Should Montana Hunters and Trappers Harvest More Wolves?
It seems like they are never far from the top of the controversy list when it comes to Montana wildlife and what they bring to (or take from) the table.
Montana's governor and a state senator are moving forward with legislation that could have an impact on the state's wolf population. And you can bet it won't come without push-back from the opposing side.
Associated Press tells us that Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill on Friday, saying wolf numbers in Montana must be reduced to sustainable populations with more aggressive means of take them. The bill is Senate Bill 314, introduced by Senator Bob Brown, R-Thompson Falls. It directs the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to establish hunting and trapping seasons “with the intent to reduce the wolf population in the state to a sustainable level,” but not below that which could trigger listing under the Endangered Species Act. Wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List in 2011.
Regardless of which side you're on, you have to believe the fur will fly over this one.
In a semi-related story, Montana AP and the Billings Gazette also reported that two Montana men have been cited over illegally poaching two wolves from a helicopter in the Big Hole Valley. The Gazette says the men told wildlife authorities they were hunting coyotes for predatory control action in March and mistakenly took the wolves for coyotes. They later recovered the carcasses by snowmobile. Wolf hunting from helicopters is illegal.
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