Hunting Wolves In Montana – Where Are The Data?
Jay S. Mallonee
Wolf & Wildlife Studies, Kalispell, MT 59901
Abstract: Management agencies have claimed that the recovery and public hunting of wolves is based in science. A review of their statistics demonstrated that data collection methods did not follow a scientific protocol which resulted in flawed and often incorrect data. Consequently, agencies do not know the total number of wolves in Montana, a major reference point used by wolf managers. Therefore, the quotas proposed for public wolf hunts are completely arbitrary, and management decisions in general have not been based on facts. This has produced a wolf management system that lacks scientific perspective and does not utilize what is known about the wolves’ role in sustaining healthy ecosystems. Instead, the absence of verifiable data suggests that management decisions are often based on opinion and politics rather than science.