Posted: Sep 5, 2012 5:42 PM by Victoria Fregoso-Q2 News
Updated: Sep 5, 2012 5:53 PM
Trapping season for wolves in Montana begins this December. The state of Montana is the second state in the lower 48 states that allows the trapping of wolves. This decision comes after the hunters didn't meet last year's quota. "Out of a quota of about 220, last year hunters only were able to kill about 165, something like that wolves," says Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Communications and Education Program Manager Robert Gibson.
While the Fish, Wildlife & Parks department has worked up policies and guidelines on trapping, they say a significant number of residents in south central Montana and across the state have shown interest. "As you get over into the Flat Head, in the Missoula area and even in the Bozeman area, there's much, much larger numbers of folks that are interested in trapping."
This season each hunter is allowed to shoot one wolf and trap two wolves. Or instead, trap three wolves total.
Some conservation groups say trapping is a form of animal cruelty. "They cause great injuries, ranging from broken bones, broken teeth, you know, up to the point where the trapped animals even chew off their legs," says Executive Director of Footloose Montana Anja Heister.
The organization Footloose Montana believes there is a high chance the wrong animals can get caught in the traps and some trappers might go against state regulations. "The solution is very simple, the solution is to end trapping on public lands," Heister said.
That is why the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department is hosting a series of classes across the state. The class will focus on wolf education, history, conservation, along with hunting and trapping ethics. "Trapping is going to happen. The Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission set a trapping season, it's going to happen. We just want to make sure that it is done in the best, safest and most ethical way possible. "
The classes are mandatory for anyone that is interested in trapping wolves. The free classes in Billings are set for next Saturday & Sunday September 15th and 16th at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 5 Headquarters. To sign up, visit their website at http://fwp.mt.gov/education/wolfTrapping/
For now, groups like Footloose Montana plans on spreading their message until the trapping of animals on public lands is banned.