The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission will shut down wolf hunting in the area around Yellowstone National Park as soon a few more wolves are killed . . .
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park commissioners voted Friday to close wolf hunting and trapping in Region 3 once the wolf take reaches 82 wolves.
Region 3 encompasses an area of Montana just north of Yellowstone National Park. The take to date is 76 wolves.
Commissioner Pat Tabor, who is from the Flathead Valley, quashed an amendment to the motion that would have immediately closed wolf hunting and trapping in wolf management units units 313 and 316, which directly border Yellowstone. The smaller units are part of the broader Region 3.
Here’s a chance to make yourself heard regarding wolf and sage grouse management . . .
The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission is seeking comment though June 23 on some upcoming hunting seasons and additional proposals related to sage grouse and wolves.
For sage grouse, the commission is seeking comment on a proposal that would either maintain the same 30-day season and two-bird daily bag and four bird possession limit as last season; adopt shorter seasons and reduced bag and possession limits; impose region-specific hunting opportunities or closures; or close the sage grouse hunting season statewide.
The sage grouse proposal comes in response to surveys on sage grouse breeding grounds called “leks” that show a continued population decline of the state’s largest native upland game bird. Montana’s 2004 management plan identifies a season closure when lek counts are significantly reduced from historical observations.
The commission also seeks comment on the following wolf-related proposals:
the 2014-15 wolf season, which includes adjustments that would close the hunting and trapping season in Wolf Management Units 313 and 316 within 12 hours of the harvests quotas there being reached. These WMUs border Yellowstone National Park. The proposal also includes reducing the harvest quota in WMU 313 from four to three wolves.
to offer the opportunity to trap wolves via a drawing on three western Montana wildlife management areas, including the Blackfoot-Clearwater, Fish Creek and Mount Haggin WMAs.
a statewide annual quota of 100 wolves taken under a new state law that provides for landowners to take wolves without a license that are a potential threat to human safety, livestock or pets.
Montana raised the wolf hunt bag limit to five wolves per person, but added restrictions near Yellowstone National Park. The maximum number of wolves that can be taken in the North Fork remains at two.
Here’s the Flathead Beacon’s write-up . . .
Montana Fish and Wildlife commissioners on Wednesday increased the bag limit from one to five wolves per person and extended the state’s next hunting season, but they also set new restrictions in areas adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.
As expected, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission gave tentative approval to a fall wolf hunt at today’s meeting. The Flathead Beacon has the story . . .
Montana wildlife officials tentatively approved a plan Thursday to allow hunters to kill as many as 220 wolves this fall, marking the state’s first wolf management decision since Congress lifted endangered species protections.
The unanimous vote opens the door for the public to weigh in before the commission makes a final decision in July. It would be Montana’s second wolf hunt since 2009, when 72 wolves were killed, and state Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners appeared confident the 2011 hunt will be approved.
Among several other items, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission will consider tentative fall wolf hunting season quotas and dates at their meeting this month. The meeting is on May 12 at the FWP Helena office, 1420 East 6th Ave. beginning at 8:30 a.m.
According to the FWP, the “tentative proposals will be similar to those adopted before a federal court halted the state’s 2010 hunting season, with the exception of a statewide quota of 220 up from 186 proposed last year, and the addition of a wolf management unit in the Bitterroot area south of Missoula. Assuming tentative adoption, the public will be asked to comment through June 20. The FWP Commission is expected to take final action at its July 14 meeting.”