Bills to Reduce Wolf Numbers Advance in Montana Legislature | Politics

Bills to Reduce Wolf Numbers Advance in Montana Legislature |  Politics

“It allows skilled trappers to be in the field,” said Brown.

Democratic Senator Pat Flowers de Bozeman, former regional supervisor of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, said it was “bounty hunting by another name.”

“We’re crossing a line here that we haven’t crossed in managing wildlife in this state,” said Flowers.

A similar bill was passed at Montana House in 2019, only to narrowly pass in the Senate.

It’s one of many measures put forward by Montana lawmakers this session to manage the state’s wolf population.

The House has already proposed measures that would extend the wolf trapping season and allow trappers to use snares, which animal rights groups deem inhumane. House bills have moved largely along party lines with most Republicans in favor and most Democrats against, and await Senate votes.

Wolves were largely eradicated in Montana at the turn of the last century, but recovered under federal protection when some of the animals migrated from Canada and others were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995. Many herders and hunting groups strongly opposed this decision due to wolf attacks on livestock and their natural prey, including large game like elk.

Tensions eased after animals lost their endangered species protections in Montana in 2011 and public hunting and trapping was allowed.

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