HELENA, Montana (AP) — Montana lawmakers have drafted bills that would allow more ways to kill gray wolves.

The measures include proposals to expand wolf harvest seasons, reclassify the animals so they could be killed year-round and legalize the use of snares for trapping.

Backers of the changes include Republican lawmakers from Thompson Falls who raised concerns about elk moving from public to private lands under pressure from wolves.

Montana’s current estimated wolf population is about 850 animals statewide with the highest densities in the northwest.

Wolves are designated by the state as a species in need of management.

Hunting them requires a license and trapping requires special training.

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