The Montana wolf hunting season is full swing right now and conditions have been terrific here in the northwest corner of the state. Daytime temperatures have been particularly mild this winter. Linehan Outfitting guides and hunters have been enjoying temperatures in the 30s for most of the winter.
We've been getting skiffs and an inch or two of fresh snow every couple days. Fresh snow makes tracking wolves much easier. It's important to pattern and monitor movement of wolves in order to increase chances of success. Wolves are big travelers and their home ranges are huge. Still, like all game, they make big loops and constantly hunt and mark the boundaries of their pack territories.
Wolves are the hardest big game animal to harvest in the lower forty-eight states. When hunting wolves it's important to close the distance between you and the animals. If they can't hear your calls, you're not being efficient. Look for fresh tracks, try to determine where they might be headed, and try to get out in front of them.
Do several calling sessions throughout the day. Give each calling session at least two hours. We've had wolves come into sets immediately, and we've had them come into sets after two hours of periodic calling. Vary your calls as well. Use wolf howls to locate. If you get an answer, change to predator calls like distressed deer, rabbits, or elk.
Be ready. Wolves are generally moving and don't necessarily stop or stand still like ungulates. And if you've never seen a wolf, think about how different they will look when they come into the set. Don't be looking for deer or elk or for an ungulate profile. Wolves are tall but not as tall as deer or elk.
Stay tuned for more Montana wolf hunting news soon.