came from out of state sources.
    Ballot Initiative 107, many believe, is full of FALSE narratives as follows: 1. Wolves will only be introduced on Public land. 2, Wolves will only be introduced west of the Continental Divide. 3. Once established, the Gray Wolf will bring back the critical balance of Nature to Colorado. 4. Wolves were eliminated in Colorado over 80 years ago; & while that is true, only 1.2 million persons resided in Colorado at that time; currently Colorado is pushing 6 MIL residents statewide. Colorado has twice the population of Idaho, Montana & Wyoming combined where some wolves reside today.

    Thirteen years ago, the Parks and Wildlife Commission approved a plan entitled, “Findings & Recommendations for Managing Wolves which Migrate into Colorado,” which was in response to the reintroduction of the gray wolf by the USFWS into the Yellowstone National Park area. That same year a migrating wolf from Wyoming was found dead on Colorado’s West I-70, & others have been observed since then in Colorado.
    The above plan (CPW Resolution 16-01) was developed by a group with various interests in Colorado, ie., Colorado Wolf Management Working Group, made up of environmentalists, sportsmen, local government, wildlife biologists & livestock producers. The results were comprehensive & not anti-wolf at all but developed a Colorado Wolf Management framework as follows:

    1. accepting a (migrating) wolf presence in Colorado with conditions.
    2. urging that wolves migrating into Colorado be allowed to live with “no boundaries” where they find habitat
    3. advocating that wolves be left wherever found, providing they are not causing problems
    4. taking measures to avoid conflicts through non-lethal methods if possible & if wolves cause problems, manage them to resolve the problem
    5. recommending that funding for wolf management come from sources other than hunting license sales, & then, the Resolution concluded that: “any introduction or reintroduction of the wolves into Colorado is a potential conflict with the State’s livestock industry and current big game management efforts.”

    The current Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, appointed by the Governor, and then approved by the State Legislature, for the past 100 years, is mandated to oversee and then using current scientific big & small game management practices here in Colorado (not Ballot Box Biology), resolved the following:
    “That the (current year 2016) Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission affirms its support of the Wolf Working Group’s recommendations adopted by the Wildlife Commission in May 2005, OPPOSING the intentional release of any wolves into Colorado……” (adopted, January 13, 2016)
    Most Colorado citizens believe in the legitimacy of the Colorado Wildlife Commission & the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director and staff to scientifically manage Colorado’s big game populations & we should follow their lead and recommendations concerning this FORCED wolf introduction issue. If you understand & believe in the science of Colorado’s big game wildllife management and the North American Conservation Model, you will support their recommendations.

    Currently, there are 23 Colorado Counties which have signed a County Resolution opposing the forced reintroduction of the gray wolf into Colorado. (Five are Front Range Counties) These counties have studied & examined the effects that forced introduction of the gray wolf may have on its communities, its citizens, its wildlife and its livestock, both commercial & domestic.
    No doubt the subject of the wolf can be a very emotional subject & the voting public needs to EXAMINE all sides of this Colorado issue before voting for or against the Forced Introduction of the gray wolf to Colorado.. I would recommend visiting the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website & also visit the Stopthewolf.org website & see for yourself that there is more to this Wolf issue than one can imagine.

    Paul Navarre, Ft. Collins Co

    • I hate the use of the word “reintroduction” there’s no re since it’s just the introduction of an invasive species! Just like the python in the Everglades

  17. Paul provides accurate facts – I looked them up.
    I just hope the compounding effects of introduction is realized to include the load of disease wolves bring with them, almost as bad as rodent related disease. Very dirty animal but also what makes it so successful. I just pray these introduced animals are free from disease as is usually the case when introduced. We all know that in places like Idaho they are massively spreading Hydatid cysts ! These wolf kills plenty on its own double or triple the death they cause by the disease they spread ! So don’t just look at the direct effect of them physically killing ungulates, it’s way more !
    I really hope some genius similar to bucket biologists throwing non game fish in managed lakes doesn’t get the idea to help spread diseases into wolves that kill them. Such as canine distemper or paro virus or worse as was done in early 1900’s they put scabies/mange into their population which could nearly wipe them out as what happened a hundred years ago. Let’s keep these animals as healthy as we can by managing and hunting them cause seeing them die from purposely introduced mange by someone is a frightful thought ! Can’t we all just get along !

  18. Wolves are in SW Colorado, I’m not going go into detail but they have been seen by landowners & ranchers in the area for years. Personally, I’ve seen tracks but never physically spotted a wolf while hunting in SW Colorado. I live in Idaho and know a wolf track when I see one, they are rampant in my state.

  19. “Wildlife Management by Referendum” equals disaster. The granolas–who onced decreed ‘scientific management’ is required for ‘progress’–now reject the same and its in place have inserted ‘feel-good anthropomorphic edicts.’ More tyranny from the Red-diaper babies in-charge…

  20. Vote in Pot, and this is what you Got

  21. Steve is a major moron and liar and if he is actually ranching he will be broke soon spouting numbers like that ! Cmon man I was born at night but not last night ! That would make a LB of beef around $27 a LB! Get real. These ranchers change u 4-17 grand to kill a bull elk – it’s a cash cow for them – (pun intended) to feed elk then reap rewards ! We know the cost ! Then you tell lies – fake news and take more money from hunters paying the bills thru license fees ! Scam ! Now add in some wolf damage – u guys will be all over it !
    For hunters the fact is 1 wolf averages 22 kills per year – elk mostly maybe deer. Wyoming has less elk but claims 300 wolves- thats conservative 700 elk. So Colocraphole will desire 400-500 wolves I bet ! 1st season elkhunters kill statewide is 17K by Rifle ! Wolves alone each year will kill almost as many as 1st season elk hunters which means huge reduction in tags over time – then it will be all draw tags ! Then huge increase in tag fees. Simple to see. Then private tags go to double the price ! Shooting several dozen wolves while living in AK I realize what a Pack is capable of, they are beyond ultimate predators ! 100% effective on a kill I bet with dumb animals that have not seen them in decades, it’s a joke ! U Colorado Boyz are clueless ! Does anyone realize buffalo numbers 150 years ago ? No reintroduction of buffalo but wolves ? Ranchers would hate to see buffalo back ? Who’s pushing for native buffalo back on the landscape in Colorado ? Wolves but not the Buffs ? Hmm – no one thinks or promotes that ? Stupid !

  22. Saw wolf tracks in E. Oregon in 1995 when ODFW said there weren’t any. We’ve sure got a bunch now, and along with the mt. lions, you’re lucky to see any elk. Am hoping we get them in the Willamette Valley so maybe the wolf lovers can have them in their backyards. They’re getting closer, they’re now in the Cascades.

  23. I grew up in the East Kootenay Region of British Columbia and have seen first hand the devastating impact that wolves will have on ungulate populations. Literally the best thing that the State of Colorado could do is ficus efforts in eradicating the wolves…. and it would be a full time job to do that. Most of the drainages that we used to hunt are devoid of ungulates today…. in 2008 there was an ariel survey completed in Region 4 (excluding 4-23) of BC and they had estimated there to be 10,000 elk in 2018 they completed another ariel survey and numbers were down to 5000 elk. I would believe that numbers are probably closer to 3000 today.

    The area that I speak of is just north from the Idaho border….. the wolves that they are dealing with in Idaho today have moved south from BC as there is no food left for them in BC. The wolves will continue to expand there area as they follow their food source and will be a problem until they are exterminated.

    Enjoy the ungulate populations that you have today and shoot every wolf you see.

  24. Save the Elk, shoot a rocklicker

  25. If CPW funding is through license sales, I believe CPW is in for a rough decade or so. The dumbest idea is that the wolf is a necessary part of the landscape when clearly we have lived without them for a hundred years. Now, when they are reintroduced or proliferate to the point where they are putting a dent in our “overpopulated” deer and elk herd just remember that to a wolf, meat is meat. None of our game and non-game species know the wolf at all and have no ingrained instinct for it. Wolves will clearly decimate the deer and elk, but also moose, game birds, livestock, pets, as well as anything else they can catch and eat (which means pretty much all species) if WY, ID, and MT are any example (by the way, how is a trimmed back ungulate herd going support grizzly bear recovery?).
    If you support CPW with your license fees then give it a second thought until this onslaught and slaughter is over. In the WY I hunted in the 80s, for example, there were deer, elk, and moose aplenty. In the late 90s the elk were scarce and the moose were even less common. A count along the Wind River during winter in the 80s might turn up 30-40 moose in 20 miles. In the late 90s, none. Instead of dozens of elk in elk season, less than a dozen in a week.
    Ranchers will be harmed by more than just livestock predation. Many lease out their properties for every hunting season for many thousands of dollars (totaling 6 figures in many areas) and that will be greatly reduced. Offset by higher crop yields? Not likely. A lot of money is going to stay out of state when the wolves get established, all due to reduced hunting, and drive good folks who depend on hunting money in the direct and indirect economy. CO was the star of elk and deer hunting for many years, looks like our star is about to go dim. Thanks to uninformed voters and feckless state legislature. Game management by uneducated nature lovers is about as effective as politicians managing healthcare.

  26. This is not new. in 1980 I was up hunting deer with my dad and others between Rifle and Meeker. I was by myself sitting in an aspen grove well hidden. There were three meadows in a Y shape I was down wind were the bottom of the Y joins the V. All of the sudden a large white wolf came toting by, he never knew I was there, about 75 feet away. He turned up the left meadow and I watched him until he went into the trees. My dad did not believe me until we got back to camp, two game wardens stop by to check are licenses and when I told them about it they said several hunters had reported seeing him.

  27. Wolves will clean up any sick, aged or infirmed game. Unfortunately they also will attack the young, but the herds try to protect teh young. Wolves were here a long time before us, and deserve a chance to live and eat. The article implies that one pack of wolves is a disaster? Oh well, live with it .

    • Bill, “a long time before us”? while that is true but Colorado was just being explored then and now has nearly 6,000,000 residents. Colorado is not Montana, or Idaho, or Wyoming, actually Colorado has twice the population of these 3 states. A while the Yellowstone Nat Park was somewhat successful, the Colorado Rocky Mt Nat Park superintendent stated in an article in the Denver Post, “What worked in Yellowstone will not work here” a gave many reason why not. One can use the same reasons to why a forced introduction into Colorado will not work also. What is the” disaster” is that we are a ballot initiative state and wildlife issues can be vote on by the general public, like this wolf issue and against the total OPPOSITION to the forced introduction by the Wildlife Commission and the CPW biologists and staff. “Deserve a chance to live and eat” you state. The Colorado Wildlife Commission is on record, (CPW Resolution 16-01) allowing wolves to migrate in and to do just that, to live and eat without disruption. But forced in in larger numbers over time, NO!

  28. Thanks Paul. I lived in CO for over 17 years and not counting Military time there. Yes a population of six million, but millions of acres of land. Lots of park space that isn’t infringed on. I see nothing in your argument to retain the killing of wolves. I stand by my statement that wolves are a better monitor. Sooner see an elk killed by a wolf, rather than dying of starvation. One pack will indeed ;bring forth more, but that is where the Department of Wildlife and Game Management comes in, not sport hunters, of which I am one.
    I suppose I have a great love of wolves, being born and raised in Canada, and ow living in maine.

    • Unfortunately in parts of Wyoming we have another problem. Money is changing the dynamic. We have outfitters paying to lease land which in turn closes large areas of private lands to hunting that were previously available for years. Those outfitters are not about management but rather about making some money, understandably. However, the herd management suffers. Numbers of elk are growing. The G & F adds more tags but access is limited. Then the hunting sucks on accessible land because of the added traffic. As herds grow, ranchers complain and more tags are added. I don’t dislike outfitters but it is a growing problem. But the ranchers want the outfitters pay also. So, if we cannot open the lands to more public hunters and increase the tags filled, it will and is spiraling out of control

    • Braniff from Maine it’s only a short trip for you to go back to Canada to your precious wolves. You know nothing about what Colorado needs! It’s not wolves OR people like you

  29. More liberal based anti-hunting propaganda rammed down sportsman and sportswomen”s throats,deer and elk , moose lose!

  30. Seth A Halmrast

    Wolves are like the pine beetle, that has worked our well for us in Colorado.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.