The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) conducted four separate surveys to determine how residents viewed the state’s wolf hunt. In general, the surveys found that tolerance for wolves being on Montana landscape was low, while there was considerable tolerance for wolf hunting.
The four surveys were sent at separate times to 1,500 randomly selected Montana households, private landowners who own at least 160 acres, deer and elk license holders (hunters) and 1,000 wolf license holders.
Those surveyed answered questions about how tolerant they were of wolves on the Montana landscape, how tolerant they were of the concept of wolf hunting before and after the 2011 wolf hunt and how satisfied/dissatisfied they were with wolf management before and after the 2011 wolf hunt.
Unsurprisingly, 60 percent or more of landowners, deer-, elk- and wolf-hunters were “very intolerant” or just intolerant with wolves on the Montana landscape. Fifty-four percent of households were also very intolerant or intolerant of wolves. View the chart below to see how people responded.
The FWP was especially interested in how satisfied the public was with the department’s management of the 2011 wolf hunt to determine the regulation for future hunts. The following comments were the most common responses and suggestions left by survey participants:
- The bag limit for hunting wolves should be more than one wolf.
- There is a need for a better means of harvesting wolves (e.g., allow trapping, electronic calls, and baiting). Wolves are elusive and difficult to hunt.
- There is a need to consider a longer hunting season for wolves in Montana.
- Higher quotas are needed in areas of the state that have a high population of wolves and in areas where wolves are presenting the most problems.
- There should be no limitations on hunting wolves. Treat wolves like coyotes. Wolves should be classified as a predator.
- The regulations are good. Fine tune the regulation as needed.
- The 12 hour harvest report time is not reasonable.
- Hunters should not be allowed to leave a harvested wolf carcass in the field.
To see a copy of the full survey report hosted by the Billings Gazette, click here.
Image from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks survey regarding Montana's wolf hunt