Notes from June 23, 2015 Meeting

02-07-2015

Although the turnout was limited to about a dozen members, we had an informative and productive meeting of the Headwaters Sporstman Association on June 23. In addition to HSA members, there were four FW&Ps employees in attendance: Julie Cunningham (biologist), Howard Burt (wildlife manager), Jim Smolczynski and Joe Knarr (wardens).

Dear HSA members and friends,

Although the turnout was limited to about a dozen members, we had an informative and productive meeting of the Headwaters Sporstman Association on June 23. In addition to HSA members, there were four FW&Ps employees in attendance: Julie Cunningham (biologist), Howard Burt (wildlife manager), Jim Smolczynski and Joe Knarr (wardens).

All present were very well versed in the history and details of the issues discussed. The first hour of the meeting was devoted to analysis of wildlife policies impacting southwest Montana, including bighorn sheep and elk. FW&Ps budgets and personnel were also discussed as was political strategies that might be used to impact legislative decisions in the future. The upcoming vote in Washington on the Land and Water Conservation Fund was also discussed.

Because most of the HSA members in attendance were long-time participants, including a hand full of founding Board members, and we had four FW&Ps employees who were willing to share their thoughts, we had informed and insightful discussion on all topics. I want to personally thank the FW&Ps employees for taking the time to attend our meeting. It was very much appreciated by all.

During the second hour, Julie Cunningham shared her current projects and thoughts about season setting regulations for Region 3. Here are some of the highlights:

The bighorn transplant along the face of the south Madison range was successful with some of the sheep ending up at the head of Indian Creek as desired.

Elk numbers are stable or expanding in the Madison Valley, but still struggling in the Gallatin.

The elk herd around and on the Flying D has begun to utilize ground to the north along the Madison River during the past few winters. This has caused some problems for motorists and agriculture producers. Some post-season hunts have been authorized to help reduce this herd’s negative social impacts.

Moose numbers are spotty at best.

Julie is thinking about allowing sheep and goat hunting in the upper Gallatin wildlife hunting restrictive area that is currently only open to elk hunting.

 Goat populations are holding steady.

The Bridger deer herd is also holding steady.

Julie Cunningham also described the flights she has taken to count deer, elk, sheep and goats.

The meeting was adjourned around 8:30 with numerous small-group discussion continuing for another half hour or so. It was a very valuable meeting.

I want thank all of you who have paid your 2015 dues. If you have not joined HSA for this year, please consider sending $20 to HSA, PO Box 1941, Bozeman, MT 59771-1941.

Thank you for your interest and support of Montana’ wildlife resources. HSA has represented Montana resident hunters and anglers since 1996. Most of our members are do-it-yourself, public lands outdoor enthusiasts.

Shannon Taylor, Secretary

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I want to also remind you that hunt roster enrollment ends July 15.

Also some of you may be interested in the depopulation hunt of the Tendoy big horn sheep herd.

Watch FW&Ps home page for application guidelines. I don't think they are posted yet but it will be a very unique opportunity.

Here is the URL for the proposal:

 http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/environmentalAssessments/speciesRemovalAndRelocation/pn_0071.html

And finally, I posted a thread about Diane's and my fishing trip to Yellowstone Lake last week. I posted the thread on Randy Newberg's HuntTalk. Here is the URL:

http://onyourownadventures.com/hunttalk/showthread.php?t=264041