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Entries in Montana hunting (3)


No grizzly hunting in Montana for 2018

Dennis Bragg photo(HELENA)- There will be no grizzly bear hunting in Montana, at least not this year. The Montana Wildlife Commission is accepting a recommendation from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff to not stage a hunt for the bears near Yellowstone, where the bears were removed from Endangered Species protection last year. 

There had been anticipation Montana may allow a limited hunt for grizzlies in the areas surrounding Yellowstone, where the grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem where taken out of "threatened species" status in a controversial move by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service last year. That decision would leave grizzly management, including possible hunts to limit bear populations, up to the states, including Idaho and Wyoming. 

However, yesterday in Helena, the Wildlife Commission was told there are some problems with Montana scheduling a grizzly hunt later this year. FWP staff note there's still pending litigation challenging the USFWS de-listing. Additionally, there are issues on how to limit the harvest to just a single sow grizzly in addition to half-a-dozen males. Montana could only launch a hunt if there was a single, "independent" sow grizzly available, and FWP staff say that possibility is "very limited."

Idaho is scheduled to discuss a grizzly hunt in March. The Wyoming Wildlife Commission has already directed staff to draw up plans for a hunt this year. 


Montana's big game season gets off to a big start

(MISSOULA)- Nothing like a little fierce fall weather to stir up the game in time for Montana's hunters. 

Montana’s general big game hunting season opened on Saturday, and in the west-central part of the state, hunter check stations reports show the highest number of big game animals harvested on opening weekend since 2010.

In fact, game agents say it turned out to be the best opener for white-tailed deer in more than a decade, matching the robust hunts of the early 2000s. And elk numbers were the highest in 5-years. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reported 117 elk, 111 white-tailed deer, 15 mule deer and five black bears at its Darby, Anaconda and Bonner check stations combined.

“The check stations only sample a relatively small portion of the hunting effort and harvests across the region, and they don’t tell the whole story by any means,” said Mike Thompson, FWP Region 2 Wildlife Manager. “But, check stations do a good job of showing us trends over time, and the opening weekend numbers tell us that the hunting season is off to a stronger start than we seen in a while." 


FWP approves controversial ranch purchase

People packed a Helena hearing Monday on the Milk River ranch proposal- KRTV photo(HELENA)- Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission has given the go-ahead to shell out millions of dollars to purchase several thousand acres of private ranch land on the Hi-Line. 

The state's plans to purchase the Milk River Ranch lands for conservation and wildlife habitat drew heated opposition from adjoining landowners, who worried about the additional public access, as well as critics who were concerned about how much the state was spending for the land. 

However, KRTV reports the commission opted to go ahead with the purchase on a 4-1 vote despite the strong testimony against the plan. 

FWP will spend $4.7 million to purchase 3,000 acres using money from the "Habitat Montana" fund. Montana DNRC is already spending just over $1-million for an additional 1,000 acres. The state will also be buying the rights to archaeological and paleontological artifacts, bringing the total purchase price to nearly $8-million.