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Wolves fair game in Montana

October 24, 2009 at 08:14 AM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Montana’s general hunting season opens Sunday with 100,000 hunters expected to spread across public and private lands stalking elk, deer and a new species this year - wolves.

The gray wolf hunt is the first since the predators were removed from the endangered species list this spring.

For much of the state, the novelty won’t last long: The season across most of southern Montana is expected to stay open a day or two at most, and could start shutting down within hours.

The wolf quota there was nearly filled in an early season backcountry hunt allowed in a small area outside Yellowstone National Park. Just three wolves remain in the area’s quota, where more than 100 of the predators will be potential targets.

State officials expect all three to be shot on opening day.

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