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Montana considers changes to wolf and grizzly bear management

Montana considers changes to wolf and bear management

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Montana legislators have been busy over the past few months with drafting several bills that would change how wolves and grizzly bears are managed in the state. As goHUNT previously reported, gray wolves were removed from the endangered species list in January, paving the way for future hunting and trapping seasons. 

Per CBS News, here’s a breakdown of several bills currently in progress within the Montana House and Senate that target wolf trapping, grizzly bear depredation and more:

  • HB 224 and HB 225 would lengthen wolf trapping season by 30 days and legalize the use of snares by licensed trappers.
  • SB 324 would “allow all but 15 breeding pairs of wolves to be killed.” Licensed hunters and trappers could kill an “unlimited number of wolves” and use spotlights and night vision to do so on private land.
  • SB 267 would create a bounty system where licensed hunters could be “reimbursed for the money they spent on hunting or trapping wolves.”
  • SB 98 would permit killing a federally protected grizzly bear if it was “threatening” a person or livestock. 
  • HB 367 would change how wildlife is managed within the state. If passed, it would “amend the state constitution so that citizens would have primary control of managing wildlife populations through hunting, fishing and trapping.”

Of course, challengers of the bills have voiced their opposition. For example, the Humane Society of the United States says that these are an “unprecedented attack” and that Montana is waging “an outright war against wildlife.”

Those in support of the above bills were not available for comment according to CBS News.

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