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State rejects wolf proposals


February 20, 2020

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission met February 13 to discuss proposed changes to wolf hunting and trapping seasons in Montana. After discussing and hearing public comments, the Commission rejected the proposals brought forth by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP).

FWP recommended proposed changes for Region 1, which includes Sanders County. FWP proposed extending the general hunting season from August 15 through March 31. The general season currently begins Sept. 15 (archery Sept. 1) and ends March 15. Another proposal would have extended the trapping season to March 15, instead of the current end date of Feb. 28. The final proposal was to increase the individual limit to 10 wolves per person. Currently, the limit is five per person.

The Commission did tighten wolf hunting in districts near Yellowstone National Park, reducing wolf hunting quotas from two to one per person.

These proposals emerged from the latest biennial season-setting process that involved the review of hunting season structures for most game animals and other managed species. FWP regional staff met and took input from local communities at four meetings across northwest Montana this winter, including a meeting in December at the Lakeside Resort in Trout Creek. Public comment was also submitted online and forwarded to commissioners and FWP staff for their consideration. The commission received more than 300 written comments on the wolf season proposals, including a handful from Sanders County residents and several from individuals and organizations from outside Montana.

“We heard from a substantial number of people attending the public meetings throughout northwest Montana who requested additional opportunity for wolves. Biologically, we have the wolf population to sustain additional harvest opportunity and wanted to be responsive to public input and participation,” FWP Regional Wildlife Manager Neil Anderson said before the Commission meeting.

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