BILLINGS, Mont. -- Montana wildlife commissioners have closed some areas outside Yellowstone National Park to wolf hunting and trapping after several collared animals used for scientific research were shot in recent weeks.
The closures were approved Monday on a 4-to-1 vote by Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission. Commissioner Dan Vermillion cast the lone dissenting vote.
Saturday marks the opening day of Montana's first wolf trapping season since the animals lost federal protections last year.
With at least five collared wolves from the park shot this year, commissioners say they want to guard against too many being killed.
But Commission Chairman Bob Ream says Monday's action was not a permanent closure.
Wildlife officials say the statewide wolf harvest is down 18 percent this year.