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Wildlife commission lowers wolf hunting quotas, but not in the area bordering Yellowstone

A pack of wolves in Yellowstone National Park are spotted from a wildlife tracking plane
Courtesy of Yellowstone National Park
A pack of wolves in Yellowstone National Park are spotted from a wildlife tracking plane

Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission has passed regulations for the upcoming wolf hunting and trapping seasons.

Commissioners passed a statewide hunting and trapping quota of 313 wolves. That’s higher than what was originally proposed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) but lower than last year’s quota. Wildlife managers say a lower quota is still in line with the 2021 legislative objective of reducing Montana’s wolf population by 40%.

Despite opposition, the commission voted to increase quotas in some areas.

Commissioners also continued the controversial quota allowing six wolves to be killed in the management unit bordering Yellowstone National Park.

A majority of the over 70 public commenters spoke in opposition to that change.

Many requested the quota adjacent to Yellowstone be reduced to only one wolf. Wolf advocates also asked commissioners to better include the nonconsumptive community in management decisions.

Despite having citizen’s advisory groups involved with management of species like grizzly bears, elk and mountain lions, FWP has said they will not create such a group for the wolf management plan currently under revision.

Members of the trapping community as well as hunting and guiding interest groups generally supported the changes, but asked the commission to increase the statewide quota back to the 450 wolves it was set to last year.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.
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