Wolf hunting is suspended in Sweden under EU pressure, but resumes in Montana and Idaho
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2011:
MISSOULA, BOISE, STOCKHOLM–Facing possible legal action by the European Union, Swedish environment minister Andreas Carlgren on August 16, 2011 halted wolf hunting, eight months after wolves were legally hunted in Sweden for the first time since 1966.
But a year-long reprieve from hunting ended on August 25 for wolves in Montana and Idaho, after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request for an emergency injunction sought by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians. The injunction would have kept wolves under federal Endangered Species Act coverage pending the outcome of an appeal contesting the constitutionality of the April 2011 federal budget rider that removed them from protection in the northern Rockies.
Wolves were previously removed from protection and legally hunted in Montana and Idaho in 2009, but were again protected as result of a successful lawsuit in 2010.
The 2011 Montana wolf hunting quota is 220, nearly three times the toll of 72 wolves killed during the 2009 wolf hunting season–but only 8,110 hunters bought wolf permits in 2011, barely half as many as in 2009.
Representative Champ Edmunds (R-Missoula) complained to Eve Byron of the Missoula Independent Record that hunting regulations which allow a hunter to leave a tagged wolf where the wolf is shot, if no trophy parts are kept, could allow “pro-wolf activists” to just buy a $19 wolf tag, report having killed one and “fill the quota a week after the season starts.”
Responded Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks chief of law enforcement Jim Propp, “We’ll go back to the kill site and if the information submitted was false we will pursue it.”
A bowhunter killed the first wolf of the Montana season on September 4, one day after archery hunting opened, but no other wolves were reported to have been killed during the first week. Backcountry rifle hunting for wolves was to begin on September 15, with the season throughout Montana opening on October 22, closing at the end of the year.
The 2011 Idaho wolf hunting season opened on August 30, with about 10,000 tags sold, down from 31,000 in 2009 and is to continue until June 1, 2012. Idaho had a 2009 quota of 220 wolves, but has set no quota for 2011-2012.
Wolves are still protected by the Endangered Species Act in Wyoming, pending completing of a management plan accepted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Wyoming officials hope to win approval for delisting wolves soon enough to open a wolf hunting season in October 2012.