HOWL Colorado

Hunting suspended in southern Montana

[thumbnail icon url=” wolf-hunt-suspended-in-southern-montana” filename=”news” year=”2009″ month=”10″ day=”27″] Four wolves were quickly taken by hunters in the region of Montana known as WMU-3 after general hunting season started on Sunday, exceeding the quota for the region by one.

Montana’s wildlife management officials closed down the hunt in the southern part of the state, which was an area mired in controversy after 9 wolves, including several from the well-known Yellowstone-based Cottonwood pack, were killed at a pace far exceeding the expectations of Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The hunt was suspended in the area as a response to the hunting.

When the general hunting season started on Sunday, October 25th, the area was accessible to hunters again. In a day four more wolves were shot, which exceeded the quote for the area by one. Officials by shutting down the hunt for the entire region at sunset on Monday.

Two of the wolves were shot in Gallatin County, which similar to the Cottonwood pack members, were very close to the borders of Yellowstone National Park. Sweetgrass County was home to the other two wolves.

The hunt is scheduled to continue until November 29th – with an option to extend it to the end of the year if the quota of 75 Montana wolves remains unmet.

Twelve wolves, according to the Montana Wildlife, Fish & Game’s update published on October 27,  have been taken in other parts of the state so far – six in each of the remaining regions – which puts the state at 25 wolves killed so far.

Conservationists and wolf advocacy groups are continuing a legal battle to block the delisting of the wolves. The overall numbers in the northern Rocky Mountains dropping at a dangerous pace is one concern. Conservationists and biologists are also concerned that the hunts in Montana and Idaho could lead to isolation of the Yellowstone National Park wolves, which would lead to an unhealthy, restricted gene pool. A weak gene pool can lead to issues of inbreeding and threaten healthy development of the species in the region.

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