Jul 13, 2012 9:21 AM by Katy Harris - KAJ News

Schweitzer reacts to Montana wolf hunt decision

WHITEFISH- Governor Brian Schweitzer was in western Montana and stopped off in Whitefish on Thursday night where we caught up with him to get his reaction on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission decision to increase the numbers allowed for hunting and trapping wolves.

"We need to make sure that we keep the wolf population in balance so that they're not attacking more elk, more deer, more antelope but we're going to maintain a healthy wolf population in Montana as well," he said.

FWP received over 6,000 comments from the public about the wolf issue and on Thursday commissioners approved several proposals.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks voted yesterday to expand the state's wolf hunting program to allow trapping. What do you think?
  • My main concern is safety for livestock populations. Trap away.

    183 votes 58.8%
  • I'm okay with hunting, but trapping presents too many dangers for people and pets.

    72 votes 23.2%
  • Trapping would be fine if there were more regulations and education to keep pets safe.

    26 votes 8.4%
  • We shouldn't be killing wolves at all.

    30 votes 9.6%

The most notable changes allow an increase in bag limit to three, one for hunting and two for trapping for the season. The trapping provision still prohibits controversial snares that catch wolves by the neck.

The changes take effect with the start of wolf hunting season which begins on October 15th with FWP reporting that there were more than 650 wolves roaming Montana at the end of 2011. The goal is to reduce that number to 425.

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