FWP Seeking Help With CWD Monitoring

Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has not been found in Montana but evidence of the disease has been found within 50 miles of the Montana border.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials are asking hunters, outfitters, landowners, and others to help keep a look out for CWD, a serious wildlife disease.

Hunters in eastern Montana are asked to donate heads from game harvested in portions of FWP Regions 6 and 7 as part of an FWP survey. Hunters can drop off heads at hunter check stations, FWP offices and at participating meat processors within the survey area.

A total of nearly 16,000 wild deer, elk and moose have been tested for CWD in Montana since 1998.   While none have tested positive for the brain disease, it is important to remain vigilant and to detect the disease early should it enter the state. [Read more…]

Conservation Groups Urge Stop to Wolf Negotiations

MISSOULA, Mont.—In a letter to Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Director Joe Maurier, conservation organizations are urging state officials to stick with science in determining adequate populations of gray wolves, rather than negotiating with environmental and animal rights groups to allow surplus populations.

The agency is currently negotiating a settlement with the 13 groups who sued to keep gray wolves federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

These negotiations potentially threaten to weaken the state’s authority to manage populations of game and non-game species, presenting a dangerous precedent for other states seeking to manage wolf populations through their respective state agencies.
[Read more…]

MWF – October Proposals Out for Public Comment

Hunter/Angler…

To increase participation of every-day hunters and anglers within the rule-making processes, Montana Wildlife Federation (MWF) once more brings you the current list of comment dates. Our “I Hunt, I Fish, I Vote” campaign emphasizes the concept that we all have a stake in the outcome of these decision-making processes and we should all be participants. In that vein, although it has been a while, we will regularly forward to you a running list of current Environmental Assessments like this one and other plans out for public comment broken down by agency. To find out more about any of the individual plans, simply click on the link provided. If you need any help figuring out to become involved, feel free to send me an email at this email address or call the phone numbers below. Please forgive any multiple postings. [Read more…]

Fall Black Bear Hunting Season Begins Soon

The fall black bear hunting season begins Sept. 15 in most areas of Montana.   The archery season for black bear begins Sept. 4. All hunters should check the regulations for season date exceptions.

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

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.

2010 Black Bear hunting regulations are available on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov , from FWP license providers and at FWP offices.

Pneumonia in Anaconda Bighorn Sheep may be Concentrated in Olson

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) continues to assess the status of pneumonia in the Lost Creek (Anaconda) bighorn sheep population in west central Montana, where the disease was first detected on Aug. 20.   Biologists now believe that the disease may be concentrated in and around the Olson Gulch area west of Anaconda.

Since initial detection, FWP crews have surveyed the sheep herd to assess the spread of the disease. On Friday, Aug. 27, a team of FWP wildlife biologists and wildlife veterinarian focused their efforts on the Olson Gulch area and killed ten sheep for examination and the collection of biological samples.

Samples of lung tissue and other samples from these and seven other sheep killed earlier in the week will be sent to a laboratory for culture to try to determine what pathogens are involved in the pneumonia. [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…]

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.