Autumn signals the arrival of hunting season, as well as the Beacon’s annual Hunting Issue, on the stands this week.
This year’s collection of stories includes a primer on the big game season, with important dates, deer numbers and more. You’ll also find an update on chronic wasting disease (CWD), a profile of the local community of bird-dog enthusiasts and a breakdown of an advanced hunter education program coming to the Flathead Valley.
Prospects for bagging big game in Northwest Montana are looking up as the season kicks off with more hunters heading afield
By Tristan Scott
Hunters can anticipate a healthy contingent of whitetail and mule deer, the result of a milder-than-normal winter that yielded good adult and fawn survival for whitetail deer. The relatively mild winter also resulted in increased adult and fawn survival of mule deer, with an increase in young bucks this year.
Ballad of the Bird Dog
Local bird-hunting enthusiasts find community in entities such as the Glacier Gun Dog Club and Pheasants Forever, while passing knowledge along to the next generation
By Myers Reece
Todd Robins recalls clearly and poignantly the first time his eldest son, 12 years old at the time, hunted birds with him in the Sweet Grass Hills along the Hi-Line. The story illuminates the almost magical synergy that ripples through handler and dog, man and best friend — or work colleague, in this case.
This Land is Your Land
Advanced hunting program expands to Flathead Valley, offers lessons in land ownership, ethics and etiquette that transcend the field
By Tristan Scott
Led by the nonprofit One Montana, the Montana Master Hunter Program launched in 2018 with limited offerings, but recently announced its expansion in Montana, with locations for classes in 2021 including Kalispell, Bozeman, Great Falls, and Miles City.
Hunters Asked to Submit Animals for CWD Sampling
Montana FWP requests help to gather data on disease in priority areas
By Micah Drew
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is once again relying on hunters to be citizen-scientists during the fall harvest season to help collect data on chronic wasting disease (CWD). The department uses voluntarily submitted samples from hunters in order to inform management strategies for hunting districts where the disease is prevalent.