The Montana Outfitters and Guide Association, also known as MOGA, is made up of 250 members. And with experience in the back country and seeing their businesses decline, they've come up with a predator policy they think the state can get behind.
"As outfitters and guides in the state we feel that we're a vanguard of the environment of what is out there right now and we feel like we should be responsible for helping say how things are managed," said Rob Arnaud, an outfitter and member of MOGA.
They highlight three main guidelines for the management of large predators.
"Sustained yield and it's application to hunting and trapping, a fully funded wildlife services to handle the more surgical removals that are necessary, and thirdly that predators should be managed with an eye toward studied management objectives for ungulates," said Mac Minard the Executive Director of MOGA.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks estimates the wolf population in Montana is around 1,000 wolves. A Yellowstone biologist's study says one wolf kills just over 18 elk per year, meaning more than 18,000 are killed by wolves each year. In comparison hunters harvest around 16,500 elk a year.
"We're on the edge of a hunting crisis and a wildlife crisis. And so as outfitters and guides we're seeing that. As predator levels increase, prey base shrinks and could shrink to such a number that we have to impact the predator population now," said Arnaud.
MOGA doesn't want to eliminate predators altogether, or even lower their numbers to endangered levels.
"We believe that wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, mountain lions, they all belong here and they all have a position. We just cannot have management that favors one animal over the other. So in the face of abundance we must take care of those that are most abundant so we allow those that are less abundant to thrive," Arnaud said.
To read MOGA?s Large Predator Management Policy click here.