There’s a certain mystique about wolves. There are two main species — the red and the gray wolf. Both are wild, carnivorous, dog-like creatures with the ability to hunt prey at speeds up to 60 mph. You can imagine that trying to hunt a wolf isn’t an easy task. Although now in Montana, wildlife officials are making it logistically simpler with expanded wolf hunting regulations.
According to Montana officials, the wolf population is getting out of control. Let’s take a look at what they’re doing about it, and how hunters can get involved.
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission Voted On It Recently
On August 20th, 2021 a bill was passed into law (SB314) that allowed for more hunting of wolves as long as the 15 breeding pairs, or 300 wolves are kept alive at minimum so that they don’t become an endangered species again.
The bill increases the amount of wolf trapping and hunting licenses that each hunter can obtain. Now wolf hunters are allowed to take up to 10 wolves per season over the previous limit of five. Keep in mind that a hunter needs a license for each wolf that they hunt. Montana is very serious about keeping track of exactly how many wolves are taken each season.
Certain types of snares can be used, as well as, hunting at night on private property. If you catch a wolf, you must report it within 24 hours. Officials want to keep an updated count at all times.
The Wolf Season
If you are going to make plans to hunt wolves in Montana, the season officially starts on November 29th and runs through March 15th. That’s a pretty long hunting season for the wolf, but if you are going to hunt anytime in the winter, it gets pretty cold up there. You’ll need to have all the right gear for a very snowy hunt.
The Total Wolf Population
The total wolf population right now in Montana is around 1,200 wolves. In 2020, it’s estimated that 328 wolves were hunted. On average in the years before that, from 2012 to 2019, an estimated 242 wolves were taken out of the population each year. Experts in conservation have figured out that each year, the population of wolves needs to be culled by as much as 50 percent.
Many of these gray wolves have migrated from Alaska through Canada into Montana over the past decade, which is why the population has increased so much.
Planning Your Trip
In planning a wolf hunting trip to Montana, there are many outfitters that will help set up your guided trip. Linehan Outfitting is one of the best with guided trips described as “unlike any other adventure.” So if you’re looking for a unique and incredible hunting experience, it might be time to schedule that trip up to Big Sky Country this season to nab a few trophy-worthy wolves.