Montana Man Caught and Fined For Illegally Poisoning Wolf
Regardless of your opinion on controlling the wolf population in Montana, this was definitely not the smartest way to thin the pack.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells us that a Reed Point, Montana, man admitted to unlawfully using strychnine to poison a wolf on a ranch near Ennis. Jeffrey Scott Wood pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a registered pesticide. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine and to pay $1,000 restitution to Montana FWP. The method he used could have lots of unintended consequences for other wildlife and domestic animals. In fact, that appears to be what happened.
Mr. Wood misused strychnine to lace a cow carcass to kill predators, a violation of federal law that resulted in the killing of a wolf, but likely killed a pet dog and some other small birds and mammals as well. An investigation into the death of the wolf determined that the wolf had ingested strychnine oats rolled in meat, which appeared to have been placed beside a previously dead cow. A ranch employee had shot the cow because it was sick prior to the poisoning. There were grains containing strychnine found in the wolf's stomach. A ranch employee’s dog also was suspected of dying from ingesting the strychnine.
And there was also an alleged attempted coverup. Prosecutors say Mr. Wood called a witness and said to “play stupid” if anyone asked questions about the dead wolf. Wood explained that he placed the poison around the cow carcass because he saw a grizzly sow and two cubs nearby. While he initially denied any involvement in the wolf’s death, he later admitted he put out the poison to kill wolves—not grizzly bears.
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