FWS Gives Tentative Approval of Bitterroot Wolf Kill

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Back in November, the Montana FWP petitioned the FWS to allow a kill of up to 18 wolves to slow predation on elk in the Bitterroot Valley. The FWP was diligent in using all other methods necessary to boost the elk population in the Bitterroot units but eventually it became clear that the wolf numbers needed to be reduced. According to the Missoulian, the FWS gave tentative approval of the FWP plan to have a wolf hunt in the designated area.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft environmental assessment of the state's Rule 10(J) request to shoot as many as 18 of the estimated 30 wolves in the West Fork. "We don't call it a hunt," Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Shawn Sartorius said on Monday. "There is a situation where (Montana) Fish, Wildlife and Parks could utilize citizens as designated agents of the state. But it would be much more controlled than a hunting situation."

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arrowflipper's picture

about time

It's about time the feds listen to those in the know.  Those who live and work there.  I don't believe the feds know squat about what's actually happening in that area.  I believe they are being led around by the nose by a group of anti's who contribute lots of money.

I have yet to see any anti group that bases anything they say on factual evidence of what's going on.  I haven't seen any anti group that bases decisions on any form of intelligence. 

I'm just glad that Montana got through to them before it was too late.  BUT, don't count on it happening until you hear the first shots.  The anti's, though a small minority, have huge mouths and large pocketbooks.  And the feds listen to the pocketbooks way more than scientific evidence.

Boy, I'd love to get one of those permits!!!

hunter25's picture

Well it's getting ready to

Well it's getting ready to start again but they did use the word tentative approval. Although the feds are allowing it to happen it will remain to be seen if the animal rights groups can get it stopped again. Hopefully not as I think the states are finally getting tired of dealing with the minority of people that don't care about the overall health of the wildlife herds.

It will be interesting to see how you get chosen to be one of the agents that gets to hunt them. These permits could end up being one of the new premium tags that end up taking all your life to draw. Killing a wolf would be very high on my list of things to do if I could afford to target one for a specific hunt.

jaybe's picture

Man, I would agree that the

Man, I would agree that the very fact that the federal government is finally going to allow the thinning of the wolf population in that area is good news. I just wonder if it isn't going to be too little too late. This is they way they so often act, especially when the sacred wolf is the issue in question.

It is interesting to me that the State has been telling them for a long time that the wolves were at least part of the problem, but the federal agencies tried everything else to increase the elk herd before finally admitting that maybe the wolf has something to do with it.

I suppose this is part of the education process that has to take place - sort of a trial and error approach to efficient managing of the wildlife in a state. Years ago, the locals knew what was going on and thinned the wolf population on their own. Perhaps they went too far and killed the wolves into near extinction and that's why the government stepped in and passed all kinds of laws to protect them. The problem is, they made the issue political and now the wolf has been elevated to the position of a sacred creature that cannot be touched.

I see this latest move by the federal government as very good news, indeed!