Photo: Fremlin/CC 2.0/Flickr
Going into 2012 Montana's wolf population exceeded 600. Looking for more ways to keep the population in check, the state's Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Commission passed new rules on Thursday, July 12, that will allow wolves to be trapped. This is despite vehement protests; the commission received more than 7,000 comments opposing the use of trapping as a wolf management tactic.
Trapping is allowed for other species in Montana and is allowed for hunting wolves in neighboring Idaho. A trap is used to capture an animal, generally by a limb, and hold it in place until a hunter can reach it and kill it. To state the very obvious, trapping has long been viewed as inhumane by animal rights advocates. But many hunters also oppose the practice.
This spring, images of a man smiling and posing in front of a trapped wolf that was bleeding and struggling (along with more photos of the hunter and the wolf carcass) were discovered on a pro-trapping website called Trapperman.com and then shared widely online, leading to an outcry. This undoubtedly stoked the thousands of comments received by the commission urging it to not allow wolf trapping.