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FWP public meeting in Big Sky discussed elk hunting, wolf numbers



With the 2012-2013 biennial season-setting process quickly approaching, Montana
FWP called a public meeting in the Gallatin Canyon at the Buck’s T-4 lodge
on July 12. Montana FWP staff in attendance included Patrick Flowers (Region
3 Supervisor), Julie Cunningham (Bozeman area biologist), Joe Knarr (Warden
Sergeant), Britt Brupbacher and Jennifer Williams (area game wardens). Sportsman
attendance was light.

Post-season and wintering elk numbers in the Gallatin Canyon have continued to
decline. However, this year should afford the opportunity to hunt wolves in the
Gallatin Canyon. Cunningham suggested that keeping elk hunters in the Canyon
is the best way to see legal wolf harvest in this area of concern.
Sportsmen had contacted Cunningham throughout the summer with questions
and concerns regarding the HD 310 elk herd. Some suggested restriction of
permit numbers in HD 310, and/or limiting the 310-50 brow-tined bull permits
to 1st choice in the draw. Sportsmen at this meeting did not support this latter
suggestion, as it would eliminate their ability to apply for special bull management
Cunningham determined there will be no changes for the elk season structure in
HD 310 for 2012-2013. Elk hunting will remain on 310-50 unlimited permit for
brow-tined bull elk, and the five permits in 310-20 for brow-tined bull elk in the
Gallatin Special Management Area.

In the last two years, three moose districts (310, 307 and 306) were closed in the
Gallatin Canyon. These districts are the Taylor Fork, Sage Creek, and Porcupine-
Buffalo horn areas. After good post-season flying conditions count at least 20
moose (with more presence seen via tracks), Cunningham suggested the opening
of HD 310 to one antlered bull license. Changes to this suggestion included:

• Open moose HD 310 to one antlered bull moose

• Re-district HD 310 to include HD 307 (Sage Creek), thereby making it one
large district and opening to one antlered bull moose

• Re-district HD 310 to include HD 307 (Sage Creek) and HD 306 (Porcupine-
Buffalo Horn) into one large district and opening to one or two antlered bull

The 2011 wolf hunting season is set at a quota of 19 wolves in the Wolf Management
Unit 310, which extends from the Gallatin Ridge to the Madison Valley.
Wolf numbers, as per the 2010 annual report, are as follows:


Cougar 2 9 wolves (BP; Gallatin)
Hayden 6 wolves (BP; Gallatin)
Beartrap 18 wolves (BP; Spanish Peaks/Flying D)
Wilson 7 wolves (BP;HD 301)
Toadflax 9 wolves (BP; Madison)
Cedar Cr. 4 wolves (Madison)
Madison 6 wolves Border Pack with YNP and/or Idaho
Cougar 4 wolves Border Pack with YNP and/or Idaho
Grayling 3 wolves Border Pack with YNP and/or Idaho

Sportsmen and FWP representatives continued open dialog regarding bighorn
sheep, blue (dusky) grouse and issues in areas outside the Gallatin Canyon.
FWP wishes to thank sportsmen for their interest and attendance, and looks forward
to the 2012-2013 season setting process. Forward any additional questions or
comments to:

Julie Cunningham, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Bozeman Area Biologist
1400 S. 19th Ave, Bozeman, MT 59718
(406) 994-6341 (office)

-from FWP wire services

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