New Restrictions Cause Howling Over Montana Wolf Hunting Regs
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks finds themselves at odds with a District Court order involving an always-controversial topic.
Wolves and wolf hunting are some of the most polarizing subjects in the Montana hunting community. And while FWP stands by its wolf management policies, a Lewis and Clark County District Court says otherwise.
So, what might we conclude from both parties? One side could point out that the restrictions are not particularly harsh and are very short-lived (two weeks). The other side might say that things were fine the way they were, and this inch you're taking now will turn into a mile. Who knows?
Montana FWP reported that yesterday (Tuesday) the court issued a temporary restraining order on some of Montana's wolf hunting and trapping regulations. The order went into effect immediately.
The order reinstates some regulations that were in effect in 2020 for several Wolf Management Units (WMU). They are WMU 110, which borders Glacier National Park and WMUs 313 and 316, which are north of Yellowstone National Park.
FWP says that currently one wolf has been harvested in WMU 313, and none have been harvested this season in 110 or 316. The court ordered quotas are are two wolves in WMU 110 and one wolf each in WMU 313 and 316.
The order also restricts all hunters and trappers to five wolves total per person, and prohibits the use of snares as a legal method for trapping wolves.
Montana FWP is planning legal arguments over the case, and its director is taking exception to modifying his agency's quotas that were in place until yesterday. According to Director Hank Worsech, “We have a healthy and stable population of wolves in Montana. We’ve proven we can manage wolves across the state and will continue to do so. We will comply with the judge’s order and look forward to the opportunity to defend good science and management strategies.”
The temporary restraining order expires November 29. FWP's legal arguments are scheduled to be heard November 28.
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