Archives for August 2010

Elk Hunt Forecast for 2010

MISSOULA, Mont.–Elk and elk hunting opportunities are abundant in much of North America, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is offering a sneak peek at upcoming seasons in its annual roundup of hunt forecasts for 28 states and provinces, now posted at www.rmef.org.

“Generally speaking, elk populations are in great shape and hunters have much to look forward to across the West, as well as in several Midwestern and Eastern states,” said David Allen, president and CEO of the Elk Foundation. “A mild winter, much needed spring and summer moisture and our habitat conservation successes all factor into our optimism for the upcoming hunting season.”

This summer, RMEF passed the 5.8 million acre mark for habitat conserved or enhanced for elk and other wildlife.

Allen added, however, that wolves continue to be a growing concern in regions where the predators share habitat with elk and other big game herds.

In some areas, elk calf survival rates are now insufficient to sustain herds for the future. The urgent need to control wolf populations is a localized wildlife management crisis now compounded by a recent court decision to return wolves to full federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. RMEF has asked Congress to intervene and grant management authority to the states.

Here’s a condensed look at elk data from state and provincial wildlife conservation agencies. To see these forecasts in their entirety, with links to respective elk regulations or other Web pages, visit www.rmef.org. For even more coverage, see the Sept./Oct. 2010 edition of the RMEF member magazine, Bugle. To join, call 800-CALL ELK. [Read more…]

Virginia to Restore Elk; RMEF Pledges Support

MISSOULA, Mont.–The board of directors of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has voted to restore a wild elk herd in part of the state, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has responded by pledging support for the effort. Possibilities could include RMEF funding assistance, technical expertise and/or volunteer labor.

The state’s restoration plan calls for relocating 75 elk into Buchanan County in southwest Virginia. Releases could begin by 2012. Biologists are hoping for a sustainable elk population and a limited elk-hunting season within four years. County officials are expecting significant economic and tourism benefits similar to those in neighboring Kentucky, which launched its own restoration program over a decade ago and now boasts the largest elk herd east of the Rockies.

At an agency meeting on Aug. 17, RMEF volunteers and staff spoke passionately in favor of elk restoration, although several other organizations were opposed. The board voted unanimously to restore elk into Buchanan County, which strongly supported the concept.

“Hats off to the citizens of Virginia, and especially those of Buchanan County, who understand there is no higher calling in conservation than restoring a native game species to sustainable, hunt-able, balanced populations. For everyone who doesn’t understand it today, I believe you’ll be convinced over time that this was the right decision, the right thing to do, the right way to go about it,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

To be a part of this historic conservation effort in Virginia, join and support RMEF. Visit www.rmef.org and click “Attend an Event” to find fundraisers planned across the state. For additional information, call 800-CALL ELK or contact Chris Croy, RMEF regional director for Virginia, at 704-551-6223 or ccroy@rmef.org.

Backpacking For The Hunt

The opening day of elk season is Saturday: have you made your plans for the hunt?  For those who seek to add another challenge to the hunt, Chris Silewski talks about hunting the backcountry wilderness with a back pack. He provides some excellent insight into the physical preparation, quality gear, and the unique experience awaiting the back country hunter.  Go to:
http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/ElkHuntingUniversity/EHULessons/EHUB ackpackHunt.htm

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to:
http://wildlife.state.co.us

Huntin’ Fool Updates

Wyoming Preference Points:
The application period for Wyoming preference points is July 1st to Sept. 30th. If you already applied for Moose, Sheep, Elk, Deer, or Antelope and selected the preference point option you cannot purchase an additional point. If you didn’t choose this option or didn’t apply for a specific species you can still obtain a preference point for this year. We highly recommend building points in Wyoming for all species.

If you aren’t going to have time or don’t want to deal with the states’ applications have us apply you, but don’t miss out. You can sign up or learn more about our License Application Service from our website http://www.huntinfool.com/licenseapp/ or by calling Jenny at 435-865-1020. [Read more…]

FWP Confirms It Will Appeal Wolf Ruling

Montana’s top wildlife official confirmed today that his agency will appeal the recent district court ruling that returned the region’s recovered wolves to the federal endangered species list.

Joe Maurier, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, told a coalition of wildlife conservation and livestock groups that Montana has “a recovered wolf population and we will appeal.”

FWP met today in Helena with the group that included stockgrowers, woolgrowers, farm associations and several conservation and hunting organizations. Maurier told the group that Montana would appeal the district court decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by Sept. 5 to meet the 30-day appeal deadline. [Read more…]

RMEF Announces Conservation Grants for Pennsylvania

MISSOULA, Mont.–Wildlife conservation and public education projects in 18 Pennsylvania counties have been selected to receive grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.

The new RMEF funding, totaling $115,580, will affect Armstrong, Bedford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Fayette, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga and Washington counties.

Other projects have statewide interest. [Read more…]

Hunter Education Classes Scheduled in Belgrade, Bozeman

The dates are set for fall hunter education classes in Belgrade and Bozeman.   Registration is required and students under 18 years of age must have the consent of a parent or guardian.

Belgrade Hunter Education

Class will take place September 7-10 at the Belgrade Middle School (410 Triple Crown Road) from 7-9 p.m. Students must also complete a field exercise on Saturday, September 11 at the Logan Range.   Students will be assigned a morning or afternoon session for the field exercise beginning at either 8 a.m. or 1:00 p.m.   Students must register in person on September 7 from 6-7 p.m. at the Belgrade Middle School.   For more information call George or Bonnie Clement at (406) 388-0655.

Bozeman Hunter Education

Class will take place September 13-17 at Chief Joseph Middle School (4255 Kimberwicke Street) from 7-9 p.m.   Students must also complete a field exercise on Saturday, September 18 , from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Logan Range.   There are two options for registration:

Students may register online between August 16 and September 7 by going to FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov and clicking on Education , then Hunter Education . All students under the age of 18 must download and complete the parental consent form and bring to class.   Classroom materials must be picked up at FWP’s Bozeman office (1400 S. 19 th Ave.) by Sept 10th.

Students may also register in person Thursday, September 2nd, from 7-9 p.m., at Chief Joseph Middle School in the cafeteria.

For more information, contact Jim or Holly Johnson at (406) 582-1402.

Any person born after January 1, 1985, must present a Hunter Education Certificate in order to purchase a hunting license in Montana. A student must be 11 years old to receive certification.

2010 Fall Hunting in Southeast Montana (Region 7)

The 2010 fall hunting seasons are about to begin or have already begun, such as the early antelope archery season which opened on August 15 th , followed by the September 1st opener for sharp tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, sage grouse, morning doves and fall turkey and general archery September 4 th .

According to John Ensign, Region 7 wildlife program manager, “Last winter was long and difficult for young and old antelope. Overwinter survival and recruitment has been poor. This year’s fawn production is the poorest in the previous ten years.   Our survey information shows the antelope population in Region 7 to be 37% below the long term average.” [Read more…]

New Website For Montana Hunting

A new, improved web page for Montana’s 2010 hunting news was launched Aug. 17 by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The new page offers easy access to season outlooks, tips and new opportunities for the upcoming season.

“It’s a whole new look and design for FWP news and one we intend to expand in the future,” said FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim. “We hope this information and new format helps hunters find and use the information they need for a successful hunting season.”

Aasheim said several hunting-related videos will be available on the site beginning Aug. 20.

To explore Montana’s 2010 hunting information online, visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Click ” 2010 Hunting News .”

Black Bear, Mountain Lion License Deadline

Black Bear : Hunters may purchase a black bear hunting license at all FWP offices, FWP license providers, or online at fwp.mt.gov , under Online Services. After Aug. 31 the licenses are only available at FWP offices and there is a five-day wait on the use of bear hunting licenses.

Black bear hunters must have successfully completed the Black Bear Identification Test and must present a certificate of completion when purchasing a black bear license.  The training and test are available on FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov under Online Services.  A paper version of the test may be obtained at FWP offices or license providers. Black Bear hunting regulations for 2010 are available on the FWP web site at fwp.mt.gov , from FWP license providers and at FWP offices.

Mountain Lion : For mountain lion licenses, hunters may purchase a mountain lion hunting license at all FWP offices, FWP license providers, or online at fwp.mt.gov , under Online Services. After Aug. 31 the licenses are only available at FWP offices and there is a five-day wait on the use of mountain lion hunting licenses. Some districts require special licenses that have to be applied for by August 31.  Successful applicants are required to purchase a license.  A mountain lion trophy permit must be purchased after a mountain lion kill.