Montana’s annual wolf trapping and snaring season is officially underway, says Vivaca Crowser, District 2 Education and Program Manager for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

Crowser said the season varies from district to district, but now includes the entire state.

“We have our wolf season now open, and it has been for about a month in some places,” said Crowser. “However, as of today, wolf trapping is open and all of the wolf management units across the state that has seasons. It was a little bit different this year and the difference was that we were opening earlier in some places and actually a bit later in others.”

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Crowser said the seasons varied due to the number of bears that still had not denned up for the winter.

“We had a change in our regulations that allowed some flexibility to adjust that opening date based on when bears were out and about and when they weren't just try to provide some separation there with the trappers and not having any incidental catches of bears,” she said. “So now we're late enough in the winter that most of our bears have denned so our seasons opened a little bit earlier, they would have opened at the end of the week, if we didn't make a decision to open earlier but they're open as of today around the state.”

Crowser provided an explanation on the difference between a wolf snare and a wolf trap.

“A snare is a type of trap and it's not something that we've used in Montana before this season,” she said. “It's not illegal to do so. So that's a change, and I think there's just kind of an adjustment period and having that out there and available as an opportunity and learning the right and ethical ways to do that (snaring), and so we've integrated that information into our wolf trapper education courses.”

Crowser said anyone who wants to trap wolves is required by the state to take a trapping education course from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

“You have to take wolf trapper education before you trap for the first time in Montana, and so that's really something that we want to see,” she said. “Go right out there. There are definitely considerations, things you want to be careful with. You don't want to have incidental catches of animals that you're not after, so we're doing all we can to set regulations and to teach folks how to do that in the right way.”

The regulations state that no bait is allowed when using a trap or a snare.

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