Montana State Law and Administrative Rules for Gray Wolves

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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has the primary responsibility to conserve and manage the wolf population under Montana’s Nongame and Endangered Species Act (MCA 87-5-101 – 112). Montana law classifies the gray wolf as a state species in need of management statewide. FWP works with private landowners to provide technical assistance on proactive ways to decrease the risk of wolf-caused losses.

FWP is the decision making entity for wolf management actions following livestock depredations. FWP management prescription following a confirmed depredation can include collaring and releasing one or more wolves as well as lethal control. FWP may authorize lethal wolf control after a livestock depredation is confirmed by USDA Wildlife Services. Lethal control of problem wolves can be authorized on an incremental, case by case basis when there are at least 15 breeding pairs in Montana and after considering a variety of factors.

Lethal control efforts may occur for up to a total of 45 days from the date of confirmation. FWP may issue a special permit to a livestock owner to help resolve the conflict sooner.

USDA Wildlife Services

Wildlife Services has the primary responsibility to investigate cases of suspected wolf depredation. Contact Wildlife Service’s if you suspect a wolf-caused loss and to request an investigation. Wildlife Service’s carries out both nonlethal and lethal control at the request of FWP.

FWP and USDA Wildlife Service’s actively work to reduce the potential for losses and to resolve wolf-livestock conflicts where and when they occur using a variety of non-lethal and lethal management tools. Both agencies also provide technical assistance to the Montana Livestock Loss.

Montana Livestock Loss Board

Montana's Livestock Loss Board was created to fulfill the compensation provisions of the Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The program is administered through a 7-member, Governor-appointed citizen board and a program coordinator. The purpose of this program is to acknowledge the importance of economic viability and sustainability of individual livestock owners who are negatively affected by wolf recovery and to:

• provide financial reimbursements to producers for wolf-caused losses based on program criteria.

Southeast Montana is part of Wolf Management Unit 390 (WMU 390) which has a wolf harvest quota of 18 (includes sub-unit WMU 313/316 with a quota of 3 during an early rifle season). The general rifle season begins on October 22, 2011 and ends December 31, 2011 for WMU 390. As of October 14, 2011 five wolves have been harvested (one in the archery season in WMU 390 and the four in the early rifle season in sub-unit 313/316.) As of October 14, 2011 the remaining harvest quota for WMU 390 is 13.

To report the harvest of a wolf call 1-877-397-9453 and to obtain current harvest status for a WMU call 1-800-385-7826 or visit the FWP web site at: fwp.mt.gov, click on For Hunters tab; click on Montana Wolf Hunt; and the 2011 Wolf Hunting Guide/Harvest Status map and table are present.

A resident wolf license costs $19.00 and non-resident license costs $350.00. A conservation license and the Hunting Access Enhancement fee are required to purchase the wolf license.

Receiving sighting reports from the public assists FWP in documenting the wolf population for purposes of including new wolves in population estimates and harvest quotas. Please contact Abby Nelson: Wolf Management Specialist (406-600-5150), Dean Waltee: Wildlife Biologist (406-436-2327) or Troy Hinck: Warden (406-436-2617) to report sighting information of tracks, scat and visual observations in southeastern Montana.

According to the Montana Wolf Weekly Report: Wolf Specialist, Abigail Nelson reports that FWP personnel continue to collect information on wolf sightings of a gray and a collared black wolf around Broadus. Follow-up ground work and aerial surveys will be implemented where appropriate. A flight was conducted in this area on 10/5/ 2011 and no wolves were observed.

Private Citizens and Livestock

Montana law and administrative rules (MCA 87-3-130; ARM 12.9.1301-1305) allow a person to kill a wolf that is seen in the act of attacking, killing, or threatening to kill livestock:

• no permit is required and FWP must be notified within 72 hours of take or attempt to take,

• preserve the scene and leave the carcass where it was killed; carcass is surrendered to FWP,

• physical evidence of the wolf attack or that an attack was imminent is required (injured or

dead livestock, broken fences, trampled vegetation and wolf sign) that would lead a reasonable person to conclude the attack was imminent,

• wolves cannot be intentionally baited, fed, or deliberately attracted. Wolves may be opportunistically hazed or harassed in a non-injurious manner anytime. Reporting to FWP within 72 hours is encouraged.

Livestock means cattle, calf, hog, pig, horse, mule, sheep, lamb, llama, goat, herding or guarding animals, rhea, emu, ostrich, donkey, and certain breeds of dogs commonly used for herding or guarding livestock. >

Threatening to kill means the actual chasing, testing, molesting, harassing livestock or livestock herding or guarding animals that would indicate to a reasonable person that an attack was imminent.

Attacking or killing means the actual biting, wounding, or grasping of livestock or domestic dogs.

Private Citizens and Domestic Dogs

Montana law and administrative rules (MCA 87-3-130; ARM 12.9.1301-1305) allow a person to kill a wolf that is seen in the act of attacking or killing a domestic dog not used for herding or guarding livestock.

No permit is required, and FWP must be notified within 72 hours of take or attempt to take.

The carcass is surrendered to FWP. Physical evidence of the wolf attack is required that would lead a reasonable person to conclude the attack was ongoing.

A person may not intentionally bait a wolf with domestic dogs or livestock for the purpose of killing the wolf.

Wolves may be opportunistically hazed or harassed in a non-injurious manner. Reporting to FWP within 72 hours is encouraged.

Attacking or killing means the actual biting, wounding, or grasping of livestock or domestic dogs.

Private Citizens and Human Safety

Montana law and administrative rules (MCA 87-3-130; ARM 12.9.1301-1305) allow a person to kill a wolf that is seen in the act of attacking, killing, or threatening to kill a person. FWP must be notified within 72 hours of take or attempt to take.

To learn more about Montana’s wolf population, the Montana program and to help FWP monitor wolves by reporting wolf sign, visit FWP online. Use the following shortcut link and be sure to update your bookmarks: http://fwp.mt.gov/wolf

To anonymously report a dead or injured wolf or suspected illegal activity, call: 1-800-TIP-MONT or 1-800-847-6668.

To request an investigation of injured or dead livestock, call USDA Wildlife Services directly in western Montana / Helena area at 406-458-0106 or in eastern Montana at the statewide office at 406-657-6464. Or, call your nearest FWP representative to have your call referred to Wildlife Services.

If you have a confirmed or probable livestock death loss due to wolves, USDA Wildlife Services will supply you with a copy of the Loss Reimbursement Application form. For more information, see http://liv.mt.gov/liv/LM/index.asp or, contact the Livestock Loss Reduction and Mitigation Program Coordinator, George Edwards at the Montana Department of Livestock at 406-444-5609.

For additional information: See: www.fwp.mt.gov

• read the Montana Wolf Weekly Report

• read the full Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Annual Report

• report wolves and wolf sign that help FWP monitor the population

• learn more about wolves and their management, state laws and rules, and the state program

• find contact information for FWP Wolf Program staff or USDA Wildlife Service’s personnel

Comments

Retired2hunt's picture

  A very detailed and

 

A very detailed and informative set of rules and regulations.  $19 for a license is a deal but I read it is also tied to the purchase of a conservation license and an additional "fee". 

The information does a good job of spelling out the different scenarios that would affect the human population - whether rancher or dog walker.

I'm certain this is a stepping stone that is used for the other states currently working on regs and plans.  If not it should be.

 

 

numbnutz's picture

I'm so glad the states in the

I'm so glad the states in the Rockie Mountain regions now have to power to manage these animals. This plan sounds just like Oregons plan minus the hunting seasons. Sounds like Montana is headed in the right direction with their plan. I'm sure as time goes on things will be tweaked a bit but it's a good start. The whole ESA needs to be reviewed and tweaked. It's very out dated . We have issues with California seals swimming upriver here and eating endangered salmon as they try to swim up and down the fish ladders at dam sites. But the seals are protected also and for the state to get permits to remove them is difficult and then it's challenged by activists anyways. I with the whacko animal rights groups would just educate themselfs to the real issues and leave their bleeding hearts out of the issues.