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Montana Wolf Management Update

The Montana Wildlife Commission has adopted several new rules and regulations pertaining to the management of the most controversial apex predator in the state, the grey wolf. After a long debate and much opposition to the new regulations by pro-wolf advocacy groups, it was passed in a vote of 3-2 by the Commission

As a result, Montana will structure its trapping season much like Idaho’s. Each hunter and trapper can now purchase up to 10 wolf licenses per year and many new methods of harvest can be used such as snaring on public and private lands, except in specific grizzly bear recovery areas. Snaring and hunting at night including and the use of bait will also be legal now on private lands only. 

The new plans did draw criticism from the board because of the perceived lack of hunting ethics, which is a big reason why it received two votes against the measure. 

Montana’s wolf season will start the Monday after Thanksgiving and end March 15. The special quotas around Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks that were geared to take fewer wolves in high tourism areas were also done away with.

Marc Cooke with the Wolves of the Rockies group is threatening lawsuits and commented that these new mandates will decimate wolves in Montana and that “You people disgust me…” when he walked away from the public comment podium. He also pleaded with federal officials to re-list wolves under the ESA. 

Hunters and trappers killed 330 wolves in Montana last season, which is a record and the new quota will be 450 wolves. The commission believes that the addition of snares would help meet this objective because wolves are so difficult to catch in leg hold traps. Snaring is not a new trapping technique and is very effective if they are set wisely. The commission will meet immediately and consider adjusting the snaring regulations if any non-target species are caught and killed like a grizzly bear or Lynx. The new legislation will also institute mandatory trapper education and a reimbursement payment system for wolf hunters and trappers who harvest wolves. 


It’s all very interesting but what is your take?

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  1. Only thing bumbling joeB had done correctly. Huge win for Montana and Idaho. All they, the wolves, have to do is pack up, wasn’t planned pun, and move to a blue state. They are safer there, demwits should help them relocate.

  2. Thanks for the information. Good to know we are still moving in the right direction with the wolf management practices in Montana.Ive seen first hand how they have decimated the Elk herds where I live and hunt. Understand, I am not against wolves being in the wild, they were there before we were and they have their place in the circle of life in the wild but they have to be managed.

  3. Here comes Humane Society and others that will go after trapping like was done in Colorado. Multi prong attack, Pro Wolf groups and now u will see a bigger push to eliminate all trapping except “live trapping” which is a joke trying to catch almost any predator in live traps. These butt sniffs will go after numerous new angles. Trusting game managers must prevail and an “ideal Wolf population number must be the goal”. We have thousands of wolves in lower 48 and number is growing. They are very very easy to reintroduce with almost 100% success so this clowns argument for re- listing is ludicrous!

    • I suggest that Colorado protecting and introducing wolves signs a death warrant for those wolves. No, I’m not saying I would kill one, I’m saving there are those who will not tolerate mismanagement due to PETA and other uneducated groups trying to protect a specie that never did reside in this state. These same groups are also trying to give special protection to mountain lions which is suggested they kill up to 175,000 deer annually and people wonder why the deer population is decreasing rapidly. Check my numbers by all means I have given very low suggested numbers for the lion population. Good luck with enforcement… JMO

  4. Jeff makes some concerning comments !
    I would caution anyone to illegally shoot or harm any Wolf, 2 wrongs still don’t make a “right” three nut jobs that pushed for introducing this specie are wrong but illegally shooting wolves is the wrong method to push back with.
    Your a fool if u think u can get away with that nonsense and kill them ! The criminal investigation techniques wildlife departments have available are very good and u have a very very good chance of being caught if u become an outlaw and vigilante and shoot the wolves without a legal tag / license. An over abundance of wolves and all their issues and problems will play out in time, just like the dumb Colorado decision to eliminate spring bear hunts and baiting. It took about 25 years and bears are a massive issue. Wolves will get their 10 times faster now. These things are 100% successful breeders, and as they prey on animals that have never seen a Wolf in new areas they will explode. In 10 years Colorado will be forced to allow a control method – hopefully hunting. In the mean time have to again see things hit rock bottom before that happens ! Fact

  5. The season opens the Monday AFTER THANKSGIVING…. What about all the wolves that could be culled by hunters that are afield during the archery & gun season in MT..?
    It’s going to be hard to pass all the dogs I encounter during my elk hunting!! SMH

    • They said it wrong. Wolf archery season opens on September 4th, General season (Rifles) opens September 15th. Seasons run until March 15th I believe. Trapping season opens on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

  6. Oreo[sic], has made even more concerning comments. He is forcing his wills insults, thoughts and feelings upon others. Jumping up and down and whining from his soap box as usual. Once war comes to the country people will all have opportunities to kill whatever they want. Federal and state government and their agencies are gong to see a new beginning very soon. Legal or not legal, breathe normally or hold your breathe till your blue we all have choices, some choose to whine about it their feelings and that they matter. The 2nd coming will correct what our ancestors started.

    Joe just killed 13 people including children just moments ago. Get ready folks.

  7. Jeffrey Jon Pallister

    Dan, the wolf season starts Sept 5 -14 for archery and then General season is Sept.15 to March 15 and trapping season is Dec. 15 to Feb 28

    • Jeffrey Jon Pallister

      I see now you are talking about around Yellowstone. Sorry about that. You did make me look up dates though and i didnt realize General rifle season started Sept 15 Thanks

  8. I like having wolves on the landscape but fully agree they should be managed. I personally have no desire to kill one but there are plenty of hunters out there who are eager to do so. I have no problem with that. My personal opinion is that snaring is not a humane way to treat any animal so I would prefer that not be allowed, but again…that is my personal opinion, nothing more.

  9. Don’t put it past Marc Cooke to go out and intentionally snare a grizzly or lynx in effort to attempt to ban snares. It’s suggested snares are effective on wolves, we ran dozens of snares on our Alaska lines, they work but to say effective is stretching it, it’s still hard as hell and u need a very ideal set up. A multi Wolf catch / snare on a bait is like hitting the lottery and one of the coolest things u will ever do. Colorado banned all trapping except live traps, what a joke, if the number of large mammals caught is above 1 total it’s lucky. U already see a 3-2 vote barely passing in Montana. Some clown will anti trapping on a bill and that option will be gone fast in Montana. FYI – if u harvest a Wolf use / save the urine u can salvage – it works on that same pack sometimes when ur doing sets ! Good luck !

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