Local rancher spots wolf in Grand County near Parshall | SkyHiNews.com

Local rancher spots wolf in Grand County near Parshall

A local rancher saw a wolf on his ranch near Parshall on the morning of April 25. Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed it was a collared wolf known as 2301 that traveled from Jackson County.

Shawn Scholl owns 1,300 acres near Corral Creek Road and says he spotted the wolf on Tuesday around 8:30 a.m. near the meadow of his ranch while he was checking on his calves. At first he thought it was a lose cow, but upon closer inspection he realized it was a black wolf.

“I thought it was a small calf or a deer. Then I realized what it was, and the dog saw it and took off towards it,” said Scholl in an interview. “I couldn’t enter the meadow right away and was trying not to get the dog eaten, so I got in my truck.”

When Scholl started to approach the animal in his truck he saw the wolf loping parallel alongside his dog and got another better look at the wolf before it trotted away.

“It took off east when he saw the vehicle. Man, he cleared that fence like a deer!” he said, while explaining that his electrified wire fence is 5 feet tall.

Tracks left behind from a confirmed wolf sighting on April 25 near Parshall.
Shawn Scholl/ Courtesy photo

Later that day Colorado Parks and Wildlife came out to the property and confirmed the wolf sighting, and a biologist tracked its prints.

“I’ve got over 100 baby calves on the ground, so it’s a little disheartening,” said Scholl, adding that he is not too worried since it was a single wolf and not a pack. “I’m not concerned until I see a family of them. We’re more worried about mountain lions.”

However, this is not Scholl’s first encounter with wolves on his property, a few years ago hunters spotted wolves on his ranch.

He hopes that people will be responsible and call wildlife authorities if they see a wolf so it can be documented properly, especially with Colorado’s wolf reintroduction on the horizon.

Wolf 2301 is from a breeding pair of wolves that naturally migrated from Wyoming into Colorado near Walden. Collared wolf 2101 is the presumed father of wolf 2301.

“Colorado Parks and Wildlife can only confirm these two collared wolves as currently existing in the state,” said Travis Duncan, a Parks and Wildlife public information supervisor. “Gray wolf 2301 is part of the North Park pack from Jackson County. It is possible that some members of the pack were harvested in Wyoming, where wolves can be legally hunted.”

Wolf 2101 was not seen or tracked with 2301 in Parshall on April 25, according to Parks and Wildlife.

“Colorado Parks and Wildlife does not have a way to confirm that any wolves killed in Wyoming were part of the North Park pack,” he said.

After migrating into Colorado from Wyoming, male wolf 2101, front, and female wolf 1084 had a litter of pups that included male wolf 2301, back. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials put GPS collars on the two male wolves Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, after other collars stopped working last year.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Courtesy photo

Duncan added, “The last confirmed wolf depredation claim in Colorado was of a working dog in Jackson County on March 13, 2023. Before this sighting the last nearby wolf sighting was in Grand County was in November 2021.”

Gray wolves are a federally protected species as well as a state endangered species, and wolves may not be taken for any reason other than self-defense.

“Penalties can vary and can include fines up to $100,000, jail time and loss of hunting privileges,” said Duncan.

Residents can report wolf sighting by filling out a form. Providing photos, videos, location coordinates or other details in report sightings is encouraged. The identity and location of sightings will not be publicly shared.

*Editor’s note: This story was updated to add quotes from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

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