Jul 8, 2010 2:56 PM by KXLH News (Helena)

Montana wolf hunt quota set at 186 for 2010

The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission on Thursday set the quota for the 2010 wolf hunt at 186, more than doubling the quota of 75 for the 2009 hunt.

The exact number has been debated and discussed across the state in recent months, with concurrent meetings on the wolf hunting proposal held around Montana in June. The three proposals being considered were harvest quotas of either 156, 186, or 216 wolves.

Matt Skoglund of the Natural Resources Defense Council said, "We are ultimately disappointed, we don't think wolves are fully recovered in the Northern Rockies yet, and with so many sources of wolf mortality on the landscape, the biggest being lethal control action for livestock depredation, we think a wolf hunt is premature at this time."

Ben Lamb of the Montana Wildlife Federation Conservation said, "You know I think the Commission did a pretty good job listening to the Department, the science that has been put together to come up with a number that is pretty reasonable."

The Commission also decided to not count illegal kills toward the quota total.

The wolf hunting season could be cancelled if Judge Donald Molloy decides to put the wolf back on the endangered species list, but until a decision is made, licenses are scheduled to go on sale August 23rd.

(May 13, 2010) Montana hunters will be able to hunt at least twice as many wolves this year than last year, but the exact number has not yet been determined. Last week, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced two quota options for Montana's second wolf hunting season.

On Thursday, the FWP Commission discussed the two options, and by the time the meeting ended, decided to release three options for public comment. The three options are 216 wolves, 186 wolves, and 150 wolves. Last season, the quota was 75 wolves.

The Commission hasn't agreed on which number to adopt, but they did agree on one main point, with FWP commissioner Bob Ream stating, "It is time to start decreasing the population in Montana. I think the vast majority of Montanans and the input that we are all getting, particularly the guys out in the field, it's been pretty strong."

All three options are now open for public comment until June 14th; the commission will adopt a quota at a meeting in July.

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