HomeOutdoorsMontana to Shut Down Gray Wolf Hunting Near Yellowstone National Park

Montana to Shut Down Gray Wolf Hunting Near Yellowstone National Park

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Montana is making major moves to ensure that its population of wolves won’t dwindle too much.

There was a unanimous commission vote on Friday. The group came to the decision that hunting and trapping wolves in southwestern Montana would now be barred. The decision is that the state will be barred once the number killed in the region hits 82. As of now, there have been 76 reported killed in the area. The commissioners rejected the notion of having just a few wolves killed annually along the national park’s northern border.

Although these renowned wolves only spend a short amount of time outside the park, they are still being killed at rapid rates.

According to The Guardian, notably, it has been impacting the wolf population within Yellowstone National Park. Hunters have killed 23 wolves that are from park packs. There were 18 in Montana, three in Montana, and two in Idaho. A popular pack, the Phantom Lake Pack, is now considered eliminated. Most of the members of the pack were killed in a two-month span.

These wolves will wander across park boundaries where they are technically able to be hunted by the public. This new rule will make it so gray wolf hunting around the national park is limited. Officials from the national park have been pushing to suspend hunting in some of these areas since mid-December.

Yellowstone has been known for its gorgeous wolf population for hundreds of years. Now, these hunting numbers could prove to be a greater setback than any of us can truly understand. Republicans had laws in place that actually made it easier to kill wolves, but these quotas were finally lifted last year.

Backlash from Animal Rights Groups, Businesses

Republicans had made it so night hunting, the use of snares, and higher harvest limits were all a part of the hunting scene. Montana, for example, allowed a wolf to be killed once it entered the state.

If you were going to try to go to Yellowstone National Park and spot some wolves (from far away, of course) this might be harder to do. There are only 91 wolves in the park now.

The entire situation has outraged animal rights advocates and regulars at Yellowstone National Park. In fact, some businesses have also outright condemned the behavior as well. These animals get millions of people booking tours. They are amongst the most viewable wolves in the world.

“These are the most viewable wolves in the lower 48, if not the world. The same packs that my clients pay me to see on every wildlife watching tour all year round … What’s the justification for this damage?” nature guide Cara McGary said, according to ABC News.