Wildlife officials have closed down the gray wolf season in portions of western Montana where hunters have met the state's annual quota.

Officials said hunting in Wolf Management Unit 130 was to end a half-hour after sunset on Monday because the area's 12-wolf quota has been filled. That includes portions of Flathead, Lake and Missoula counties.

So far this season, hunters statewide have killed 104 wolves since hunting began in September. With less than a month left to reach the statewide quota of 220 wolves, wildlife officials are considering extending the season through January in some areas.

A pending lawsuit before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is seeking to restore endangered species protections to wolves in Montana and neighboring Idaho.

That could block hunting.

Associated Press