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hunting

Managers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all said it's unlikely any grizzly hunting will be allowed in 2017.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana, Wyoming and Idaho officials say they won't declare open season on grizzly bears once federal Endangered Species Act protections are lifted for them in the Yellowstone National Park region.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Thursday announced that it plans to de-list Yellowstone Grizzlies at the end of July. That means that the three states surrounding the park will take over jurisdiction of Yellowstone-area bears. Those states have already submitted management plans that allow for limited hunting.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to turn over grizzly bear management to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming by late July. The states plan to allow limited bear hunts outside park boundaries.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

The Interior Department Thursday said it will lift Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park region.

Those protections have been in place for more than 40 years.

Grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.
Josh Burnham

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the death of a grizzly bear east of Missoula near Bonner.

“This is an active, ongoing investigation and the service will share more information with the public when the circumstances of the case permit,” says Ryan Moehring, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Bullock Vetoes 10 More Bills, Including Water-Well Measure

May 11, 2017
Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed 10 more bills Thursday, including one that would have allowed residential subdivision developers to resume drilling multiple small water wells from the same water source without a permit.

Montana Lawmakers Reject New Constitutional Protections For Hunting, Fishing And Trapping

Apr 12, 2017
Man fishing in the Yellowstone River.
Flickr user: Mirrur Image (CC-BY-NC)

The Montana House of Representatives killed a bill today that would have asked voters to make hunting, fishing and trapping a Constitutional right. Senate Bill 236 passed the Senate on a 30-to-20 vote back in March.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is updating the bison range’s comprehensive conservation plan and accompanying environmental impact statement.
(PD)

In Montana, the Nez Perce are an indigenous tribe who face strong opposition from some who see these hunting rights as unfair and out of sync with modern society. MTPR reporter Nate Hegyi spent a day with a Nez Perce hunting party to help understand the controversy.

Atonement And Revenge In The Bighorn Mountains

Mar 15, 2017
Fithian Press

In Canyons, Ward Fall is a Wyoming rancher, a man with three young sons and a supportive wife, Lorraine. Eric Lindsay is a reclusive musician and songwriter in Los Angeles. In college, their friendship turned ugly in an instant when a hunting accident traumatizes both men. Now, 25 years later, Ward invites Eric to join him at a hunting camp in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. Although fearful of the reunion’s dark potential, Lorraine encourages the trip, knowing Ward must confront his demons.

Threshold Episode 03: Born Free

Feb 16, 2017

Many cattle ranchers view wild bison as a threat to their livelihoods. But some think cattle and bison can coexist. On episode three of Threshold, you'll meet two cattle ranchers with different perspectives on wild bison — and, we'll take you on a controversial bison hunt.

Montana Bill Would Make Hunting And Fishing A Constitutional Right
PD

A bill in the Montana Legislature would ask voters to decide whether the Montana Constitution should establish hunting, fishing and trapping as "a right essential to pursuing life’s basic necessities."

Bill Could Bar People Owing Child Support From Getting Hunting Licenses

Feb 7, 2017
Montana Bill Would Make Hunting And Fishing A Constitutional Right
Flickr User Jeff Noble (CC-BY-2)

A bill in the legislature is pushing new penalties for Montanans with outstanding child support payments. Under Senate Bill 172, people who owe child support in Montana could be barred from buying a hunting, fishing, or trapping license.

Bison Hunting On This Week's Legislative Agenda

Jan 4, 2017
Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would give each Indian tribe in the state two free licenses per year to hunt buffalo.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would give each Indian tribe in the state two free licenses per year to hunt buffalo.

House Bill 108 would give tribes the licenses each year, as long as the state also issues 40 or more special licenses to the general public to hunt buffalo.

P.D.

"Ten years ago, my dad told me I would be inheriting his 30.06," writes Erika Fredrickson, arts editor at the Missoula Independent. "I nearly choked on my coffee. My grandfather, who died before I could meet him, had passed the gun to my dad, and my dad wanted to do the same. But I was a writer, not a hunter.

The grizzly bear is Montana’s state mammal, famous for its size, strength and intelligence. Grizzlies have been hunted for centuries by first peoples to obtain mythic power and by farmers and ranchers to protect livestock. In large swaths of the U.S., market hunters exterminated the great bear for its fur. With the grizzly off the endangered species list, should Montana allow trophy hunting? Dan Vermillion, chair of Montana's Fish & Wildlife Commission, joins us to discus on this episode of "Home Ground Radio."

Montana Lawmakers Push For Tribal Bison Hunts In Yellowstone

Sep 15, 2016
The Service is drafting comprehensive conservation plans, or CCPs, and accompanying environmental analyses for two areas: one for the National Bison Range, and a separate CCP for the rest of the units within the refuge complex.
Mike Albans

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana legislative committee that wants to limit Yellowstone National Park's growing herds of bison from leaving the park sent a recommendation Thursday to park officials for American Indian tribes to be allowed to hunt bison inside the park.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte shoots a few dozen rounds during a campaign stop at the Helena Trap Club Tuesday, September 12, 2016.
Corin Cates-Carney

The Republican candidate for governor stood in faded blue jeans and worn brown leather boots as he fired dozens of rounds out a 12 gauge shotgun in Helena Tuesday morning. Greg Gianforte called the press conference at the Helena Trap Club to tout his support of gun rights and Montana values, and to announce endorsements from pro-gun groups.

A billboard spotted in Cody, WY on June 26, 2016 says "Yellowstone's grizzlies are not trophies."
Eric Whitney

A second public comment period on the proposal to remove Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the endangered species list is now open.

Managers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all said it's unlikely any grizzly hunting will be allowed in 2017.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission approved hunting guidelines for grizzly bears Wednesday in Helena.

Panel Rejects Move To Triple Wolf Harvest Near Yellowstone

May 12, 2016
The new counting model uses hunter sightings to help map areas occupied by wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (CC-BY-2)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A proposal to triple the number of wolves that hunters and trappers can kill just outside Yellowstone National Park was rejected Thursday by Montana wildlife commissioners.

Wildlife managers had recommended increasing the 2016 wolf quota for a hunting district near Gardiner from two animals to six. Agency officials had cited complaints from hunters and outfitters that the predators were eating too many elk.

Managers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all said it's unlikely any grizzly hunting will be allowed in 2017.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission Thursday unanimously approved draft grizzly bear hunting regulations. Dan Vermillion, chair of the Commission, says it’s a very preliminary step.

New Campaign Touts Benefits Of Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project
Courtesy Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project

A coalition of Seeley Lake and Ovando-area residents say they’ve developed a plan to both protect and use local public lands. The group’s rebooted its public relations campaign to attract some congressional attention.

Montana Proposes To Triple Wolf Harvest Near Yellowstone

May 10, 2016
Wolf on the northern range of Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials want to triple the number of gray wolves hunters and trappers can kill in an area bordering Yellowstone National Park, citing complaints the predators are eating too many elk wanted by hunters and outfitters.

Bull elk
(PD)

Wildlife managers from 18 states with wild elk herds just wrapped up a two-day meeting in Missoula at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

A chart on display at the public meeting on grizzly delisting in Bozeman Tuesday.
Eric Whitney

In Bozeman Tuesday, more than 200 people came to a public hearing and information session on delisting Yellowstone area grizzly bears.

Bison on the move near Yellowstone's northern border.
Amy Martin

Two bison cows and one calf were wounded during the Montana bison hunt today on the northern border of Yellowstone National Park.

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco (PD)

Federal, state and tribal officials have agreed to kill as many as 600 to 900 Yellowstone National Park bison this year.

Fire forced the closure of Going-to-the-Sun Road from St. Mary to Big Bend this summer.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new study predicts climate change could threaten some 11,000 Montana jobs and almost $300 million in outdoor labor earnings by 2050.

FWP Considers Other Ways To Recover Elk Herd Near Gardiner

Dec 11, 2015
Bull elk
(PD)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — State wildlife commissioners have agreed to consider ideas other than hunting restrictions to try to recover a dwindling elk herd near Gardiner.

Tribes Want Protections To Remain For Grizzly Bears

Nov 13, 2015
Wildlife officials have captured and relocated three grizzly bears along the Rocky Mountain Front this spring, while one grizzly was shot in self-defense east of Choteau.
Gregory Smith (CC-BY-SA-2)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — American Indians across the Western U.S. are challenging moves by federal wildlife officials to lift protections for grizzly bears that roam a vast wilderness centered on Yellowstone National Park, citing worries over potential trophy hunting of a species many tribes consider sacred.

'Field Notes:' Deer In The Spotlight

Nov 8, 2015
White-tailed doe.
(PD)

As they grazed on the grasses in a small break in the forest, and I held my breath to keep from scaring them off, I realized the white-tailed deer's abundance didn’t take away from their significance.

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of a male grizzly bear west of Whitefish.
PD

A grizzly bear in Stillwater County had to be shot after it killed a herd of cows. Wildlife officials say bears are becoming more active as they search for food before hibernation. The bear was responsible for a dozen cattle deaths in the Fishtail and Fiddler Creek area since mid August. It was killed by U.S. Wildlife Services officials late last week.

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