After breaking state hunting regulations, wildlife officials warned Montana Governor Greg Gianforte when he killed a wolf with a radio collar near Yellowstone National Park without following through the required trapping course.
The three hours online course gives the hunter how morally and authorized to carry animals.
A spokesman for the Republican governor said Gianforte had "immediately rectified" the mistake by entering the course this week. He was allowed to keep and hide the skull of the animal.
Greg Lemon, a spokesman for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, said it is legal to kill wolves in the state with a valid license.
Gianforte ambushed and shot the wolf on a ranch owned by the director of curator Sinclair Broadcasting, Robert E. Smith, which operates local news stations across the country, the Mountain West News Bureau reported. Smith is also a significant donor to Gianforte.
Lemon said, In such circumstances, we are practicing it as an educational opportunity and have declared a written warning. Well, everything related to the crop was done.
Wildlife officials determined he broke the rule by taking the wolf's carcass to a state game ranger in Helena to report the kill required by regulations, Lemon said.
The wolf was born in Yellowstone National Park and about six to seven years old. Park spokesman Morgan Warthin said he was fitted with a radio collar in 2018 to track his movements. The animal was part of the Wapiti Lake and 8 Mile packs in the park, then set off searching for a mate.
It was the first wolf the governor killed, Gianforte spokeswoman Brooke Stroyke said.
Trappers have the option of releasing animals with radio collars so that they can continue to be used for research. The certification course includes instruction on the importance of radio-collared wolves in monitoring the population and dealing with wolf pack attacks on livestock.
Carter Niemeyer, a former wolf recovery coordinator for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, said wolves wearing radio collars were about to receive "terrible trophies" because the collars spoil the skin around their necks. And then symbolically, you have a wolf for which researchers have spent thousands of dollars, and then ask someone to kill the animal unconscious when they could have released it for research - that's a lot. That's a bad decision.
Gianforte also illegally killed a moose too young to harvest in 2000, which he admitted while running for Congress. After stating the blunder, he was fined $ 70.