Outdoors

The 2020 Hunting Issue

Primer on big game season, update on CWD, profile of local community of bird-dog enthusiasts and exploration of new advanced hunting program

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.

________________________________________

Field Guide

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.

READ MORE

________________________________________

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.

READ MORE

________________________________________

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.

READ MORE

________________________________________

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.

READ MORE

________________________________________

If you enjoy stories like this one, please consider joining the Flathead Beacon Editor’s Club. For as little as $5 per month, Editor’s Club members support independent local journalism and earn a pipeline to Beacon journalists. Members also gain access to www.beaconeditorsclub.com, where they will find exclusive content like deep dives into our biggest stories and a behind-the-scenes look at our newsroom.