Montana Commissioners Say Wolf Quota Unlikely to Go Up

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – Montana wildlife commissioners say there is little likelihood the state will increase the 2009 gray wolf quota when changes to the inaugural hunting season for the animal are considered on Tuesday afternoon.

Responding to concerns about the high number of wolves being killed near Yellowstone National Park, commissioners say they are more likely to reallocate the existing quota of 75 wolves or keep the status quo.

Hunting was suspended near Yellowstone last week after nine of the 12 wolves allotted for most of the southern half of the state were shot in just three weeks.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners have scheduled a 3 p.m. teleconference to discuss the issue. This year’s hunt is the first since wolves came off the endangered species list this spring in Montana and neighboring Idaho.