A quota of 220 wolves was approved for this year’s Montana wolf hunting season by the wildlife commission late last week.
The wildlife commission also added subquota limits for some districts near Yellowstone National Park “after
learning wolves were being drawn to the area due to the park’s
practice of depositing bison, elk and other carcasses near
Mammoth,” according to the Helena Independent Record.
Here are some more details on the upcoming hunt from the Helena Independent Record:
Montana currently is home to at least 556 wolves, and scientific
models show that the quota of 220 would reduce the population by
anywhere from 7 to 25 percent, or 526 to 425 wolves. These
projections include the loss of wolves due to livestock
depredation, accidents and natural causes, as well as births,
immigration and emigration of animals.
Without a wolf hunt this year, the population is predicted to
increase to 632 to 647 wolves, according to Ken McDonald, FWP
wildlife division chief.
The initial wolf hunt in 2009 had a quota of 75 animals, but was
stopped before the season was scheduled to end after 72 wolves were
removed by hunters; the commission didn’t want to exceed the quota.
Last year’s quota was 186 wolves across 13 wolf management units,
but that was blocked by a federal court judge.
Officials expect to revisit the quota number after the season and will likely lower it as the wolf numbers drop.
Licenses can be purchased at a cost of $19 for residents and $350 for
nonresidents. Sales are expected to begin in August.
Idaho is also expected to have a wolf hunting season this year.