The hunt is on

by Cally Carswell

The Northern Rockies supports at least 1,645 gray wolves -- enough that, last March, the feds once again removed them from the endangered species list. Hunts are now under way in Idaho and Montana, though wolves are still federally protected in Wyoming. Many environmentalists believe wolf populations haven't recovered enough to survive hunting. But wildlife officials say they've set conservative quotas, and expect overall numbers to grow this year. Even so, they acknowledge that no one knew how vulnerable wolves would be -- in southern Montana, for instance, hunters exceeded the quota within a day.

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