Gray Wolves

This image provided by the National Park Service shows a gray wolf in the wild.

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Montana hunters and trappers can now sell wolf pelts in Canada.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ wolf management plan recently received approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow the sale of wolf pelts to other countries.

"This is a big change from the past couple of years in terms of hunter and trapper harvest opportunity to sell wolf pelts," said Brian Giddings, FWP furbearer coordinator.

In June, the USFWS added the wolf to the list of furbearing animals covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

States wanting to be approved under the CITES program needed to show that they had wolf management and harvest programs that would monitor and protect wolves from overharvesting.

The gray wolf has been delisted in Montana and Idaho since 2011 but remains listed in Wyoming. The USFWS has a decision on delisting the gray wolf in the lower 48 states on hold.

Hunters and trappers who wish to sell their pelts internationally, usually to Canadian fur auctions, need to request CITES tags. They can sell only pelts acquired starting in the 2014-2015 season.

Hunters and trappers must call 877-397-9453 within 24 hours of a wolf kill to file a report. Wolf pelts must be tagged within 10 days of harvest.

Additionally, Montana's CITES tags cannot be used for animals killed in traffic accidents, federal Wildlife Services’ control action, landowner/livestock control, or incidental take. CITES tags also can’t be used for wolves taken on tribal lands.

At a December fur sale in Manitoba, Canada, fur prices were lower than the peaks of 2013. Wolf pelts sold for an average of $160 each, the same as wolverine pelts. Lynx pelts sold for $120.

However, the website for Moscow Hide and Fur of Moscow, Idaho, says the company buys top-quality wolf pelts for as much as $500, “preferably with the feet attached.”

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Laura Lundquist can be reached at or at 406-582-2638.

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