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Montana Sets Limit For Coming Wolf Season

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July 15, 2011

Montana Sets Limit For Coming Wolf Season

By Chad Love

Although hunters in neighboring Idaho aren't having much luck, the state of Montana has set its own wolf quota for the coming season.

From this story in the Billings Gazette:
Hunters will be able to shoot as many as 220 gray wolves in Montana this fall under rules adopted Thursday by state wildlife commissioners. The hunt is scheduled to begin in early August and is expected to reduce the predator's Montana population by about 25 percent to 425 wolves. A wolf hunt is also planned in Idaho, where officials have not proposed harvest targets or quotas across much of the state.

Wolves were taken off the endangered species list in an unprecedented move by Congress this spring in Montana, Idaho and parts of Utah, Washington and Oregon. Some hunters and livestock groups wanted a higher quota to reduce attacks on livestock and big game. Wildlife advocates argued the number should be lower so the population can keep expanding.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife bureau chief Ken McDonald said this year's quota level would have drastic implications for the population if it was continued long-term. But he said the state will revisit the number next year and will adjust it as needed.

Think they'll have any better luck in Montana than Idaho?

Comments (4)

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from shane wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Sounds good for starters. The wolf huggers think we want to wipe them all out and will. We don't want to, and if we did, we couldn't if we tried. Well... maybe we could because we have, but we won't.

"this year's quota level would have drastic implications for the population if it was continued long-term. But he said the state will revisit the number next year and will adjust it as needed."

See?

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

425 wolves will still do a lot of damage to other animal populations.

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from rock rat wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I just went to the website of Montana Fish and Wildlife to see how many wolves they had. Numbers were 153 for 04. That makes sense if you figure populations double ever 3.5 years. I'd hope this first year is just to kind of slow things down and show they aren't going to get rid of all of them. Next year they'd have to up the quota quite a bit to have any affect.

Figure 20 elk per wolf, some say 35 others say 15, twenty seems nice and conservative.

That's 8000 elk assuming wolf populations are stable at 400 and not increasing 30% as they are wont to do.

Assume also 5 elk tags for every elk killed by hunters, that's about the ratio down here for hunters. 8,000 elk would be 40,000 less elk tags issued. Down here we average half in state, half out of state $550 and $50 average cost $300. That's 12 million less dollars for the Departments of Fish and Game, I assume folks at Defenders of Wildlife have calculators and know how to use them.

I'm not much on conspiracy theories but it would be an easy way to put a hurting on hunters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

You nailed it Rock Rat. The anti's know they would have a hard row to sow if they attacked hunting outright but lower numbers of game will result is lower number of permits and ultimately put more hunter on the sidelines who will take up another activity.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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from shane wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Sounds good for starters. The wolf huggers think we want to wipe them all out and will. We don't want to, and if we did, we couldn't if we tried. Well... maybe we could because we have, but we won't.

"this year's quota level would have drastic implications for the population if it was continued long-term. But he said the state will revisit the number next year and will adjust it as needed."

See?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I just went to the website of Montana Fish and Wildlife to see how many wolves they had. Numbers were 153 for 04. That makes sense if you figure populations double ever 3.5 years. I'd hope this first year is just to kind of slow things down and show they aren't going to get rid of all of them. Next year they'd have to up the quota quite a bit to have any affect.

Figure 20 elk per wolf, some say 35 others say 15, twenty seems nice and conservative.

That's 8000 elk assuming wolf populations are stable at 400 and not increasing 30% as they are wont to do.

Assume also 5 elk tags for every elk killed by hunters, that's about the ratio down here for hunters. 8,000 elk would be 40,000 less elk tags issued. Down here we average half in state, half out of state $550 and $50 average cost $300. That's 12 million less dollars for the Departments of Fish and Game, I assume folks at Defenders of Wildlife have calculators and know how to use them.

I'm not much on conspiracy theories but it would be an easy way to put a hurting on hunters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

You nailed it Rock Rat. The anti's know they would have a hard row to sow if they attacked hunting outright but lower numbers of game will result is lower number of permits and ultimately put more hunter on the sidelines who will take up another activity.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

425 wolves will still do a lot of damage to other animal populations.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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