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Montana Wolf Trapping Season Set to Begin

HELENA –

Wolf trapping season was set to open across Montana on Tuesday and wildlife officials say safety is among their top priorities.

“We want to do it in the most effective and responsible way we can,” Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman John Fraley said.

Fraley said that with strict regulations in place, it’s highly unlikely to catch non-target animals such as dogs

“It’s actually rare that a dog gets caught in a set for wolves even though they’re both canines because of those regulations, and because wolf trappers are out in the boondocks,” Fraley said.

The steel leg-hold traps are placed across Montana’s landscape, and trappers must follow set-back rules.

“You can’t trap any closer than 1,000 feet to a campground or trailhead,” Fraley explained. “You must be 150 feet off any hiking trail or open road.”

Additionally, in order to trap wolves in the state Fraley says hunters must also take a safety class.

“We have three different stations. We talk about ethics and responsibility at all three stations,” Fraley said. “We do, for example, set trap out in the snow. We look at trapping equipment and then we look at the history and management of wolves.”

Fraley says out of the 200 wolves harvested last year in the state and trapping was responsible for taking about a third of the animals.

“A lot of us thought we would never see wolf-trapping or hunting in our careers, but we’re seeing a very well-managed program. We’re seeing people generally happy with how it’s working,” Fraley said. “We have great wolf populations and we’re seeing people taking advantage of the opportunity to trap and hunt wolves for taxidermy, for garments.”

The wolf trapping season runs from Dec. 13 until Feb. 28. You can click here to learn more about wolf management in Montana.

Photo:  MTN News

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