Montana Public Radio


A snare trap
Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks

Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed two bills into law designed to reduce the wolf population in Montana. The new laws extend the wolf trapping season by four weeks and allow wolf trappers to use neck snares.

Capitol Talk: Beasts, Budgets And Voting Rights

Mar 26, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte makes headlines after trapping a Yellowstone wolf — while bills targeting wolves head toward passage. Republican lawmakers want to eliminate same-day voter registration. And the so-called "beast bill" — directing how billions in federal COVID relief money will be spent — crawls forward.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

Gianforte Takes Wolf Trapping Course Following Warning

Mar 25, 2021

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte took a three-hour long wolf trapping class Wednesday night after receiving a written warning in February for trapping and killing a wolf without having taken the required certification course.

Gianforte was among 200 people on the virtual class hosted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks managers, wardens and specialists, according to a spokesperson.

"You have to have the wolf certification class and then on your license it will show valid for wolves once this class is taken, it will show up on your license," said Region 1 Game Warden Jon Obst.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte is calling his failure to take a required wolf trapping course before trapping and shooting a radio-collared wolf last month a “slight misstep.”

Gianforte was asked about the incident in a press conference Thursday.

"I made a mistake. I’m glad I was able to check the box last night. It was a good refresher for me but in hindsight I wouldn’t have done anything differently," Gianforte said.

A spokesperson for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says Gianforte took the required course Wednesday night after receiving a written warning.

Grey wolf in Yellowstone Park.
Jim Peaco / National Park Service

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte received a warning from wildlife officials after killing a radio-collared wolf near Yellowstone National Park without first taking a mandated trapper education course — a violation of state hunting regulations, officials said Tuesday.

Montana Lawmakers Reject New Constitutional Protections For Hunting, Fishing And Trapping

Apr 12, 2017
Man fishing in the Yellowstone River.
Flickr user: Mirrur Image (CC-BY-NC)

The Montana House of Representatives killed a bill today that would have asked voters to make hunting, fishing and trapping a Constitutional right. Senate Bill 236 passed the Senate on a 30-to-20 vote back in March.

Montana FWP Appeals Ethics Ruling Over Trapping Initiative

Jan 3, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's fish and wildlife agency is appealing a ruling that it violated the state's ethics laws by allowing equipment it owns to be used to advocate against a ballot initiative.

In November, Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl fined Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks $1,500 after finding the Montana Trappers Association used an FWP trailer and state-owned displays of furbearing animals to oppose the 2014 anti-trapping initiative. The measure never made it on the ballot, but was revived in 2016 and rejected by Montana voters.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte shoots a few dozen rounds during a campaign stop at the Helena Trap Club Tuesday, September 12, 2016.
Corin Cates-Carney

The Republican candidate for governor stood in faded blue jeans and worn brown leather boots as he fired dozens of rounds out a 12 gauge shotgun in Helena Tuesday morning. Greg Gianforte called the press conference at the Helena Trap Club to tout his support of gun rights and Montana values, and to announce endorsements from pro-gun groups.

Initiative 177 to ban commercial and recreational trapping on Montana public lands will appear on the November ballot.
Crystal Luxmore (CC-BY-NC-2)

Montana trappers say they’ll aggressively fight a ballot initiative to end commercial and recreational trapping on all of Montana’s public lands. I-177 will appear on November’s ballot.

A snare trap
Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks

Voters this November will decide the future of traps and snares on Montana’s public lands. A proposal to end commercial and recreational trapping on Montana’s public lands will appear on November’s ballot.