Montana trappers will be allowed to trap wolves in the 2012-2013 wolf season. It’s the first time wolf trapping will be allowed in the state. In addition, the bag limit of wolves during the hunting and trapping season has been raised from one to three.
Anti-hunting and anti-trapping groups opposed the legislation and fought to keep it from passing, but the decision by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission signals the commissioners believe trapping and higher bag limits will be effective in managing rising wolf populations in the state. The vote was 4-0 in favor of the new rules, with one commissioner abstaining.
“The idea that we’re going to wipe out wolves through hunting is fairly far-fetched,” Commissioner Dan Vermillion of Livingston told the Missoulian. “All of this is consistent with Montana’s wolf-management plan … The goal is not to exterminate wolves, it’s to manage them.”
The wolf hunting season will begin Sept. 15 and run through Feb. 28. Trapping will be allowed beginning on Dec. 15. Archery hunting will be allowed during the two weeks prior to the Sept. 15 opening.
For more on the ruling, read Mike Dennison’s story on the Missoulian website.