Two Montana men named for helicopter poaching of wolves
In Idaho, a bill allowing the state to hire private contractors to reduce the wolf population from about 1,500 to 150 people quickly passes through the legislature.
BILLING, Mont. – Two men from Montana have been cited for illegally poaching two wolves from a helicopter in the Big Hole Valley.
The Billings Gazette reports that Dalton Thomas Tamcke, 30, and Justin Samuel Peterson, 22, told wildlife authorities they were hunting coyotes to control predators on March 3 and mistook wolves for coyotes by mistake. The men then recovered the carcasses by snowmobile.
Tamcke paid a fine of $ 425 and Peterson paid a fine of $ 435, according to Beaverhead County Court of Justice records. Neither man had a license to hunt wolves, and wolf hunting from helicopters is illegal.
Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks game ranger Kerry Wahl said authorities did not pursue charges against the helicopter pilot who flew the two men or the company, saying it was the responsibility of the snipers. what had happened.
The wolves were an adult male and female and were kept in a freezer for evidence at the agency’s office in Dillon.
Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte and the GOP-controlled legislature took action to increase the legal capture of wolves, which were removed from the U.S. endangered species list in Montana in 2011 .
Gianforte on Friday signed a bill authorizing the use of private funds to reimburse wolf hunters or trappers for their expenses. Hunting and breeding groups say too few of Montana’s 1,200 wolves are killed by hunters to limit their impact on big game outfitters or cattle and sheep ranchers.
The reimbursement program is similar to that in Idaho, where a private group pays its members up to $ 1,000 for expenses incurred while scouting, hunting or trapping wolves.
Gianforte also signed invoices to allow harassment of wolves, in addition to trapping, and to extend the wolf hunting season. Lawmakers have passed a bill to the governor allowing individuals to kill an unlimited number of wolves, hunt at night with artificial lights and night vision goggles, and use bait to lure wolves into traps.
In Idaho, a bill allowing the state to hire private contractors to reduce the wolf population from around 1,500 to 150 people passes quickly through the Legislative Assembly. It allows the use of night vision equipment to kill wolves as well as snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle hunting, among other changes.
Supporters cite cattle and sheep deaths that have cost ranchers hundreds of thousands of dollars, while opponents say the legislation threatens a 2002 wolf management plan involving the federal government.