Montana wildlife commission tightens wolf, elk hunting rules


MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Hunting regulations on wolf and elk near Yellowstone National Park have increased, wildlife officials said.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission tightened wolf hunting rules and reduced elk-hunting seasons, the Missoulian reported Thursday.

The Commission discussed proposals and allowed public comment on the regulations Thursday during its daylong meeting in Helena. Regulations included reducing wolf hunting quotas to one per person in each district near Yellowstone National Park and shortening elk shouldering seasons by a month in some districts in central Montana, commission officials said.

Some public commenters have argued that wolf quotas should be one or none because the animals are crucial to the ecosystem, while opponents suggested increasing the quota to two.

The commission also adopted elk shoulder seasons for several hunting districts covering west-central Montana, agency officials said.

The state uses shoulder seasons to extend hunting seasons beyond the five-week general period and bring local elk populations closer to population targets. Under the new regulations, some districts must shorten their shoulder seasons, officials said.