Wyoming Man Cited For Capturing Live Wolf, Reportedly Showed It Off In Bar Before Killing It

On Feb. 29, a Sublette County man reportedly captured and tormented a wolf in Daniel, Wyoming. He allegedly taped its mouth shut and showed it off in a bar before taking it out back and shooting it. The man has been charged with possession of a live wolf.

Mark Heinz

April 02, 20244 min read

The Green River Bar in Daniel Wyoming is the town’s oldest building. It was built in 1899.
The Green River Bar in Daniel Wyoming is the town’s oldest building. It was built in 1899. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

UPDATE: Hunters, Biologists Angered At Alleged Wolf Torture Case

The case of a man allegedly capturing a wolf and tormenting it — including by showing it off in bar — before finally killing it could spark enough outrage to shake Wyoming’s wolf management policy.

It’s legal to kill wolves in the part of Sublette County where the incident is said to have happened.

But keeping an animal alive and tormenting it in such manner, as was reportedly done, would be an egregious violation of hunting ethics and a black eye for Wyoming, two sources familiar with the incident told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday on condition of remaining anonymous.

Cowboy State Daily verified the reports of both sources, which also align with a report of an incident the same day from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

One source said they had seen photos of the wolf, with its mouth taped shut, being shown off in a bar in Daniel, Wyoming, a tiny town in Sublette County.

According to the account of events, a man ran the wolf down with a snowmobile Feb. 29, disabling it. Instead of killing the animal on the spot, he reportedly kept the wolf and took it back to his residence, then to the bar — before finally taking it out behind the bar and killing it.

Citation Issued

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department verified that somebody has been cited and fined for being in possession of a live wolf, but didn’t release that person’s name, the name of the investigating game warden or any exact details of the case.

Sublette County Circuit Court records, however, show that local resident Cody Roberts, born in 1981, was cited for a wildlife violation stemming from an incident that day, Feb. 29, and that Adam Hymas was the investigating agent.

A records request from Cowboy State Daily for detailed Game and Fish written reports regarding the case was still pending at press time.

Multiple calls from Cowboy State Daily to a number in Daniel listed as Roberts’ went unanswered.

When asked over the phone about the story of a wolf being taken into the bar — identified in the photos as the Green River Bar — an employee referred Cowboy State Daily to the bar’s owner, who had not returned messages as of publication.

Game And Fish Account Of Events

Game and Fish spokeswoman Breanna Ball sent Cowboy State Daily a statement about the case via email Tuesday.

“An anonymous reporting party notified the Wyoming Game and Fish Department that an individual was alleged to be in possession of a live wolf. The reporting party notified the Department on March 1, 2024. According to the investigation, the individual possessed the live wolf on 2/29/24,” according to the statement.

“The individual was hunting when he came across the wolf in the predator zone and intended to harvest it. However, the wolf was transported alive back to his residence and later to a business in Daniel, WY. The individual euthanized the wolf later that day. The individual was cited for violating Chapter 10, Importation and Possession of Live Warm-Blooded Wildlife,” according to Game and Fish.

That offense carries a $250 fine.

Will This Affect Wolf Policy?

Wyoming has a three-tiered wolf management policy. Inside Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, wolves remain under full federal protection and may not be hunted.

In areas of Wyoming adjacent to the national parks, there is a “trophy hunting zone.” There, wolves are managed as a trophy species. Hunting is allowed, but hunters must have wolf hunting tags and can kill wolves only during designated hunting seasons and within predetermined quotas.

The rest of Wyoming, or roughly 85% of the state, is a “predator zone” for wolves. That means they may be killed at any time, with bag limit and no hunting tags required.

One source who spoke to Cowboy State Daily said the worry is that such an act of alleged animal cruelty could turn the tide of nationwide public sentiment against Wyoming’s wolf policy.

“When this story gets out, and it will, this is going to drastically change the discussion about wolf management in Wyoming,” the source said.

Mark Heinz can be reached at mark@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter