Changes to Montana’s Wolf Hunt Season Has Hackles Raised
On July 10, Montana Fish and Wildlife commissioners approved the state’s 2013-2014 wolf hunt plan, a plan that includes changes that will prove devastating to wolves living in Montana. Changes to Montana’s wolf hunt season in include:
- The “bag limit,” or number or wolves killed per person was increased from 1 to 5 wolves
- The length of the rifle season was increased, giving hunters six months to kill wolves.
- Hunters and trappers (2013/2014 will be the second year of trapping in Montana) will be able to use electronic calls
- New restrictions in areas adjacent to Yellowstone National Park limiting hunters and trappers to one wolf per person taken just outside of the park’s northern boundary, and allowing a total of only seven wolves to be harvested in that area. (12 Yellowstone wolves were killed in the 2012-2013 season after traveling beyond the protection of the park’s reach into adjacent areas of MT, ID & WY.)
A total of 225 wolves were killed by hunters and trappers last season. Montana Fish and Wildlife estimated the state’s wolf population at 625 at the end of 2012, a decline from 2011.
A great way to support wolves and their recovery is by writing a Letter to the Editor (LTE). A letter by WCC’s Maggie Howell was published in today’s Salt Lake Tribune re: a recent article about Montana’s 2013-2014 wolf hunt and the threat it poses to Yellowstone wolves. You too can join the conversation. If you’re interested in learning how to write an effective LTE, please visit National Wolfwatcher Coalition’s website page dedicated to this process.