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Wolf advisory council has management ideas for Montana FWP

HELENA — Establishing a roster of wolf trappers, implementing a bounty system or changing the rules about hunting wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park all were ideas bandied about at a Fish, Wildlife and Parks special meeting Friday.

The ideas came from members of the Montana Wolf Management Advisory Council, which helped develop Montana’s wolf management plan 10 years ago and reconvened this week in Helena to give the FWP Commission and department feedback on their implementation of the plan.

The overview comes one month before the FWP Commission sets tentative rules for the 2013-14 wolf hunting and trapping season, and the same day the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the 2012 Annual Report for the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) Gray Wolf Population.

Overall, the council members complimented the department on its wolf management activities, and said they were amazed at the amount of new science that’s been developed since the plan was written. However, they also noted that a lot has changed since wolves were delisted and urged FWP to remain flexible when dealing with wolves.

Chase Hibbard, the council chairman, said it was a good discussion about how FWP should proceed…

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