After broadening some of their hunting rules at home in Montana to permit wolf-hunting from aircraft, several officials have gone on record to point out that federal laws still prohibit the practice.
Jessica Sutt, speaking on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said that some officials and wildlife agents can shoot wolves from aircraft under specific circumstances.
Under the Airborn Hunting Act of 1972, the law “prohibits shooting or attempting to shoot or harassing any bird, fish, or other animal from aircraft except for certain specified reasons, including protection of wildlife, livestock, and human life as authorized by a Federal or State issued license or permit.”
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks’ Greg Lemon confirmed that hunting wolves from aircraft was generally prohibited. Montana closely monitors their wolf population and does allow for limited wolf hunting and trapping.
For the 2021 through 2022 hunting season, the parks department set a limit for 450 wolves for the whole state. To date, hunters and trappers have taken just over 250 animals this season.
Montana will start the 2022-2023 hunting season in March, with the licensing year starting on the first. The deadline to apply for deer and elk permits ends on April 1.