Mont. sets quota of 220 wolves for fall hunt



BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Hunters will be able to shoot as many as 220 gray wolves in Montana this fall under rules adopted by state wildlife commissioners.

Thursday’s action is expected to reduce the predator’s Montana population by up to 25 percent, dropping from at least 566 animals at the end of 2010 to 425 wolves after the hunt.

Wolves were taken off the endangered species list in an unprecedented move by Congress this spring in Montana, Idaho and parts of Utah, Washington and Oregon.

Some hunters and livestock groups wanted a higher quota to reduce attacks on livestock and big game. Wildlife advocates argued the number should be lower so the population can keep expanding.

A hunt is also planned in Idaho, where much of the state would have no quotas.