Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners met to discuss the 2021 Wolf Harvest and what it means for future trapping and hunting seasons.

For this season, there was a harvest of 450 wolves for the state of Montana. That was then divided into 6 different regions of the state. Currently, a total of 189 wolves have been killed in Montana.

The review showed that in Region 3 of the area near Helena, 76 wolves were killed almost meeting the threshold of 82 wolves in the region.

Commissioner Pat Byorth made a motion to end the hunting and trapping season after the threshold is met for the year.

When opened for public comment, many people addressed their concerns of what it means for wolves in Yellowstone National Park meeting this threshold.

Phil Knight, a Yellowstone National Park tour guide, offered his insights to the commissioners by explaining the benefits wolves have from an economic and environmental standpoint. He wants the commission to immediately end the season.

“These wolves generate 75 to 80 million dollars in direct revenue in Montana” Knight said. “These wolves have many values and that’s one of them.”

He also said that wolves help in diminishing the spread of chronic waste disease by targeting sick and wounded animals.  

Mark Cooke from the Wolves of the Rockies organization also addressed his concerns of the killing of wolves in Yellowstone National Park and Montana.

“The damage you are doing to tourism and wolf research is staggering,” Cooke said.

Currently, a total of 189 wolves in the state of Montana have been killed and as of January 28, there have been 23 wolves killed in the park since the wolf season began.