Seventy-six wolves have been killed in Montana near Yellowstone National Park, nearing a preset quote of 82, so Montana FWP is preparing to close wolf hunts in Region 3 for the season.
Too much, too fast and geared toward private landowners at the expense of the general public and public-land hunters. Andrew McKean, Randy Newberg and Hal Herring discuss in this podcast.
Here's my latest column. It's a bit of a flier — flying fish to be exact. Sometimes inspiration comes out of nowhere, especially this time of year, when bird hunting has pretty much wrapped up, yet fishing lingers out beyond the winter horizon.
Attempting to stop night hunting wolves at night on private land and aerial gunning, Trap Free Montana Public Lands and Wolves of the Rockies sued FWP over regulations the groups say were changed without public participation.
Outdoor Life news editor Dac Collins updates the court fight over access in the Crazy Mountains. The Forest Service has stopped defending access established via prescribed easement, and in one case, built a new trail that avoided conflicts with landowners, but also excluded the public from the process.
In 2017, the Forest Service suspended Yellowstone District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz for writing a memo that outlined to staff how they could work to maintain public access on these trails that access the Crazies via prescriptive easement. Sienkiewicz later got his job back, but the Forest Service has backed off defending the public's right to access the Crazy Mountains.
Here's my latest column, on the joy of returning again and again to hunt the same ground. I know I've developed a habit of returning to this "return" theme annually, after my most recent sojourn to the Chukar Grounds, but I kind of like that place.
The ramped up wolf hunting and trapping on Yellowstone National Park's northern border in Montana is now threatening tourism businesses in the state. In 2021, the state legislature approved laws that were signed by Gov. Greg Gianforte. The laws dramatically loosened the rules governing the killing of wolves in Montana.
About 20 Yellowstone wolves have been killed so far, including seven that were part of the Phantom Lake Pack, which is now considered eliminated. The result has been increasing national, and international attention on Montana's loosened regs, and increasing calls for the Feds to reinstate endangered species protection for wolves in the Northern Rockies.
A helpful rundown of hunting reg changes the FWP Commission will consider at its Feb. 4 meeting by reporter Laura Lindquist of the Missoula Current. The process seems rushed and politically driven, undermining the state's reputation for science-based wildlife management. The retirement of experienced biologists has contributed to this slapdash effort.
My column on the laws cropping up across the West banning trial cams on public lands during hunting season.