Despite a recent interpretation of Montana state law that aerial hunting of wolves is not prohibited, doing so runs afoul of federal law.
A federal judge in California has restored federal protections to gray wolf populations in the Lower 48 (as this wording is a little confusing, note that this ruling does not affect wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming).
On Aug. 1, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., handed down its 54-page ruling on Great Lakes wolves: Gray wolves will remain protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and state management will not be allowed. While the ruling doesn’t immediately remove federal protections from wolves in the Western Great Lakes states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the court’s decision regarding the important issue of a “distinct population segment” (DPS) is a win for sportsmen.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled to lift federal protections that kept gray wolves an endangered species in Wyoming, reversing the order of a lower judge that had sided with environmental groups in 2014.