"Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has failed miserably when it comes to controlling predator numbers in this state. The agency has put way too much emphasis on managing for these predators as 'big game', and has totally forsaken the 'big game' species for which sportsmen buy the vast majority of licenses to hunt - namely elk and deer. This has resulted in hunters buying fewer licenses, which means less funding for FWP. The loss of the once thriving elk herds up and down the Western one-third of this state, along with a severe drop in deer numbers, all due to predator impact, is now costing the State's economy more than a hundred million dollars annually. Most impacted are the small communities where game numbers have been hardest hit, where FWP's 'management' of major predators has literally destroyed what were once some of the greatest game herds in America. Before that agency can 'manage' predators, it first must gain control of predator populations...and we're now years from ever accomplishing that. Emergency measures must be taken right now, or we will see the total loss of elk, moose and deer in much of Montana. The only hope we have of saving the remnant populations of these great game animals is to first dramatically reduce predator numbers. Passage of Senate Bill 397 would truly be the first step in the right direction toward rebuilding these wildlife resources," comments Toby Bridges of LOBO WATCH
The end of the recent 2012 wolf season stands as testimony to the failure of MT FWP truly taking charge or control of the predator situation - and once again the agency is falsely claiming the hunt to be a "success". A total of 225 wolves were taken between September 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013. Hunters took 128 wolves, and trappers accounted for 97 wolves.
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