Montana’s wolf-hunting licenses went on sale Monday, Aug. 8. Licenses are valid within 14 defined wolf management units, each of which has a quota. The total harvest quota is 220 wolves.
Archery season for wolf hunting will occur during big game archery season starting Sept. 3. The general season will coincide with the general rifle season beginning Oct. 22. Hunting will close in specific WMUs when the quota is reached, but could run through Dec. 31 if quotas are not reached.
FWP wildlife management areas are open to hunting during the fall wolf season. State game preserves, national parks and national wildlife refuges are closed to wolf hunting. Hunters must obtain permission to hunt on private lands.
The use of motorized vehicles, dogs, bait, sent, lures, traps, lights, electronic tracking devices, or any recorded or electrically amplified bird or animal calls to hunt or attract wolves is prohibited.
Wildlife officials documented at least 566 wolves in 108 packs, and 35 breeding pairs in Montana at the end of 2010. The harvest quota for the upcoming hunting season is projected to reduce the wolf population to a minimum of 425 wolves, or by about 25 percent.
A congressional measure passed this spring removed gray wolves from the list of endangered species in Montana, Idaho and parts of Oregon, Washington and Utah. It was challenged in federal district court in Missoula this May, and ruled constitutional by Judge Donald Molloy on Aug. 3.