Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Flickr User Ian Sane CC-BY-2.0

Shooting into a large elk herd may not be illegal, but is it ethical?

Experts say, "not really."

But that's just what happened last weekend in the White's Gulch area on the east side of Canyon Ferry Reservoir outside Helena.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Game Warden Justin Feddes says hunters spotted a herd of about 500 elk at first light on Sunday. Feddes reports they started shooting, which scattered the rest of the herd onto a mix of private and public lands.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (CC-BY-ND)

A hunter unloading a gun accidentally shot his 56-year-old companion in the Brown's Gulch area north of Butte last weekend.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Sergeant Aaron Berg says a lot of people are now in the backcountry carrying high-powered rifles. Meaning everyone, hunting or not, should wear that bright hunter orange; 400 square inches of it to be exact.

Berg adds that those carrying rifles have the responsibility to use them properly.

Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

It turns out 145 genetically pure bison captured from Yellowstone National Park will stay in Montana.

Several out-of-state entities wanted those animals.

Josh Burnham-cc-by-2.0

Bison management always spurs passionate debate in Montana and a meeting tomorrow in Great Falls will consider whether wild herds should be established outside of Yellowstone National Park.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is considering that possibility.

Conservationist Keith Aune says he thinks Montana can develop a good plan. Aune's director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's bison programs.

Montana State Parks

East Missoula is home to Montana’s newest state park, Milltown State Park. The new park is located near where the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers meet. It’s not yet fully open to the public, that’s expected later this year. Michael Kustudia with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says the new park still needs some work.

Katrin Frye

A large scale conservation project to restore genetically pure west slope cutthroat trout in northwest Montana nears the finish line. Three of 21 lakes remain for Fish, Wildlife and Parks to treat as part of the South Fork West Slope Cutthroat Trout Project.

Fisheries Biologist Matt Boyer said this September they’ll be working on Koessler Lake in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. This lake they’ll be treating with a poison called Rotenone and re-stocking with genetically pure West Slope Cutthroat Trout.

Brucellosis

Jun 23, 2014
Montana Outdoors

6/24/14: This week on "Home Ground:" Brucellosis is showing up among bison, elk, and domestic cattle near Yellowstone National Park, and ranchers, hunters and conservationists are upset. Biologists with Montana's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks hope that their research will help lead to common ground among these groups.

 

M. Madel

Springtime in Montana brings with it a few certainties: For one, it's gong to be muddy. It's also going to be warm and beautiful one day, then snowy and cold the next.   
     It also means bears are starting to wake up and will soon be lumbering out of their dens.

lowjumpingfrog/flickr

National Park Service officials are announcing a partnership with the state of Montana to consider changes to managing bison in and around Yellowstone National Park.

Hundreds of bison wander into the state from the park’s northern boundary during many winters.

Livestock owners worry about the animals damaging property and spreading disease.

The Park Service and the state have been operating under their current Bison Management Plan since 2001.

The agencies think it may be time for an update.

Dan Boyce

  The final numbers for this wolf hunting season look to be very close to those from last year. The six-month season ended this past Saturday. Hunters and trappers killed a total of 230 wolves, compared with 225 last season.

The very similar numbers come despite more aggressive hunting rules from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

It’s the second year trappers have been added to the state’s strategy to reign in wolf numbers--and trapping numbers actually dropped, from 97 down to 86.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

A new report shows a declining population of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, but a lead author describes it as a result of the predators coming into balance with their environment.

“The number of wolves are here that can be supported by prey,” said Doug Smith, Yellowstone Senior Wildlife Biologist and leader of the Yellowstone Wolf Project.

Sally Mauk

If you haven't picked up your turkey yet, and you hit a deer with your car, under a new permit system that went into effect this week, you could keep that deer for your Thanksgiving meal.

flickr/jseattle

The City of Helena is asking for permission to trap and kill 70 deer next year that live in the city limits.

The state wildlife commission approves such requests.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce tells us Helena has been working for years to lower the population of these so-called urban deer.

The environmental organization Earth First began circulating a guidebook on how to sabotage the hunting of wolves last week.

The online guide lays out steps for destroying wolf traps, releasing trapped wolves and disrupting wolf hunts through methods such as smoke bombs and air horns. It asserts states, the NRA, and the Obama Administration are engaging in a conspiracy to wipe wolves off the face of the planet.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is looking into simplifying fishing and hunting licenses in the state.

Right now there are about 100 different types of licenses—and FWP wants to cut that down.

Department Director Jeff Hagener has appointed a twelve member council to study the issue for the next half-year or so. The council will try to streamline the process without reducing the amount of revenue coming in.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Various agencies are teaming-up to research recreation patterns on the Blackfoot and Bitterroot Rivers.
     The study will be conducted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service and the University of Montana.
     The point of the survey is to find out what river users like about our waterways and where they'd like to see some improvements made.

In this feature interview, F-W-P's Fishing Access Site Manager, Chet Crowser, says one thing is clear; people love our rivers and more of us are using them.

FWP mulls more aggressive wolf hunting season

May 10, 2013

State wildlife officials have given initial approval to new, more aggressive wolf hunting rules for this year’s hunting season. The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission is accepting public comment before taking a final vote on the proposal.

The new rules extend the wolf hunting season, allows more wolves to be taken by individuals and allows trappers to use bait. The proposed rules are drawing fresh criticism from wolf advocates.

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