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A Campaign To End Big Game 'Crowd Shooting'

Troy Downing posted on his Facebook page that he is, “looking forward to showing and demonstrating these charges are baseless.”
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Two mass elk shootings in November and December that angered many in Montana have prompted a hunting group to launch an ethical hunting campaign.

Mike England is with the Bozeman-based Citizens’ Advisory Committee, a public group that gives feedback to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. His says the irresponsible behavior of the hunters who surrounded and shot into elk herds last last year near Helena motivated his group to move from advice to action.

“We need to say 'no'," England said of hunters, "' I’m not going to participate in this. And you need to stop what you’re doing right now.' If one of those hunters had walked around and said. 'hey guys this is not right. Think about what you’re doing. This is not right. This is not hunting. This is a slaughter.' Maybe none of that would have ever happened.”

England says hunters can’t simply rely on game wardens and should be policing themselves.

In a meeting Thursday night in Bozeman, hunters, ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts met to establish concrete plans and funding for what they’re calling The Hunt Right campaign.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Spokesperson Andrea Jones says they’ve promised seed money estimated at $5,000 to help the citizen’s group get their campaign get off the ground

“We’d love to see this have an impact on behavior and helping these hunters ask other hunters to raise the bar," Jones said.

England estimates they’ll need to raise up to $30,000 from the public and others interested to fund the production of educational videos for TV, radio and social media in time for the start of the 2015 hunting season.

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