Montana FWP Seeks Comment On 2011 Wolf Hunting Season

Montana FWP Seeks Comment On 2011 Wolf Hunting Season
Montana's Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking comment on a wolf hunt proposed for the 2011 season.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

MALTA, Mont. –-(Ammoland.com)- Based in part on lessons learned from the state’s first regulated wolf hunt in 2009,

Commissioners approved a harvest quota of 186 wolves across 13 wolf management units for the 2010 season, which was blocked by a federal court.

“This season proposal is very similar to the season considered last year and it's one that is properly balanced,” said Ken McDonald, FWP’s chief of wildlife.

McDonald explained that the state's 14 WMUs are generally situated in the western portion of Montana to target areas where impacts on elk and deer populations have occurred and where recurring livestock depredations are predicted. A new WMU is proposed to be added in the Bitterroot Valley where wolves have contributed to a significant drop in the elk population.

“We carved out smaller-sized wolf management units to allow for a more widely distributed harvest,” McDonald said.

In addition, subquotas are proposed in three areas to limit harvest during early season backcountry hunts, including the area directly north of Yellowstone National Park. Wildlife managers also asked the commission to consider a wolf archery season to run Sept. 3 through Oct. 16, which coincides with Montana's deer and elk archery seasons.

McDonald said a harvest quota of 220 is projected to reduce the wolf population to a minimum of 425 wolves, or by about 25 percent. These projections include anticipated reductions due to livestock depredation and mortalities from other events, like accidents and natural causes.

Public comments on the 2011wolf season proposal are due by 5 p.m. on June 20. Final quotas and seasons will be adopted by the FWP Commission on July 14. Send comments beginning Friday, May 13 via FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov . Click “For Hunters”. Or mail to FWP Wildlife Bureau, Attn: Public Comment, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.

Gray Wolf
Montana FWP Seeks Comment On 2011 Wolf Hunting Season

2011 Wolf Season Basics
Wolf Management Units & Quotas—Northwestern and central Montana would have nine WMUs with a total quota of 123 wolves; western Montana would have two WMUs with a total quota of 54 wolves; and the three proposed WMUs in the southwestern portion of the state would have a total quota of 43 wolves. Two of Montana's 14 WMUs would stretch across the eastern portion of the state.

Wolf Hunting Season Dates—Wolf hunting seasons would correspond to Montana's early backcountry big game hunting season, which runs Sept. 3—14 for archery and Sept. 15—Nov. 27 for rifle hunting; and the big game archery and general rifle seasons set for Sept. 3—Oct. 16 and Oct. 22—Nov. 27 respectively. Wolf seasons could run through Dec. 31 if quotas are not reached. Hunting licenses will cost $19 for residents and $350 for nonresidents. License sales should begin in August.

Montana Wolf Season Background
In 2009, during Montana’s first ever regulated wolf hunt, hunters harvested 72 wolves during the fall hunting season. As hunters approached the overall harvest quota of 75 wolves, FWP closed the hunt about two weeks before the season was scheduled to end to ensure the quota would not be exceeded.

Montana's 2010 hunting season was blocked by a federal court ruling in August 2010 that returned wolves to the federal endangered species list.

On April 15 the U.S. Congress enacted a new federal law that provided for the delisting of wolves in Montana and Idaho—and in portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah.

The law authorizes Montana to manage wolves under the state's federally approved Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

Federal Wolf Recovery Goal for the Northern Rockies & Current Population
The recovery goal for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains was set at a minimum of 30 breeding pairs—successfully reproducing wolf packs—and a minimum of 300 individual wolves for at least three consecutive years.

This goal was achieved in 2002, and the wolf population has increased every year since. The northern Rockies' “metapopulation” is comprised of wolf populations in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Today, about 1,650 wolves in 244 packs and about 111 breeding pairs, live in the region, where wolves can travel about freely to join existing packs or form new packs. This, combined with wolf populations in Canada and Alaska, assures genetic diversity.

Montana's Wolf Population
In Montana, officials estimate that at least 566 wolves, in 108 verified packs, and 35 breeding pairs inhabited the state at the end of 2010.

Delisting allows Montana to manage wolves in a manner similar to how bears, mountain lions and other wildlife species are managed, guided completely by state management plans and laws.

To learn more about Montana’s wolf population, visit FWP online at fwp.mt.gov. Click “Montana Wolves”.

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    derzzzPahffionmichael o sheaMelissaErica Recent comment authors
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    derzzzPah
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    derzzzPah

    A round of applause for your article.Really thank you! Cool. oqza

    ffion
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    ffion

    Wolves, you are right are not endangered, but what if some species of animals started killing, and terrorizing humans. Yes they can pose a threat the same as most animals though to hold up your victim and be proud and call it your “victory trophy” Is disgusting. It doesn’t matter if you have a place for wolves or not it’s sick. Of course people will shoot for self defense the same as a wolf bites for Self Defence. Hunting isn’t as neasersry as it was when it was essential, killing an animal for decoration or sport is savage, and simply… Read more »

    michael o shea
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    michael o shea

    im hunting for buck and jamie lyn who work with wolfs , jasmie is my daughter and i lost track of her sdince she left boise, id

    Melissa
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    Melissa

    well I sure hope you didnt kill that wolf to put its head on your mantle or its fur on your back!!!!!!!

    I love them though I sure as hell know better than most they can be and are generally pretty mean, but wow they are beautiful!!!!

    Erica
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    Erica

    Gray wolves are not and were never endangered in North America…there are tens of thousands in Canada and Alaska alone and I know thay've always been here in western MT. We've seen them a lot during hunting seasons. The article may have been posted on the ammoland website, but it was in the local papers all across western MT. Heck, my hubby read about it in the Williston Herald in Williston, North Dakota. Why don't those of you who are so interested in preserving and saving the planet start with those plants and animals that are actually in danger of… Read more »

    Equal Justce
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    Equal Justce

    @Stacie, choose conservation over preservation, wolves need to be hunted just like every other game animal, to keep their population in balance. for one I am sick of environmentalists/animal rights fanatics trying to tell scientist how to manege animals.

    stacie wentling
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    stacie wentling

    You guys are sick! Read your statistics, wolves are not the top reason for livestock loss. Respiratory problems have a greater role, maybe you should consider trading your big truck in for something more sustainable. Wolves play an important role in balancing/ sustaining the ecosystem. Try putting your selfish needs a side for a change.