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Wolf hunting closed in southwest Montana after reaching state threshold

A gray wolf in Jamtland County, Sweden. A wealthy landowner in Scotland is hoping to bring wolves from Sweden to the Scottish Highlands to thin the herd of red deer.
Eighty-two wolves have been killed in Region 3.

Wolf hunting and trapping in southwest Montana is now closed after reaching the state's threshold of 82 wolves.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports a female, uncollared wolf was shot Wednesday. State fish and wildlife commissioners voted last month to end hunting immediately in Region 3 once the threshold was hit.

The decision followed testimony from residents and conservationists concerned about declining Yellowstone wolf packs. Two hunting units within the region border Yellowstone National Park.

Park data shows 19 of the park’s wolves were killed in Montana this hunting season. Before state lawmakers loosened hunting restrictions, there was a quota of one wolf for units 313 and 316 each.

As of Thursday afternoon, 223 wolves have been killed statewide out of the threshold of 450.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.