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Montana tables bill to prohibit wolf hunting and trapping

Montana wolves

Photo credit: ThinkStock

A Montana bill aimed at making it illegal to kill wolves in two hunting districts outside of Yellowstone National Park was rejected by members of the Montana Senate Fish and Game Committee last week. Lawmakers voted 9 to 1 against Senate Bill 185, which “would have banned hunting and trapping wolves in wolf management units 313 and 316 near Cooke City and Gardiner,” the Idaho State Journal reports.

While wolf advocates were vocal in their support of the bill, others argued that hunting regulations should not be decided by state lawmakers. In fact, Sen. Pat Flowers (D-Belgrade) said that he couldn’t pass the bill “because it goes around the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets hunting and fishing regulations” and “supersedes their season setting authority.”

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The bill was sponsored by Sen. Mike Phillips (D-Bozeman), who introduced the bill as a result of a hunter killing the famous wolf, Spitfire, near Cooke City. He didn’t agree with the Commission’s decision to table the bill because of the possible overstep into the MFWC’s territory as the MSFGC “grants authority to the commission,” according to the Idaho State Journal.  

“If that’s why you voted against the bill, that’s misguided rationale,” said Phillips, who plans to try to revive the bill in the future.

6 Comments

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Shan M. - posted 4 months ago on 02-26-2019 12:05:15 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Sounds like elected representatives attempting to make an emotional choice instead of the rational decision (as usual). Thankfully they left it in the hands of the experts. I don't think this will be the last of this.

Matt W. - posted 4 months ago on 02-26-2019 10:24:07 am
goHUNT INSIDER

What one generation accepts the next generation will embrace. Closing seasons on anything is a slippery slope.

Gary H. - posted 4 months ago on 02-26-2019 09:48:14 am
goHUNT INSIDER

The bigger question here is who is the 1 knucklehead lawmaker who voted to stop the killing of the wolves?

Nick J. - posted 4 months ago on 02-26-2019 05:15:52 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Montana is a special place. Where else do you have Dems that are still able to support sportsmen. Good on the D in montana that haven't had to drink the coolaid. And good on the voters in Montana who put folks in office who agree with our livestyle regardless of D or R next to the name.

Clifford J. - posted 4 months ago on 02-25-2019 05:55:43 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Good for Sen Flowers for understanding that game and fish are better managers of wildlife than politicians.

Sam S. - posted 4 months ago on 02-25-2019 08:25:54 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Apparently people will never understand that wolf numbers need to be managed in the states that population numbers are growing. Seems silly that anyone would get so upset about one “famous” wolf being taken in a perfectly legal manner and that they want to go around the fish and game department to push their rediculous agendas.