Montana FWP commissioners yesterday passed a plan to expand wolf hunting and made some modest concessions on protecting Yellowstone wolves.
The state commission passed the plan that expanded the wolf-hunting season from Sept. 15 to March 15, while also limiting the number of wolves that can be killed in areas abutting Yellowstone National Park. Prohibited by the Montana Legislature to set up a no-kill zone next to Yellowstone, the commission set up areas next to the Park with reduced bag limits and the numbers of wolves an individual hunter can kill.
While the issue of Yellowstone wolves was addressed, the commission declined to restrict kills as much as advocates wanted. Extended the season past February could impact pregnant wolves, they argued.
Commission Chairman Dan Vermillion said the limits are the result of an attempt to reach a middle ground.
“It’s not going to cause a long-term threat to the wolf population there,” Vermillion said.
There is no statewide quota limiting the total number of wolves that can be killed during the season, but in two special wolf-management units north of Yellowstone, the commission limited the total number of wolves that can be killed to seven.
Hunters and trappers will only be allowed to take one wolf each in those areas.
Image courtesy National Park Service.
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