Hunter numbers were down at the Darby check station as a "winter" storm hit western Montana on opening weekend. Only 729 hunters check in this year, compared to 1,012 last year.
The Washington Post takes a look and the current Montana housing boom, an evergreen topic that that was underway since before I first moved to the state in 1992.
All the deer came from areas were the wildlife disease was already known to exist. Seventeen of the deer were whitetails.
Montana State University released its Treasure State poll Wednesday, Oct. 14. The results show the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Steve Daines and challenger Steve Bullock, the current, but term limited governor, is too close to call. The Treasure State poll shows Bullock ahead 49% to 47%.
The result is within the margin of error of 3.9%.
The race has been competitive since Bullock ended his long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and entered the race. Both candidates have come out on top in recent surveys, and other than one poll that had Daines up 9 points, neither has led by more than 3 points in polls since September.
The poll showed close races in the other statewide races. In the governor's contest, current U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte leads Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney by five points, 47% to 42%. In the race for the open seat for Montana’s U.S. Representative, Matt Rosendale leads Kathleen Williams by two points, 48% to 46%.
The Treasure State poll is administered by the MSU Political Science Department.
This Billings Gazette story outlines the contest between attorney Mike Black and Justice Laurie McKinnon for a seat on the seven-member Montana Supreme Court. The winner receives an eight-year term on the court.
In a 5-2 decision in 2014, the court ruled in favor of the Public Land/Water Access Association's claim that the public had a right of way to access the Ruby River at three bridge crossings in Madison County. McKinnon was one of two justices who voted against access.
Some things never change. One of those "some things" is public land. Montanans love public land, and that love was again confirmed by the Voter Survey on Public Land, the results of which were released this week by the University of Montana’s Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Initiative.
Conservation Reserve Program now offering general sign-ups
Its springtime in Montana and that means folks will be preforming stupid human tricks right and left for the next few months. Let's hope they don't hurt critters, themselves, first responders, or, I suppose, themselves, in the process. Here's my column.