Montana wildlife managers are proposing sweeping changes to the 2012-2011 wolf hunt, which are described as a more aggressive approach. Tonight, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks held public hearings across the state to gather feedback.
Under proposals endorsed by the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission, the wolf hunting season would be extended from September to the end of February, allowing for an early bow season and late winter rifle season. The proposals also would drop the statewide quota system while maintaining hunting limits near national parks.
If approved by the legislature, additional measures would allow hunters to buy more than one tag and use electronic calls.
One of the more controversial changes would establish a wolf trapping season. In Missoula, the heat came early when opponents offered impassioned arguments against what they called barbaric trapping methods. Those in favor of trapping spoke of the effectiveness of trapping and outlined the predatory methods wolves use, while attempting to kill their prey.
The changes are proposed to make the hunt more effective. Last year, the season ended far short of the quota established by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.