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Second Elk 'Crowd Shooting' Incident of 2014 Reported


There’s been another “crowd shooting” incident involving a herd of elk in Montana.

Broadwater County Undersheriff Wynn Meehan says that on Thanksgiving day hundreds of elk near Townsend were hazed by trucks for at least five miles before getting boxed-in and fired on by dozens of Montanans. 

Some of the elk eventually split-off from the main herd, but were immediately pursued into adjacent private land near Highway 12.

Meehan says the trouble resumed first thing Friday morning:

"I come by and here's 12 cows and calves standing by the fence and I went 'Oh, goodness gracious', and it started from that point. There was car after car after car with people trying to get permission," Meehan said. The guy (landowner) was; 'No, just leave them alone.' They'd (“hunters”)  go out there and creep along the fence of where they did have permission to try to get those elk to leave that property so that they could then shoot them. It was just like; 'Leave the elk alone."

This latest "crowd-shooting" incident mirrors one that took place on the east side of Canyon Ferry Reservoir in early November. In that instance, three hunters were cited for hunting without landowner permission.

In the Thanksgiving weekend incident, Meehan says he was outnumbered and unable to issue any citations. He says at least 4 elk were killed legally, and “several” were poached or mortally wounded.

We'll have more on this story tomorrow. 

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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