December 2, 2021

Public Comment Sought on Montana 2006 Big Game Hunting Proposals

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking your input on proposed changes to the 2006 big game hunting regulations. You have until January 21, 2006 to do so. Here are some highlights of the changes being considered:

1. Changes to regulations would be in effect for two years.

2. Place a limit on the number of antlerless deer and antelope licenses that can be bought in one season.

3. Freeing up aspects of the elk hunt to better reach management goals.

4. Set new restrictions on importing carcasses from neighboring states where CWD is present.

5. Revision of the trophy elk definition.

6. Extend aspects of the youth hunt from 12-14 to include 12-17.

7. There are numerous changes to the management of deer and elk.

8. Create a fall archery season on mountain lion.

There are many proposals being looked at for next season on every kind of big game species. You can get a complete detailed report of all the proposals here. This site can also give you details of how you can offer input.

Tom Remington


The Perils of Tree Stand Hunting

We have had this discussions a few times at the Black Bear Blog. All too often we hear stories of hunters injured when falling from tree stands. This morning the Washington Post has a story of one man in particular who is suffering multiple injuries when he lost his balance and fell from his favorite stand.

The article recounts other accidents and the results of them and gives some comparative figures from nearby states about hunting accidents and what percentage are the result of tree stands.

It’s a bit of a doom and gloom article, but it should at least make you think twice about what you’re doing when you head up into your tree stand.

Previous stories about tree stand accidents are here and here.

Tom Remington


There's Still Some Deer Hunting in West Virginia

Just when you thought it was over, West Virginia still has plenty of opportunities for antlerless deer. There are several counties and wildlife management areas open for the properly licensed and permitted hunter to bag more antlerless deer.

My suggestion would be to click on this link and go over to the West Virginia DNR site. There you will find a list of the counties that are open and which type of license is required for what – I find it a bit confusing but what do I know.

Tom Remington


Second Spring Turkey Hunt Permits Available

Anyone interested in applying for a second spring turkey hunting permit can do so beginning on January 1, 2006 in Pennsylvania.

For more information click here.

Tom Remington


No CWD Found in Virginia Deer

Over 550 samples tested during this years deer hunting season has turned up no cases of Chronic Wasting Disease. This may not prove that CWD is not anywhere in Virginia, it does prove that if the disease is present it is not widespread.

Virginia officials are monitoring the disease closely as it has shown up in neighboring West Virginia.

Read the entire report from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Tom Remington


Michigan Has "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" Coming in February

The ever growing and increasingly popular Becoming an Outdoors Woman will be having a seminar on February 24-26 at the DNR’s MacMullan Conference Center at Higgins Lake.

Becoming an Outdoors Woman gives women an opportunity to team up with other women and learn outdoor skills – ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dogsledding, snowmobile safety, winter survival and an opportunity to go winter rafting on the Sturgeon River.

Read more here and get needed contact information.

Tom Remington


Montana Elk Getting Older

The elk population in the Northern Yellowstone herd is getting older. Ten years ago, the average age of the elk in that herd was about 6 years. Today that average has climbed to just under nine years (average ages vary by animal sex).

This data is collected by examining the teeth of deer harvested during the annual elk hunt. They look at the teeth in a similar way that one would examine a tree. Each ring on a tree represents a year of growth. The same holds true with an elk’s tooth.

What concerns scientists with this trend is the older the herd becomes the more difficult it is to reproduce and sustain a healthy population. The numbers that have been collected do not reflect the same trends in other elk herds. For example, other herds have an average age of 4-5 years and more calves are born each year than with the Northern Yellowstone herd.

Adjustments have been made to the number of antlerless hunting permits issued in this region. In 2000, 2,880 permits were issued. For the late season hunt scheduled for this January 6-30, 2006, 100 permits were issued. This is an attempt by officials to increase the number of calves to be born next spring which in turn should increase the population and with more young elk born, the average age should begin to decrease back toward more normal ranges.

You can go to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks web site and read the entire report.

Tom Remington


Utah to Conduct Study on Cougars Affects on Bighorn Sheep

Scientists in Utah are going to conduct a test to try to determine what the affects will be on bighorn sheep captured and released into a study area.

Officials will capture bighorn sheep and equip them with a radio collar and release them into the study area. At the same time, they will capture cougars, equip them with radio collars and release them into the same study area.

From this, authorities hope to be able to determine if the cougar will kill the sheep and how often. They hope also to be able to determine if cougars will kill less deer with sheep available to prey on. The ultimate goal is better management of bighorn sheep.

You can read more about the study and what scientists hope to accomplish by going here to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources web site.

Tom Remington


South Dakota Ends It's First Mountain Lion Hunt

Below is the press release issued by the South Dakota Fish and Game. This first ever hunt started out to be quite a controversy with antis running amok claiming the hunt would wipe out the mountain lion population. Wait until you read the results of the hunt.

We posted previously here and here.

First SD Mountain Lion Season Completed

PIERRE, S.D. – The 2005 South Dakota mountain lion hunting season ended on Dec. 15 with no mountain lions harvested in the prairie unit, although a feral lion was shot the day after Thanksgiving in Douglas County.

The Game, Fish and Parks Commission established the prairie unit as a simple means of allowing landowners to protect their property from any threat of mountain lions. Only landowners were allowed to purchase licenses for the prairie unit and those licenses were valid only on the landowners’ own property.

Department field staff and researchers from South Dakota State University were not surprised by the lack of harvest on the prairie. While an occasional mountain lion may pass through the prairie unit, no documented breeding populations of mountain lions exist in South Dakota outside of the Black Hills.

“The mountain lion harvested in Douglas County was determined to be a cat that had been raised in captivity,” according to Tony Leif, GFP game program administrator. “Domesticated animals are not counted with wildlife populations or harvest. However, our staff feels it is important to include the harvest as a footnote to the season for a historically accurate depiction of what occurred in 2005.”

The mountain lion hunting season in South Dakota opened on Oct. 1, and the Black Hills unit closed 24 days later when the fifth female mountain lion of breeding age was harvested. A total of 13 mountain lions were harvested during the 2005 season.

A total of 2,295 licenses were sold for the Black Hill unit and 302 were sold for the prairie unit.

Tom Remington


Maine's Outdoor Report for December 21, 2005

This week’s outdoor report from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is a bit different than ones we have had of recent. This report details the successes they have had with the protection and management of endangered species of wildlife including non-game wildlife. I found it extraordinarily interesting.

Tom Remington