Montana Public Radio

elk

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

Wildlife officials say new data show that the Ruby Valley in southwest Montana has become a hotspot for chronic wasting disease, a disease fatal to deer, elk and moose.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesperson Greg Lemon says this year’s data has shed light on the prevalence of the disease in the Ruby Valley near Sheridan, where CWD showed up in 23 percent of samples.

Cow elk.
PD

A citizens group met for the first time Thursday to begin the process of revising the 15-year-old statewide elk management plan in Montana.

Elk numbers in Montana have rebounded from about 8,000 in the 1920s to more than 150,000 today. But agreeing on how many of those ungulates there should be — and where — is a complicated affair.

When Wildlife Remain Elusive, Follow The Clues

Nov 18, 2020
Elk herd, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park
Jim Peaco - NPS (PD)

A couple of weekends ago, some friends and I got up early to drive into the Flint Creek Range near Anaconda.  We planned to hike through an area that we’d been told was home to some 800 elk, 150 big horn sheep, 30 mountain goats, black bear, and moose.  We walked up the trail with great anticipation for a day of spectacular wildlife viewing. 

How devastating are wildfires to deer and elk? Can most of them outrun or outflank a rapidly spreading fire? And what about the survivors when they return to a burned forest? Isn’t their habitat destroyed?


Montana’s land board will vote on July 20 on a proposed addition to a wildlife management area near Anaconda. State biologists, a local rod and gun club and several conservation groups say making the section of private land public would protect key wildlife habitat from subdivisions and improve access for recreationists.

Map of the Gold Butterfly Project vicinity.
Bitterroot National Forest

Environmental groups are suing the Bitterroot National Forest over a proposed project that calls for about 5,600 acres of commercial logging.  The Gold Butterfly project would take place on about 7,300 acres. It includes non-commercial thinning and about 4,800 acres of prescribed burns.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Monday that an elk herd in the Bangtail Mountains has tested negative for brucellosis. State wildlife managers recently completed the two-year project aimed at understanding the risk and spread of the disease in wildlife and livestock.

Elk at a feed ground in Wyoming.
USGS (PD)

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — An annual elk hunt in Grand Teton National Park doesn't draw in and concentrate large numbers of grizzly bears, scientists have concluded.

The November to December hunt probably takes place too late in the year for grizzly bears to seek out animal remains that hunters leave behind, according to researchers with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

Montana wildlife managers say 91 cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have been found statewide so far this year. The Libby area accounts for nearly half of those detections and that number is expected to grow with results still rolling in from this year’s big game season.

A fourth dead elk has been found in the southwest part of Musselshell County.

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