Wolf hunting season in southern Montana lasted only one day, but the 9-wolf take still exceeded the state’s quota for that region.
The Los Angeles Times reports that hunting will remain open through Nov. 29 in northern and western Montana, where 10 wolves have been shot. Another 65 kills are allowed this year.
There are about 500 wolves in Montana. Even if 75 wolves are killed this year, officials expect there to be 590 in established packs across the state at this time next year, and 655 overall in 2010.
Four of Yellowstone’s much-studied gray wolves — which were reintroduced in 1995 — were killed in a previous hunt. The Northern Rockies wolf is still protected.