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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.

 

2021 Wolf Season Dates

Archery
September 4 – 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 29, 2021), 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 of the regulations): 

  • Wolf Management Units 100, 101, 110, 121, 130, 150

  • That portion of WMU 200 that includes the Ninemile watershed north of I-90.

  • WMUs 210, 280, 290, 310, 313, 316, 320.

  • The western portion of WMU 390 (west of Hwy 310, South of I-90, and west of I-15/Hwy 69).

  • The western portion of WMU 400 (north and west of I-15/ Hwy 87, west of Hwy 223 between Fort Benton and Hwy 2 at Chester, south of Hwy 2 between Chester and I-15 at Shelby, and west of I-15 between Shelby and the Canadian border).

*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.

 

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 450 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 Region alone shall initiate a commission review:

  • Region 1: 195 wolves

  • Region 2: 116 wolves

  • Region 3: 82 wolves

  • Region 4: 39 wolves

  • Region 5: 11 wolves

  • Region 6: 3 wolves

  • Region 7: 4 wolves

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