Montana's Slow Hunting Blamed on Wolves
Mike Feldmann owns the Lodge at McGregor Lake in Montana. His business was not operating at full capacity this hunting season. He keeps a poster board at his lodge, where in seasons past hunters would proudly display photos of their harvests. This year Feldmann has posted photos of a pack of wolves eating a heifer carcass at a nearby campground during archery season. Feldmann's lodging business has felt the impact of less big game animals which has meant less hunters as well.
According to statistics from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, whitetail and elk harvest numbers are down 20% from the average, and mule deer kills were off by 30%.
Wolves are not the only factor being blamed though. The last two winters have been overly harsh, and the fawn count has been down. Not only are whitetail, elk and mule deer numbers down the quota for wolves has not been met either. There is now talk about extending wolf season into 2012.
Feldmann thinks the damage has already been done though, and that the once plentiful hunting opportunities are something from the past. From NBCMontana.com.