HELENA — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks closed wolf trapping and hunting in south-central Montana on Thursday following the harvest quota being reached.
Last month, the Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to close wolf hunting and trapping in Region 3, which stretches from Helena to Yellowstone National Park, upon the harvest of 82 wolves in the region.
With the hunting and trapping season closed, trappers in the region must remove their equipment from the field as quickly as possible. Region 3 includes wolf management units (WMU) 330, 320, 310, 313, 316 and portions of 390. WMU 390 also includes portions of Regions 4, 5 and 6.
FWP has received criticism, including from the Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cameron Sholly, over the killing of Yellowstone wolves just outside the park boundaries. FWP Director Hank Worsech has stated that once wolves leave the park and cross into Montana they are no longer considered “Yellowstone wolves” but are “Montana wolves” that the state intends to manage.
WMU 313, which borders the national park to the north and east of Gardiner, has seen 18 wolves harvested in the 2021-2022 hunting season. Last year the WMU saw only two wolves harvested in the area due to a quota specific to the WMU that limited the number of wolves harvested to one per hunting season. The removal of the quota was implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Commission under the Gianforte administration.