Cattle Kill Count For Colorado Wolves Up To Six

Six cows have been killed by wolves in Colorado so far this year, and wolves with Wyoming roots might be involved in some of the attacks.

Mark Heinz

April 18, 20244 min read

One of five wolves reintroduced to northern Colorado in December 2023.
One of five wolves reintroduced to northern Colorado in December 2023. (Jerry Neal, Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Six cows have been reported killed by wolves in Colorado so far this year, and wolves with Wyoming roots might be involved some of the attacks.

Wolves were also recently sighted about 12 miles south of the Wyoming state line in Routt County, Colorado, John Michael Williams, a Centennial State resident, told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday.

Williams is the administrator of the Colorado Wolf Tracker Facebook page, which has thousands of followers and has become a major clearinghouse for information about wolves in that state.

Most recently in Grand County, Colorado, four yearling cattle were reported this week to have likely been killed by wolves, according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department (CPW).

Previously, a calf was reported killed by wolves April 2 in Grand County. It was the first confirmed livestock loss to wolves this year, and also the first since 10 wolves from Oregon were relocated to Colorado in December, launching Colorado’s wolf reintroduction program.

Another cow was reported killed by wolves April 7 in Jackson County, Colorado, Williams said.

Wolves With Wyoming Roots Already There

There were already two wolves known to be in Colorado at the time of the December wolf releases. Those two wolves were the last survivors of the North Park pack, which formed in about 2020 by wolves that migrated into Colorado from Wyoming.

The North Park pack was blamed for the deaths of several livestock animals and dogs, including a beloved Jackson County cattle dog named Cisco.

While wolves remain protected in Colorado and may not be hunted by the public there, the part of Wyoming north of the state line is a “predator zone” for wolves, where they may be killed on sight at any time. It’s thought that some members of the North Park pack crossed back into Wyoming and were shot by hunters.

Which Wolves Did It?

The wolves relocated from Oregon came from packs involved in attacking cattle in that state.

CPW reported that wolves from Oregon were in the general area of the latest four attacks on cattle in Grand County.

Williams said he suspects that the two survivors from the North Park pack might also be involved in some of the attacks on cattle this year. He’s also reasonably certain that it’s those two wolves — “two males, a father and son” — that have recently been spotted just south of the Wyoming line in Routt County.

“They like to hang out up there,” he said.

Colorado wolf kills map 4 18 24
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

CPW’s Account Of Attacks

In Grand County, all four yearling cattle found dead this week had injuries consistent with wolf attacks, CPW spokesman Joey Livingston stated in an email to Cowboy State Daily.

CPW agents inspected three dead yearlings on a Grand County ranch early Wednesday.

“CPW believes the depredation occurred between Monday night and Tuesday morning, when a storm brought a foot of snow to the area covering up the carcasses and delaying their discovery until Wednesday,” Livingston stated. “The following morning on Thursday, April 18, CPW received a report of a possible fourth depredation incident at the same property. A CPW wildlife officer responded, conducted a field investigation, and found evidence confirming this to be a wolf-livestock depredation.

“The field investigation found injuries on one dead yearling cattle consistent with wolf depredation, including hemorrhaging and partially consumed hindquarters,” he added. “The wolf or wolves that were in the area at the time of the depredation were part of the 10 wolves that were reintroduced to Colorado in December 2023.”

Colorado has a compensation program to pay ranchers for the losses of livestock and cattle dogs. CPW and the Colorado Department of Agriculture are also finalizing a program to help pay for range riders to watch over livestock.

Mark Heinz can be reached at

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter