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Wolf hunting success leads to season's end

by Hagadone News Network
| November 18, 2009 11:00 PM

With seven wolves harvested over the weekend in northwestern Montana and three others in the southwestern portion of the state, wolf-hunting season officially closed Monday night.

Weekend wolf kills brought the total harvest to 38 wolves by Sunday, so the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission ordered the closure for Wolf Management Unit 1, which encompasses the northern tier of the state.

That area’s harvest quota was 41 wolves, and the closure was ordered to avoid a quota overrun.

“The wolf hunt was a success in WMU 1,” said Jim Williams, the state’s regional wildlife manager. “Now that we are so close to both the regional and statewide quotas, FWP and the FWP Commission have acted to close the wolf hunt for this year.”

Of the 38 wolves taken in the northern hunting unit, 18 were females and 20 were males.

Hunters as of Monday afternoon had taken a total of 72 wolves statewide, just shy of the overall quota of 75, about 15 percent of the statewide wolf population estimated at 500.

The state shut down the wolf hunt two weeks before the scheduled end of the season.

In southwestern Montana’s Wolf Management Unit 2, where there was a quota of 22, some 21 wolves (seven females and 14 males) have been harvested, prompting that area to close to wolf hunting on Monday as well.

Wolf hunting in the state’s third unit in southeastern Montana was closed Oct. 26 after the quota of 12 wolves was exceeded by one.