Wolf reintroduction happened so fast in Montana and Idaho, the states are expanding hunting. Here’s what Colorado can learn.
In Montana and Idaho, state officials are pushing to decrease the wolf population through expanded hunting seasons, night hunting and snare traps.
The Colorado Sun
KALISPELL, Montana — The gray wolf population is robust enough in Montana that officials are preparing to extend hunting season on the state’s most controversial animals and allow snare traps that grab them by the neck.
And in next-door Idaho, where hunting and trapping season is pretty much year-round, hunters can use night-vision goggles and ATVs to chase down gray wolves in the dark on private land. To keep that state’s 1,500 wolf population steady, about 40% are killed off each year through hunting and trapping, and by the Idaho Fish and Game in retaliation for livestock attacks.
Both northern states reintroduced wolves after they had been gone for decades. Their advice to Colorado as it prepares for a voter-approved reintroduction of the gray wolf is the same: Expect the wolf population to repopulate quickly, as long as the new predators of the forest have the right habitat with plenty of deer, elk and moose to eat.
“I’m guessing that once wolves get established there, they will take off and do pretty darn well,” said Neil Anderson, a wildlife manager for the northwest region of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. “They will take off pretty quickly, is my guess.”
Nature is already proving the case.
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