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Hunt Species Guide: Wolf


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Regulations & Maps

Regulations

Regulations for upcoming seasons are posted online throughout the year. Wolf regulations are typically posted late June.

All downloads below are in PDF format.

 

Mandatory Harvest Reporting & Pelt Tagging

Hunters and trappers must call in their wolf harvest within 24 hours. If the  hide and skull are retained, they must be brought in for inspection and pelt tagging at an FWP office within 10 days.

  • Harvest Reporting Line: 1-877-FWP-WILD (1-877-397-9453)

  • Report online: MyFWP

  • Transfer possession of harvested game animal that requires mandatory FWP inspection: Download form

 

Plan Your Hunt Online

Launch maps, obtain legal descriptions, regulations, and statistics all in one place.

Seasons

These dates are provided only as a general reference. Check current regulations or use FWP's online Hunt Planner for specific dates.

 

2022 Wolf Season Dates

Archery
September 3 – September 14

General 
September 15 – March 15

Trapping*

Season dates for trapping wolves will be the first Monday after Thanksgiving to March 15 for the entire state. For those districts in and near occupied grizzly bear habitat as depicted on the map on page 14 of the regulations, the department will apply a floating open season date that could start the Monday after Thanksgiving (November 28, 2022), or any day thereafter as determined by the department based upon a real time reading of conditions. If the department does not select a date prior to December 31, then the season will open on December 31 and close on March 15.

In and near occupied grizzly bear habitat is defined as the following (map on page 14):

• Trapping District (TD) 1; TD 2 except for area beginning at the Montana-Idaho border on US Highway 93 at Lost Trail Pass, then southwesterly, northerly and westerly along said border to Interstate 90 at Lookout Pass, then easterly along the northern boundary of Mineral County to its intersection with Interstate 90, then easterly along Interstate 90 to the first Interstate Highway 90 bridge west of the Ninemile Interchange, then southeasterly along said highway to the Rock Creek Interchange, then south along Rock Creek Road to Eagle Creek Cable Crossing, then west on USFS Trail 215 to the Rock Creek-Bitterroot River Divide, then southerly along said divide to the Continental Divide (at West Pintler Peak), then southwesterly along said divide to the Montana Idaho border, then westerly along said border to US Highway 93, the point of beginning; TD 3 except for the portion west of Interstate 15 and south of Interstate 90 and that portion north of Interstate 90, north and east of state route 69, and east of Interstate 15; TD 4 except for the eastern portion (south and east of I-15–Hwy 87, east of Hwy 223 between Fort Benton and Hwy 2 at Chester, north of Hwy 2 between Chester and I-15 at Shelby, and east of I-15 between Shelby and the Canadian border); and TD 5 west of US Route 310 and south of Interstate 90. Additional restrictions apply to areas designated as Lynx Protection Zones, see those rules and descriptions on page 13.

Trapping season status in or near occcupied grizzly habitat:

In or near occcupied grizzly habitat within Trapping District 1 - Closed
In or near occcupied grizzly habitat within Trapping District 2 - Closed
In or near occcupied grizzly habitat within Trapping District 3 - Closed
In or near occcupied grizzly habitat within Trapping District 4 - Closed
In or near occcupied grizzly habitat within Trapping District 5 - Closed

*Note: First-time wolf trappers must complete a wolf trapping education and certification course in Montana or Idaho before setting a trap. Learn more.

Licenses

A person can take up to 20 wolves with no more than 10 via hunting and no more than 10 via trapping (maximum harvest of 20 wolves per person). For hunting, a separate license is required for each wolf. For trapping, only a Trapping License is required.

Trapping is authorized upon completion of a mandatory one-time wolf-trapping certification course.


Wolf Mitigation Donation

When purchasing fishing, hunting, and recreation licenses, you have the option to donate to wolf mitigation. Donations will be used by the Montana Department of Livestock to contract for wolf management with the US Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services for flight time, collaring  and lethal control of wolves. Note, wolf mitigation is not a license, it is a donation.

 

Prerequisite

First-time wolf trappers must successfully complete a wolf trapping certification course in Montana or Idaho before setting a trap. Learn more.

 

Wolf

Details: With Resident Sportsman or Nonresident Combination license, 1st wolf license.

Fees:

  • Resident: $10

  • Nonresident: $25

Wolf

Details: Without Resident Sportsman or Nonresident Combination license, wolf licenses 2-10.

Fees:

  • Resident: $12

  • Nonresident: $50

Harvest Status & Reporting

Mandatory Harvest Reporting & Pelt Tagging

Hunters and trappers must call in their wolf harvest within 24 hours. If the hide and skull are retained, they must be brought in for inspection and pelt tagging at an FWP office within 10 days.

  • Harvest Reporting Line: 1-877-FWP-WILD (1-877-397-9453)

  • Report online: MyFWP

  • Transfer possession of harvested game animal that requires mandatory FWP inspection: Download form

 

Harvest Status & Review Information

A harvest of 456 wolves shall initiate a commission review with potential for rapid in-season adjustments to hunting and trapping regulations. Thereafter the commission shall be similarly re-engaged at intervals of additional 50 wolves harvested, if season adjustments allow for additional wolf harvest.

The following harvests by any Trapping District and/or WMU 313 alone shall initiate a commission review:

  • TD 1: 195 wolves

  • TD 2: 116 wolves

  • TD 3*: 82 wolves

  • TD 4: 39 wolves

  • TD 5: 11 wolves

  • TD 6: 3 wolves

  • TD 7: 4 wolves

  • WMU 313**: 6 wolves

*Wolves harvested in WMU 313 do not count toward the TD 3 quota.

**WMU 313 is closed to wolf trapping in the Deckard Flats to Trail Creek Wolf Trapping Closure Area

A non-target capture of one lynx or one grizzly bear shall initiate a commission review with potential for rapid in-season adjustments to trapping regulations. The commission shall be similarly re-engaged for any additional non-target capture of lynx or grizzly bear.

 

Harvest Reports

Wolf harvest status information may be obtained:

Wolf Take by Landowners: Senate Bill 200

In 2013, the state Legislature passed a law that allows landowners or their agents to take up to 100 wolves a year that potentially threaten livestock, domestic dogs or human safety (MCA 87-1-901).

The quota will be examined in four 25-wolf increments. The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission must approve the next increment toward the 100-wolf quota.

Anyone who harvests a wolf must report it within 24 hours. To report the harvest of a wolf, call the Harvest Reporting line at 1-877-FWP-WILD (1-877-397-9453) or through MyFWP.

Helpful Info

Wolves and Wolf Parasites

 

Conflicts

  • If you suspect a livestock loss due to wolf predation, you can request an investigation by contacting the USDA Wildlife Services: West District (406) 459-5943 or State Office (406) 657-6464.

  • To report a dead wolf or possible illegal activity, contact 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668) or a local game warden.

Management & Monitoring

Gray wolves are classified as a Species in Need of Management in Montana. The state maintains sustainable hunting and trapping opportunities for wolves that follow the commitments outlined in the state's conservation and management plan.

Trapping Guide

Trapping is highly regulated, biologically sustainable, and an important part of Montana's cultural history and outdoor lifestyle. 

MONTANA OUTDOORS

Weighing in on Wolves

Montana works to strike a fair and biologically sound balance between having enough of the large carnivores and having too many.

Read the Article 
Weighing in on Wolves article cover

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