3/4 of the quota was reached quickly, and all very near Yellowstone Park-

Montana suspends wolf hunting near Yellowstone Park. AP

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks likes to think that a wolf hunt will decrease wolves killing livestock, but if all the wolves shot are wolves that have never even seen a cow, that argument isn’t valid.

Montana’s backcountry wolf hunt criticized after surprisingly quick kills. By Pete Thomas. LA Times.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

13 Responses to Montana suspends wolf hunting near Yellowstone Park

  1. gline says:

    Fish and Wildlife have to know this hunt is never going to work… I wish they would take a serious look at MN and wolf acceptance. MN waited 5 years before a legal hunt was allowed. The ranchers seem to be acclimated to having wolves as part of the deal. What would it take for the west to learn? I cringe

    ( And i know that topic MN vs MT for wolf habitat has been on this web before… with miles of comments I think.)

  2. davej says:

    The relatively open country north of YNP makes it easier to shoot wolves than they expected, so their knee-jerk response is to increase the quota. No wonder they’re worried about what Judge Molloy might think…

  3. ProWolf in WY says:

    Gline, I also wish the west would learn from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Amazing how they don’t piss and moan nearly as much. Are they that much more enlightened than we are out here?

  4. timz says:

    Prowolf,some do piss and moan in Mn but it’s different. It doesn’t come with the weird deep-seated hate.

  5. ProWolf in WY says:

    I don’t get why the hate is so bad here. I also don’t get the Little Red Riding Hood fear.

  6. Lynne Stone says:

    Question for those familiar with the landscape and MT politics – do you think that suspending the hunt in Unit 3 is all about second guessing Judge Molloy, rather than some concern about so many wolves killed so quickly? Did the fact that four of the wolves were from Yellowstone Park influence the suspension? What will waiting a few weeks, and then starting the hunt again mean?

    By the way, thanks for the link to the LA Times outpost story. Am following them on Twitter now.

  7. I just posted Kathie Lynch’s take on the wolves killed. I think a lot people will be outraged that Yellowstone Park wolves were shot.

    Montana kills Park wildlife it seems with impunity. Think of the bison.

  8. JEFF E says:

    “We don’t want to kill the wilderness wolves and the wolves that don’t need some education, (we want to go after) those on the ranch land,” FWP Commissioner Ron Moody said Thursday…..”
    A dead wolf is certainly educated alright.
    Do Idaho and Montana Game commissions trade talking points I wonder.

  9. kalamitykatie says:

    @Lynne Stone —

    I think the suspension of the hunt should be taken at face value. There was a quota of 12 wolves for district 316. 9 have been taken to date. It is preferable to the state wildlife managers that it not be wolves in the backcountry wilderness that are taken. Rather, it is preferable that wolves in conflict with livestock concerns be taken. Thus the suspension of the hunt. In a nutshell, the quota was in danger of being filled through the killing of the “wrong” wolves.

    ((“Even though the quota of 12 wolves in hunting district 316 hasn’t been met, nine have been harvested so far, and state officials fear the quota would have been filled by the time the general hunting season starts on Oct. 25 had the hunt continued. That would mean hunters would only take wolves from the backcountry, instead of near ranches where they might have been preying on livestock.

    “We don’t want to kill the wilderness wolves and the wolves that don’t need some education, (we want to go after) those on the ranch land,” FWP Commissioner Ron Moody said Thursday.”))

    ((“He noted that the state placed the quota low in WMU 3 to show it was responsive to the need for genetic diversity among the wolf population, and this is an area where Yellowstone National Park wolves can move into Montana, and vice versa. That type of “connectivity” is an essential component of the wolf reintroduction.”))

    In a few weeks there will be changed circumstances — other areas will be open, reducing pressure on this area, there will be more snow in the high country, hunters will have more opportunities for big game and might shift their attention, etc.


  10. ProWolf in WY says:

    A dead wolf is certainly educated alright.
    Do Idaho and Montana Game commissions trade talking points I wonder.

    I think they must, along with Wyoming.

  11. Davej says:

    katie – The state agencies continue to confuse “wolves who live in close proxmity with livestock” with “problem wolves”. (What percentage of wolves not living in “the backcountry” ever prey on livestock?) You suggest taking their action at “face value”. Does this mean the agency is malicious, or just plain clueless?

  12. kalamitykatie says:

    Neither. It means the agency is not emotionally invested in wolves as some are. The agency is tasked with managing wildlife populations in such a way that conflicts are minimized and populations are sustained. They don’t act on emotional attachments to individuals, nor should they.



October 2009


‎"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."

~ Edward Abbey