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State decides to kill Trapper Peak wolf pack

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials have decided to remove a wolf pack in the Darby area that has a history of interacting with livestock and dogs.

Federal trappers are already attempting to trap the four or five wolves in the Trapper Peak pack, said Liz Bradley, the Missoula-based state wolf management specialist.

A yearling female gray wolf from the pack was shot in mid-April by a landowner who saw it mixing with his horses. The pack's alpha-male was killed in 2009 while attacking a dog.

The Trapper Peak Pack lives in the foothills on the west side of U.S. Highway 93 near Darby. The pack was first documented in 2007, but it may have been in the area a year before.

The pack has a relatively small home range and there have been numerous incidents of conflict between domestic livestock and animals, Bradley said.

"We felt like it was a high risk pack," she said.

The pack does not have a wolf equipped with a radio collar, which adds to the challenge of the control action, Bradley said.

At the end of 2009, there were 11 documented wolf packs that use portions of the Bitterroot Valley, she said.

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