With a single shot from his .243, Jacob Mancuso might have made history.

It’s possible Mancuso, 19, of Burlington was the first person to fill a wolf tag Monday – the opening day of Wyoming’s first regulated wolf hunt.

“I have no idea if I was the first one to get a wolf” said Mancuso, who shot his that evening in wolf hunt area four, in the Meeteetse region.

“When I put in my call to the Game and Fish reporting hotline, the lady who answered didn’t know for sure either, but she did say, ‘You’re the first who has called in.’”

G&F reported two wolves taken in the Park County area opening day, but the agency isn’t releasing any information identifying the hunters.

The latest G&F reports available early Wednesday indicated four of a statewide mortality quota of 52 wolves had been taken in the trophy game zone.

When wolf hunts opened in Montana and Idaho, publicity about the first hunters to bag wolves there generated widespread objections and protests – and even some threats against the hunters.

Mancuso said he had hunted for the enjoyment and challenge, and didn’t give possible controversy much thought.

“I’m not afraid of ridicule,” he said.

More than 2,000 wolf tags have been sold in Wyoming, and it’s expected most hunters will carry a wolf tag while hunting big game, instead of going out only for wolves.

If the 52 wolf quota is met before the Dec. 31 season closing date, hunting will end for the year, regardless of how many hunters are left still holding tags.

Outside the trophy game zone (in Park County, east of WYO 120), wolves are classified as a predatory species and may be shot year round, but G&F has reported few wolves venture outside the trophy game zone.

Mancuso said he and his brother-in-law Troy Simenson of Cody were hunting specifically for wolves when they set out Monday afternoon.

They were hunting mostly on hope and hearsay.

“We knew guys who hunted big game in that area, and said they had heard wolves howling around there,” said Mancuso, who works as a farm hand.

When they arrived at their parking spot, they spotted some wolves about 1,200 yards away, and decided to make for the ridge they saw the animals cross.

After a long hike and some sitting, they hadn’t seen or heard any more sign of the wolves, so they started making their way back to their vehicle.

“We decided to try sitting in one more spot, and stayed there for about an hour,” Mancuso said.

“I heard something in the bushes along the treeline above us and, wouldn’t you know it – a good-sized black male popped out about 75 yards from us,” he said.

They waited for a while on the hope that more wolves would appear, possibly giving Simenson a shot too.

“When no other wolves showed up, we decided I had better take the shot while we had the chance,” Mancuso said.

The wolf dropped in its tracks.

Mancuso estimates it to be about three years old and 80 pounds.

It was getting dark as they skinned the carcass, and he put the head and hide in his backpack.

They were still about four miles from their vehicle, on rugged ground.

Mancuso said he’s yet to have the wolf officially aged or measured; he’d like to have the hide and head turned into a rug.

“The fur is amazingly thick and soft,” he said. “I’ve called around to a few taxidermists, but the prices I’ve been quoted are more than I can afford.”

Mancuso said he was grateful for the chance to hunt Wyoming’s newest trophy game species.

“We got lucky,” he added. “But I was glad for the opportunity to help out the elk hunters.”

(Mark Heinz can be reached at mark@codyenterprise.com.)

(20) comments

Dave Buckles

I have sold MANY pictures of wolves that I have taken in the Cody area over the years, probably one or two to the people who have written in against your success.
www.vandykestaxidermy.com has a great home tanning kit, Lutan F is a great hide tanning kit. I have used this on all of the animals I have trapped or shot. Keep up the good work.


It is disgusting that you people have nothing better to do with your lives but go around killing animals tyhat only do what natural to them, the only reason you don't do it to people is becouse it is illegal. they are far better then you will ever be and karma will find you in the end, when you lose something you love remember that wolf that had a mate and think about it.

4d woofers

RIP little black wolf and I am so very sorry about our human ignorance. Not all humans are the same as what you encounter.


here's a news flash for you- do you locals really think you are seen in a favorable light with most of the American public who view you wildlife haters as being somewhat unhinged? Just saying,,,,,After all- the issue isn't decimated game herds or depredation on cattle.. now is it. This is a cultural hatred for an animal that is viewed by the Ranching Industry as disposable. LOONS


There are 25% more elk than the State needs. Wolves have killed maybe 70 cattle in th last two years......This is really not about wolves is it....Feeling a little "inadequate" perhaps?


This really isn't about wolves now is it? What is all the rage all about? Calling a wild animal serial killers........You sound like idiots


is this actually anything to brag about slaughtering defenceless animals as a sport i dont think so and as for they kill our elk etc we all have to eat each living breathing thing on this earth ,just imagine if cannibilism took over would there be an outcry then i sure hope not


Bernie- Respectfully, they are wild animals. Who are we as humans to criticize the way a wild animal kills their prey? That is- if we really are serious about co-existence with wolves. I get a kick out of bow hunters and other people that leave injured aninmals all over the place criticizing a wild animal who kills based on instinct. How come you do not know that


Mancuso said he wanted to help out the elk hunters. In parts of Wyoming they are so overun with elk the State FG said they are 25% over their population goal estimates....We don't want to let facts get in the way. Dogs just killed 44 sheep in Wyoming over the last week. Very little press. I wonder why the wolves weren't blamed? I have to shake my head reading the uneducated comments from a bunch of dimwit predator haters like Wyogirl......Wolves are serial killers? Because they are wired to kill in a way that offends you? The wolf that was shown on Mancuso's facebook page looks like a 6 month old pup......3 years old my a&. He killed a pup. What a man.


This article is very offensive to me, please don't glamorize the killing of these poor animals for your pleasure!

Leslie M

Bernie, good arguments. Took real HUMAN thinking to come up with those.

Being undomesticated natural predatory carnivores, they are
killing machines that lack discreetness: Gee, kind of like HUMANS that hunt animals just to put their heads on a wall rather than for food?

their population numbers must be controlled and regulated: Unlike controlling the numbers of HUMAN hunters that want to kill off wolves because they may interfere with the number of elk, deer and other vicious animals that are hunted for FUN every year. You want to control numbers to co-exist, how about controlling the human numbers of unregulated predators that kill with out remorse or NEED?

And, yes, I am aware that many hunters do eat the meat from their kills, and no I am not one of the PETA hypocrites, I do eat meat, and I do not bash hunters for the true hunting, just the pointless kills, such as this.

Oh, and for the comments about the breed not being domesticated? Well, read up, ALL canine breeds came from wolves.




Respectfully, I would like to share some information to those folks out there, that think wolves are innocent animals. Perhaps they conjure up emotions because they may remind us of the loyal family dog or maybe they are symbolic of or represent some deep, personal ideology. Wild and Free; minding their own business. That is where the problem is. Being undomesticated natural predatory carnivores, they are
killing machines that lack discreetness! Now, that they live amoungst us again and
we all are to peacefully co-exist, their population numbers must be controlled and regulated. Google, on line, for pictues of how and what they kill in Wy, Mt, & Idaho.
It will sicken you and possibly change your opinion on how nice they are. Cheers.


Congrats to you and anyone lucky enough give these vermin a dirt nap!!!

Old Bronc

Wow, what a challenging hunt. You sat there and a big dog wandered by, you shot and killed it and threw it away. AMAZING.


Congrats!! That wolf was a serial killer!!!


Simple fact checking for this article would have shown that the 1st trophy wolf to be killed in the state of Wyoming was shot opening morning in the Sunlight area at 7:45 am. Tissue samples for DNA testing had already been taken by Game & Fish and the animal was delivered to the taxidermist in Powell prior to 3:30 pm. I was there- this is not hearsay. This is not to invalidate Mr. Mancuso's wolf kill, but quality reporting is essential.


(EDITOR'S NOTE: Powell resident Keela Hopkin says her father shot an 83-pound female wolf in the Sunlight area at 7:45 a.m. on opening day, Oct. 1. Game and Fish harvest reports that day indicate a wolf was taken in wolf Hunt Area One (the Sunlight region), but gave no further details.
Updated harvest reports for the various wolf hunting areas are available by calling the G&F harvest report hotline 1-800-264-1280. G&F is not releasing details of the wolf hunts, such as hunters' identities, or the precise location of kills.)


Congratulations ! GREAT JOB !!

Dave Buckles

www.vandykestaxidermy.com has great home tanning kits. Lutan F kit leaves you with a great soft, subtle tan.


I'm not a member of PETA ( People eating tasty Animals), but why kill innocent animals, but don't agree with Capital Punishment ?

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