Montana proposes wolf quotas for 2023/2024 season
Wolf populations are still strong across Montana despite a slight dip in 2022. And, after reviewing the current numbers, the state agency has determined how many wolves hunters can harvest for the 2023/2024 season.
“We're meeting the legal requirement to reduce wolf numbers and we're doing it at a measured pace we know will keep the population healthy, sustainable, and above recovery levels” said Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Director Dustin Temple.
The current 2022 estimated wolf population was 1,087 wolves, which was down about 56 wolves compared to the 2021 estimate, according to a news release. Wolf packs currently number 181, which is a decrease in 10 packs. The total wolf harvest for the 2022/2023 season was 248.
Based upon these numbers, FWP has proposed the following quota of 289 wolves for the 2023/2024 season. Here’s how that will break down based upon region:
- Region 1 – 120 wolves
- Region 2 – 91 wolves
- Region 3 – 52 wolves
- Region 4 – 15 wolves
- Regions 5, 6 and 7 – 5 wolves total
The quota for Wolf Management Unit 313, which is located north of Yellowstone National Park, will retain its quota of six wolves like prior seasons.
With regard to how the season will run, FWP is proposing wolf trapping season beginning on the first Monday after Thanksgiving outside of a mapped grizzly bear occupied range, according to a news release. A map of the occupied grizzly range will be available on FWP’s website.
A final decision on the proposed quota, season dates and trapping as well as on the draft rule for an amendment for Associated Rules of Montana 12.9.1303, which pertains to nonlethal and lethal control methods for gray wolves per the Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, will occur during the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on Aug. 17.
Stay tuned to GOHUNT for further updates.