Wolf hunt expands in Montana, some Idaho hunts end
Montana officials are proposing another extension of the state's gray wolf hunt as harvest numbers continue to lag original expectations.
Hunting in a portion of the Bitterroot Valley along the Idaho border would be allowed through April 1 or until hunters meet the area's quota of 18 wolves, whichever is first.
Through Thursday, only three wolves had been killed in the area this season.
Statewide, 133 wolves have been killed this season out of a 220-wolf quota. Officials are aiming to reduce the state's wolf population from at least 566 animals to about 425.
The wolf season originally was scheduled to end Dec. 31 but has been extended statewide until Feb. 15.
In Idaho, wolf hunting seasons have closed in the Beaverhead and Island Park wolf management zones.The seasons opened August 30 and closed December 31.
Wolf hunting seasons remain open through March 31 in the Panhandle, Palouse-Hells Canyon, Dworshak-Elk City, Middle Fork, Salmon, McCall-Weiser, Sawtooth, Southern Mountains and Southern Idaho zones, and through June 30 in the Lolo and Selway zones.
Hunters may buy two wolf hunting tags per calendar year, valid only in the year for which they are issued, and they may take only one wolf per tag. Wolf seasons are any-weapon seasons, electronic calls may be used statewide and wolves may be taken incidentally during fall bear baiting.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.