Wolf hunting season extension rejected in northwest Montana

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A proposal by wildlife managers to extend the wolf hunting and trapping seasons in northwestern Montana was rejected, a wildlife commission said.

The state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks voted Thursday to maintain the hunting and trapping seasons from Sept. 15 to March 15, the Daily Inter Lake reported.

The proposal would have lengthened the hunting season by six weeks from Aug. 15 to March 31, and increase the individual hunting quota from five to 10 wolves affecting Region One, which covers Lincoln, Flathead, Sanders and Lake counties, commission officials said.

The two proposals received about 1,000 comments online and dozens during the meeting Thursday from people as far away as Arizona.

Some people agreed with the proposal to raise the harvest quota, arguing elk populations could suffer if wolf populations are not under control. Others disputed the proposal saying wolves contribute to local economies and are important to state history and culture.

The commission also voted to reduce quotas in two hunting districts north of Yellowstone National Park from two wolves to one.