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Montana hunting season opens for 2021

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Archery Season for elk runs from Sept 4. – Oct. 17 and the General Season opens on Oct. 23 and closes on Nov. 28. PHOTO BY EDWARD TAYLOR ON UNSPLASH

By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF

MONTANA – With hunting season underway, its important to stay astute and safe–both for hunters and other recreationists. Archery hunting season in Montana opened on Sept. 4 with a closing date dependent on the animal being hunted. After archery season closes, the general season will begin. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks provides rules and regulations as well as safety recommendations for a safe and bountiful hunting season that should be heeded by anyone heading into the outdoors. 

For hunters, this means having the proper education, permits and equipment, and knowing how to safely use and maintain that equipment. Another consideration to keep in mind is that hunters are out in bear country and should be prepared for a
bear encounter.

Morgan Jacobsen, information and education program manager for Montana FWP Region 3, emphasized the importance of harvesting an animal properly and packing it out quickly. He also recommended that hunters visit fwp.mt.gov/cwd to become fully informed about Chronic Wasting Disease, a disease found in deer, elk and moose populations that damages portions of the brain typically causing progressive loss of body condition, behavioral changes and death. CWD likely spreads between animals through body fluids either via direct contact or indirectly through environmental contamination of soil, food or water.

To date there have been 456 positive samples of CWD across Montana since Montana FWP began testing in 2017.

According to Jacobsen, it’s important to know the rules. “So that means know what and where and when your license allows you to hunt, so make sure you’re in the right place at the right time hunting the right animal,” he said.

If anyone has questions about hunting regulations Jacobsen encourages them to call FWP at (406) 444-2535 for more information.

He also noted that it’s important for anyone who observes a wildlife crime or any suspicious activity to report it to the poaching hotline at 1-800-TIP-MONT.

Read on for some safety tips for hunter and outdoors enthusiasts during hunting season.

5 Safety Tips for Hunters:

  1. Check hunting equipment and maintain it properly.
  2. Clearly identify your target before shooting.
  3. Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will return. 
  4. Carry a first aid kit. 
  5. Dress properly and be prepared for the worst possible conditions.

5 Safety Tips for Non-Hunters:

  1. Wear bright clothing and make yourself more visible.
  2. Get an orange vest for your dog if he/she accompanies you. 
  3. Make noise by whistling, singing or carrying on a conversation as you walk to alert hunters to your presence.
  4. Know when hunting seasons are. 
  5. Be courteous. Once a hunter is aware of your presence, don’t make unnecessary noise to disturb wildlife.

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