Montana’s wolf season closed on March 15, and based on Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks data, the hunting and trapping harvest dropped for a second year in a row. This year’s harvest totaled 258 animals. The Fish and Wildlife Commission had adopted a quota of 450. The lower harvest comes despite attempts by the Montana Legislature to increase the wolf take with a number of changes including: allowing snares, higher limits, hunting wolves at night on private land, longer trapping seasons, the use of bait and payments to successful hunters and trappers. Reasons for the drop may in part be due to the harsh winter, with heavy snows, and the delay in the trapping season. The season isn’t opened until grizzly bears den to avoid trapping any of the federally protected species. FWP also sold fewer trapping licenses last year and the commission added a lower quota for the wolf harvest just north of Yellowstone National Park. Montana’s wolf population was last estimated at about 1,100 animals. To learn more, check out my story at https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana-wolf-harvest-drops-for-2nd-year-in-a-row-despite-laws-to-make-hunting/article_2f3f6a78-c8f6-11ed-8d77-23012f27f520.html.
Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor | Billings Gazette