Wolf Hunting Opens In Montana and Idaho This Season


Published: August - 2009

If you plan on hunting in Montana or Idaho this season, ask your outfitter about the possibilities of taking a wolf. Early last month, the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission set the state's very first regulated wolf hunting season quota. You may recall that wolf populations in Montana and Idaho were removed from the Endangered Species List this past May. Hunters in Montana will be able to take a total of 75 wolves across three wolf management units in that state this fall. For northwestern Montana the quota is 41, with a subquota of two in the North Fork of the Flathead River area. For western Montana, the quota limit is set at 22 wolves, and another 12 may be taken in southwestern Montana.

The season will correspond with Montana's early back-country big game hunting season, which runs September 15 through November 29; and the big game rifle season set for October 25 through November 29. Hunting licenses cost $350 for nonresidents, and they go on sale August 17. Before you spend the money on a license, check with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks first to ensure the quota has not been filled.

In Idaho, a quota on wolves should be announced some time this month. The seasons were set back in May and will run from September 1 through March 31 in the Lolo and Sawtooth wolf management zones; from September 15 through December 31 in the Selway and Middle Fork zones; and elsewhere from October 1 through December 31. Tags and prices were not yet available at press time. In 2007, when the delisting process first began, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission had set a price of $256 for a nonresident wolf tag.

Be aware that the wolf hunting season could be blocked by anti-hunting groups opposing the delisting of wolves. Although wolves have greatly surpassed the recovery goal in the Rocky Mountains, preservationists insist these animals should remain completely protected. Today, there are an estimated 1,645 wolves in the Rockies, with about 95 breeding pairs. The goal was 30 breeding........(continued)

 
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