Montana’s second hunt to be much larger than the 2009 hunt-

Montana’s wildlife commissioners have tentatively approved a wolf hunt this fall of 220 wolves, compared to their 2009 hunt of 79. There was no hunt in 210. At the end of 2010, the official wolf population estimate for Montana was 566 wolves.  This quota, if filled, is predicted to drop the state’s wolf population by 25% at the end of 2011, although there are competing computer models.

Idaho has an estimated 705 wolves, well down from its peak in 2009. Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission is expected to approve a big hunt quota, although their quota in 2009 was not reached.

Montana FWP tentatively approves 220-wolf quota for fall hunt. By Matt Volz. AP

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

13 Responses to Hunt quota likely 220 wolves this fall . . . Montana FWP Commission

  1. avatar Cindy says:

    I’m still trying to digest the quotas for Idaho and Montana. They seem so low to me. Feels like we’re in for discouraging news about wolves these next few months.

  2. avatar Craig says:

    Well maybe they should up the Quotas 75%? Would that help ya out? You do realize quota=wolves that can be shot?

  3. avatar Bob says:

    Ralph
    It should read 2009 quota was 75 not 79, small point.

  4. avatar Jeff says:

    Neither state reached there quotas last hunt, I don’t think a hunt will threaten wolves that much, aerial gunning and poison is what really threatens populations.

    • avatar JimT says:

      Those are the results of the real dangers…ranchers, trophy hunting groups, science-ignorant politicians and craven fish and game folks too cowed to stand up for the wildlife they are suppose to be protecting…not just managing elk for maximum profit for the state coffers…As for the quota, it seems reasonable, but the states know that this is not the time to get really extreme in trying to get rid of the wolves as any kind of permanent fixture in the ecosystem. They will wait; probably blame the decline on elk numbers on wolves instead of the winter that has killed off thousands, and use it to justify a bigger hunt in 2012, possibly even a spring hunt.

      In combination with Salazars very dangerous proposal to prevent ESA protections to wolves in all of the Eastern states; to re-examine the status of grays and Mexican wolves in the West; to delist the upper MidWest populations despite no evidence there is a problem there, I feel we are watching the second great extinction of the wolf in the lower 48…just not so open as it happened before

      • avatar Jeff says:

        I don’t think there is any reason to argue against delisting the great lakes population, there are a lot of wolves in MN, MI, and WI-not to mention the politicians there are not as rabidly anti wolf since they were never eradicated to start with. I do worry about Lobos being caught in the cross fire and I think a genetic boost in the SW is in order something similar to the TX panthers being added to the FL population.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Jeff,

      Montana did reach their quota last time a hunt was held, Idaho did not..

  5. avatar Connie says:

    How was the quota determined? 220 seems high to me. Forgive my awkward attempt at formulating this question, but I wonder if the “ripple effect” of killing 220 wolves was taken into account? Surely killing 220 will result in more than 220 deaths if the damage to the pack structure is taken into consideration. Seems to me that abandoned pups will die, mangy wolves won’t have the protection of their pack to allow possible recovery, smaller fragmented packs will be disadvantaged to withstand challenges by larger packs. Perhaps someone with a wolf biology background would be so kind as to address my concerns.

    • avatar JB says:

      Connie: A number of studies have shown that wolves can sustain very high over-winter mortality (30-40%) without a substantial impact to the population. But remember, the politicians in these states want to reduce the number of wolves–or at least arrest wolf population growth; consequently, you have a quota of 220 wolves. Also, you have to recall that the population estimate (556) is the minimum, so 40% of the minimum is probably what they thought they could get away with without sending up a red flag to the FWS–who will be monitoring the population for the next 5 years.

      How these hunts affect packs/individuals is an issue that no one in management wants to discuss.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        +How these hunts affect packs/individuals is an issue that no one in management wants to discuss+

        And why do you suppose that is JB?

      • avatar JB says:

        I’m just guessing but… (a) they don’t really know, and (b) they do not think they will like the answer.

  6. avatar Cindy says:

    Not that it even matters 3 days later but what I meant was taking the populations down that low is just disgusting and and quite depressing. Sorry about the mis-read Craig, I said opposite what I meant.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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