MISSOULA, Mont. — Wolf hunting will begin in the Northern Rockies under a cloud of uncertainty, as a federal judge weighs a request by environmental and animal welfare groups to stop the predators from being killed.
Hunters in Idaho, where up to 220 wolves could be killed, head into the field Tuesday. Montana's season is set to begin Sept. 15, with a quota of 75 wolves.
At the end of a three-hour hearing into whether the hunts should be allowed, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy on Monday gave no indication as to how he might rule. Molloy says he will decide on an injunction requested by wolf opponents "as quickly as I can."
About 4,000 hunters in Idaho already have bought tags allowing them to kill a wolf. Tags in Montana went on sale Monday.