HELENA (AP) – Montana wildlife officials want to keep the existing rules in place for the upcoming wolf hunting and trapping season, saying Thursday they think they've hit on the right formula in how they manage the predators.
John Vore, the game management bureau chief for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, told Fish and Wildlife commissioners the agency has struck a balance between keeping a thriving wolf population and making sure their numbers don't get too high.
In past years, as the wolf population rose and landowners howled about livestock losses, Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency officials have tried various quotas, season dates, bag limits and other regulations to reduce the predators' numbers.
The agency has eliminated quotas across the state except in areas adjacent to Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. It also extended the length of the season and set the bag limit at five wolves.
Hunters and trappers killed 206 wolves over the season that ended in March, and landowners killed six more. The state's wolf population fell an estimated 12 percent to at least 554 predators, and landowner complaints and livestock losses also dropped.
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Source: Associated Press