GARDINER - The Gardiner area landowner who lost thirteen sheep to wolves last month, is forfeiting his permit to kill a second wolf.
On Tuesday, Bill Hoppe requested Fish, Wildlife and Parks revise his on-site permit to kill the second wolf responsible for killing more than 13 sheep.
"The wolves killed one sheep and they got a little taste of blood and then they couldn't quit ," said Hoppe. "They ended up killing 18 of them."
Hoppe's on-site permit issued on April 24th will expire this Saturday. That permit gives Hoppe permission to legally kill the second wolf involved in killing his sheep.
He said he will be shipping his cow pairs, which were grazing in the area of the depredation event, to summer pasture in another location at the end of the week and there is no need for the permit.
"I have no interest going down there and trying to kill the wolf if there's nothing down there to protect," said Hoppe. "I could of killed another wolf, but it wasn't on the property."'
Fish, Wildlife and Parks immediately investigated the May 6th incident, in which Hoppe legally shot and killed one of the two wolves.
"Immediately after shooting the wolf that had returned to the site of the depredation, the landowner called us, we came in and investigated the situation," said Andrea Jones, FWP Spokesperson. "We found it to be a completely legal take. There were no signs of baiting."
Jones said all the sheep carcasses were removed from the site except for one that was mostly likely consumed by a bear a few days after the event. Jones added Hoppe forfeiting his permit early was a good-faith gesture.
'It was gesture to say I don't need it , I'm not going to go out and kill another wolf unless his livestock was in danger," said Jones.
Jones said they have the right to remove wolves that cause problems.
"It's part of management that we sometimes have to remove individual wolves sometimes even packs if they are repeat offenders.," said Jones.
Jones said the state of Montana has a stable population of wolves. At the end of 2012, there were 625 wolves statewide.