A wolf management bill that won overwhelming support in the Montana Legislature was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Steve Bullock.

Bullock said House Bill 73, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Flynn, R-Townsend, will allow hunters to purchase up to three wolf licenses and lowers the price of a nonresident wolf license from $350 to $50. The measure also will strengthen state wildlife officials’ efforts to manage Montana’s recovered and growing wolf population, he said.

“This legislation leaves management of the gray wolf where it belongs, in the hands of scientists, not politicians,” Bullock said.

The legislation was amended by lawmakers to allow hunting and trapping of wolves near national parks and allow wildlife officials to close such areas after established wolf harvest quotas are met.

In signing the legislation, Bullock asked FWP to ramp up education programs aimed at averting the harvest of collared wolves near national parks.

The new law also allows wolf hunters to use their license 24 hours after its purchase, instead of having to wait five days; authorizes the use of electronic calls; and removes the requirement for hunter-orange clothing after the general deer and elk seasons have ended.

The minimum estimate of Montana’s wolf population at the end of 2011 was 653 wolves in 130 verified packs and 39 breeding pairs. New official population estimates are expected in March. Montana’s wolf hunting and trapping seasons are open through Feb. 28. So far, hunters have killed 115 wolves and trappers have harvested 84.

For more information, visit fwp.mt.gov and follow the “Montana Wolf Hunt” link.

Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) .523-5240

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(41) comments

DavidStalling
DavidStalling

WHAT SCIENCE? Montana Governor Steve Bullock says “This legislation leaves management of the gray wolf where it belongs, in the hands of scientists, not politicians,” and yet this legislation has everything to do with politics and NOTHING to do with science. To the contrary: This legislation completely ignores and defies all that we know about wolves and their ecology, breeding behavior and social structures within packs. Even many of the comments here in support of this legislation praise the governor for supporting the wishes of the "majority." This is wildlife management by popular vote and politics, not science.

Iceman9
Iceman9

He's also in violation of the World Charter for Nature. Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and now even Michigan are in violation of this charter because of their politically-driven wolf genocide.
http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/37/a37r007.htm
See you in the International Court of Justice, Bullock and Co.

bluesey
bluesey

here is what i have to say about the trapping and hunting of wolves.....i hope im in the woods and i run across a hunter in disstress and needing help ...id say to him or her i am not going to get you help...id buy some chips and a tea and watch the hunter until they are dead ,,,then i might get some help ...and to the person making comments about hippies ...you must be a real idiot ....but thats pretty normal for idiots nlike you ...also there is no way im obligated to help the hunter ive checked with an attorney...so im hoping my wish of finding a distressed hunter actually happens...

RPT
RPT

Montana... 200
.........................................................................................................................................
Idaho....... 215
.........................................................................................................................................
Over time that will amounts to saving the lives of thousands of our deer,moose and elk from the needless, painful slaughter that's being allowed to happen..
Keep up the good work hunters and trappers.. We were maybe forced to be late to the game but we're gaining on it... And thanks Gov Bullock.

RPT
RPT

Rather then responding to Ms Richards name calling rants or her encouraging others to break the law....It’s far more effective to click on the ‘Report Abuse’ option.
I’ve had several of her post removed by that method... If all of us do it.. The Missoulian can, has and will take action and remove her posts.

crslayer426
crslayer426

THANK YOU BULLOCK AND EAT MEAT HIPPIES, ITS ON!!!

elkguy
elkguy

Richard must have broke her computer when this news broke. But for liceman, too bad the vast majority of Montanans have spoken. Don't like it? Don't come here. Wolf lover tourists aren't welcome here, go into YNP from Wyoming or Idaho. I'm going wolf hunting.

RPT
RPT

Hopefully she’s been arrested ... That girl has serious problems.

Iceman9
Iceman9

I'll be waiting for you with booby traps. Consider it the last hunting trip you will ever take.

mt365
mt365

Electronic calls work great on coyote's. Just howl like a coyote and you will bring in a wolf. Wolves need to be controled just like coyote's. Where is the science in that. Just go out and hunt.

Comment deleted.
boo boo da bear
boo boo da bear

It sucks to be me Richard! Guess what your wrong between my friends and I we have killed over 100 wolves and next year just wait till the out of state vermin hunters show up for $50…so I would say it Really sucks to be You.

kats
kats

Thank you Ream and Moody for trying to stop the slaughter of wolves. There is NO science behind all the killing, only politics and old narrow minded hatefullness. Its a proven fact that we can coexist with wolves and also that the resoration of wolves has brought back balance to the ecosystem. I guess the hunters are upset because they can't just step out of their truck and plug an elk, they now act like elk should and hide and are always on the move. Yes, there aren't as many as there were (they were destroying the landscape because there were too many) but never in the history of a predator has a predator killed all its prey...except man of course. I don't understand how a person can believe in God and not believe that he made each animal to do a certain job and how it all intricately fits together. We are supposed to be Stewards of this beautiful earth he has given us and not the executioner of the animals we don't personally like. There should at least be a buffer all around Yellowstone against any wolf hunting because its unfair that these animals are used to humans and being watched by them thru spotting scopes only to step foot outside the park and get blown away by a different kind of scope. How would you like your family dog getting in a leghold trap and dying a slow death? I was going back to Montana this summer again but I'll keep my tourist dollars and home instead and I hope others do also. This is a travesty.

digger
digger

News Flash! No one cares if you do not come to our state. Your opinion on what we do with our state is worthless. Just hang out in California where you belong. The Cali-fruits have already ruined one state. Why should we sit back and let them ruin another? Plese tell me, where you have come up with this fallacy that a predator has never killed all of its prey or close to? It really frustrates me that people like you go out and say that Montana is trying to exterminate the wolf. You people are full of lies and B*llsh!t. We aren't trying to exterminate them. We want the population managed.

boo boo da bear
boo boo da bear

Thank You Governor Bullock for using Real Science and Kats send me your vacation money and I will tell you what it is like to live in God's Country, I will even make stuff up just like your wolf huggin friends .

High Altitude
High Altitude

Give me a break. How about this? Every time a wulf kills a calf (cattle) an automatic deduction of $750 comes out of your bank account. Don’t even start with the blather and lies of “the ranchers are compensated”. No they are not! It almost takes a video of the actual kill to prove the calf was dispatched by a wulf. There might be wulf tracks around the kill but the animal’s death is marked down as “Inconclusive”. Something that is never compensated is the weight loss from wulfs running cattle up and down a fence and fetus loss due to stress. Good for Bullock!

Comment deleted.
oldcowgirl
oldcowgirl

Non native species,,,, Just like you "richturd" you are a non-native species, so we need to get rid of YOU.....right.....lets send you back where you come from with about 100 wolves to fill your back yard......Ranchers and Cattle are here to stay, you are NOT....Get over it ,,,, MONTANA has spoken by majority Vote.....Wolves are on the LIST to be Managed wither you like it or NOT.....or any of the other Wolf Cult Huggers Out there......When the wolves kill all the deer, moose, elk, what else is there for them to eat/// Maybe YOU.....After all you are MEAT.. Just like you say about our ungulates.... LOL....ha, ha.. ha.......................

RPT
RPT

kats... Thank you for staying home this year ... The visitor numbers for Yellowstone during 2012 are out and it’s scary.... 3,447,729 visitor count reported for last year.... That’s an average of 9445 visitors per day for the year . The count is mostly through out the summer vacations months making that count per day much higher ( with less in the winter)... Between the wolves and you tourist Yellowstone is fast becoming a predator pit with a parking problem.
Have you tried Malibu ?

kats
kats

Thank you Ream and Moody for trying to stop the slaughter of wolves. There is NO science behind all the killing, only politics and old narrow minded hatefullness. Its a proven fact that we can coexist with wolves and also that the resoration of wolves has brought back balance to the ecosystem. I guess the hunters are upset because they can't just step out of their truck and plug an elk, they now act like elk should and hide and are always on the move. Yes, there aren't as many as there were (they were destroying the landscape because there were too many) but never in the history of a predator has a predator killed all its prey...except man of course. I don't understand how a person can believe in God and not believe that he made each animal to do a certain job and how it all intricately fits together. We are supposed to be Stewards of this beautiful earth he has given us and not the executioner of the animals we don't personally like. There should at least be a buffer all around Yellowstone against any wolf hunting because its unfair that these animals are used to humans and being watched by them thru spotting scopes only to step foot outside the park and get blown away by a different kind of scope. How would you like your family dog getting in a leghold trap and dying a slow death? I was going back to Montana this summer again but I'll keep my tourist dollars and home instead and I hope others do also. This is a travesty.

julio
julio

Ban cattle from public lands. They welfare grazing must stop

High Altitude
High Altitude

Cattle grazing on public lands is a good thing. If you knew anything about grazing you would know once grazing stops the grass becomes decadent and dies. The old material (litter) builds up and chokes out the plant. And, if you dislike grazing on public land so much, get ready for your grocery bill to go up; simple economics.

Comment deleted.
oldcowgirl
oldcowgirl

Same too You "Richardr11" you are a non native Species and should be eradicated.....and sent back to California where you belong and take some wolves with you....AND please introduce your West Coast animal lovers to the WOLF......Plus where are the Grizzly Bears in sunny California?? Don't exist.,.... Please import some we have plenty in MT..... After all CA is the state of the BEAR......and ON your FLAG....

Sorry , I'm still Native American....and some of you wolf lovers think all natives Americans are pro wolf.... Sorry to burst you bubble..... we still raise cattle, hay, sheep,chickens..... like I have always said::::::: Some Wolves are OK....(PLEASE GET THIS) but too many in any given area is not good for Ranchers , Farmers, Hunters or Tourists.....

So what is your point.... Just let the Wolves Kill, Kill, Kill, then what??? NO more Food for YOUR WOLVES????? Richard you are not hitting on all cylinders.....at the same time..... LOL>>>>>>>>

julio
julio

Bullock is a huge disappointment. Guess he is already running for re election

Extermination of wolves, bison are tea bagger stockmen mentality

Sukey
Sukey

Send the wolves to Hamilton where State Rep Nancy Ballance wants to exterminate all the elk deer and antelope eating her hay and !horrors! peeing on the rest. Give me a break, either there's too many wolves eating all the elk or there's too many elk eating the hay. I think there's too many Nancy Ballance's clueless in paradise. The wildlife, not Nancy Ballance and her hayfields are what make Montana paradise. If something has to be exterminated, I don't think its either wolves or elk but idiotic micromanagement like that Nancy Ballance is proposing. How is this cra*p any different than what happened to destroy California?

reality22f
reality22f

Thank you Gov Bullock! I find it interesting that the vote in the legislator was unanimous, Yet, the vote commission voted 5 to 2 in favor for an absurd buffer zone. There are changes needed on the commission! It seems like Ream and Moody always vote pro-wolf!

Iceman9
Iceman9

Good for Ream and Moody! Montana needs more like them and less Death Cult drones like the others. Including you, Bruce Hemorrhage!

LCHelenajr
LCHelenajr

Yes this has been apparent for several years. Wolf huggers abound in FWP. They seem to forget that their funding source does not come from the wolf huggers.

BWO
BWO

Very disappointing for the new governor to do this. FWP certainly isn't using science. Let's see if the new Gov has the rocks to stand up against the gun nuts and the trappers...right now, pandering seems to be the old world order....

LCHelenajr
LCHelenajr

They are using science, which is much different than Wolf hugger science which is basically fabricated gibberish.

CareForAll
CareForAll

This is very disappointing. Montana is such a beautiful place, but it is the home of a small but vocal group of blood-lust psychos, stuck in some primeval caveman world. These are people who enjoy torturing animals. What more can you say? It's indefensible. Too bad Governor Bullshxt...uh, Bullock, declined to show any leadership or compassion. By signing this bill he has invited contempt for Montana, as wolves and all the other animals, and Yellowstone Park, belong to all of us - not just the ignorant hicks who can't find anything more fun to do than kill.

Bravo, Bullock!

AAO22
AAO22

Should we allow the ever increasing and expanding wolf population to continue to decimate other wildlife species, affect livestock producers and sportsmen/women? Care for "all" should take into consideration other animals, not just wolves!!
Montana is home to a vast majority of multi-generational ranchers and sportsmen who are stewards of the land and whom care deeply for more than one species. Montanan's will stand up for their rights and will fight the absurdities of wolf loving activists! Its the small but vocal ignorant activists who get their panties in a bunch when science and common sense trumps their emotionally charged wolf worshiping ideology.

Bravo Bullock. Even though he is a Democrat he proved to have common sense and a backbone when he said, "This legislation leaves management of the gray wolf where it belongs, in the hands of scientists, not politicians." Bravo! Encore!

Iceman9
Iceman9

There's no science here. What have you been smoking? Recall Bullock!

kats
kats

oh please, there is no science involved in this!! Check your facts

AAO22
AAO22

@kats - Oh please! Do tell what legitamate scientific evidence you know about wolves and their affects on ungulates! Not what you read on Defenders of Wildlife or watch on the Animal Planet network. Please share what you personally have observed of wolves in the wild. I can assure you that I have piles of documented FACTS, statements from biologists and wildlife officials and numerous personal accounts to back up anything I post.

Stop with your emotional blabber and open your eyes to reality - to what is happening to elk, deer and moose in areas where wolf populations are high. Its not "ecological balance"...its ungulate genocide perpetuated by biased, brainwashed wolf loving sheeple!

Its absurd that wolf lovers care so deeply for the predator yet nothing for the prey...

oldcowgirl
oldcowgirl

99% of Yellowstone Park belongs in Wyoming. Ever read a map.....This is not a small vocal group/// Its what Montana Voted For.... Both DEM and GOP all agreed..... Get over it....Wolves are over taking our ungulates population in record numbers...How many wolves do you kind of people want?? Until all the wild game is gone??? Then what?? Humans and Livestock live in the West now, its not 200 yrs ago.......So visit Yellowstone Park and leave the rest of MONTANA to do what we do best.... Ranch and Farm. and Hunting.....This is still a Cowboy State and Farming State.....You my friend are the Hicks not us....

LCHelenajr
LCHelenajr

Wolf hunting is here to stay. Your Wolves eat animals while they are still alive which would be painful don't ya think?

I have a recipe for wolf and from what I hear it is a good one. As the true apex predator I am going to enjoy eating some barbecued wolf leg.

kats
kats

I agree CareForAll, no science involved. Just the good ole boys and their narrow minded attitudes.

oldcowgirl
oldcowgirl

Thank You Governor Bullock and all Elected Officials for carrying out the majority vote of Montanans. Much appreciated .

Sukey
Sukey

Oldcowgirl, how many wolves have you ever had decimate your herd? Seems like everyone is complaining about elk deer and antelope destroying flowerbeds and hayfields. Couldn't they relocate the wolves to those areas? Come on you can't have both, you can't have a wild State and have one group killing all the wolves and the other group killing all the elk deer antelope. Let nature alone.

boo boo da bear
boo boo da bear

Thank You Governor Bullock and all Elected Officials for carrying out the majority vote of Montanans.even if I didnt vote for ya

Dub
Dub

Ditto--I did not vote for Bullock and am surprised he supported this, but it was the correct thing to do.

oldcowgirl
oldcowgirl

Sukey, you asked how many wolves have I ever had decimate my herd.... Well, all I can say is that in the last 4 yrs its been 6 wolves. and they all died of lead poising....Some by fish and Game and 2 by me.....Any more questions.

And I have let Deer and Elk feed in my fields and haystack for many yrs and I don't mind it bit. If they are hungry then they can eat. But I will not tolerate Wolves on my property, Period.....
Come on now, cant have a wild state with one group killing all Wolves and some killing all ungulates..... NO human is going to kill all wildlife....It's called MANANGMENT of Predators .....Before the Wolf intro, there was never any controvery about wildlife.... Wolves are gluttons and they run in packs.. Nature will not be left alone, because we Humans are here now and have been for thousands of yrs.....There is only so much area,(habitat) for Predators, Humans, Livestock, Farmers in the West. And YES, we can have both, wild state, cattle ranchers, hunting, farming if we manage things correctly..

I'm not totally against Wolves, some are OK, but to many is NOT OK.....It's Called MANAGMENT.......

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