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Entries in wolf trapping (3)

Sunday
Dec162012

Start of MT wolf trapping sparks protests

KPAX TV photo by Bernie Riggs(MISSOULA)- As wolf trappers hit the hills, protesters are hitting streets, showing strong opposition to Montana allowing trapping to be used as part of the efforts to control wolf populations. 

Wolf trapping season started Saturday, as Montana follows the lead set by Idaho in adding trapping to hunting as means of controlling wolf populations last year. 

But the move set off protests from anti-trapping group Footloose Montana, which staged protests in Missoula yesterday. 

KPAX TV reports the group maintains the trapping, most of which is being done on public lands, puts other animals and even humans in jeopardy. It would prefer that FWP do a better job of educating hunters on how to be successful in killing wolves and focus solely on that as the way to reduce wolf populations in the Northern Rockies. 

FWP has certified about 2400 people to trap wolves this season. 

Thursday
Jul122012

Montana approves wolf trapping, changes in hunting

USFWS photo by J. & K. Hollingsworth(HELENA)- Montana will follow Idaho’s lead in allowing trapping as a means of controlling wolf populations next year.

After more than a month of consideration and public meetings around the state, Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners approved next season’s wolf hunting season, along with the provision to allow trapping, at its monthly meeting in Helena Thursday.

The trapping part of the season would allow each trapper to catch as many as three wolves, although it still prohibits controversial snares that would catch wolves by the neck.

The state has been looking at expanded seasons and other changes so it can use the hunts as a better means of controlling the wolf population, after hunting by itself failed to meet quotas last winter.

Trapping opponents had attacked the proposal since it was first raised this spring. But groups like the Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife showed strong support for the new measures, saying the state needs more tools to control wolves since they were removed from the Endangered Species Act by Congress last year. 

Monday
May072012

FWP commission to look at trapping, longer seasons for wolf hunts

(HELENA)- Montana game managers are proposing a series of sweeping changes to the state’s wolf hunts, employing new techniques such as trapping and longer seasons in hopes of controlling wolf populations.

Those are just some of the changes Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff propose for the 2012-2013 wolf hunts, starting next fall.

This coming season will be the third since federal agencies decided to take wolves in the Northern Rockies off the Endangered Species List. The hunts resumed last winter after a one-year interruption because of lawsuits. FWP is looking for more aggressive ways to refine the hunts after the state missed the quota for wolves to be removed last year. FWP biologists had hoped hunters would kill 220 wolves, but even with extended seasons in Western Montana, only 166-wolves were removed.

Agency staff are asking the FWP Commission to approve new measures they say would make the season more effective in controlling wolf populations.

The proposals include adding trapping of wolves with leg hold traps between mid-December to the end of February. Wolf seasons would be permanently extended from October 15th through February 28th. Wolf quotas would be calculated statewide, instead of using game management units, with a few exceptions and FWP able to close areas immediately if hunters kill too many wolves. Hunters would also not have to wear orange when hunting wolves after November 25th.

FWP also suggests electric calling of wolves, and increasing the bag limit to 3-wolves might happen with legislative approval.

In the staff report, biologists say “it is clear that a more aggressive wolf hunting

season will not hurt wolf populations or genetic diversity.” FWP says it will have to “dramatically increase harvest levels” if Montana is to get down to a projected statewide wolf population of 425-animals.

The staff proposals will go to the commission at its meeting Thursday morning, with the agency planning to hold several meetings around the state for public comment before taking final action on the wolf seasons this summer.