No matter how many wolves are killed
during the state’s inaugural hunt for
the animals, the money is in the bag.
During the first two weeks of
September, hunters bought almost
8,800 licenses, generating $167,000 in
revenue for Montana Fish, Wildlife and
The withdrawal of federal protection
for wolves in Montana and Idaho earlier
this year cleared the way for state-supervised
hunts this fall. Montana’s season
began Sept. 15.
Wildlife officials may opt to spend
the license money on wolf management,
formerly the domain of the federal
government. This year, the state will
receive less money than last to manage
wolves under federal contract, and a
further drop is expected in 2010.
Researching and monitoring wolves is
an expensive business in the northern
Rockies, where wolves were reintroduced
in the mid-1990s. Last year, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spent
about $3.4 million on wolf management
in the region. That works out to more
than $2,000 per wolf.