25 Oct 2009, 11:20pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin

Rancher ends public hunting in protest of wolf policies

By NICK GEVOCK, Montana Standard, October 23, 2023 [here]

BUTTE - A Big Hole Valley rancher has pulled his property out of a popular public hunting program in protest of Montana’s wolf management policies.

Fred Hirschy said Thursday he’s fed up with Montana allowing too many wolves to roam and wants the predators numbers dramatically brought down. And he blasted the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks for what he said is a normally lackluster response when his cattle have been attacked.

“When I call them, they don’t do what I ask them to do anyway,” he said. “We want more people on the ground and we want the people on the ground that can shoot some wolves.”

He said after years of inaction by FWP following repeated attacks on his cattle, he saw no other option but to pull out of the block management program, which pays landowners to allow public hunting on their land. Hunters will lose access to 45,000 acres of Hirschy and his family ranches property west of Wisdom. Portions of the ranch have been enrolled in the program since 1996 and the cancellation of the contract will cost the Hirschys $12,000 this year.

Hirschy and other Big Hole ranchers met with Pat Flowers, regional FWP manager, Thursday in Wisdom to voice their frustrations with FWP over its wolf management.

“The sentiment expressed today is general frustration with the impacts that wolves are having on their livestock and I think that general frustration is not limited to the Big Hole Valley,” Flowers told The Montana Standard.

He added the loss of the Hirschy Ranch from block management is unfortunate and he hopes they can work down the road to reenroll the ranch in the program.

“I’m disappointed because he had some valuable block management parcels,” Flowers said. “He’s been good cooperator and those were some great opportunities for hunters.”

Hirschy said his ranch will have some hunting this season, but by permission only. Part of the ranch is under a FWP conservation easement that requires public hunting.

Although wolf hunting will open statewide Sunday, Hirschy doesn’t support the hunt. He said wolf numbers have grown so large that it’s beyond the point that hunters can effectively control the problem.

Instead, he supports classifying wolves as predators that can be shot on sight and having federal trappers kill more from the air. Only after bringing those numbers down would the wolf population be effectively reduced to the point where hunting should take place.

“They could give every hunter in the state a license and they wouldn’t get (control) of them,” he said. “They can grow them faster than we can take care of them.” … [more]

26 Oct 2009, 6:11am
by melody m.


Mr. Flowers, The Hirschy’s are the best stewards of the lands here in the Big Hole. The wolves are costing all our ranchers tons of money. I believe there is no solution until you get rid of the wolves.

They are way to close to town (Wisdom). One heifer was killed by wolves only 50 yards from town, and a horse was killed only 3/4 mi. from town. Why do wolves kill horses anyway? Please work with these ranchers. It costs us all money, not to mention the unraveling of the social fabric that binds us together.

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