Top 10 Wolf Hunting Tips from RMEF Members

Wolf Hunting
Wolf Hunting Tips

MISSOULA, Mont. –-( In an online questionnaire about their wolf-hunting experiences, members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation offer valuable intel that could help more hunters enjoy the challenge and fill their wolf tag this fall.

A Top 10 list of hunting tips are featured below. Dozens more ideas and observations are posted at the following link:

RMEF members’ goal in sharing this information is simple: More successful wolf hunters mean better balance in areas where undermanaged predator populations are impacting elk and other wildlife.

“Elk are the inspiration behind our organization’s 6 million-plus acres of habitat conservation,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “No conservation group has a membership more invested in elk country, more affected by wolves, or more passionate about achieving balance. That’s why RMEF members are eager to share their collective experience in a type of hunting still new to most of us.”

In parts of the northern Rockies, burgeoning numbers of wolves, bears, and lions are compounding habitat issues, all contributing to elk calf survival rates too low to sustain elk herds for the future. RMEF continues to conserve habitat while supporting litigation and legislation to clear the way for wolf management via hunting.

But wolves are providing a challenge that could make adequate population control easier said than done. Of the 710 respondents to the questionnaire, less than 7 percent killed a wolf during the inaugural hunting seasons in Idaho and Montana.

Lack of success was not for lack of trying. Half of the respondents spent 8 or more days afield in 2011 with an eye peeled for wolves.

More than 60 percent of respondents said wolf sign was plentiful in their hunting area, while another 27 percent encountered some tracks, scat, vocalizations, etc. Yet only 47 percent of respondents actually saw a wolf.

Among those who bagged a wolf, 20 percent credited their success to a coincidental encounter with their quarry. Calling, watching, and waiting in a likely area, and stalking was reported as the most productive proactive hunting strategies.

Top 10 wolf-hunting tips from the RMEF member questionnaire:

  1. Stay close to elk. If you can find a herd of elk, especially a herd a mile or more from a road, it’s just a matter of time before wolves show up.
  2. Wolves can be patterned like other game. Scouting will help you find travel routes, crossings, etc. Wolves tend to take the easy paths: roads, trails, and frozen lakes.
  3. Get hunting permission from private landowners. Lots of landowners are happy to have wolf hunters. Could lead to other hunting opportunities down the road.
  4. Most wolf hunters want to shoot a big trophy male. But taking females is better for population control. The main thing is just don’t shoot a collared wolf. Collars are needed to track the packs— and funding for collaring wolves is getting tighter.
  5. Go on more hunts specifically for wolves, not for wolves as a byproduct of another hunt. (Questionnaire data reveal only 11 percent of respondents hunted exclusively for wolves; most hunted for wolves as part of a deer or elk hunt.)
  6. Howling works to locate wolves. But too much howling, especially by inexperienced callers, can educate wolves. Elk calf- and fawn-in-distress and coyote calls work well. Also, try moose calls.
  7. When calling, set up on the high ground, not in a hole or depression. Visibility is key. Consider using a blind. Wolves seem to spot blaze orange from a great distance.
  8. Wolves are more reckless in their pursuit of prey when it’s colder outside. Hunters should concentrate on bad weather days for wolf hunting.
  9. Watch for birds – magpies, gray jays, ravens – as are a tipoff to fresh kill locations. Approach carefully and watch the area for returning wolves. Consider using a tree stand. A driving technique with a group of hunters also can work.
  10. Once you kill a wolf, stay put. Other wolves from the pack often return to the site, sometimes very quickly. You or a buddy may get a chance at a second wolf.

In addition to more tips posted at, several wolf-hunting features are slated for the Sept./Oct. 2012 edition of Bugle, the member magazine of RMEF.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that has protected or enhanced habitat on more than 6 million acres—an area larger than Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at or 800-CALL ELK.

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Thank you David for sticking up for the North America Model of wildlife management. The fools that want everything turned back to Jurassic Park need to be stopped. The predator pit Yellowstone is turning out to be is just one example of what these fools want right up to the boarder of our ranchers land.


For more information about hunting wolves, visit You can also pick up a a Wolf Howler at to locate and call wolves in.

bob barker

RMEF is a joke. Since David Allen has taken over they have lost almost all their credibility. The Murie family just asked the predator haters to take their name off a conservation award…..Ouch. What exactly has the RMEF done in the last 15 years? Squat.