Public opinion on gray wolves remains sharply split as Montana and Idaho prepare to resume hunts for the predators after Congress removed their endangered species protections.

Montana wildlife commissioners meet July 14 to adopt a quota of 220 wolves to be killed during fall rifle and archery hunts.

Final details still are being worked out on Idaho's wolf season.

More than 450 comments were submitted on the Montana proposal. They ranged from calls to sharply increase the quota, to pleas for a less-aggressive approach that would allow the wolf population to further expand.

There were an estimated 566 wolves in Montana at the end of 2010. Once this year's pups are factored in, wildlife officials say the proposed hunt would reduce that number 25 percent to about 425 wolves.

Associated Press