Wolf hunting in Montana is going under substantial change. As a new Governor, Greg Gianforte, takes over, his stance on hunting is markedly different than his predecessor, Steve Bullock. Multiple bills are being brought to the table that could change the legality of hunting in Montana.
According to one of the lawmakers behind these bills, Montana’s wolf population is booming. While this is a great sign for the ecosystem, it can also be a detriment for farmers around the state. Sometimes, they will prey on cattle and cost farmers lots of money.
The bills being proposed are trying to expand wolf trapping seasons. This also means including their licenses with big-game licenses. That would allow for more tags to be given out specifically to hunt the majestic animal.
Montana Is Trying To Re-Classify Wolf Hunting
More importantly, it classifies wolves as predators. Senator Bob Brown and Representative Paul Fielder are drafting the various pieces of legislation to hunt the animals. Brown says that the apex predators are being pushed onto private land because of their growing numbers.
“Basically every drainage you go into you find wolves and the packs just keep expanding. With elk and deer numbers, you’re not seeing them up in the hills. You might still see quite a few but they’re pushed down out of the hills and onto private land.”
The Montana wolf population is currently considered an animal that is “in need of management.” This means that hunting licenses for them are severely limited. Moreover, it means that you can’t hunt for them without daylight – sun up to sun down only.
These bills would mean that hunters can try and get one of the animals at any time of the year.
Montana isn’t the only state trying to change hunting laws surrounding wolves. Wisconsin is also changing its wolf hunting laws. In fact, they are planning their first wolf season for the first time in over half of a decade to start in November.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a plan in place for the fall 2021 season to include wolves. This is a direct result of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removing gray wolves from the federal endangered list on January 4.
[H/T Fox News]