(1) The commission delegates its authority to the department to authorize lethal control of problem wolves. The department may authorize the following to conduct lethal control of problem wolves:
(a) the department;
(b) USDA Wildlife Services pursuant to an interagency cooperative agreement that outlines the procedures for verifying the needs for lethal control and as part of a coordinated agency response;
(c) Department of Livestock pursuant to an interagency cooperative agreement that outlines the procedures for verifying the needs for lethal control and as part of a coordinated agency response;
(d) a livestock owner, immediate family member, employee, or other person authorized by the department with a permit issued by the department under the conditions authorized and specified on the permit;
(e) control to protect human safety; or
(f) control pursuant to 87-1-901, MCA.
(2) The department may authorize lethal control of a problem wolf, after considering the number of breeding pairs within the state and other factors in these rules.
(3) Before considering lethal control of a problem wolf for livestock conflict, the department or USDA Wildlife Services shall conduct the following investigation:
(a) the department or USDA Wildlife Services will conduct a field investigation to determine if the death of the livestock was due to natural causes or a predator; and
(b) if a predator killed the livestock, the department or USDA Wildlife Services will examine the evidence at the scene to determine if a wolf was responsible.
(4) The department has the discretion to lethally remove or authorize removal of a gray wolf if the department determines that the wolf is:
(b) food conditioned;
(c) habituated to humans or livestock;
(d) demonstrating abnormal behavior patterns or physical characteristics indicative of a wolf-dog hybrid or of captive origin; or
(e) posing an immediate or ongoing threat to human safety.
(5) Pursuant to 87-5-109, MCA, the director of the department may permit killing, possessing, transporting, or exporting of a wolf for scientific, zoological, or educational purposes.
(6) The department may kill or remove a sick, injured, or diseased wolf.
(7) To further conservation of the species, the department may capture and translocate a wolf or use other human assisted techniques.
(8) The department may authorize a livestock owner, immediate family members, or employees by a permit to take a problem wolf under the following circumstances and conditions as part of a coordinated agency response to confirmed livestock damage due to wolves:
(a) when the department or USDA Wildlife Services confirms that a wolf killed the livestock;
(b) when the department or USDA Wildlife Services determines that the wolf was not purposefully or intentionally fed or baited to a site;
(c) the permit may last for a maximum of 45 days from the date the department or USDA Wildlife Services confirms the wolf caused damage and any wolf killed within the 45 days will be counted towards the number specified on the permit;
(d) the permit expires when the total desired number of wolves are removed by the combined action of the department, USDA Wildlife Services, and individuals named on the permit, or at the end of the 45 days, whichever is first;
(e) within 24 hours, a person must report to the department killing or injuring a wolf under a permit;
(f) to preserve the physical evidence, the permittee shall leave the carcass of any wolf killed where it lay, and shall not disturb the area surrounding the carcass; and
(g) surrender the carcass to the department.
(9) The permit must specify:
(a) its duration and expiration date;
(b) total number of wolves that may be lawfully killed through the combined actions of the individuals named on the permit or other department authorization and the department or USDA Wildlife Services;
(c) the geographic area where the permit is valid; and
(d) that wolves may be killed from the ground and in a manner that does not entail the use of intentional live or dead baits, scents, or attractants or deliberate use of traps or snares, or poisons; or use of radio telemetry equipment.
(10) As allowed by 87-1-901 and 87-6-106, MCA, any person may kill without permit or license a wolf that is attacking, killing, or threatening to kill a person or livestock, or that is in the act of attacking or killing a domestic dog. A person may not intentionally bait a wolf with domestic dogs or livestock for the purpose of killing the wolf.
(a) This person shall notify the department within 72 hours, preserve the scene, leave the carcass where it was killed until the department investigates the scene, and surrender the carcass to the department. USDA Wildlife Services will investigate and determine the cause of any injured or dead livestock.
(11) A landowner or landowner agent, pursuant to 87-1-901, MCA, may take a wolf on the landowner's property without permit or license when the wolf is a potential threat as defined in ARM 12.9.1302 until the quota established by the commission under 87-1-901, MCA, is met.
(a) This landowner or landowner's agent shall:
(i) notify the department within 24 hours;
(ii) preserve the scene;
(iii) leave the carcass where it was killed until the department investigates the scene; and
(iv) surrender the hide, skull, and carcass to the department.
(b) Any take after the quota established by the commission under 87-1-901, MCA, is met is subject to criminal penalties pursuant to 87-5-106, 87-5-111, 87-6-201, and 87-6-203, MCA, as applicable.