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Entries in Montana FWP (59)


Latest poaching case involves moose in the Little Belt Mts

Two calves standby dead cow moose shot by poachers in late October- FWP photo(GREAT FALLS)- The latest in a rash of poaching cases this fall has Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks hoping a tip will help them find whoever shot and killed a cow moose in the Little Belt Mountains.

FWP reports the poaching happened on October 25th on Belt Park Road, which is at the south end of the range. FWP wardens say someone simply shot the cow, and when they found the kill two young calves were still standing nearby. 

Anyone with information can help catch the poachers by calling 1-800-TIP-MONT. That allows informants to remain anonymous and rewards are offered. 

The poaching comes after incidents where elk were killed near Whitehall and there have been several cases of deer and elk being poached in Western Montana. 


Alberton man shoots bear in backyard

(ALBERTON)- Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is reminding hunters to properly store their game after getting home following an incident in which a Mineral County man had to shoot and kill a bear in his backyard. 

KPAX TV reports the incident happened Friday evening when the bear and two cubs were apparently attracted by a dead elk hanging up in the yard of a home in Alberton. FWP says the man had let his dogs out for the evening when they started fighting with the bear. 

Biologists say the man went outside with his shotgun, and was scratched or bitten in the stomach when he got between the bear and the dogs before he shot and killed the bear. The two orphaned cubs will be cared for at a facility in Helena. 


Bears miss check out time at Missoula motel

KPAX TV photo(MISSOULA)- Remember the old Travelodge ads with the sleepy bear in the nightcap? They found his relatives Thursday at the Days Inn west of Missoula.

Agents with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks were called by excited motel staff Thursday when they spotted the mama bear and two cubs right outside the motel. The motel manager told KPAX TV she was outside and felt something nudge her leg. That something turned out to be a bear cub. 

While she ran into the motel, the bears took to the trees, starting a "standoff" that went well beyond check out time. 

After the motel staff had put pillows all around the trees to cushion any fall, FWP agents moved in and were able to shoot each bear with a tranquilizer dart. The young male cub fell harmlessly into a net, followed by the mother. The female cub was the last to fall sleep. She had climbed to the top of the tree and agents were able to hoist her back down. 

FWP says the bears were taken down to the Clark Fork River, which is where they were probably headed for food. 


Poll claims strong support for bison re-introduction

Dennis Bragg photo(BOZEMAN)- A Bozeman-based conservation group says a new survey shows “overwhelming” public support for bringing wild bison back to Montana and letting them roam across public lands.

The National Wildlife Federal and the Wildlife Conservation Society commissioned the survey of Montanans.

The groups say 68% of those surveyed support restoration of wild bison on federal or state land, with 26% opposed. A similar percentage said they thought the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Western Montana is the best place in the state to start a wild herd. The groups say that’s close to a similar survey that was taken in February 2011.

“The public support for restoring this American icon is exceptionally strong,” said the National Wildlife Federation’s Kit Fischer in Missoula. “The decimation of bison was a wrong that people would like to repair, and doing so would be the crowning achievement in Montana’s century-long commitment to wildlife conservation.”

Adds the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Keith Aune, “The primary reason people visit Montana is our incredible wildlife resource. Restoring bison is not only important conservation, it’s good for our economy.”

The survey also found 68% of those that were asked support giving bison to Native American tribes for relocation to tribal lands.

Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks held meetings about the bison relocation around the state this summer, with people submitting almost 23,000 comments. The agency is expected to be analyzing that input this winter and then deciding how to proceed.  


Another grizzly moved to the Flathead

(HUNGRY HORSE)- Biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have moved another problem grizzly into the Flathead backcountry, with hopes of keep him out of trouble.

The Daily Interlake reports the male grizzly had recently killed a couple of lambs from a private sheep herd in the Flescher Pass area outside of Lincoln in Lewis and Clark County. FWP trapped the bear and released it east of Hungry Horse in the Baptiste Creek drainage with hopes it will revert back to eating natural food sources. 

It was the first time this particular bear had killed livestock. 


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