News roundup: August 18-22
The most important news items from the week of August 18th.
Montana license demand slows
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials are considering raising hunting and fishing license fees. The increases are expected to alleviate an anticipated $5.75 million shortfall in the department’s 2017 budget under the current license program. As of this past weekend, more than 1,700 big game combos, around 1,700 elk combos and more than 550 deer combos remained. Read the full story here.
Wildlife fences - friend or foe to big game?
In a perfect world, wildlife could exist in a habitat without fences, roaming along unfettered paths through an open landscape. Fences act as a barrier to wildlife movement and seasonal migration. Many animals even collide with fences or get trapped in wires. To help prevent these problems, wildlife managers are taking steps to implement wildlife-compatible fencing designs. Read the full story here.
Growing concern over Wyoming mule deer
Sportsmen’s groups recently gathered in Wyoming to confront the state’s declining population of mule deer and to discuss how to increase public support for conservation and management of the iconic western species. Wyoming’s deer numbers are struggling. Since 1990, their numbers have plummeted nearly 36%. Fawn production has dipped 20% in the last twenty-five years. Overall numbers measure somewhere around 374,000, a far cry from the target level of 564,000. Read the full story here.
Montana keeping wolves under control
Montana state wildlife biologists briefed the Gallatin County Commission this week on the status of elk and deer numbers. The news has helped ease concerns over wolf predation. “Wolf numbers are stable,” Burt said. “Statewide, hunters killed 143 wolves compared to 128 in 2012. Trappers took 87 last year. In 2012, they got 97.” “We’re hearing a lot less from people about wolves,” said Skinner. Read the full story here.