Wolf hunting has already begun in some parts of Montana, including the Absorka-Beartooth area just north of Yellowstone National Park. Wildlife officials there say two animals were shot so far with only one more kill permitted in the hunting district. The area has an early hunting season due to its high altitude. Another two wolves reportedly were killed elsewhere in the state. Meanwhile, Wyoming’s wolf hunt does not begin until October 1st which is when the federal delisting of the animal becomes effective. Game and fish officials say the first year’s quota of 52 animals is very conservative to allow the state time to assume the responsibilities of wolf population monitoring, sport harvest management, and meeting Wyoming’s commitments to wolf conservation in our state. Federal Wolf Recovery Coordinator for Wyoming Mike Jimenez has already stated he is optimistic those goals will be met. He says outside the parks, the state is responsible for maintaining at least ten breeding pairs and at least 100 wolves. He says as they have reviewed this, the combination of federal protection and management within the parks and state management under the Wyoming plan will, in his words, “achieve and likely exceed the recovery target of at least 150 wolves and at least 15 breeding pairs statewide.” The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has established wolf hunting seasons in 12 separate hunt areas with hunting seasons in all but one hunt area beginning October first and end December 31st. Wolf hunting is prohibited in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge.