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Montana’s politics with bears and wolves

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 3/30/21

Several bills are headed to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk this week that would allow for the several new wolf hunting tactics, including the use of spotlights while hunting wolves—a tactic considered unethical by many—luring wolves with bait and a wider use of neck snares. There is also a proposal to legally hunt bears with hunting dogs, and limiting where grizzlies can roam in the state. Many of these practices were once attributed to driving wolf and bear numbers down to the point of extinction and outlawed centuries ago. Today, they’re yet another point of division among Montanans and what critics are calling a “wholesale war on wildlife” and a rejection of decades worth of management data, writes New York Times writer Tim Robbins. More than 50 Montana wildlife biologists have decried these bills, but many have passed or are days away from passing. 

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