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Montana's 2010 wolf hunting season quota set; licenses to go on sale beginning Aug. 23

July 12, 2010 | 10:43 am

Silhouetted wolf in Yellowstone National Park.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will begin selling licenses Aug. 23 for the state’s 2010 regulated wolf hunting season. On Thursday, the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission set the statewide harvest quota at 186 wolves, up from the 2009 quota of 75 animals.

Wolf licenses will be available for purchase online, from any Fish, Wildlife & Parks license provider or at any Fish, Wildlife & Parks office and will cost $19 for residents and $350 for nonresidents. Hunters must have, or also purchase, a valid 2010 conservation license.

Licenses will be valid within 13 specifically defined wolf management units for hunting seasons that are scheduled to open Sept. 4 for archers, Sept. 15 in select backcountry areas and Oct. 23 for the general hunting season. Hunters must obtain permission to hunt on private lands. 

The general wolf hunting season is set to end Dec. 31, or when quotas are reached, whichever occurs first. The archery-only season, which is scheduled to end Oct. 17, is limited to not more than 20% of the established quotas or subquotas. 

A wolf hunting season this year, however, is contingent on the outcome of lawsuits pending in court that were filed by conservation and environmental groups seeking to overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's delisting of gray wolves from Endangered Species Act protection.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Joel Sartore / National Geographic / Getty Images