‘Research Hunts’ Considered for Endangered Wolves

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – Wildlife officials in the Northern Rockies say they are considering hunting wolves in the name of research.

Environmentalists have derided the proposal, comparing it to Japanese whale hunts carried out under the guise of scientific research.

An Aug. 5 court ruling that restored federal protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana means the likely cancellation of hunts in those states this fall. The ruling has left state officials scrambling for new ways to control a predator responsible for increasing attacks on livestock and big game herds.

Montana wolf program coordinator Carolyn Sime said Wednesday that one option is a “research hunt” to test the impact of public hunting on wolf populations. Officials say they also are considering killing off packs of the animals to protect elk herds.