Colorado Confirms 1st Wolf Kill in Nearly 70 Years

Some of you know that I’m part of many sportsmen and other working groups here in colorado. Yesterday we learned that there is potentially Colorado’s first livestock loss due to wolves in more than 70 years. We also learned that in the voter-mandated wolf introduction process, many people want the working groups to first figure out how many wolves and where they’ll go, but the groups are making livestock loss and compensation a priority–rightfully so! Today, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is confirming that the livestock loss is indeed due to wolves.

WALDEN, Colo. – After an initial investigation, CPW wildlife officers are confident in confirming a wolf depredation incident has occurred on a domestic calf in North Park.

Just after 9 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19, a CPW District Wildlife Manager (DWM) received a report of a calf carcass on a ranch in Jackson County.

The DWM responded and conducted a field investigation and necropsy on the carcass of the calf to look for evidence of pre-mortem wounds. 

“The results of this investigation indicated wolf tracks in the immediate vicinity of the carcass and wounds on the calf consistent with wolf depredation,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf.

CPW will handle reimbursement of the incident under its current game damage process as if the depredation occurred by mountain lions or bears. CPW is in the process of formalizing an official process for damage by wolves.

“CPW is working on draft regulations for the Commission’s consideration on hazing for these naturally migrating wolves in the state,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow. “Our goal is to provide producers with resources to minimize the likelihood of conflict or depredation as we work to create a statewide wolf restoration and management program as directed under Proposition 114.”

Depredation compensation is required by statute, and the final Colorado compensation plan will be part of the overall Gray Wolf planning process. Recent Stakeholder Advisory Group and Technical Working Group meetings have focused on the topic of depredation compensation; meeting summaries are available at

Gray Wolves remain a state endangered species, and wolves may not be taken for any reason other than self-defense. Illegal take of a wolf may result in a combination of penalties, including fines of up to $100,000, a year of jail time, and a lifetime loss of hunting license privileges. 

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast. 

Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to outdoors, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.

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