Wolf shot in northeastern Montana for first time in years

HELENA (AP) — Wildlife officials say a hunter shot a wolf on the plains of northeastern Montana, more than 300 miles away from the Rocky Mountain Front where wolves are usually found.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say the gray wolf was legally shot on Monday near Glasgow. FWP spokesman Marc Kloker says in a statement that it’s the first wolf to be harvested in northeastern Montana since Congress removed federal protections for the predators in 2011.

Kloker says there are periodic wolf sightings in eastern Montana, but there are no known packs there.

Wildlife officials say there were about 900 wolves in Montana in 2017, the most recent estimate available. After being nearly wiped out last century, wolves began re-populating northwestern Montana in the 1980s and were re-introduced into Yellowstone National Park a decade later.