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Montana FWP sets initial quota at 220 wolves

[large thumbnail url=”montana-fwp-sets-initial-quota-at-220-wolves” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”05″ day=”13″] [thumbnail icon url=”montana-fwp-sets-initial-quota-at-220-wolves” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”05″ day=”13″] Hunters would be able to remove 220 gray wolves from Montana’s landscape this fall under a tentative quota and seasons adopted Thursday by the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission.

The quota is nearly triple the state’s only previous hunting season allowed in 2009, but models used by the state show it would only decrease wolf numbers from the current known 566 wolves in 108 verified packs to between 425 to 526 wolves. The modeling takes into account wolves removed for livestock depredation and other causes, as well as the pups born this year, according to Ken McDonald, FWP fish and wildlife bureau chief.

“Both the structure and the quota will be open for public comment starting (Friday) and go through June 20,” McDonald told the commission and a standing-room-only crowd. “We’ll bring it back to you at the July (12) meeting … and the licenses can go on sale in August, since the archery season begins in September.”

Without a hunting season, McDonald said the state population would grow to 632 to 647 wolves, well above Montana’s minimum population goal of 150 wolves

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